"Skyfall" has set box office records and swiftly become the most successful James Bond film of the franchise's 50-year history. In the UK, where "Skyfall" was filmed, it is now the biggest movie of all time. Internationally, it is the highest grossing film ever for Sony Pictures and is well on its way to taking an astonishing $1 billion. The decision to make "Skyfall" the first Bond film to be released in IMAX theaters has proved hugely successful - it had the best international non-summer/non-holiday opening in IMAX history.
Upping the ante in its strategy of recruiting top filmmaking talent for the latest James Bond films, EON Productions secured the services of celebrated director Sam Mendes and legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, for"Skyfall," its 23rd official 007 adventure. Not only is "Skyfall" the first Bond movie to be shot digitally, as well as Mendes' first digital experience, it is the first production anywhere to make use of ALEXA Studio cameras, which were supplied - alongside ALEXA Plus and M models - by ARRI Media in London. Deakins recently spoke with ARRI about his work on the film.
How did you come to choose the ALEXA system for SKYFALL?
I first used the ALEXA on "In Time" (2011) and on that film I had a huge amount of night exteriors, so I needed a camera with speed and versatility. I did side-by-side testing and found that there was so much more latitude in the file from the ALEXA than in a 4K scan of a film negative. I was also drawn to the subtle fall-off to highlights and the enormous amount of detail in the shadows. It was the first digital camera I had seen where I thought the technology had crossed the knife edge and taken us into a new world.
I knew we would also have a lot of low-light scenes on "Skyfall," so I said to Sam that he should look at what I did on "In Time." I told him just to look at the actors' eyes and I think the clarity of their eyes is probably what swayed him more than anything else. For me there's just a snap to the eyes that you don't get with film.