When Claudio Miranda, ASC was deciding how to shoot several pivotal scenes in Tron Legacy, he determined that due to the weight of the dual Sony F35 3D camera package and the multilevel sets, traditional Steadicam shots would be impossible. He wanted a rig with the flexibility of a Steadicam, the ability to go anywhere and provide rock solid movement for the heavy camera package.
Claudio had worked with Pacific Motion Control before and was familiar with many of our rigs, so he called to see if we could make these shots happen. As we talked with Claudio, we determined that what was needed for the job was a portable, overhead motion control crane system – a system that didn’t exist. This was a challenge that we were determined to meet. Over the next few weeks, we custom built the Overhead Graphlite system to meet the needs of the production. This rig is totally portable. In fact, it’s first job (Tron) was over 1,200 miles away from our shop. The rig provided 48′ of linear movement (adaptable from 12′-72′), 15 feet of arm reach, 360+ degrees (infinite) of swing, 45 degrees of boom travel, 360+ degrees of pan and tilt. It did all of this while carrying a camera package that weighed 90 pounds!
With little time to complete the build and test the rig before shooting, Tron Legacy would be a trial by fire, but the rig performed flawlessly. During the weeks of filming the rig never missed a beat, and enabled the crew to capture amazing shots, including a fight scene shot in a continuous circle, with over 1080 degrees of movement!
Photography By Douglas Curran
Courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc