On the Showtime series DEXTER, Eric Fletcher has operated camera as well as Steadicam for several seasons; he appreciates well-engineered camera tools and thoughtful ergonomics.
"I love shooting with the ALEXA for the simple reason that it's designed as a camera first and foremost," says Fletcher. "It wasn't designed as a computer and then thrown into a body that looked 'cool.' It sits correctly on your shoulder and is well-balanced, with a low center of gravity that helps not only with handheld, but also with Steadicam and even studio operation. It has intelligent menu design and control layouts; I also like the multi-power options on the ALEXA and the fact that it's voltage agnostic."
In addition to ALEXA cameras, the current series of DEXTER (shot by Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Jeffrey Jur, ASC), makes use of Nikon D800 DSLRs equipped with ARRI Pro Camera Accessories for car interiors and surveillance-style shots. "I've been testing the first of the ARRI Pro DSLR cage and focus systems, and it rocks!" says Fletcher.
The strong, lightweight and ergonomic ARRI cage support system is just one in a spate of exciting new additions to the Pro Camera Accessories line. It can be attached to various base plates to provide mounting points for arms and accessories, lightweight rod support, top-handle capability and cable protection.
"We love it, and the reason we love it is that by using ARRI Pro gear we are using something that at its most basic level is not only instantly familiar, but solid and robust like any ARRI accessory since it is an ARRI product," he continues. "Every other DSLR cage or adapter out there lacks a 'system integration' approach. I wanted something that my assistants would be not only familiar with, but - most importantly - comfortable using. I wanted them using real matte boxes with real filter trays and real follow focuses. In the end, ARRI figured out how to make a DSLR work seamlessly with an ALEXA and now it's a fantastic shooting combination."
The extensive and rapidly growing range of Pro Camera Accessories makes the legendary precision and durability of ARRI matte boxes, follow focus units and support systems available to users of small form factor cameras. By working closely with both end users and manufacturers, ARRI is able to quickly produce professional-quality accessories for the latest models to be released, such as the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Sony NEX-FS700, Canon 5D MkIII and Nikon D800.
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.