Lucasfilm’s “RED TAILS” that I helped shoot on Canon DSLRS open’s 20th January in the US! Go see it!


The first narrative feature that I have ever worked on. Lucasfilm’s “Red Tails” trailer was released on line today. I was the re shoot second unit  DSLR DP on it using Canon DSLRs and also camera C for the reshoots on the 1st unit. Check out my blog post about it here!

It was a fantastic experience, overwhelming at times. So looking forward to seeing the finished movie. Got my own movies to DP soon this year. Two of them including the sure to be Zombie masterpiece “Invasion of the note quite dead!”

It looks like a lot of fun and a fair few of my shots are in the trailer! Bet you can’t spot them! I’m not going to give exact timecodes. Just let you sit and wonder! (Clue…2nd unit means action shots) 🙂


Also check my short film “Legends” at the bottom of this post, which helped me land the gig and of course my Skywalker Ranch blog post which was the film that I shot in a day at cut the next morning and played on the big screen to George Lucas, Rich McCallum and Quentin Tarantino (!) that convinced Lucasfilm that Red Tails could use DSLRs!

Oh…do download the 1080 HD version and stick it up on your biggest screen. LOOKS AMAZING!

Behind the Scenes on Lucasfilm’s Red Tails with the Canon DSLRs from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.














Legends HD from Philip Bloom on Vimeo. Shot on EX3 and Letus Ultimate


Oh and if you are wondering about my imdb credit. That will be down to union rules am afraid…oh well!!


  1. “Got my own movies to DP soon”

    Good stuff!! look forward to hearing about em as the details come!

    congrats again, look forward to checking this out.

  2. Congratulations Mr. Bloom, that looks absolutely amazing. I think it’s great that your first narrative feature is a Lucasfilm project. It was your initial video of Skywalker Ranch that introduced me to your site (and the awesomeness of DSLR video).

  3. Congrats Philip! This is a fantastic accomplishment for you. You have shared knowledge abundantly and selflessly. Looking forward to the release! All the best with your future endeavours. We will be rooting for you!

        1. GH2 could have done the same job as the 7D here, it actual resolves more detail and a cleaner looking image without moire. Because it’s mirrorless you can use PL mount lenses on it without taking out the mirror.

          So yes is the short answer!

            1. This looks EPIC Phil!!! well done on this, massive KUDOS!!

              In regards to the GH2 is it mainly down to its size? i feel the GH2 can do most of what the 5D and 7D can do and sometimes better, so is it mainly because its just a small camera on set over the performance or is it the highlight issues?


              Anthony Brown

              P.s you liked the head-cam video i shared on facebook? you have to try something like that, i would be up for helping out if you do!!!

              1. I don’t think it’s a matter of size, I think it’s a matter of Depth of field and Latitude. I use a GH1, and when I sit down and edit, I wish that I had more Latitude for color correction and Grading.

                The sad truth of the Panasonic Mirrorless Camera Systems is that they make some pretty contrasty images.

                All that being said, the GH1 and GH2 are very capable cameras, just not quite up to Cinema Standards, not as much as Canon.


  4. Fantastic stuff. Well done and looking forward to seeing the film.
    From the still shots one can easily determine that special acknowledgement should go to the Canon engineers for building such sturdy hotshoes. Those large Marshall monitors must weigh a bit.

  5. This is so awesome! My favorite picture is you and your 5d decked out next to these gigantic cameras behind you. It’s brilliant knowing that a dslr can compete with the big dogs.

    At 1:55 in the trailer, you can hear an X-wing sound effect. Oh george lucas. haha

  6. Congratulations Philip for having your shotos in Lucasfilm production! I did my wondering on which ones are Canon’s – I hope your are going to reveal it at some point, or what about a competition:)?

  7. First class! Every time I hit a brick wall with the 7D, something like this comes online reminding me it’s my lack of experience which is the problem, not the limitations of the camera.

    Congrats on the break!

  8. I was so enthralled by the trailer and never once did any of the visuals draw my attention, which means that the DSLR footage held up perfectly. It’s a non issue. Also I have a relative that flew with those Black Airmen so it’s really cool seeing a film done about them.

  9. Glad they put the trailer on Youtube. Vimeo has too many snobs. I’ve got a vimeo plus account, but other people make it to cliquey.

    ANYWAY – Good work! hahaha.. 🙂

  10. Philip,
    The shots you have in this are the ones showing cockpit views from windshield to actor. You gave that away long ago describing how the canons size made sense for the shot. What’s my prize?

  11. thanks for making me famous again Mr Bloom, sorry I missed you in San Francisco, was pulling focus on a sony F3 on an indie called Knife Fight, hope our paths cross again

    Phil Bowen

  12. Great Special effects and yes Chris is right on some of the shots. The Cockpit shots of faces are probably DSLRs “Like Plilip explained on that old post” while we wont know what the others are.

    For all those who think that DSLRs could have made these full series, go take a walk and then re-examine. ILM & George are not going to invest millions in shots that they have to composite tons of 3D into. That’s why they use F35s and other cams like REDs to get the sky aerial plates and narrative scenes. DSLRs with fixed IQ issues will get there but not yet. The Cockpit shots are perfectly suited for these types of cams and ILM have many tricks to reduce any shortcomings on the images. Like Bloom has said time and again, not all cameras are suited for all jobs and this is a cramped case where DSLRs shined.

    ILM probably worked overtime on the effects the sky full of planes shots are breathtaking!

    Congrats on your achievement on this film 2ndU DP Bloom!

  13. holy christ i Must see the feature film! i built airplane models as a kid and obsessed about being a pilot, certain diversions ended all that, still have perfect vision at 39, alas i put it through the view finder instead of a pipper- loved the footy PB! say hi to Tom for me, -Nate.

  14. OMG :O !
    Does it imply you met one of my favorites actors ? (clue : Cuba…;))
    Congrats Phil what an achievement !

    I hope one day I can work in a huge film like this one with those people ; then my life and those years of hard work would have had a meaning…

    keep rocking ! 😀

  15. Personal favorite shot from Legends: old men eating ice cream. BAMF. But seriously though, it’s inspiring to see how determined you are, thank you for that. I love the fact that you just keep creating, films about picadilly square, deserted places, timelapse and so on. It inspires me to do the same.

  16. Wow dude, this is awesome!! Congratulations Phil! I think this film is gonna be great!! Count me when you shoot your own film! I’m on your side!!

  17. I’m not going to comment on the 5d aspect of this, rather the whole piece in general.

    Overall It looked good, but compared to 35mm it looked terrible. Most of the shots looked very ‘digital’ There are many digital films which look very close to 35mm… this isn’t one of them.

    Shot at 1.20… yuk

    ..and what’s with the shot at 1.00 of the planes… they look so fake, like a video game!

  18. Hello Mr. Bloom congrats for the work, maybe someday I’ll be a great DP as you, I’m always learning news things, keep with this blog forever!!!
    the people from Brazil have you as a reference in quality works, see you!!!

  19. A big Hollywoodian pile of clichés in terms of story and acting, I think everyone agrees on that (anyone remember Pearl Harbor? :P), but the images look very epic, must be a pleasure to watch on a big screen with surround sound!

    Tonight I’ll download the HD version and start my patented Nitpicking (TM) process! 😛

    But aren’t most of your shots greenscreen shots? If so, I’m gonna have an even harder time!

    Funny thing is, if you were shooting this right know and you would have used your Sony F3 in S-log, your camera would’ve probably looked better in terms of dynamic range (14 stops) than the Sony F35 (11 stops) cams they used for Red Tails. (but I don’t know how these two compare regarding colour)

  20. Amazing trailer, I can’t wait to see which shots were yours Philip!

    But one shot that really threw me off was @ 1:17, really LucasFilm? I gave a college amateur filmmaker friend a hard time once for creating such obvious chroma shots that looked, well excuse the word, “cheap”. It’s a shame how CGI has taken over to the point that filmmakers no longer find the difference to be monetarily necessary, because some of the cinematography in this is beautiful!

    Oh and I’m guessing yours are the cockpit shots? If so I Couldn’t tell the difference which is great work!

  21. Nevermind this stuff. Congrats on getting your first feature. Been waiting for that, and know you will knock the proverbial Ball out of the proverbial Park.

    Hip Hip Hooray

    Hip Hip Hooray

    Hip Hip Hooray.

    Break out the EPIC

  22. Phil

    Of course you have been an inspiration to all HDSLR shooters. Congratulations on the gig. BUT, Legends has THE VERY BEST filming I have EVER seen from a DSLR, and is better than several great movies. Congratulations!

  23. Great look. All my kids were jumping up and down with excitement just watching the trailer. Glad you got the chance to show your stuff on a biggie and I hope you’ll do many more.

  24. Awesome!
    Congrats Philip! I’m not even a WWII planes fan myself, but the trailer got me.
    Also: Cuba Gooding Jr.
    The images are looking very impressive, the story is looking like one of those timeless pieces.
    Looking forward to it!

  25. Hello Philip, not sure if this has been asked before, but
    did you record onboard the dslrs CF or did you use any
    external hdmi recorders? looped through the marshall?
    curious to see how theyre matching dslr footage with the bigger guns 😀


  26. Philip – beautiful video in your Legends short and absolutely perfect choice of the Elgar Enigma Variations (Nimrod) for the music. This powerful piece works so well with this material. As always, looking forward to seeing more of your work.

  27. Although initially I was trying to spot the DSLR shots while watching this, I soon got too caught up in the storytelling and forgot about who shot what.
    In other words, this looks great!

  28. Congrats on the opportunity. The footage looks great! Movie looks pretty terrible though. It looks like there’s not an original idea or line of dialogue in the whole thing. Funny how the more is invested in a film, the more by the numbers it tends to be.

  29. Philip – Great video. Congratulations.

    BTW, I like watching through your videos under films. Will we see Red Epic page soon?

    FYI – when signing up your security question says “write the first world of this sentence…” Is it intentional?

      1. LOL…as a pilot and aviation historian I sometimes find it difficult to suspend disbelief. But then again it’s La La Land’s version of history.

        And then there’s the video game quality CGI…with Starwars type combat maneuvers…

        But hey in times like these we need entertainment and the glorification of war!

  30. Nice work Philip. I’ve always loved WWII films and to see the German ME262 jet on screen is a treat.

    But… I find the dominance of CGI in the trailer really disappointing. It’s not the quality of the CGI or the fact that there’s no other way of recreating WW2 air combat images, but the shear unreality of the imagery. In historically-based films like this, the CGI “camera” shouldn’t do things a real camera would have absolutely no hope of recreating. When I saw the “impossible” physics in the CGI camera action and the unrealistic movements of the CG airplanes, it destroyed the “reality” for me. Just look back at the last of the Die Hard films. CGI has it’s place for sure, but the air combat scenes look like a HD version of a video game. Fantastic for sure, but almost cartoon-like.

    But… I’ll still probably go and see the movie.

  31. Great work Philip! I am 13 years old and I own a video production company and do work in local TV. I am going to be a Director of Photography when I’m older and you are such an inspiration.

    Keep up the great work!


    1. Why wait to be a DP? If that’s what you’re aiming for in life don’t hesitate, load up and shoot for it! You’ll have the rare advantage starting at an early age.

      Keep filming every moment you get. That’s how you refine your skills.

      Good luck!

  32. It’s kinda funny seeing the DSLR rig in amongst all the film equipment, some of the photos you look like you’re just enjoying the moment before you get rumbled ‘what the hell is this guy doing on set, that’s not a movie camera!’ 🙂

    Congrats on getting your foot in the door on such a big project and thanks for blogging about it all, I really enjoy reading your stuff.

  33. Before you leave a reply that is a critique of the film Red Tails, or the CGI, or the writing, the acting, etc. you should remind yourself that the point of this post has nothing to do with any of that. This post is about another victory in the HDSLR revolution. A victory because yet again, a tool available to the masses has been legitimized as a tool worthy of a Hollywood budget. So instead, thank Mr. Bloom for opening doors for us that can only be opened in this fashion. And congratulate him for reaching a career goal that many of us would give up an appendage for.

    Thanks for blazing the trail Philip!

    1. Could not agree more.

      For the critics here, you DO understand that Philip has no authority to change any of the elements you’re complaining about, right? That those elements were worked out in pre-production months (or weeks) before Philip arrived on set?

      Get a grip and focus on the breakthrough issue here – DSLRs are being used to shoot major league feature films.

  34. I’ve dying to see this movie, not just because it looks great, but because I’ll get to see First Class footage authored by Mr. Phillip Bloom!

    I love your work man! Thank you for sharing so much with us all!


  35. Nice work Mate! Looking forward to seeing the show and picking out your footage – leaning over to my wife whispering “there’s another shot”. She loves that kind of running commentary during the movie . . .

      1. Philip,

        Congrats to your contribution to “Red Tails”.

        “Red Tails” did well as number two behind “Underworld” going into the second weekend.
        I just watched it in the thearter and it is a fine movie. It’s like “Top Gun” + “Star Wars”,
        keeping me interested all the way. At the end of the movie, people applaused.
        I even watched the credits at the end and saw your name listed.

        I tried hard, but I cannot tell which shots are from the Canon DSRLs. So I have a few questions for you.

        What bitrates did you use for your footage?
        Did you use your flat picture style or CineStyle?
        Did you transcode them in CineForm or ProRes before you handed them off?
        What ISO ranges were you using?

        Thanks in advanced.

  36. Philip! The behind the scenes brought a lump to my throat. So happy for ya, man 😀 Have loved your work since the very beginning and I am absolutely certain this is a springboard on to bigger stuff. One day, Philip, you’re gunna be the industry’s go-to guy for everything cinematography. Hopefully one day I will be, too 😀

  37. I’ll admit, I wanted to try to and spot your footage but that all went out he window in the first 36 seconds, after that I was stuffing my face full of popcorn and just enjoying the ride. But what an accomplishment! I know he’d dslrs have been on the big screen before but that was just as bolted down throwaway cameras in iron man 2. You put them to proper use and just Iike good special effects, the proof was in not being able to tell when a hd dslr shot came up.

    My hope? With George Lucas now focusing on smaller independent story driven films, my hope is your little iPhone will get a ring soon, and you and George will start the first film of this new direction together. And we will lose the “p” from your title and it will just be the “d” as in director 🙂

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