THE RAID 2
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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