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ARRI ALEXA





rogue_skydragon
The newest professional line of motion picture camera systems has arrived from the renowned company ARRI Inc. - the digital cinema Arriflex ALEXA. This is the company's first foray into digital cinema and is a direct response to the increasingly successful RED camera. Any camera enthusiasts here with any thoughts on this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arri_Alexa
LostOverThere
rogue_skydragon wrote:
The newest professional line of motion picture camera systems has arrived from the renowned company ARRI Inc. - the digital cinema Arriflex ALEXA. This is the company's first foray into digital cinema and is a direct response to the increasingly successful RED camera. Any camera enthusiasts here with any thoughts on this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arri_Alexa

Yeah, it sounds like a pretty awesome camera. I'm no expert by any means, but it's interesting to see how quickly it's been adopted (especially with the likes of Martin Scorsese's Hugo). Of course, this isn't necessarily that surprising, seeing how import Arri are in the film world.
Dialogist
I think a problem nowadays that is equipment is preceding its operator. Often, with cameras especially, a great camera can make a dire photographer or film maker look like a professional. While this maybe doesn't seem like a problem and actually a great advance in technology, the problem lies in this scenario: The hobbyist can be rise to the top of his game by merely being able to afford to. The skilled, seasoned enthusiast also has to able to afford it to compete and stay relevant. The awful thing is that the days of Ansel Adams are folklore in today's market. You can buy his talent now. And people do. Again, a marvelous leap for technology, or an art that is steadily dying three fold: 1, because nobody needs to hone any great technique or skill anymore. 2, Originality goes with it because all of the creative input is delegated towards a device with presets (no matter many combinations of 9 numbers you can think of, the 9 numbers have been programmed to form them - hence, everything has been preconcieved and nothing is art anymore) and finally 3, Johnny Come-Lately thinks he's Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola and there's not a great deal that the skilled yet financially humble can do about that. There's no great photographers anymore. Just rich photographers.
LostOverThere
Dialogist wrote:
I think a problem nowadays that is equipment is preceding its operator. Often, with cameras especially, a great camera can make a dire photographer or film maker look like a professional. While this maybe doesn't seem like a problem and actually a great advance in technology, the problem lies in this scenario: The hobbyist can be rise to the top of his game by merely being able to afford to. The skilled, seasoned enthusiast also has to able to afford it to compete and stay relevant. The awful thing is that the days of Ansel Adams are folklore in today's market. You can buy his talent now. And people do. Again, a marvelous leap for technology, or an art that is steadily dying three fold: 1, because nobody needs to hone any great technique or skill anymore. 2, Originality goes with it because all of the creative input is delegated towards a device with presets (no matter many combinations of 9 numbers you can think of, the 9 numbers have been programmed to form them - hence, everything has been preconcieved and nothing is art anymore) and finally 3, Johnny Come-Lately thinks he's Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola and there's not a great deal that the skilled yet financially humble can do about that. There's no great photographers anymore. Just rich photographers.


Certainly a very interesting perspective, but I'm not sure if I necessarily agree. Film editing, for instance, has almost exclusively been done digitally since the latter half of the 1990s, thanks to the likes of Avid, Lightworks and Final Cut Pro. Of course, the same issue was raised then -- anyone will be able to edit any film purely because they have a computer and a few hundred dollars. And yet, here we are, 15 years later, and film editing is still considered an important art form. There's a difference from being able to edit and edit well, and people acknowledge that.

Giving more people a chance to edit - or in this case, use a camera - is a good thing. You mentioned that wealthy people nowadays will be seen as more important than skilled people, purely because they have money, but that, arguably is what happened in the past. The only people who could makes movies were the people who could afford the expensive cameras, and processing fees for their celluloid. Regrettably, this issue continues today.
Alaskacameradude
I WISH I could afford an Alexa, it's amazing. However, I am lucky enough to be
able to afford a Sony FS100 which many 'hobby filmmakers' are envious of, so really
I can't complain. But really, nowdays there are SO many good, cheap cameras, that
anyone and everyone has them, look at the HDSLR movement, that's one reason it was
so big, relatively cheap, good looking HD video. What will REALLY make your work
stand out, is if you actually know what to do with them!! Trust, me, I am
competing against a BUNCH of people who 'have gear'. I still get work, because of
my reel, not because of what gear I own, lots of other people own gear. So it does
make for more competition as there are more people out there that could 'theoretically
do the job', but really don't have the knowledge to do it well. That's why I
always emphasize to ALL my clients or potential clients, LOOK AT A DEMO REEL!
Whether you hire me or someone else, make sure they have a demo reel, and ask
to see it! It will tell you if the person can do the work or not.
Dialogist
LostOverThere wrote:
Dialogist wrote:
I think a problem nowadays that is equipment is preceding its operator. Often, with cameras especially, a great camera can make a dire photographer or film maker look like a professional. While this maybe doesn't seem like a problem and actually a great advance in technology, the problem lies in this scenario: The hobbyist can be rise to the top of his game by merely being able to afford to. The skilled, seasoned enthusiast also has to able to afford it to compete and stay relevant. The awful thing is that the days of Ansel Adams are folklore in today's market. You can buy his talent now. And people do. Again, a marvelous leap for technology, or an art that is steadily dying three fold: 1, because nobody needs to hone any great technique or skill anymore. 2, Originality goes with it because all of the creative input is delegated towards a device with presets (no matter many combinations of 9 numbers you can think of, the 9 numbers have been programmed to form them - hence, everything has been preconcieved and nothing is art anymore) and finally 3, Johnny Come-Lately thinks he's Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola and there's not a great deal that the skilled yet financially humble can do about that. There's no great photographers anymore. Just rich photographers.


Certainly a very interesting perspective, but I'm not sure if I necessarily agree. Film editing, for instance, has almost exclusively been done digitally since the latter half of the 1990s, thanks to the likes of Avid, Lightworks and Final Cut Pro. Of course, the same issue was raised then -- anyone will be able to edit any film purely because they have a computer and a few hundred dollars. And yet, here we are, 15 years later, and film editing is still considered an important art form. There's a difference from being able to edit and edit well, and people acknowledge that.

Giving more people a chance to edit - or in this case, use a camera - is a good thing. You mentioned that wealthy people nowadays will be seen as more important than skilled people, purely because they have money, but that, arguably is what happened in the past. The only people who could makes movies were the people who could afford the expensive cameras, and processing fees for their celluloid. Regrettably, this issue continues today.


You disagree because post production has always (in modern times) required a massive amount of technology? Not always in terms of the classical purist approach - Jason and The Argonauts, for example, or really, any Disney movie pre-3d were envisioned without any remarkably advanced technology. This was skill and hard graft, often massive amounts of rotoscoping and meticulous frame by frame know-how. These type of people fall into the talented category I outlined (for me). I mean you can't just download after effects and whip out the next Matrix can you? Well, you couldn't, until lately. I see it day to day now on television commercials, kid's shows, music videos etc. Some kid in a mac lab has done the same videocopilot tutorial that I did about 4 years ago, and he's making crazy money out of it because it's for Lady Gaga or somebody. That's not talent. That's just being able to afford the equipment and (essentially) the time to sit there and doss around doing case-applicable "pre-builds".

It doesn't just stop at video editing. Have a look at how many people have adopted that vintage/retro kodak crush for photography lately in advertising. Have a look at how many artists have suddenly become Banksy or Sheperd Fairy because they did a photoshop tutorial on it they found on google. This is monkey-see, monkey-do trending too. It's not just a case of the talented creative ones having their noses pushed out, it's a case of originality becoming unoriginal, and ultimately, undesirable.

While I agree that technological know-how and professional (looking) techniques becoming ubiquitous is a very good thing, laws of averages-wise, we're going to get at least one future legend out of it, right? ... I still think there's no contest for creativity and true originality. Artistry and innovation. Tarrantino's Reservoir Dogs was made on a shoestring. Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver were not mulitmillion dollar productions. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are the product of something they threw together in their dorm room. One of my favourite directors, Stanley Kubrick's movies were pretty basic. Kevin Smith's first movie was a black and white indie flick. These people had talent with a camera and were skilled in the art of movie making as a whole. There was no CGI team beefing it up for interlude teasers.

And lastly, as one avid motion graphics fanatic to another, as I'm sure you are - Although I love what I do, I personally loathe CGI movies. I mean movies just made from special effects, like 2012, Inception, Avatar etc. And then they fumble around and try to find a script writer. I hate those movies mainly, because I see the trailer (that guy from Inception fighting on the ceiling, floors and walls, or for 2012 with that huge wave pouring over the Tibetan mountains) and I always think, "Wow! That looks amazing!" And it does. And then I go to see the movie, blissfully unaware that I've already seen it. - And not just for five seconds on a YouTube trailer... But about a million times over. In basically every successful movie made in the last 20 years = pure garbage. Of course, there's one curve ball - They'll make a movie about some struggle or something, a sad movie about a historical character or something, and that will win 7 oscars. Why? A) Because as far as serious film-making goes now, it's the "best we can do" and ultimately B) There's no aliens, hobbits or wizards in it, and the oscars have to go someplace. Any old place.
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