ARRI's Wireless Remote System is a sophisticated toolset for wirelessly controlling lens and camera functions on set. At IBC 2012 ARRI is announcing the new Wireless Compact Unit WCU-4, which will be the most sophisticated and user-friendly unit on the market, succeeding the WCU-3.
The WCU-4 is an all-inclusive and yet affordable hand unit offering up to 3-axis lens control. It includes a newly designed, super smooth focus knob with adjustable friction and backlit, optionally pre-marked focus rings that are easy to read in the dark but not distracting to performers. The whole unit is completely splash-proof, further enhancing its typical ARRI reliability. An advanced built-in iris slider has its scale on the 3" display, providing clearly readable T-stop numbers and optional on-screen markings. If preferred, the slider can also be set to show zoom scales.
Included on the left side handle is an ergonomically designed, pressure-sensitive zoom knob that can additionally be used for scrolling through the unit's setup menus. A user-programmable button underneath the handle permits rapid access to functions such as quick zoom (zap) or setting marks. An optional hand strap provides extra stability and leaves the thumb of the holding hand free, thus allowing even the most challenging simultaneous shifts of iris and focus.
The large 3" transflective display reflects ambient light and remains clearly visible even in direct sunlight, while also saving battery power. It provides enough room for status information of camera and hand unit, measured distances from ultrasonic devices or lens data in a graphical form. Focus, iris and zoom marks or limits can easily be set by pressing one of the sealed, backlit buttons next to the display. ARRI Lens Data Display is integrated and when used with the ALEXA camera, the unit displays camera settings and status; it will even be possible to control ALEXA with the WCU-4 following a future software update.
Users can save their preferred settings on an SD card, enabling them to immediately personalize any WCU-4, anywhere in the world. The WCU-4 is designed to be expandable; new firmware versions can swiftly be installed to the unit via SD card. Various mounting points allow future accessories to be mounted, including brackets for mini monitors or iPod Touch. The unit is powered by an affordable camcorder battery and is compatible with existing ARRI motor controllers equipped with the white coded radio modem. It is easily serviceable with many exchangeable components, including the display.
Also unveiled at IBC is a new Controlled Lens Motor CLM-4, available with various different gear modules. Flexible and highly affordable, the CLM-4 is a compact and lightweight lens motor which is faster and quieter than the CLM-2. The CLM-4 will prove especially useful in tight situations with limited space, since the gear modules can be mounted either side of the motor. The motor offers rod-to-rod mounting options and a Hill Bracket rosette, as well as the standard rod bracket. The clamp console is adjustable and, crucially, the motor cable is detachable, allowing quick and easy on-set maintenance and trouble-shooting.
We get a glimpse during the filming of ARGO, directed by Ben Affleck and shot by Rodrigo Prieto ASC, AMC on ARRICAMs, ARRIFLEX 435, ARRIFLEX 235 and ALEXA.