“Top Gun: Maverick” Director Joseph Kosinski: Navy Deleted My Photos

“I took some pictures and maybe captured something I shouldn’t have.”

Director Joseph Kosinski revealed that the US Navy seized his camera at a military base and eventually “wiped” the photographs he took.

“When you’re directing the movie, you can become an ‘expert,’ which is the Navy term — the SME — on any subject you want. So I got to live the dream of being in the Navy for a few years,” Kosinski explained Deadline. “I have to go to places where civilians don’t go. I have to see things that civilians cannot see.”

However, that means no one other you should see that too. Kosinski continued, “My camera was confiscated once. Wiped clean. I took a few pictures and maybe took some I shouldn’t have taken and my camera was quickly returned to me with no photos on it.”

He added: “I have to go to China Lake and shoot in a top secret hangar. And it was all in the pursuit of authenticity. And I think you feel it when you see it because it doesn’t feel like you’re in a Hollywood designed environment. There is reality in it. We’ve worked with the actual engineers who make the real secret planes. It was just a dream come true.”

“Top Gun: Maverick” cinematographer Claudio Miranda told IndieWire that the Navy also has strict requirements for filming on top of fighter jets. The Navy would not allow cameras on the wings of planes because it would affect flight performance. “I got a back mount as a consolation prize and the normal bomb mounts,” Miranda said. “But it was only possible to fly the plane with 3G with an external attachment.”

The sequel to the 1986 hit “Top Gun” ended up containing more than 800 hours of footage, more than Peter Jackson’s three “Lord of the Rings” films combined. Of course, it was up to Kosinski to narrow the scope of the film and cut out certain scenes and subplots.

“You end up throwing things out that you’re sure will be in the movie,” he told IndieWire. “When you get to the final cut and focus on the story being told, things have to fall in favor of the film.”

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