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Old March 17th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #1
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ARRI Alexa joins RED to kill celluloid in 2010

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ARRI Alexa joins RED to kill celluloid in 2010 -- Engadget

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Got 50k to spend big daddy? Good, then meet Alexa from ARRI, a German company founded in 1917 that just happens to be the world's largest motion picture equipment manufacturer. Alexa is ARRI's answer to the RED ONE digital, so don't be held captive by your consumer-based experience of what a camera is or what it should look like. ARRI has a trio of cams slated for release in 2010 offering a 3.5k pixel count, 800+ El equivalent sensitivity, 1 to 60fps frame rate, electronic viewfinder and on-board HD recording. The A-EV Plus model adds uncompressed on-board recording and wireless remote control to the 16:9 aspect ratio shooting A-EV. The A-OV Plus switches things up to a 4:3 aspect and adds an optical viewfinder to the mix. The rest of the details will arrive during an April 6th launch event where ARRI will reveal the complete media, format, and what's promised to be a "super fast workflow."

Until then, check a side-by-side test done by the cats over at Animation World Network pitting a prototype Alexa against a RED One equipped with a new MysteriumX sensor and software. AWN was so enthusiastic by the results of the two cams that it proclaimed, "2010 is the year that celluloid died." Jim Jannard, RED CEO, graciously responded to the test by saying, "We had expected the images to be very similar and it appears that this test confirms that." He then added the following:

"We have believed, since IBC last year, that these two platforms would be the ones standing for the future. We are very proud to be in such good company. But for the moment, we tip our hats to Arri."
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Old March 17th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #2
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Me likey!

Now, where did I put that winning Lotto ticket...

Thanks for sharing.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #3
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Arri actually announced this a few months ago at IBC 09, but I couldn't find a single mention on dvinfo so just had to post this article!
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Old March 17th, 2010, 01:56 PM   #4
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There's a small thread on 2k digital cinema

New arri digital cinema cameras at ibc

I imagine film will continue for some time yet because it does it does have its own look and people like working with it, although much less in budget driven TV.

http://www.awn.com/blogs/tracking-ma...mx-camera-test

Here's video description of the Alexa;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEGkX...eature=related

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; March 18th, 2010 at 05:52 AM.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 05:32 PM   #5
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Although kodak themselves stated that by 2020 they can't see a real viable market for film. That is not to say that it won't exist, as you say it has a look and people like working with it. But cost is just a major factor these days.
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Old March 27th, 2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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I expect film will come down to a specialist manufacturer. perhaps more likely Fuji, since the current Kodak range seems to be trying to be more HD look alike than distinctive. Above a certain budget level the film stock costs become an increasingly lower percentage of the production costs. Although, being also a creative medium with many egos and changing fashions, people wanting to have something that seems to be outside the sausage factory of TV may very well shoot on film, even on lower budgets. At the moment, Super 16 seems to be the format that's suffering more than 35mm, although I know of at least one short film that is being shot on Super 16.
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Old March 27th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #7
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Here's a more in depth post-

Out Of The Dark Ages|HD User Magazine
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Old March 28th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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I'm not quite so sure that celluloid "needs killing." However, people have been proclaiming "film is dead" since long before this, and will most likely keep feeling the need to proclaim it (as if, like this test, they're the first ones ever to make such an announcement) for quite some time to come.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 02:20 PM   #9
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I have to agree, it's been awhile since people have been announcing the death of film. But there is some legitimacy in the recent claims. Since many films are shot and scanned at 2K for digital intermediates anyway (and 4K for bigger budget films), and with the increasing range and latitude of these digital cinema cameras, the aesthetic gap may no longer exist. Even if the budget has no relevance (which it almost always will), many DPs will choose the new digital format over film for creative reasons as well as its technical benefits.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #10
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I agree that film is dying as a distribution format, but certainly not for acquisition.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insung Hwang View Post
Even if the budget has no relevance (which it almost always will), many DPs will choose the new digital format over film for creative reasons as well as its technical benefits.
If you are talking about DP's who have shot plenty of film (as opposed to less experienced ones that haven't), I think you would find that given the choice of shooting either film or digital, unless the project itself dictated a specific look that pointed towards digital, the vast majority would still prefer to shoot film if given the choice.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #12
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Just had a meeting this week with a DP about shooting a trailer for a feature. With two 35mm cameras, one super 16 Aaton, and the XLH1 available (with a mini-35adapter) - guess what we'll be shooting with?

Yup, 35mm.

(As a side note, in the course of my career, I've seen the advent and near-DEATH of tape as an acquisition format - and film is still being used.)
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Old March 30th, 2010, 12:47 AM   #13
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Which is heavier? 50 pounds of lead, or 50 pounds of cotton? Who wouldn't choose 35mm over super16 or SD video? Question is would you choose 13.5 stops of latitude of film vs 13.5 stops of latitude of digital?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
If you are talking about DP's who have shot plenty of film (as opposed to less experienced ones that haven't), I think you would find that given the choice of shooting either film or digital, unless the project itself dictated a specific look that pointed towards digital, the vast majority would still prefer to shoot film if given the choice.
Charles, I think the real reason why DPs with a lot of film experience choose film is simply because digital that rivals film have not existed, perhaps till now (or when these cameras get released). Panavision finally got their butt in gear (with digital) because their rental business was way down due to productions that foregone 35mm in favor of the RED. Initially, productions did it for the bang-for-the-buck equation. But it won't be long where digital will be the medium of choice. Budget aside, the reason I believe this to be true is because digital will allow more flexibility, more types of "looks" and creative choices due to the inclusion & consideration of the post-production process as part of the production process.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 01:50 AM   #14
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Well, I'm going to disagree with just about all of this, I'm afraid.

It's not about quantifiable stops of latitude, it's about the look.

Panavision has been pioneering digital production since they partnered with Sony thirteen years ago to produce the camera systems for "Phantom Menace". (One could argue that they dipped their toes in the water back in the 80's with the Panacam). More recently, the Genesis has been an extremely successful camera that predated RED by a few years. I think perhaps it is more accurate to describe Arri as "getting their butt in gear" with digital acquisition, because in comparison they were dragging their heels while continuing to introduce film cameras. With the forthcoming Alexa (which bears a passing resemblance to R1) they have really gotten in the game.

While there are definite advantages to shooting digitally, the majority of DP's still feel that skin tones are more pleasingly rendered in film, and that film has a "magic" quality that digital simply does not. We are still wrestling with cable tethers and a myriad of boxes all over the cameras, whereas film cameras can, if desired, be remarkably simply dressed in comparison. It's sort of impossible these days to separate budgetary concerns from artistic, but in a theoretical/dream situation where this was not on the table, I will stand firm that the majority of DP's who have been working for a while would still opt to shoot film more often than not, mostly for the look.

Regarding the advantages in post, the DI process for film is well-established and offers all of the possibilities that one can achieve with the same process on digitally acquired footage. Raw digital acquisition still doesn't have the ability to capture more than film.

Much of this will likely change in the next few years, as digital moves past the various benchmarks of film in terms of speed and latitude, and improvement in color rendition. Because technology is moving so quickly, it may be hard to ever reach a place where the camera systems are properly streamlined (as soon as we figure out one system, another one pops up that changes everything once again). And 3D is throwing a good old wrench in the works.

Ultimately, this will be an academic discussion for the most part as the economic pressure to shoot digitally will come to bear on all but the most powerful directors and DP's (although, ironically enough, more indies are able to shoot film now thanks to cutthroat deals on camera packages and lab work). But in terms of pure aesthetic, film still has a lot of fans.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 02:53 AM   #15
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Having watched a digitally projected feature shot on digital last night I must say there was still a way to go in creating the rich look of film. As someone mentioned in another forum acrylics and oil paint - both are used as painting media.
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