Definition August 2024 - Web


Renowned aerial DOP John Marzano chats sky-high cinematography, the aircraft involved and memorable career moments JOHN MARZANO

WORDS Katie Kasperson

B ased in the UK but a ‘world leader in the field of aerial cinematography’, Marzano Films – headed up by seasoned DOP John Marzano – blends deep, hands-on filmmaking knowledge with a complete aerial production package. With credits spanning more than 150 award-winning features, docs, series and commercials – including House of the Dragon , The Crown , 1917 , Zero Dark Thirty and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – the truly extensive portfolio of Marzano Films speaks for itself. Marzano first began as a camera trainee, “learning the craft from the ground up,” he says. “In 1989, while operating for the second unit on a feature film called When The Whales Came , I was required to set up the camera in the helicopter for some aerial shots,” he recalls. Cultivating a real knack for airborne operation, subsequently his work ‘shifted gradually from ground- based to aerial cinematography.’ READY FOR TAKE-OFF After acting as operator on low-budget projects, Marzano stepped into more mainstream features like The World Is Not Enough , signalling the start of a long

relationship with the 007 franchise. “I am proud to have shot the aerials for the last eight Bond films,” he states. “For Daniel Craig’s last appearance as 007 in No Time to Die , we shot both IMAX and 35mm scenes with the Eclipse system in Jamaica, Norway, Italy and the UK.” With global shoots come local aviation laws – “not just for helicopter or aeroplane work, but also for drone work,” explains Marzano. Licensed to operate almost anywhere in the world, Marzano Films trains its team in ‘the intricacies of working around aircraft’ and maintains an ‘unblemished aerial record’. An equipment specialist as well as a creative cohort, Marzano Films “employs a host of helicopter-mounted systems,” begins Marzano, “but our Eclipse gimbal, with its military-grade gyro-stabilisation technology, is the most flexible aerial system currently available, capable of housing anything from a small Sony VENICE 2 right up to an IMAX camera or even our six-camera array.” The team also developed the mini Eclipse – like the Eclipse system, but more compact and lightweight – as well as the First- Person View Hybrid drone (used on The Meg 2 , Fast and Furious and The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power ), a three- camera array system ( Wonka ) and a

I AM SO PROUD TO HAVE SHOT THE AERIALS for the last eight James Bond films ”



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