A few weeks ago I was hitting a DSLR wall. I had been working on a lot of productions where I was only able to practice my skills where the main camera was a Canon 5D Mark II. Which is totally fine except for the fact that I was desperately desiring the ability to work with more professional gear.
Then within a matter of a few days I was booked to work on 2 shoots which were shooting on the ARRI Alexa.
To say the least, I was stoked.
My first experience was on a TV pilot called ‘Humungous Fungus’. A few of you may have read my post about working on this project with Director of Photography Nicola Daley. I wrote about some fantastic advice she gave me as an emerging freelancer. Check it out here: “Tea and Bicuits with… Nicola Daley”
I worked on Humungous Fungus as Video Split, clapper and Data wrangler. So I didn’t have a huge opportunity to work directly with the camera. However I was impressed by how simple it seemed to be to use and the picture quality was divine.
The second project I worked on with the Arri Alexa was a 24 hour project. That may seem odd that a 24 hour short film competition would be shot on such a professional standard motion picture camera, but the director and DOP just happened to have a fair bit of luck acquiring one for cheap. And so it was.
I worked on their short film “Pie” as 1st Assistant Camera. This allowed me to get a bit closer to the camera which was fantastic. This project was directed by Ryan Somerfield and the Director of Photography was James Shepherd.
I got to do a fair bit of focus pulling for a change. It was a good experience to just be focusing on that role while James operated the camera.
Overall, by the end of the week I was very happy. I had finally broken that wall of DSLR shooting and was starting to get my hands back on the real film cameras after what seemed like forever since film school. I have now also worked on a number of shoots with the Red Epic and Scarlet as well as a few shoots with Sony EX3 and XD CAM.
Stay tuned as I will be doing a focus on the Arri Alexa camera very soon, where I will go into detail of what the camera specs are, how to use it as well as reviews and other video tutorials.
But in the meantime here is the short film ‘Pie’ which I worked on.
The film recently won Best Editing, Sound, Script, Female actress, Cinematography and best film at the 24/7 Youth Film Festival.
Short Film: Pie
Director: Ryan Somerfield
Director of Photography: James Shepherd
1st Assistant Camera: Ehran Edwards
Starring: Diego Retamales and Marcella Bulic
Shot on Arri Alexa and CP.2’s
Copyright R.J. STUDIOS australia 2012
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