Codex digital recorders and image processing technology are being used in the production of Man of Tai Chi, currently shooting in China.
The film, which marks the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves (who also stars), is an homage to kung fu films of the past, and will feature more than 40 minutes of martial arts style fight sequences. The film is slated for a 2013 release by Universal Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and China Film Group.
Reeves recently produced a documentary Side by Side in which he examined the transition from traditional filmmaking techniques to digital ones and interviewed pioneers such as James Cameron, David Fincher and George Lucas. Armed with that information, it is not surprising that he chose a digital workflow with the ARRI Alexa camera and Codex Onboard recorders for Man of Tai Chi.
Cinematographer Elliot Davis is using ARRI Alexa Studio cameras and Hawk lenses to shoot ARRIRAW in anamorphic format, captured by Codex Onboard Recorders. "Our action film needed the freedom that onboard recording brings to shooting digital, and the Codex Onboard Recorders give us maximum recording resolution in a small, reliable package," explains Michael Taylor, the film's Supervising Technical Engineer. "We push our gear hard during the average shooting day but we have had no issues with material, so we have great confidence in our system."
The digital pipeline for Man of Tai Chi also includes a Codex Digital Lab and a Codex Transfer Station for Mac OS X, used to produce dailies and archive digital negative to LTO-5 tape. "We can turn our material around very efficiently," notes Taylor. "Our system of backup and transcoding is simple and fast. What we shoot in the morning is being edited in the afternoon and I know our director loves that."
"The Codex Digital Lab and the Transfer Station give us everything we need to duplicate, archive, transcode and distribute our footage with minimal fuss, with color correction, and in a variety of forms," adds Taylor, "I have used Codex systems on many films over many years and I have to say there is always great reliability and great support."
Codex equipment on Man of Tai Chi is being supplied by China Film Group.