Filming The Eagle Huntress

from the Artsology series The Arts Adventurer

November, 2016: I saw the movie "The Eagle Huntress" tonight, and the exotic location of the Altai Mountains in Mongolia created a sense of adventure that went along well with the heart-warming story of a girl named Aisholpan and her family. I'm not going to get into the details of the story, as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who wants to see the movie, and you can see the official trailer here for an initial introduction.


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I find it amazing that this movie was filmed on a shoestring budget by a crew of only two guys, with a RED Epic camera, some zoom lenses, a 30 foot crane, some GoPros, and a drone, which was instrumental for all of the aerial views they wanted of this vast landscape, such as the image below.

about the cinematography on The Eagle Huntress

At various points, the film crew set up GoPro cameras on both the girl (as she approached an eagle nest) as well as on the eagle itself, as you can see below far left, and a view looking over the eagle's head at the girl in the distance, below left. It's really incredible to have the sensation of flying on the wings of an eagle!

I found this video, below right, which includes an interview with the movie's Director of Photography, Simon Niblett. It gives a behind-the-scenes look at how this film was made, without giving away too much of the actual story in the film. For any aspiring photographers or filmmakers who want to capture their own adventures, this video provides some good inspiration for trying to achieve dramatic footage.

GoPro cameras strapped to an eagle in The Eagle Huntress

Below is a still from the movie, showing the main character Aisholpan training her eagle.

Aisholpan and her trained eagle from the movie The Eagle Huntress

If you would like to read more about the cinematography on this film, check out this coverage at The American Society of Cinematographers website.