Act of Valor: How Silicon Valley Tech Made This Movie Possible

All right, solider. Odds are that you’ve seen some of the hype around the new movie “Act of Valor,” the Bandito Brothers very first feature film. Here’s the quick debrief: A film featuring a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs in a fictionalized account of real life Navy SEAL operations. Here’s what The Los Angeles Times has to say about the film that opens at 3,000 theaters nationwide today: “It's a level of production that would make blockbuster filmmakers such as Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer drool, obtained by two first-time feature directors and former stuntmen, Mike "Mouse" McCoy and Scott Waugh, for roughly $12 million.”


Sounds truly awesome….but what does that have to do with HP? And why are we talking about it on this blog? Here’s the declassified Intel: HP workstations and DreamColor monitors made this movie possible.



The Bandito Brothers crew is comprised of filmmakers, stunt men and technologists who developed innovative uses for techn to really capture the intense combat sequences. They rigged small digital cameras (Canon 5D Mark II digital SLRs ) onto the helmets of the SEALs and the results are awesome first-person views that put you in field. And for game nerds like me, it’s instantly recognizable to anybody that’sever played a Call of Duty or Battlefield game.


actofvalor.JPGSo, with all this gear, the film was shot over the course of a year in 12 states and in five countries on four continents, with live gunfire in harsh environments (48 shooting days total).


Jim Christensen over at says that: “In the field, the Bandito Brothers had a trailer set up with HP EliteBook Mobile Workstations backing up captured footage to hard drives as soon as it came off the camera. In post-production, Bandito Brothers relied on HP DreamColor LP2480x Monitors and HP Z800 Workstations equipped with an NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 graphics card that enhanced the software performance since Cinnafilm is optimized to work seamlessly on HP Workstations. In total, the Bandito Brothers captured roughly 125 hours of raw 5D footage (2.5TB of data) and 20-30 hours of film footage that was rendered on HP Workstations.”


Over at the Nvidia blog, they add that, “With Adobe CS5.5 Premiere Pro and NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, Bandito Brothers can import RAW footage directly into Premiere Pro and instantly see what they have. Knowing whether they ‘got the shot’ can dramatically speed up production. Premiere Pro also enables editing of RAW footage taken from the Canon 5D, giving them additional options.” And thanks to all this gear, “Bandito artists and editors enjoy a fluid, real-time video editing experience at full resolution, without expensive, custom hardware or additional third-party products.”


Actually, here’s a pretty cool little behind-the-scenes video on the subject. Check it out....then report for duty at your local theater!



Labels: movies
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