A key component of upcoming sci-fi adventure Dredd is a drug called slo-mo, thus named because it reduces the user’s experience of reality to 1/100 the normal speed. The drug creates moments of beauty for users who inhabit what is otherwise a harsh, ugly, violent place. It helps make their hideous world that much more bearable.
Rendering this effect onscreen posed a bit of a hurdle for the production. This new featurette explores some of the tools and tricks they used to make the idea a reality for Dredd.
Dredd was filmed with a new generation of Phantom camera, one with the capability to shoot an unreal-sounding 4,000 frames-per-second. Even the most rapid action, like a bullet casing being ejected from a gun, is shown with an almost balletic elegance. Every incidental blink becomes a deliberate, meaningful occurrence.
The way the film executes the slow motion lends a sense of surreal, psychedelic grandeur even to moments of despicable violence. The overall result is one of a hallucinatory choreography. Combined with the depth provided by shooting in 3D, you’ve got something very unique and interesting on your hands. Let’s just hope they don’t go too bonkers with it.
Dredd is based on the comic Judge Dredd by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. This video brings up a good point about how the extreme slow motion, where the action is so nearly static that it almost seems like a still photograph, causes the frame to mimic the panels on the pages of a comic book.
Dredd follows notorious law officer Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and his new partner, Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby). When a horrendous crime lures them into an especially tough part of Mega-City One, they find themselves trapped in a 200-story high-rise where a drug lord named Ma-Ma (Lena Heady) controls the slo-mo trade. Let’s just say things don’t go especially well for the partners.
Dredd opens on September 21st.