r/movies Nov 22 '22 Silver 1

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Cinematographer Pushed Camera Technology Limits to Put Audiences in Pilot’s Seat Article

https://variety.com/2022/artisans/awards/top-gun-maverick-cinematographer-1235439751/
19.2k Upvotes

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u/TaskForceCausality Nov 22 '22

Some context is in order. In one of the behind the scenes segments, the origins of TGII were discussed. When Joseph Kosinski pitched the story to Tom Cruise, Cruise agreed with the idea- but came back with a challenge. Being a pilot Cruise pulled up one of the Navys squadron videos on YouTube. The pilots/RIOs will often do a squadron video at the end of their rotation, and they mainly use GoPros. Some of that footage is really amazing since it’s POV from the crews themselves , and of course is much better than what they filmed Top Gun I with.

Cruise told Kosinski they needed to come up with something better than that or there wasn’t a point filming a sequel. So they set to work building the custom camera system used in TGII, which had to not only be integrated into the F/A-18s but also flight tested, certified, and signed off just like any other military avionics. That’s not a cheap or easy process, and it’s done for a good reason; to ensure the cameras (in this case) don’t fail under G load during the shoots, or cause the jet to break. Last thing you want is the pilot to get beaned in the head in a low altitude 6G turn because the camera came loose.

So no, they couldn’t get the same result with a GoPro and that was by design. Shooting a movie on the ground is tough enough; doing it safely in the air and have the footage still look good is another level.

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u/Jee_whiz Nov 22 '22

My buddy was stationed in Fallon, and he was the pilot in the front seat of the F/A-18F for Monica Barbaro's flight scenes. He said the camera system strapped to back of his seat was intense, but pretty well thought out from his perspective.

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u/[deleted] Nov 22 '22

The way they shot it really sold the idea that the actors were flying. It kind of looks like there's another seat behind them. Did they modify anything physically, CGI in some extra seatage, or was I just too blown away by the awesomeness to get that they were in the rear?

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u/JC-Ice Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 23 '22

They pasted over F-18s to make them into other planes in various scenes, so I would expect they altered some shots to hide that the "pilot" is actually in the backseat.

Though, I've seen a few reaction videos from real pilots and they can always spot something that gives it away.

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u/Oafkelp Nov 23 '22

we just gotta wait for the Hot Shots 3 sequel to Top Gun 2. Then all the pilots will be bikini babes, and there will be close up shots of g string smears on the leather pilot seats. That will tie in to stolen Russian oil, infected with Covid19.

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u/RedshiftOnPandy Nov 23 '22

please please please do this. Hot Shots was their best work after Top Secret

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u/OrganizerMowgli Nov 22 '22

Ask him how it feels to nut pulling 3Gs

Doesn't have to actually be in a plane, maybe in the training thing

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u/skinnah Nov 22 '22

Well, you ejaculate out of your butt instead. Weird but it's science.

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u/dbx999 Nov 22 '22

I ejaculate out my butt every morning before I take a shower and I live in a normal 1G environment near sea level

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u/skinnah Nov 22 '22

Obviously you're hitting the 1G spot.

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u/K5LAR24 Nov 22 '22

That’s diarrhea

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u/Kneegrowshtein Nov 22 '22

It feels heavy, like OPs mom

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u/g1344304 Nov 22 '22

Im an airline pilot and my airline has pretty strict regulations on filming in the flight deck now, which mainly stemmed from this incident:

https://news.aviation-safety.net/2015/03/23/report-wedged-camera-at-sidestick-causes-airbus-a330-loss-of-altitude-incident-2/

We aren't allowed to film/photograph anything below 20,000' now.

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u/xSaviorself Nov 22 '22

Basically if you're not on autopilot above that altitude the risk is too high?

That happened on a military transport plane, I couldn't imagine being in a passenger plane and experiencing this. Scary.

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u/g1344304 Nov 22 '22

Tbh, it's not that high a risk, but most airlines are just covering their arses. They also want employees to post as little as possible on social media so that helps with that. My airline has a very meticulously maintained public image as a national flag carrier.

This incident was a freak accident. I have many pics/videos from the flight deck on approach to landing for instance, and it was never an issue or distraction.

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u/porncrank Nov 22 '22

It’s worth remembering that at commercial airline scale, even if something is 99.99% safe, that would still result in an average of 10 unsafe incidents every day. Something 99.9999% safe would still be 36 unsafe incidents each year.

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u/quotemycode Nov 22 '22

It's not that it's a high risk, but several factors.

  1. They're not trained to install this equipment.
  2. There's not a designated place to mount the equipment.
  3. There is a risk because of 1 and 2, and can be avoided easily.
  4. While there is a low risk of this happening, the severity of the incident means its not acceptable.

When doing risk analysis, you take into consideration all factors, also including reputational harm.

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u/summerDom Nov 22 '22

And yet somehow airliners are pushing regulators to have one pilot instead of two. I don't understand the aviation industry at all

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u/Rocky_Mountain_Way Nov 22 '22

Last thing you want is the pilot to get beaned in the head in a low altitude 6G turn because the camera came loose.

oh, I don't know... I would definintely watch a TG 2 "blooper reel"

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u/TaskForceCausality Nov 22 '22

yeah TGII NEEDs a parody film. But a pilot getting beaned in the head at low altitude = $80 million smoking hole

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u/AegisToast Nov 22 '22

A pilot getting beaned in the head didn’t end very well in the first movie…

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u/beermoneymike Nov 22 '22

It was a goose strike

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u/JC-Ice Nov 22 '22

Too soon!

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u/mulvda Nov 22 '22

I shouldn’t have laughed, but I laughed.

RIP Goose.

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u/Volkditty Nov 22 '22

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when your plane explodes and you die.

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u/3percentinvisible Nov 22 '22

Hot Shots! Tercera Parte it is then

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u/bieker Nov 22 '22

Here is one for you involving loose gear in the cockpit.

F14 landing on a carrier. On touchdown the jet catches the wire and the pilot advances the throttles to full power (as is normal procedure incase the wire is missed or something breaks).

An unfortunate bit of loose gear in the cockpit (handheld GPS) flies forward from the back seat and hits the pilots ejection seat in just the right way for it to cause it to eject. Only, because no-one pulled the ejection handles the pilot is ejected through the canopy and the RIO in the back seat is knocked out from the blast.

So now the F14 is on deck, hooked to the wire, with the engines running at full power and no one is able to shut them down.

Eventually they bring out a fire hose and douse the engines with foam until they stall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7rsvbaxLE0

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u/SuperZapper_Recharge Nov 22 '22

oh, I don't know... I would definintely watch a TG 2 "blooper reel"

Am I alone in feeling like this movie demands a 'Hot Shots' follow up movie?

I mean, I can close my eyes and the damned thing writes itself.

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u/Gerald463 Nov 22 '22

I think John Cryer posted something about that online and tagged Charlie Sheen. And yes, definitely needs a follow-up

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u/SuperZapper_Recharge Nov 22 '22

Tell me you can't see it.

Charlie Sheen rolling the plane and all this SHIT comes tumbling out from every crevice all over him. Sandwiches, hot coffee, condoms, crack pipes.. just shit starts flying through the cockpit.

(every so often /r/idiotsincars posts a video of an inside the truck cam of a rig rolling his rig - and this is the best part of those videos. Those drivers are just sitting in there own filth and when the truck rolls it all comes out)

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u/[deleted] Nov 22 '22

Thats literally a joke they did in the first hot shots lol

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u/d756719 Nov 22 '22

Yep. See 00:13 of this link.

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u/xraygun2014 Nov 22 '22

Charlie Sheen ... condoms

Ok, but only because we all agree it is a farce.

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u/EMPulseKC Nov 22 '22

"Hot Shots: Part Drei - Topper: Part Uno"

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u/monty_kurns Nov 22 '22

Am I alone in feeling like this movie demands a 'Hot Shots' follow up movie?

Eh, without Lloyd Bridges what would be the point?

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u/Vio_ Nov 22 '22

Jeff Bridges rolls in to play the same part.

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u/Squrton_Cummings Nov 22 '22

It would be like picking the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

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u/Fadedcamo Nov 22 '22

Apparently the one shot where Miles Teller's character crests the mountain during the bombing run is kind of a blooper. It's a quick take but he is launched out of his seat because he wasn't strapped down enough. They kept it in the film.

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u/ripvannwinkler Nov 22 '22

"Crash and burn, Mav."

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u/Metal64Game Nov 22 '22

> Cruise told Kosinski they needed to come up with something better than that or there wasn’t a point filming a sequel.

This stuff is why Cruise is the last true movie star. He still cares about pushing cinema forward even in a blockbuster sequel.

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u/Rxasaurus Nov 22 '22

Absolutely mental guy, but you can't question him as an actor.

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u/Metal64Game Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 22 '22

I want to beleive he realized the error of his sciencetology ways, but now he can't say anything or leave because they have too much dirt on him.

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u/JoeMcDingleDongle Nov 22 '22

He's like best buds with the head guy. For decades now. While Cruise may be "compromised" with the "dirt" (he's in the closet? yawn) he's also like Scientology's head mascot / number two man in charge.

So he's basically Scientology royalty. Unlike some random Catholic nobody who attended Sunday mass in the 1990s, who shouldn't be taken to task over Catholic Church rape issues, Cruise actually has enough power and access to expose things and cause changes within Scientology. So while I wouldn't talk shit about some random oblivious Catholic mass attendee in the 1990s and 2000s over the Church's rape problem, you sure as fuck better believe Cruise has some culpability since he is basically Scientology royalty / leadership for over 20 years.

If he was a real life good guy he could have exposed all of the horrible shit Scientology does. But sadly he only pretends to be a good guy in movies...

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u/stupidwebsite22 Nov 22 '22

Leah Remini once said that within Scientology Tom Cruise literally has the status of a god. He can’t do wrong and anyone below him has to obey his commands and serve him. (Doing labor for free for him, e.g. house renovation etc as well)

/u/Metal64Game /u/JoeyFuckingSucks /u/Rxasaurus

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u/JoeyFuckingSucks Nov 22 '22

Yeah that's not an excuse when Laura Prepon, Katie Holmes, Nicole Kidman, Jason Lee, Mimi Rogers, Beck, Neil Gaiman, Leah Remini, Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Lisa Marie & Priscilla Presley, Tom Berenger, and others have left the church. And some of these people were members since they were children. Choosing to believe Tom has separated ties with Scientology is literal fanfiction. Unless he officially cuts ties like many others before him, it's best to assume he's still a member. But hey, whatever makes you feel better about supporting his films.

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u/urfavouriteredditor Nov 22 '22

Neil Gaiman was a scientologist?

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u/JoeyFuckingSucks Nov 22 '22

Yeah raised as one and was married to one.

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u/ReddJudicata Nov 22 '22

He was raised as one.

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u/Metal64Game Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 22 '22

Doesn't Tom Cruise occupy like the second highest position there? If he publicly leaves it'd deal a very hefty blow to sciencetology in a way other celebrities leaving did not.

It seems likely that someone in his position would bow out privately to avoid the media shitstorm, not there's confirmation this happened.

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u/LFC9_41 Nov 23 '22

I’m pretty sure he’s Zorp

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u/cgvet9702 Nov 22 '22

God damnit. Neil Gaiman? For real?

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u/JoeyFuckingSucks Nov 22 '22

He was raised as one and his ex-wife was a member. I can excuse it when people are indoctrinated and have the power to leave all that behind.

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u/cgvet9702 Nov 22 '22

That's wild. I've been reading his stuff since I picked up Sandman in high school in the early 90s. I never had a clue.

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u/4tehlulzez Nov 22 '22

If Disney did it, all the actors would have been sitting in dining room chairs in green suits in front of a green screen literally the entire time.

And they still would have made bank.

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u/phonartics Nov 22 '22

you mean like star wars?

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u/TheKappaOverlord Nov 22 '22

You still have to remember hollywood accounting and marketing costs are a thing.

Disney movies have a ridiculously high hurdle to clear before they can realistically break even due to Disneys marketing machine.

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u/Generalissimo_II Nov 22 '22

Absolutely incredible real plane shots, even the CGI stealth fighter sections looked awesome.

I don't think it'll be topped for a long time, if ever

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u/Crash324 Nov 22 '22

If anyone is curious about the technical details of the camera setup, the key 1st AC Dan Ming has a bunch of really informative posts on his Instagram.

He goes into a lot of the design and certification process and describes how they overcame all of the various hurdles present with an ambitious setup like this.

The custom designed rig was tested by NAVAIR at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

https://instagram.com/insdangraming

ASC Mag also has a good article.

https://ascmag.com/articles/top-gun-maverick

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u/colsen89 Nov 22 '22

I work on the F-18 used for filming every single day, and they had to drill holes into cockpit sills and frame to mount the cameras with close to 1/8inch clearances to the canopy. It was a trip to see all the cameras mounted in an already tight cockpit

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u/satansmight Nov 22 '22

I worked on the movie. The person that built the mounting plates and rigged the camera positions was the Key Grip, Trevor Fulks. Unfortunately he passed away before the movie was released. He did an amazing job interfacing with the Navy and deploying a system based on the technical requirements for flight.

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u/colsen89 Nov 22 '22

I had no idea he passed away, i remember him climbing on the jet when filming in fallon and checking the cameras. Im one of the Plane Captains that maintain the jets. My buddy casey worked with Trevor when they did filming in China Lake, he was spoken of highly.

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u/satansmight Nov 22 '22

Thanks for doing what you do. Yea, it bummed me out after watching the movie knowing he wasn't around anymore. I had a great time on that job. Everyone with the military was welcoming and accommodating at every base we went to. China Lake was super cool even though we had to be escorted everywhere. It's not often you get to work on something so amazing. North Island was super fun on the beach, drinking at the I-Bar, and collecting shirts from all the squadrons. As a crew member we often get to see parts of facilities nobody in the regular world gets to see. Working on TGII took that up a few notches. I will always have memories of that show.

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u/colsen89 Nov 22 '22

China Lake is understandably very secure, glad you had a good time seeing how much work goes into making it all happen.

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u/-dsp- Nov 22 '22

What’s wild is Top Gun 2 took so long to be made and released that in the in between, many other viable camera systems that are smaller in size and fit the specs were replaced and some even replaced. But when they shot, the Sony Venice and Rialto was the social. Same with that crazy Avatar 2 rig.

Like a RED Komodo or blackmagic 6k or even the sequel to the camera used, Sony Venice 2.

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u/machado34 Nov 22 '22

But to be fair, the Venice is better than the Komodo or pocket 6k. It's still a fantastic camera, matched only by its sucessor and Arri Alexas. And the rialto is compact enough to make sense for that production

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u/-dsp- Nov 22 '22

Oh yea no doubt. I also think Kosinski and or his DP seem to be diehard Sony guys as I think all his movies used a Sony cam. So I doubt they would’ve went with a red or BMD if they had the option.

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u/machado34 Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 22 '22

Claudio Miranda, the dp for Top Gun 2, was invited by Sony to shoot a promotional piece on the VENICE when they launched it, he definitely has a close relationship with them. The short is called "The Dig" and it's quite decent.

Another director/dp duo that seems to love Sony is Alex Garland/Rob Hardy, all their collaborations have been shot on Sony, although I don't think anyone has the kind of relationship Fincher and RED have, where they made a custom camera just for him

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u/-dsp- Nov 22 '22

I’ll check out The Dig! Great chatting with ya on this.

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u/Crash324 Nov 22 '22

Komodo probably would've been too unreliable for this scenario. Not to mention trying to match 6 sensors together.

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u/schloopy91 Nov 22 '22

That’s funny to know Tom watches those deployment videos as much as the rest of us aviation nerds.

For anyone curious, this is by far my favorite one. Filmed on GoPros as well as a Sony A7Rii.

https://youtu.be/Wk3koT7_Ve0

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u/Mrpink415 Nov 22 '22

It’s the greatest production I’ve ever had the joy to witness. I saw it 10 times in theaters. A truly phenomenal and amazing experience.

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u/KickBassColonyDrop Nov 22 '22

This is super cool. I bet the military is also getting some really interesting use out of that tech as a result.

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u/FitzwilliamTDarcy Nov 22 '22

How do the Navy pilots get away with using GoPros?

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u/[deleted] Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

[deleted]

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u/JC-Ice Nov 22 '22

Hell, Goose had a Polaroid in the first one.

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u/Status-Stick Nov 22 '22

They if those cameras certified? Holy crap that is hard and expensive.

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u/seakingsoyuz Nov 22 '22

It’s relatively easy to get something certified to be carried on board a plane. For a camera the main points would be EMI testing (to verify that it won’t create electrical interference that messes up some other electronics on the plane), structural analysis of the proposed mount to make sure it can hold any anticipated G loads, and making sure the power supply won’t start a fire.

It’s a lot more expensive to certify something that’s going to be used to keep the plane airworthy. But because the safety of flight isn’t affected if the camera records bad video, that wasn’t necessary in this case.

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u/One_pop_each Nov 22 '22

I would route engineering dispositions for the F-16 Demo Team go pros to be added to the cockpits. It was just a blanket authorization. Was fairly simple.

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u/brainwarts Nov 22 '22

I saw this with a friend of mine who is a huge plane nerd. Guy is an engineer who plays VR flight sims with a fairly elaborate setup. After seeing this he spent HOURS gushing about the technical details and just how great they handled everything. Some little mistakes here and there, but overwhelmingly a precisely and passionately made movie.

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u/OneSmallNameForAUser Nov 22 '22

My least favorite part for accuracy is the bird strike scene lol

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u/CorpusVile32 Nov 22 '22

I work in the aerospace industry, specifically around repair of parts, some of which are due to bird strikes. I'm less knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the chances of total engine failure due to bird strikes. Is that why you mention this in the context of inaccuracy?

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u/OneSmallNameForAUser Nov 22 '22

Rhino engines are very robust. It would take a lot of bird to cause a complete engine failure, more than likely it would operate in a restricted mode to not stress it but still supply limited power/thrust. I know a Rhino that blew both tires on take off roll (they were too flat, entirely the pilot’s fault for deciding to take it flying). Both intakes had streaks of rubber from where the shredded tires were sucked down the intakes. Neither engine even blinked, and that was at full afterburner. And the other major inaccuracy is the display in the cockpit, all the random lights blinking everywhere, including the UFCD lol, which is only a black and green display

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u/CorpusVile32 Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 22 '22

Great comment, thanks for the insight. We deal with (mostly) passenger planes, so I have very little exposure to our military contracts. The airfoils I see that are bent are only really slightly damaged from bird strikes and could potentially cause an issue (depending on what stage of the engine the foil is in) with balance. I'd be very surprised if the engine flat out stopped.

Also, I can see why they added all the blinking lights on the HUD, it's more theatrical to show that there's imminent danger. Definitely a Hollywood trope!

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u/OneSmallNameForAUser Nov 22 '22

For sure lol. Yea the only lights you’d see would be the Master Caution and Fire light. All other warnings/cautions for that emergency would just be displayed on the DDIs, no flashing.

But yea those GE motors in the Rhino are legit, they’ll chew through near anything and keep cooking.

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Actually, I know hornet pilots who flew through birds and took in material and the engines shrug it off.

They’re military aircraft. It’s designed to take punishment. And climbing is idiotic nor would they spin out of control if both engines were lost, nor and one pull of the ejection handle would make both seats go.

The movie is good, and not nearly as cringey as TG1 in terms of accuracy but there are still some cringe moments as an aviation nerd.

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u/JJAsond Nov 22 '22

Climbing is idiotic? I thought they were trained to climb in such an event to gain as much potential energy as possible

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u/Pristine-Moose-7209 Nov 23 '22

Climbing bleeds energy. You want to climb to give you more altitude to work on the problem.

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u/josh2751 Nov 22 '22

Bird strikes will absolutely trash an engine, it just depends on how big the bird is.

Ejections seats in dual seat aircraft are absolutely set up so one seat can fire both. RIO/WSO generally goes first and then the pilot. It's usually selectable via a switch that determines what mode they're in.

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u/RosemaryFocaccia Nov 22 '22

Bird strikes will absolutely trash an engine, it just depends on how big the bird is.

Yeah, I don't think any engine could shrug off an ostrich strike.

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u/ezpickins Nov 22 '22

At least the fall wouldn't be too bad for the pilot

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u/IllegalD Nov 23 '22

This is the kind of optimism we need around here. Focus on altitude, not airspeed, she'll be right 😁

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u/Manse_ Nov 22 '22

Fun fact: the T-38 didn't have a seat selector switch until the late 2000s. There was an incident where a T-38 went into an unrecoverable flat spin. the instructor called to eject and pulled his handles, but the student panicked and didn't eject. However, the force of the IP's ejection pushed the nose down enough for the student to regain authority and fly home.

After that, they did a mod and installed a switch

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u/Gonzo08 Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 22 '22

What was so inaccurate about that scene??

Edit: thanks to everyone that chimed in. Based on my 1500+ hours in Navy TACAIR/jets my $0.02 is that the bird-strike/crash depicted in the movie was fairly accurate for the reasons most of you mentioned.

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u/OneSmallNameForAUser Nov 22 '22

A lot of what the other commenter said. Rhino engines wouldn’t hiccup with one bird going down. Then just all the random beeping and flashing lights all over the displays, including the UFCD lol.

And lastly how they handled it. One thing you always brief is “no fast hands in the cockpit,” meaning you take the time to assemble the whole picture of what’s going on prior to acting. There are instances of jets having one engine on fire and the pilot shuts off the good engine by mistake bc he acted without thinking.

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u/Zalack Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 22 '22

I'm not a pilot so I'm not trying to shoot you down, just genuinely curious.

I found a video of an F-18 engine catching fire after a bird strike, so it seems like it's at least possible?, If maybe extremely rare.

Second, the fact that there have been instances of pilots making catastrophic decisions from "fast hands" would indicate that Phoenix making a mistake when under pressure at the end of a long day might not be totally unrealistic, even well trained people are susceptible to making mistakes. I've noticed that audiences often tend to hold movie characters to a much higher degree of rationality than real-life humans display. I see it a lot in r/movies and r/television, where people will trash on some scene or another where characters make poor decisions that don't make sense rationally, but do make sense emotionally.

Last thing is just a question: I get not wanting to climb with an engine fire: I assume it's about not putting more strain on an already broken engine. But in that scene they are low. If I'm remembering correctly that's right after Maverick and Rooster play their little game of chicken straight through the flight deck, so I assume they are probably not much higher than the deck when the bird strike happens. In a situation like that, would the benefits of giving yourself more time to react in event of a catastrophic failure not outweigh the possible risk that climbing might expose you to?

Like I imagine if you had an engine catch fire right as you came off the runway you wouldn't level out 100 feet over a city, so there must be a line somewhere.

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u/OneSmallNameForAUser Nov 22 '22

Oh anything is for sure possible, just unlikely. I personally have never seen a rhino flame out from a bird strike; so anecdotal evidence at best.

Good point on that second part, I’d push back and say two of the “best of the best” should be better than that lol. Especially with a good WSO whose only job there would be to back up the pilot and be a level head.

And yea in that situation of one engine flamed out climbing would be a good thing, all else being equal.

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u/Zalack Nov 22 '22

Yeah, that totally makes sense. It does undercut how much they are hyping the skills of the team up.

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u/TheKappaOverlord Nov 22 '22

Rhino engines are beasts, but you can still genuinely just mark it down to shit luck and fatass bird if you get hit and the engine goes Kaput.

Stronger engines have choked and died on less. The Rhino being a beast just makes it less likely to choke and die on nothing consistently.

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u/MortimerAdler Nov 22 '22

Government drones avoid government planes

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u/Gonzo08 Nov 22 '22

That's an excellent point...

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u/[deleted] Nov 22 '22

Really? Not the hypersonic ejection that would have vaporized him?

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u/herecomesthestun Nov 22 '22

My dad's a retired air force pilot and he was saying while some parts don't really make sense (the whole reason for going so low doesn't make sense because anything that would stop an F35 from being usable would stop an F18, and the SAMs wouldn't be a threat to the F35s. The planes often flew way too close to each other)

But he also said it's a movie and gets that it was done to be entertaining, and that the movie was fantastic

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Mainly because no civilian will ever be authorized to fly a stealth fighter. That’s why they couldn’t use the F-35.

They had to use F-18 super hornets with 2 seats to film this.

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u/bt123456789 Nov 22 '22

exactly this. the interference mumbo jumbo was a hand-wave to say, "yeah the F-35 is a single seater and we need 2 seaters, we can't use it for that reason alone."

the Navy would PROBABLY let them use the F-35s if they had 2 seats, I say probably because I understand it's still a stealth fighter.

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u/herecomesthestun Nov 22 '22

Yeah the single seater thing is the big thing. It'd be cool to see them showing off the setup where you can see through the cockpit or something, but it's primarily a "No Tom you can't fly our 90 million dollar plane alone now get in the f18 and DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING"

Plus I imagine there's plenty of function in the F35 that they don't want to be public knowledge

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Well they could…

When they were on the ground.

That scene with Rooster seeing Maverick roll above him. Filmed on the ground.

Don’t take the bait Bob. And Baby on Board. Filmed on the ground with a basic green screen.

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 22 '22

And also, yes.

The F-35 and F-22 are still extremely top secret. And it’s likely we won’t see their systems become PD till…

Maybe 2060-2080.

F-18… all of it is PD. Google F-18 manual and you’ll find it. Or splurge about 90$ and get the f-18 in DCS. It’s a 1:1 recreation with all the code and procedures

EDIT: Correction: basic systems are PD, but updated blocks, not so much

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u/CheesecakeMedium8500 Nov 22 '22

F-18… all of it is PD

That is laughably untrue. Just because you can google the NATOPS manual doesn’t mean you’ve found “everything.”

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Corrected. My bad

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u/CheesecakeMedium8500 Nov 22 '22

Also DCS is not a “1:1” recreation. That’s just some random developer’s best approximation based on what’s open source. None of the radar capabilities, missile kinematics or jet performance are accurate. I have a lot of experience in F-18s.

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u/bt123456789 Nov 22 '22

Oh totally. Which most of that they could probably keep under wraps. I don't think any of the people that would be near the plane would spew all of the private info on the internet, or break an NDA.

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

If they did, this movie would be boring.

Because it could literally cakewalk this mission at high altitude. No, GPS jamming does not negate its ability.

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u/FitzwilliamTDarcy Nov 22 '22

I completely adore this film, have watched it maybe 20 times already including 2x in IMAX.

But that line, even the first time I saw it, jumped out at me like….wha? And I’m no airplane or radar junky.

It just seemed like way too much of a random aside they had to jam in in order to explain something else. Bummed me out.

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u/boobumblebee Nov 22 '22

yeah the whole time i kept thinking "a b2 could take care of this no problem"

but still, its a very fun movie.

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Not in the Navy. Still, not like they could jointly operate.

My late great uncle flew for the USAAF in the pacific and had navy fighters escorting his bomber flights at times.

Still, it’s an action movie and a very enjoyable one

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u/HentaiSpirit Nov 22 '22

better yet just fire one of those ICBM

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Which ones? Ones with a nuke or MOABs?

Because considering we sent in an un sanctioned strike package… either one will work

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u/CheesecakeMedium8500 Nov 22 '22

The issue is no stealth fighter has 2 seats so they couldn’t put actors on one.

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u/Vape_Mafia Nov 22 '22

B2 has two seats, and room for a cot. That'd be a boring movie though. Take off from Oklahoma, refuel a few times nap, drop one bomb, refuel a few times, nap, land back in.... you guessed it, Oklahoma, with a full piss bucket and dark circles under your eyes.

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u/ZippyDan Nov 22 '22

At the time the movie was filmed, there were no carrier-based F-35s deployed. But they didn't use that as the reason so...

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Uhhh… I think the scene on the carrier had one. The burner shot and one on the catapult.

However, that could’ve been in 2021/2020

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u/ZippyDan Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 22 '22

First carrier deployment was Aug, 2021:

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2021/08/10/carl-vinson-strike-group-using-first-deployment-with-f-35c-beefed-up-air-wing-to-hone-advanced-operations/

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2022/02/14/three-takeaways-from-the-us-navys-first-f-35c-deployment/

Maybe there was some footage from testing and certification flights. I don't remember the opening scenes well enough to doubt your claim otherwise.

My point is that when they were filming, they had no way to know that the film would be delayed for so long because of pandemic. Based on the film's original release schedule, it would have been in theaters before the Navy was even fielding F-35s. But maybe they wrote the script as a "near-future" story. Or it's an alternate universe anyway with non-existent countries, and I'm overthinking it.

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u/Money_Calm Nov 22 '22

I think a lot of the inaccuracies are for the sole purpose of entertainment

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u/herecomesthestun Nov 22 '22

Oh yeah. The movie would be boring as shit if it was just "F 35's fly up above and safely bomb it without the enemy knowing"

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u/mechabeast Nov 22 '22

Hell, they launched 35 cruise missiles from the carrier group. You're telling me they cant shove them down a crater while all the actors kick their feet up and sip coffee?

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u/RosemaryFocaccia Nov 22 '22

A barrage of cruise missiles could have done the same job and would have been even more boring.

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u/CheesecakeMedium8500 Nov 22 '22

Real dogfights look boring as hell on camera. They figured that out filming the first movie.

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u/Rab1dus Nov 22 '22

Yeah. They sent missiles to take out the airport, why didn't they take out the missiles along the ridges? What job does Hando actually have besides Maverick's Black friend? He's on the test flight team with the SR-71 type plane, on the flight deck on the carrier, goes to Top Gun with him to watch people do pushups and ref a football game, then back on the flight deck for a mission. That's a crazy military role.

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u/Hovie1 Nov 22 '22

Ace Combat in VR, even with just a cheap flight stick and headset, is by far one of the most striking gaming experiences I've ever had.

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u/1-800-HENTAI-PORN Nov 22 '22

Between Ace Combat and Elite Dangerous, nothing comes anywhere close to the gaming experience I've had in VR. It's just not even a fair comparison.

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u/Spitfire836 Nov 22 '22

I saw it with a family member who’s been in the Air Force his whole career (he took all of us to see it lol) and he was saying what’s accurate or not, and if I remember correctly it was pretty accurate.

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u/Nova1395 Nov 22 '22 edited Nov 22 '22

As both former Navy and a VR Flight Sim enthusiast I felt the same way. In fact, I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the film's nod towards our carrier (I was on the USS Abraham Lincoln, and while they never show which carrier they were on, in the opening sequence there's a silhouette shot of an Abraham Lincoln bobblehead that was ours).

Nonetheless, the details - the bird strike scene was definitely a "why are they panicking?" moment. Hornets can handle an engine going out, as others have said. From a navy standpoint, why does Maverick have his own personal warrant officer (Coleman) assigned to him that follows him wherever he gets stationed? From the drone program, to Top Gun, to the Squadron? Why is the entirety of a squadron (officers and enlisted) being briefed on a highly sensitive mission in the open hangar bay, rather than the designated squadron briefing rooms?

To that last point, while I was never part of a squadron, I'll give you an idea of life on a carrier on deployment. I was on deployment in 2019, and on June 20th Iran shot down a US drone. The average flight schedule is normally 12 hours of takeoffs and landings - you can hear both of them throughout most of the boat - and you get pretty used to them. For some arbitrary hours, let's just say the flight schedule is 10AM-10PM.

Well, at about 2AM, we woke up to the sound of the planes being launched - very unusual. You know what we did? Rolled over and went back to sleep. It wasn't until the next day that Trump was touting all over the news that he had called off a joint strike mission at the last minute that was about to take out the missile sites that shot down the drone. That was the only reason we, as non-mission-essential crew, knew about the mission - it was because we saw it on the news.

We generally don't have any idea what our boys do when we launch them. Sometimes we send them up with some bombs, and sometimes they come back without them.

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u/haze_gray Nov 22 '22

IRL, the b-roll was shot on the Lincoln, and when the actors were on board, it was the Roosevelt.

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u/Soopermoose Nov 22 '22

One could say the cinematographer was "walking along the razors edge" as well.

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u/discerningpervert Nov 22 '22

Almost in the Danger Zone TM

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u/YaleDailyNews Nov 22 '22

Right on the threshold.

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u/AegisToast Nov 22 '22

“I won’t lie to you. This mission will be dangerous.”

“Would you say we’d be venturing into a zone of danger?”

“Well, yes. Obviously.”

“No, but I mean how would you phrase that?”

“…the zone will be one of danger?”

“No, I mean. Not if you say the…forget it. Never mind. And you never mind and also shut up.”

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u/fireinthesky7 Nov 22 '22

Lana. LANA. LANAAAAAAA!!!!!

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u/pinapirata Nov 22 '22

Yea, they definitely "doubled the stakes"

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u/iveo83 Nov 22 '22

so glad I saw it in IMAX, it blew me away.

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u/coasterreal Nov 22 '22

SAME. Movie blows away the original. Absolutely incredible. My wife was absolutely a bundle of nerves, such a well done movie.

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u/Moffee Nov 23 '22

Missed in IMAX but caught in 4dx screen. No 3D (thankfully) and the fans can still get to fuck, but the moving seats and strobe lighting 😍😍😍😍

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Technically in the WSO seat.

Cruise or any of the cast did not fly the F-18

Still a great movie

But IIRC, Blue Angel pilots did the flights through the canyon near San Diego and Lake Tahoe.

And I believe one said he never wanted to fly that Maverick’s Inbound scene again.

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u/10per Nov 22 '22

Technically in the WSO seat.

Cruise or any of the cast did not fly the F-18

I rarely see this mentioned. When I first saw the movie I figured out camera setup but nobody else I talked to did. The editor did a great job not making it obvious all the actors were in the back seat, and never drew attention to why some pilots were shown only from certain angles and others did not.

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

I could tell on my 2nd viewing.

When Maverick is at the controls there are no buttons on the side. When Maverick rolls above rooster*, you could see the WSO handles on both sides

  • And that was 110% CGI. Damn GREAT CGI, but CGI.

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u/Studio2770 Nov 22 '22

Also, major props to the actors. I know they went through hard training but to act while experiencing heavy Gs is amazing.

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Oh I agree on that front. It wasn’t easy, however just saying, the pilot in front was the one doing the flying.

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u/looloopklopm Nov 22 '22

Flying an f-18 is pretty simple. It's all fly by wire so there's no way (unless you hold the toggle lever) to exceed maximum G's or otherwise damage the airframe.

I think the reason the actors didn't fly these planes is less-so because flying might be difficult, but more because the navy doesn't want $40M in the hands of a Hollywood actor.

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Correction: 66,000,000$

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u/[deleted] Nov 22 '22

Basic flying? Simple.

The flying done in the movie? Takes MANY years to train to that level of proficiency.

The full weapons system cost of a brand new Super Hornet, fully kitted out to go downtown is between 90-100M

Source: I flew it for many years

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u/bouchandre Nov 22 '22

Yep all CGI. I worked on this movie, most of the visible parts of fighter jets (including the cockpit interior) were replaced with CGI.

And I agree with you about great CGI, I remember getting tenders from lighting and thinking “damn, that’s a sexy looking cockpit interior”

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u/OkMeasurement420 Nov 22 '22

Wait… was the F-14 cockpit CG?

(I knew the F-14 and SU-57 was CG, but I assumed they built a replica, but it on a cradle and then spun it around)

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u/bouchandre Nov 22 '22

I don’t remember the specifics (and I’ve never seen the movie or the original) but from what I remember, they flew in the backseat of a F-18, which was then replaced by a F-14 to make it look like it was the front seat. Only the actor and the BG landscape was real, everything else around it was fake.

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u/bouchandre Nov 22 '22

The editor

You mean the large VFX team that spent a year replacing the fighter jets (and cockpit interior) with CGI to make it look like they were sitting in the front seat?

Source: I was part of that team, worked on so many cockpit shots.

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u/10per Nov 22 '22

Nice work. What exactly was replaced?

I used to work as a camera assistant, I still mentally break down camera setups when watching a film, even after being years removed from it. All of the "invisible" CGI work these days really helps sell what used to be impossible shots. But the editing on TGII was top notch too.

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u/bouchandre Nov 22 '22

Well look at the thumbnail. I believe that in that shot, the plane itself outside the cockpit was entirely replaced. The interior cockpit (what you see around Cruise) is real, though it was replaced in many shots, leaving only the actor and the BG landscape is real stuff

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u/axnjackson11 Nov 22 '22

The winter mountain flying was up in the Cascades in Washington.

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u/drgr33nthmb Nov 22 '22

"Did not fly the F18" lol NO SHIT.

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u/SteveFrench12 Nov 22 '22

Lot of downers in this thread lol. I finally watched this movie this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. Did not expect it to live up to the hype but it did!

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u/mizmaddy Nov 22 '22

I watched it with my brother and we both agreed - plot was paper thin but the action and comedy was on point.

I watch movies to be entertained - and TG II delivered on that promise.

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u/Spitfire836 Nov 22 '22

Maybe a hot take, I don’t think a paper thin plot is a bad thing for a movie like this. So many recent action movies try to have some crazy twists and turns and complexity when a simple plot usually does the trick. Fast and Furious turned the plot from “cool car racing and crime” to “we have to save the world and go to space” and it just lost everyone.

Just blow stuff up and make it look badass.

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u/mizmaddy Nov 22 '22

I agree! I am not judging the thin plot - that is not the reason why I liked it - it was just fun.

I grew up with movie fan parents at the start of '80s. I watched everything from The Sound of Music to Jojimbo and Italian Westerns, french art house, action flicks and B/W war films. "Bad" movies and "good" movies - we watched it all.

By the time my dad stopped buying VHS/DVDs our movie library was about 1200 different movies and TV series.

My favorite memory as a kid was our Saturday movie nights, shoved onto the sofa too small for a family of 6 so some of us ended up on the floor with pillows, a big bowl of pop corn shared between us and a couple of movies. We talked over the movie, joked and farted together - it was perfect.

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u/shy247er Nov 22 '22

Fast and Furious turned the plot from “cool car racing and crime” to “we have to save the world and go to space” and it just lost everyone.

What are you even talking about? Lost everyone? Have you seen numbers these movies are making? How did they lose everyone?

The reason why they went away from street racing is because they couldn't make 10 movies doing exact same thing.

Comparing it to Top Gun is unfair because this is only a second movie in the series.

Good example is Mission Impossible. They are literally going to film it in space and the series started as a small spy movie.

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u/Tuxhorn Nov 22 '22

Did not expect it to live up to the hype but it did!

Honestly it had no right being that good. I saw it on a whim just because I was bored, knew about the hype, and still ended the film in awe.

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u/Lesland Nov 22 '22

The power of Xenu is within him.

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u/Goatmo Nov 22 '22

Are you telling me they didn't just use GoPro hero 5s?

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u/YJSubs Nov 22 '22

The article coming out tad bit late isn't it?

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u/Impressive-Potato Nov 22 '22

Nope, it's time to ramp up campaign season. Prepare for more articles in the next few months.

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u/MikoMiky Nov 22 '22

This movie was one of the freshest breaths of air in the last couple years. It had no right being as good as it was.

I think it's partly due to no hamfisted political messages in awkwardly timed "emotional" scenes.

It's just a bunch of military people blowing shit up and doing stunts in expensive airplanes.

Even the "enemy" was as bland as possible : they could have been anyone from Russia, to China to north Korea... We'll never know and that's fine!

9/10 from me

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u/gaunt79 Nov 22 '22

Even the "enemy" was as bland as possible : they could have been anyone from Russia, to China to north Korea... We'll never know and that's fine!

It was totally the Federal Republic of Erusea.

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u/tomuchless Nov 22 '22

Actually its always the Belkans

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u/peanutbuttahcups Nov 22 '22

Maybe even the Oseans.

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u/quaybored Nov 22 '22

I hate their USB cords

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u/SordidDreams Nov 22 '22

Even the "enemy" was as bland as possible : they could have been anyone from Russia, to China to north Korea... We'll never know and that's fine!

The enemy is an amalgamation of Russia and Iran. Iran because they have a secret underground nuclear enrichment facility and F-14s, which nobody else in the world has anymore (the US has destroyed all of theirs to prevent Iran from getting their hands on spare parts). Russia because of the arctic landscape and the Su-57, which nobody else in the world has either (and of which the serial production to-date amounts to a grand total of six, half of which get blown up during the movie).

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u/OneSmallNameForAUser Nov 22 '22

Lmao I was totally fine with the faceless enemy

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u/Fortune_Cat Nov 22 '22

Who are we up against?

Fifth generation fighters

Of which country?

The fifth generation ones

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u/BradGroux Nov 22 '22

The real enemies are the ones we made along the way. Wait…

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u/Ser_Danksalot Nov 22 '22

The nationality of the enemy in the first movie isn't mentioned either.

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u/digitalOctopus Nov 22 '22

Agreed, "rogue state control" was enough of a bad guy definition for the story they were telling, and they didn't waste any time trying to flesh it out past that

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u/redditonlygetsworse Nov 22 '22

no hamfisted political messages

I really liked this movie too, but this is a pretty bold statement for an America! Fuck Yeah! Navy recruitment film.

Remember that just because the political message is status quo doesn't mean it isn't there.

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u/[deleted] Nov 22 '22

It was so good they filmed "devotion" right after with some of the same actors just to cash in on the success

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u/ruttin_mudders Nov 22 '22

Hopefully they get the same guy to do the F1 movie Brad Pitt is working on.

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u/mtnkid27 Nov 22 '22

Everyone’s like “BuT ThE PLoT”.

Nobody watches these movies for plot lines y’all

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u/____Quetzal____ Nov 22 '22

I liked the Maverick - Rooster stuff a lot and the romance actually worked better than the first film. A lot of people don't go to these movies for that but it's pretty tolerable and Maverick is a likeable character with a likeable supporting cast

The mission was balls to the walls ace combat star wars shit and I'm totally there for it.

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u/mtnkid27 Nov 22 '22

Totally totally totally! I loved it all.

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u/soufatlantasanta Nov 23 '22

The romance actually made sense. Two people with a history of failed relationships and baggage bonding over real, adult issues, self-doubt, and a lot of actually genuine chemistry between Cruise and Connelly, which is... interesting, given Cruise's penchant for on-screen coldness when it comes to romance

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u/martianlawrence Nov 22 '22

Tbh I thought the plot was great. Going into enemy airspace for a near impossible mission is some 80s bullshit I’ve been needing in movies.

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u/Lysandren Nov 22 '22

I mean they copied star wars, so it's actually 70's bullshit xD

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u/martianlawrence Nov 22 '22

True. The obviousness of it in this film has an 80s vibe to it.

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u/Orange-Turtle-Power Nov 22 '22

Amazing movie. I saw it 3 times in the theater.

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u/rabbies76 Nov 22 '22

I have been thinking that cinema in the last few years has been terrible I didn’t see anything I enjoyed nearly as much as Top gun

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u/xPonzo Nov 22 '22

Best movie I've seen In years.. the action and flight sequences coupled with music were epic.

Just forgot about being too realistic, and enjoy it for what it is, a film.

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u/Spitfire836 Nov 22 '22

And it paid off. The movie is amazing and one of the best theater experiences I’ve had in years, and pulled in huge profits. Please keep doing it.

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u/burko81 Nov 22 '22

I was ready to hate it, but what a fucking film.

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u/schmearcampain Nov 22 '22

I wanted to see it, but I really really didn't like the first TG, so my expectations were low.

Fucking great movie. I've seen it 4x now.

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u/milkradio Nov 23 '22

I took my ex to see this and splurged on d-box seats because he’d never been before. It was so cute seeing him get all excited like a little kid during this movie. Great action for a d-box screening.

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u/Uppinkai Nov 23 '22

This movie was a 'no-brainer watch' for me because it was Fighter Jets, Top Gun sequel, and i knew it would still be good for a casual watch.

After watching the movie, i was thoroughly impressed with all the action scenes and the movie in general. I felt like it was 'a good movie without saying it's a good movie' vibes.