Director Joseph Kosinski has been speaking about the research he did on real Navy aircraft carriers and Naval bases for Top Gun: Maverick. But this led him into trouble, including having his camera wiped for photographing secret things that he wasn’t supposed to.
Speaking to Deadline, Kosinski said; “I had a huge love of aviation growing up. I was building model airplanes, really complex radio-controlled airplanes and flying them around. The first thing I did after getting this job was, I flew out to the Teddy Roosevelt aircraft carrier. I jumped on a Greyhound, which is not the fast jet, but I did get to fly out there and catch the cable, and then I got the catapult launch off the jet.”
Kosinski continued; “When you’re directing the film, you kind of get to become a ‘subject matter expert’, which is the Navy term—the SME—on any subject you want. So, I got to live that dream of being in the Navy for a couple years. I got to go to places that civilians don’t get to go to. I got to see things that no civilian would get to see.”
Kosinski confesses that his research got him into trouble; “I had my camera confiscated at one point. Wiped clean. I took some pictures and maybe captured something I wasn’t supposed to capture, and my camera was quickly returned to me without any photos on it. I got to go to China Lake and shoot in a hangar that is top secret.”
But Kosinski says that the risk-taking by himself and the actors was all worth it; “And it was all in this quest for authenticity. And I think you feel it when you see it, because you don’t feel like you’re in a Hollywood-designed setting. There’s a reality to it. We collaborated with the actual engineers who make the real secret aircraft. It was just a dream come true.”
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