Blockbuster Disney+ series The Mandalorian made headlines for its use of bleeding edge technologies like virtual sets. However, a number of scenes in the Star Wars spinoff were actually shot using a DSLR – the Canon EOS 5D.
A fascinating behind the scenes video from Industrial Light & Magic – the Hollywood effects house established by George Lucas to create models for the original Star Wars in 1975 – reveals how the team went old school to create these shots.
While most of the space scenes in The Mandalorian were created using ILM's computer-generated wizardry, series creator Jon Favreau was interested in creating and shooting a physical model of the the Razor Crest (the Mandalorian's ship) – partly as reference for the computer graphics artists, and partly as homage to the way the original Star Wars features were made.
This saw ILM's veteran model maker, John Goodson, creating a ship using a 3D printer and tinfoil, while Knoll (ILM's chief creative officer) devised a custom 50-foot motion control rig with a Canon EOS 5D at its heart.
While you would assume that this would be the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, it is very possible that it's actually the Mark III or even Mark II. Which may sound peculiar, given that none of these cameras have strong video specs by 2020 standards.
However, these cameras are fantastic for the creation of stop-motion effects, whereby bursts of still images are used to capture the equivalent frames of film (the 5D Mark II is still favored by many production houses to produce stop-motion features and series).
Of course, series two of The Mandalorian debuts on Disney+ this Friday, 30 October. And if you love Mando and Baby Yoda as much as we do, check out The Mandalorian Polaroid Now camera!