"Dune," one of the most hotly anticipated films of the year, was directed by Denis Villeneuve and shot by Greig Fraser ACS, ASC, who won an Oscar for his stunning visuals. Based on Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel, it is set on the war-torn desert planet Arrakis, for which the filmmakers traveled to the desert valley of Wadi Rum in southern Jordan. Faced with difficult terrain and conditions, they called on ARRI Rental's exclusive HEXATRON off-road crane vehicle, which can provide a level crane base in even the most challenging environments. Key grip Tommaso Mele and ARRI Rental grip technician Zolt Teszáry here discuss the process of getting the HEXATRON to Jordan, and the benefits it brought to the production.
Could you each describe your roles?
Tommaso Mele: As key grip, I am head of the grip department on the production. I work closely with the director, DP, and camera department, and it is my responsibility to position the camera, setting up whatever dolly tracks or cranes might be required.
Zolt Teszáry: I am a grip technician at ARRI Rental in Budapest. Mainly I work with remote grip systems such as telescopic cranes, classic and stabilized remote heads, motion control, and of course the HEXATRON, which is a great piece of kit for moving telescopic cranes around off-road terrains.
How did the HEXATRON come to be used on this production?
ZT: From the very beginning of planning the "Dune" shoot, Tommaso requested the HEXATRON for the Jordan leg of filming, as the only possible vehicle that can go around in the desert carrying the Supertechno 50 crane.
TM: During the preliminary scouting we realized that, given the particular nature of the locations, we needed a versatile vehicle with multiple functions to be able to transport and use a 50-foot Supertechno in all locations. I chose the HEXATRON because I had already appreciated its versatility and ease of use on previous occasions.