Robert Rodriguez on SPY KIDS 4

Known for being extremely resourceful with limited means, director Robert Rodriguez launched his career with the cult hit EL MARIACHI, shot on 16 mm with the ARRI 16SB. His reputation as a maverick has only grown over the years, making him one of the most exciting filmmakers in current times with films like SIN CITY, DESPERADO, SPY KIDS, FROM DUSK TO DAWN and MACHETE. "Creativity, not money, is used to solve problems,” wrote Rodriguez in his book, Rebel Without a Crew. In addition to his role as director, Rodriguez often writes, produces, shoots, edits and composes music for his films. He works quickly, an attribute that goes well with ALEXA’s handling and workflow.


We go behind the scenes with the crew of SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD, directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Jessica Alba, Joel McHale and Jeremy Piven. Shot on ARRI ALEXA cameras. Footage courtesy of Weinstein Co.

For his latest film, Rodriguez returns to more family friendly fare with the action adventure pic, SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD. The fourth installment of the series stars Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven and Antonio Banderas. It blends fun gadgetry, ALEXA imagery, visual effects, 3D and Aromascope for an entertaining romp kids will love. Here, Rodriguez tells ARRI News his thoughts about working with ALEXA.

AN: SPY KIDS 4 is one of the first features in theaters shot on the Alexa. What intrigued you about working with ALEXA?

RR: I had loved shooting with ARRI since EL MARIACHI, and when I switched to digital over 10 years ago, I thought my ARRI days were behind me. I couldn't wait to try the new ALEXA, I had heard impressive things and know how dedicated ARRI is to quality and having robust camera systems that can handle anything.

The ALEXA was very fast to work with and extremely versatile. We bought two ALEXA cameras for Troublemaker after we wrapped the movie.

AN: You could have shot with another camera, why did you go with ALEXA?


We gave all the other cameras their day in court at Troublemaker Studios. ARRI was the clear winner in image quality, detail and dynamic range. And its images just looked better.

AN: What do you think of the cinematic look?

It's spot on. I was ecstatic.

AN: What was your experience with the Alexa in terms of working with visual effects? How did the camera perform for the extensive greenscreen work?

It was very clean, even up to 1600 ASA which we experimented with in low light. All our effects teams were very impressed with how clean the channels were.

AN: Did the camera deliver what you wanted?



Overall this movie looks like it was a lot of fun to make. You've gone “4D” too. What were the new things you wanted to try on this filmmaking adventure and why?

I wanted to shoot a colorful, beautiful, highly technical picture in a short amount of time. The ALEXA was very fast to work with and extremely versatile. We bought two ALEXA cameras for Troublemaker after we wrapped the movie.