"Spectacular" ARRI Big Screen at IBC

10th September, Amsterdam. A big crowd assembles outside the IBC Auditorium at the RAI. Several hundred professional visitors are waiting to enter the ARRI Big Screen event, now a well-established component of the company’s presence at IBC.

With everyone inside, the event begins. Marc Shipman-Mueller, Product Manager for Camera Systems, guides the audience through the packed schedule, which includes product presentations, clips, showreels and interviews. The celebrated German cinematographer Florian Ballhaus ASC takes to the stage and talks about his experiences working with ARRI cameras and lenses on major productions such as ALLEGIANT: THE DIVERGENT SERIES. “I have been using the ALEXA for many years; the images are clear and beautifully sharp,” says Ballhaus. He explains that he always records ARRIRAW:  “In my opinion it is very important to use this format, because nobody wants to have limitations later on in postproduction.”

In showreels titled “The Looks of ALEXA” and “ALEXA Around the World” the audience is treated to some of the outstanding images that have been captured with this camera worldwide. Scenes from high-end productions such as the Oscar-winning THE REVENANT are presented on a Dolby Vision projector, which also screens images graded in HDR (High Dynamic Range). Marc Shipman-Mueller suggests that HDR looks likely to be adopted by the industry very rapidly, and points out that with their unsurpassed dynamic range, ARRI’s digital cameras have been HDR-ready since the launch of ALEXA in 2010.

One year ago Amazon Prime became the first video-on-demand service to offer streamed HDR content. Six Amazon shows are now capturing with ALEXA or AMIRA for distribution in UHD and HDR, including THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, MOZART IN THE JUNGLE and the upcoming motoring show THE GRAND TOUR. Daniel Gill, a colorist at The Farm Group who worked on THE GRAND TOUR, joins ARRI on stage and describes the “great look and fast workflow” of AMIRA. Next, postproduction supervisor Chloe Blackwell praises the rugged durability of AMIRA: “This show was filmed really everywhere, including some extremely dusty environments, but the camera always worked perfectly.”

Another guest speaker for ARRI – albeit via video message – is Chinese producer Du Yan from Hunan TV, who used 23 AMIRA cameras in Multicam mode for the live transmission of season three of the popular TV talent show I AM A SINGER.

A further topic during the Big Screen event is the possibilities opened up by the ALEXA Mini for aerial drone shots. Brad Meier, president of the US-based company Aerial Edge, describes the ALEXA Mini as “perfect for breathtaking locations like wide landscapes, bridges or the tops of trees.” This is echoed by Julian Glöckner, cinematographer and CEO of the German company Skynamics, who recently used the ALEXA Mini for aerial shots on the TV series BERLIN STATION: “The low weight of the Mini is really what makes it all possible.” he says.

Also on the agenda are product innovations being announced at IBC by ARRI, including the Master Grips, ALEXA SXT and the SkyPanel S120-C. Michael Wagner, Senior Product Manager for ARRI Lighting, is joined on stage by Hollywood gaffer Mike Bauman, whose credits include IRON MAN, TRANSFORMERS and THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, and who describes the many unique benefits of ARRI LED lights. 

Feedback from the audience is positive at the end of the ARRI Big Screen. David Monk, who has been involved in Big Screen events for 15 years, comments: “We thank ARRI for these brilliant images; once again this was a spectacular show.”

Many of ARRI’s special guests at the Big Screen can also been seen on the ARRI booth – F21 in Hall 12. For example cinematographer Florian Ballhaus spent time on the ARRI booth testing out new products such as the Master Grips.