The Blackmagic Cinema Camera Used on Hollywood Action Blockbuster “Expendables 3”

It was a matter of time before Blackmagic Cinema Cameras were spotted on a big Hollywood set. Recently Blackmagic Design announced that Blackmagic Cinema Cameras EF were used to capture complex action sequences in the new filmThe Expendables 3”. 2nd unit DP Paul Hughen, ASC, placed the cameras directly in the action in order to get incredible shots, including exciting scenes of car races, intricate boat chases and large-scale action sequences.

This is what the Peter Menzies DP of “Expendables 3”shared about his experience with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera on set:

“I was looking for a stunt camera that offered maximum resolution and ease of workflow, and I wanted the action footage to be as close to the main unit resolution as possible,” Peter Menzies says. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s Raw image is the best quality available in a camera of that compact size and versatility, and the image is very sharp and has great latitude.”


“The Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s form factor was perfect for the many complex camera positions that Second Unit Director Dan Bradley and I came up with,” Paul added.

“We wanted to mount the cameras to different vehicles with the smallest amount of rigging possible. We mounted them to boats, tanks, and trucks; and in one of the most involved and exciting sequences, three Blackmagic Cinema Cameras were attached to the front and sides of a high-speed military train.”

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s light weight also allowed them to attach the cameras to the front or side of a motorcycle and because the form factor kept rigging was kept to a minimum and made it safe to carry for the rider. “The cameras were so easy to use that we often found ourselves giving them to stuntmen who turned them on and ran with them on top of trains or rode with them in the backs of Jeeps. The light weight and easy handling made the cameras the action unit workhorse,”…

“…Affordability was a major factor in deciding to shoot with the Blackmagic Cinema Cameras. However, over the course of shooting we only lost one camera, and the exciting shots we got far outweighed the cost of a replacement… The camera that was destroyed was attached to the bottom of a free-falling elevator. Upon action, the camera was turned on and allowed to fall with the metal cage of the elevator nine stories to the bottom of the shaft. While the camera was destroyed in the fall, the SSD was protected, and we were able to retrieve the information from it and get a great shot.”


As some of you may be aware the last two “The Expendables” movies were shot in Bulgaria, which happens to be home to 1/2 of the 4K Shooters Team, thus making this announcement from Blackmagic Design even more special.

“The Еxpendables 3” is the first one of the franchise to be shot fully digitally on RED Epic cameras, so it is no surprise that the Blackmagic Cinema Camera was used by the 2nd Unit as B-cameras. I’m sure we’ll continue to hear more news about Blackmagic cameras being used in other major Hollywood productions as well.

[via Blackmagic Design]

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate partner and participant in B&H and Adorama Affiliate programmes, we earn a small comission from each purchase made through the affiliate links listed above at no additional cost to you.

Claim your copy of DAVINCI RESOLVE - SIMPLIFIED COURSE with 50% off! Get Instant Access!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.