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What Unique Camera Techniques Did the “Mad Max: Fury Road” Filmmakers Use During Filming?

The two-hour long Mad Max: Fury Road was edited from 480 hours of footage filmed digitally, which equates to a 239:1 ratio of minutes not used to minutes used. That is double the not used to used footage ratio for the infamously extensive Apocalypse Now (1979), which was shot on film however.

Mad Max: Fury Road contains 2700 shots totaling 120 minutes - an average of 2.7 seconds per shot. Fury Road is fast paced like other action movies, but what makes it unique is the technique used by the filmmakers in compositing the film. The tendency for most action films, like Taken (2008) for example, is to overwhelm the audience with quick edits of un-structured shots, often filmed shakily with a handheld camera on a high shutter speed. The Fury Road filmmakers were able to create a fast-paced, energetic action film without using this jarring technique. They achieved this by maintaining the CENTER OF THE FRAME as the focal point of every shot during filming by utilizing EYE TRACE and CROSSHAIR FRAMING techniques. When the different shots are edited together, the audience members do not need to adjust their eyes to the focus of the action because the focus is always in the center of the frame. The end result is a film that is fast-paced, but still easily digestible.

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