Thomson Grass Valley's Viper Shoots 'Collateral'

Grass Valley's Viper FilmStream camera system got its first major film release workout, when it was used to produce the action movie "Collateral" starring Tom Cruise as a hit man.

Director/producer Michael Mann used a combination of 33mm film cameras from Panavision, Sony's CineAlta HD camera, and the 4:4:4 RGB output of the Grass Valley Viper camera to film the movie.

The Viper FilmStream Camera System can capture a full range of information in a scene, from ambient environments to high-intensity lighting scenes.

"The use of the Viper as our primary camera [on 'Collateral'] was based largely around the fact that we were shooting in 2.37:1 widescreen format. With other HD systems, you have to crop the image to get that format, but with the Viper, they squeeze the image, so you can use the full resolution, and that was important for us," said Dion Beebe, director of photography for "Collateral" along with Paul Cameron.

Released by DreamWorks, "Collateral" is the story of a hit man who hijacks a cab and forces the driver to take him from job to job until the authorities give chase.