Behind-The-Scenes of The Circle, First Film Shot With DJI Inspire 2 & X5S

Learn filmmaking and aerial cinematography watching the video released by DJI on the behind-the-scenes of The Circle.

A few days ago, DJI announced their two latest drone models: Inspire 2 and Phantom 4 Pro.

To showcase the potential of the Inspire 2, they launched a series of short films shot entirely with the new model drone. The first film shot was The Circle, directed by Sheldon Schwartz, and with Oscar-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda as Director of Photography (watch The Circle here).

The crew only used the Inspire 2 and the X5S camera to shoot the film.

“When you think of shooting a movie set in the Great Depression, you think of big Hollywood studio films, big cameras and massive crews. What’s unique about this shoot is that we’re using new technology to push the limits of camera language and storytelling”,

says Director Sheldon Schwartz.

As Dan Chung comments on News Shooter, “the potential of an integrated device like this for indie filmmaking, documentary and news is huge”.

In addition to releasing The Circle, DJI also shared three behind-the-scenes videos, illustrating the making of The Circle. They are great learning resources for filmmakers, aerial operators, and cameramen.

The Circle: Behind The Scenes

The Circle: Behind the Scenes – X5S Camera

DJI’s new X5S, the Inspire 2’s higher-end camera (a step up from the X4S), shoots up to 5.2K in RAW, and allows the use of different lenses. Director of Photography Claudio Miranda was able to judge focus and control depth of field by making use of the Olympus 9-18mm Zoom Lens for many of the shots.

“One of the great features of the X5S is we can shoot up to resolutions up to 5.2K, so that gives us a lot of room for 4k output. While you’re recording ProRes or raw files on the SSD, you’re actually able to save the proxy files on the SD card. They can have a different resolution than the actual files. So you can shoot in 5.2k on the SSD and you can shoot 1080p proxy files which makes previewing way more easier.”

says Ferdinand Wolf, Aerial Cinematographer in The Circle.

The Circle: Behind the Scenes – Post-Production Workflow

The ability to shoot RAW allows maximum versatility in Post-Production. The video below shows a color correction session on the Inspire 2’s RAW footage of The Circle. Robert C. Rodriguez, Director of Technical Operations for Technicolor, comments:

“The Inspire 2 has a new feature to it that’s very different from the Inspire 1. It has a new SSD system that allows you to mount directly to your DIT station or your computer. So you no longer need a proprietary application to mount the drives on there. You’re able to go right from the Inspire’s drives, plug directly to your dock on set, and be able to get instant access to the files that were shot.”