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The team focused its effort on balancing the old and the new. They wanted to make sure the audience recognized the familiar setting from the original, while exploring new parts of this environment. The sequel focuses on of Rama entering Jakarta's underworld, where the stakes are higher. The sequel was shot in cinemascope in order to provide a wider frame and give the story a more epic feel. The photography also explored a wider range of the color palette, using different lighting for each character. The film opens with similar tones as the first one and shifts as Rama enters the criminal organization.

Shooting the film has been a learning experience for the whole team. On MERANTAU, the team learned to shoot martial arts. On THE RAID: REDEMPTION, they learned to shoot gunfights. And on THE RAID 2 they went one step further, adding car chases to the mix.

On MERANTAU we felt we were focusing on the narrative drama scenes. For the action scenes, the takes were too long. We learned from that and fixed things on THE RAID: REDEMPTION. THE RAID: REDEMPTION had a majority of action scenes. We got to play a lot with camera angles and fluidity. Finding a new way to shoot action scenes. THE RAID 2 is a much bigger project. What we chose to do is a combination of the two elements we learned from MERANTAU and THE RAID: REDEMPTION: dynamic, edgy and fluid camera movements, while at the same time knowing when to go for more classical and sophisticated compositions (when to use jimmy jib, steady cams and dolly track).Combining those two different styles was an interesting challenge in that respect. (Gareth)

Because this was the first time a car chase of this scale was shot in Indonesia, a lot of time was spent on logistics. Unlike places like Hong Kong or the UK, where they have been shooting car chases for years, Indonesia did not have a particular set-up for this. The production team had to build the structure itself to achieve specific shots:

"We had to have a shoot from the inside of one car going down a highway with the camera moving to another car straight away, then have the back window to blown out for the camera to follow through the back window and out again. To do that, we discussed different combinations of computer-generated imagery, visual effects, green screens and so on. After a long discussion, we felt like we would be technically limited if we were to use too many special effects. In the end we decided to do it for real, meaning moving the camera from one camera operator to the other. This is something we had done on THE RAID: REDEMPTION when we went through a hole on the floor. It was done in a controlled environment and the only issue was the person passing the camera to another. But the difficulty here was to pass the camera between moving cars on a highway. It was risky shot, but thankfully after a number of takes it was done well". (Evans)

Camera moves were carefully integrated into the martial arts choreography. The fighters' moves are choreographed to the slightest detail, and so are camera movements. Camera angles are designed before the shoot, so it never feels like the camera interferes with the action. A constant mantra during shooting was to highlight the actors' performances.

"The brothel scene is one of my favorite shots, when a character gets thrown through a window. The camera starts low on the ground and follows him through his jump. It ends up getting upside down. As he rolls over to get up, the camera rolls with him and swings around to catch Uwais jumping through a window. It comes to a close-up of his feet and then follows him. It was a complicated shot. What makes it even harder is that we had to do this without rigging. We had two camera operators controlling the camera. It's not just about getting the movement right. You also have to clear the path or we would have seen one of the camera operators at some point in that scene. Overall it was a great team effort to get it executed correctly." (Evans).


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