Cinematographer Greg Wilson and I were asked by Vision Research and Abel CineTech to shoot the first test footage with the new Phantom Flex4K Digital Cinema Camera. The camera was a little more than a week old and still in its alpha prototype stage when we got our hands on it.
All the live action footage was shot on March 24th, 2013. Some additional fire elements were shot at a later date with the Hebron and Glastonbury Fire Departments in Connecticut.
We were thrilled with the camera's performance at this early stage of its development. This is a true 4K RAW camera capable of at 1000fps at 4K resolution - the highest performing cinema image sensor in the world. Thanks to the great crew - including lead Phantom camera technician Edward Richardson - VRI and Abel CineTech for giving us the opportunity to shoot with this amazing new camera system. We worked closely with B-camera Phantom operator and firefighter Lt. Matthew Troy to choreograph the action and keep every detail of firefighting true to life.
While almost all shots were achieved in camera, we also combined in-camera practical effects with visual effects to create the burning house exteriors and interiors. No CGI was used.
The video has received over 1.6M views online and has functioned as a cinematic portrait of volunteer firefighting - bolstering recruitment for the very fire departments that helped bring this story to the screen.