“Tony Scott set the bar very high with the first film and the aerial photography,” Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski says. “I had seen some videos that Navy aviators had done of their own training sequences by putting little GoPro cameras in their cockpit, and even though it was very low res and just one angle, it was more compelling to me than anything I had seen in any action film.”
Kosinski was joined by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and the film’s stars Miles Teller and Jennifer Connelly for a panel at News Brig’s Contenders Film: Los Angeles awards-season event to discuss the Paramount Pictures film, which follows the return of U.S. Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) as an instructor for the U.S. Navy-Fighter Weapons school. Maverick’s ability to lead the newest Top Gun recruits towards success is challenged when he is tasked to train the son of his deceased best friend, Goose Bradshaw, played by Teller.
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“Joe [Kosinski] pitched the idea of Goose’s son, named Rooster, and Tom said to him ‘I like the idea but you gotta promise me one thing – that we shoot everything for real,’ ” Bruckheimer said. “First movie, we put the actors in the F14s and they all threw up and we couldn’t use any of the footage.”
“We started with baby steps, and we had three and a half months of flight training before we ever started rolling camera,” Teller said. “From there we were flying all the time, constantly.”
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Even with the incredible footage captured on the flights, Connelly says the success of the movie was due to Kosinski’s ability to “retain all of the human details that really make you care” about the characters.
“You need to love the characters and be invested in what happens to them to be along on the ride of all the extraordinary things they were filming and doing,” she said.
Check back Monday for the panel video.