Rico Reitz

What is your current job and function?
I am the Creative Director of ARRI Media’s Creative Solutions Department.
How long have you been working in this position?
I’ve been working in this position since 2013. I started at ARRI Commercial as an Inferno/Flame Artist, and then became an Art Director and VFX Supervisor for Commercials.
Now, I’m not operating any more, it’s more about concepts and creative leadership.
How did the idea for a dance show reel come about?
Well, I wrote a lot of ideas for ARRI Lighting.
The one with the dancers and the light show was my last idea in this presentation. It had less storytelling, but more magnitude in regard to production value and number of light sources. The style was more like a music video. Entertaining with a hint of easiness. We didn’t want to use the SkyPanels just for lighting – the idea was to create a light cube design with it.
ARRI Lighting liked the idea from the moment I presented it.
What was your goal in shooting the video?
We aimed to create an entertaining commercial that has a transformation from classical beauty light into animated club light – all done with one type of lighting technology – ARRI’s LED technology.
We wanted to highlight the work of the gaffers and lighting technicians and to show that everything is possible. The decision of working with dancers gives this show reel a modern twist in the end.
The advertising instruments were two commercials: one in a typical commercial-style, the other as a behind the scenes video.
We had the chance to put every kind of special interest detail in the behind the scenes. This video is made for the DoPs and Gaffers, because it contains more technical information and showed well-known people in interview situations and also how enormous the logistics and the set design was.
What were the requirements?
The deadline was very tight and the logistics right before Christmas 2016 were hard.
For the international casting, it was difficult to find dancers that were able to work together in this timeslot.
What features of the ARRI SkyPanels have been important to you for this video?
Setting different colors in soft nuances and cosmetic colors as well as saturated colors. An important point was the ability to program a light show sequence with the possibility of repeating the same light show precisely to make the interactions with the dancers match.
Was there anything that was only possible to shoot or realize with the help of the SkyPanels?
Definitely. The front of the fixture looks good and allows for a great grid design. It has the ability to build nice looking walls that are not just light sources; they also look pretty, have no flicker, and have precise colors.
What was the major challenge with this project?
I suppose time. Within six weeks from the draft concept till the shooting.
That means creating story boards and shooting boards, bringing up the cast, the crew, the logistics, hiring the DoP, assistant directors (Micha Kaiser) and musicians, making the score, building the set, shooting, editing and online with retouching, color grading even HDR mastering…
Was there anything that surprised you?
The strength and reliability of the SkyPanels. We shot a lot of takes in 120fps to have nice slow-mos of the fast action. So, we kept the same lightshow but increased the light strength.
Which was your best moment on set?
There were two.
The first highlight moment was seeing that beautiful set exactly like we designed it in 3D, with all the lights working well and fluidly.
The second highlight, to be honest, was the wrap! Seeing the clients happy and the dancers well.