What led you to large format, and to the ALEXA Mini LF?
As a DP, around 70% of my work is commercials and 30% is documentaries, and for commercials I shoot on ALEXA exclusively when I'm not shooting analog. I really like what the ALEXA does with colors; I know how to work with ALEXA and how to expose the sensor, so for me that choice was clear from the start.
For this project we wanted to have 4K and to be as close to the characters as Covid rules allowed, shooting handheld with wide-angle lenses for a sense of physical intimacy. This led us to large format and to the ALEXA Mini LF. Usually we used lenses between 24 mm and 35 mm, and the LF sensor looks really cool at those focal lengths because of the shallow depth field. When we shot huge landscapes, the LF sensor somehow made them even more epic.
How did you handle the international crews having different camera equipment?
Of course, not every local crew had the opportunity to source an ALEXA in their country. Quite early on I did a test with my colorist in Germany where we compared the ALEXA Mini LF to Canon and Sony large-format cameras, and we came up with a show LUT and a system to convert the Sony and Canon images into our color space. The final grade was done at another post house in Bristol, in the UK, but they were able to make use of the work I had done with my colorist to conform footage from all the cameras to match the look of our show LUT.