The force is strong for Star Wars: Made GREAT in Britain
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was 2016’s top-grossing film at the UK box office, more than £1m ahead of its nearest competitor, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Both, though, are testament to this island’s world class filmmaking crafts as described by Rogue One director Gareth Edwards in a short film for the Star Wars: Made GREAT in Britain campaign, a collaboration between the UK Government, Disney and Lucasfilm.
All eight Star Wars films have been shot largely in the UK, and the campaign is dedicated to celebrating Britain's unique contributions to the series.
Director and DP Matthew Beecroft worked with producer Alistair Audsley to a brief from agency Feref and the UK government’s Made GREAT
in Britain campaign, to film Edwards in Paris.
He also made a companion cinema commercial featuring Rogue One star Felicity Jones, shot at Claridges.
“Rather than a standard interview I wanted to make the films as cinematic as possible with an aesthetic that would fit as close as possible to the footage of Rogue One (which was shot on an ARRI Alexa 65),” explains Beecroft. “I was also aware that our time with the talent would be limited so a lighter, more portable setup using the ARRI Amira made most sense.”
For the Made GREAT in Britain campaign online video featuring Edwards he selected Superspeeds. “Since we were unsure what we’d be presented with in terms of location and lighting restrictions I thought an extra stop or so would be useful.”
Beecroft swapped the Superspeeds for Cooke S2 / S3 Panchros and shot 4K UHD (3.2K) to meet the DCP requirements of the theatrical trailer.
This was a Star Wars: Made GREAT in Britain 55" commercial made for the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, the UK copyright education body, and released as part of its anti-piracy Moments Worth Paying For campaign.
“I didn’t want it to look too clinical so using older lenses, which have a warmth and organic feel to them, are sympathetic to the rendition of skin tones and worked really well with Felicity.”
The kit on both occasions was sourced from VMI. “When you establish a good relationship with people, as I have over 12 years working with VMI, you just know that they will give you fantastic service, lots of options and that the kit you wish for is always available.”
In the video, Edwards talks about the strength of the British character and the camaraderie sparked on set between cast and crew.
"What is it about Britain that seems to generate these people?" he asks. "We're quite polite – all those cliches, but I think that generates a really good artistic sensibility. We have to find another way of getting it out and I think that comes through art forms. My favourite being cinema.
"It's pretty phenomenal the influence we've had on global culture. We really punch above our weight."
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