Behind the Fourth Phase: The tech that made it possible

fourth phase


On September 8th 2016 at the Shrine Auditorium in LA, the world got its first exclusive sneak peek of the most highly anticipated action sports movie ever released, The Fourth Phase. The follow up to Travis Rice’s smash hit The Art Of Flight, this film promised to once again break the boundaries between film, subject and nature. Using the most cutting edge, and in some cases prototype, cameras the team was able to capture incredible snowboard runs, stunning nature shots and their fair share of helicopters. What makes The Fourth Phase stand out from similar films is its incredibly delicate and deep attention to the nature and science behind what makes these runs possible. Britelite was lucky enough to host the only SF screening of Fourth Phase and seeing it on large format screens in our office got us to thinking about the technology that made this film possible.


Cameras are obviously a huge part of the look of any film and Travis Rice and team are committed to capturing the highest quality content possible. When filming began, Rice contacted some of the equipment companies that he worked with on The Art Of Flight to see what their next big release was going to be, and he ended up with some of the highest quality video systems ever assembled…

the fourth phase, redbull, snowboarding


RED Epic

Capturing at a stunning 5k resolution this is the camera that drives many of the most advanced capture environments in the world. It is about the size of a traditional DSLR but at a much higher resolution and capturing all video in RAW format. This camera allows the crew to capture content on par with anything in the world, while still being mobile enough to follow Travis Rice down a run.


Phantom 4k

For the aerial shots that these films are known for, they needed a solution that was small and light enough to get airborne, but kept up with the visual quality of the other cameras in the repertoire. The Phantom 4k provides the ability to capture at 4k 30hz for extended period of time and features incredibly precise avionics to ensure a smooth and accurate flight.



Sometimes you need to get perfectly steady 4k footage when filming from a helicopter. We all know it happens. Well when the crew of The Fourth Phase needed to get those shots they looked to the Cineflex stabilization system. The crew began the shoot with a very early production model of the Cineflex and upgraded several times as the filming progressed. It’s clear when watching the film what a big part the stabilized helicopter and vehicle footage plays in telling the story.

cineflex_5, the fourth phase



Shotover builds specialized gimbal systems that allow cameras to get complicated and clean shots when mounted to a drone. Director Jon Klaczkiewicz had some very specific ideas about how he wanted to capture content with a drone and went looking for a system that would allow it. He found Shotover, a company that was working on a custom system to do exactly what he was imagining. The Fourth Phase crew was given access to a prototype of the system that they tested for the first year of shooting. Finally Klaczkiewicz got his hands on the production three-axis version and was able to capture some of the most beautiful and seamless drone flyover shots ever recorded.

the fourth phase


Hero 4 Gopro

The team behind The Fourth Phase is kinda into going fast, and when you are going fast sometimes you need a camera that is tiny and can keep up. The crew started using the GoPro 4 and were impressed by its ability to capture 4k content that looked good enough to stand up to the much more expensive camera systems in the world. The Hero 4’s incredible quality allowed the crew to get shots that would be almost impossible without such a compact system.

gopro-hero-4, the fourth phase


The crew had to pull from a variety of sources when making this film, and the varied types of capture environments, plus the extreme conditions that they were asking this equipment to run in made this exceptionally difficult content to film. The crew made some amazing strides from The Art Of Flight and really progressed the technology behind filming action sports in order to make their dream a reality. It is always amazing to see what a group of dedicated individuals will come up with when they try to solve a problem. Thanks to Red Bull media house for producing this movie and letting us show a special screening. Check out The Fourth Phase on Red Bull TV and iTunes now.


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