ARRI ALEXA Mini enlisted to serve New Zealand

When Director of Photography Žiga Zupančič was recruited to shoot a commercial for the New Zealand Defense Force, he relied on the versatility and aesthetics of the ALEXA Mini. 

Nov. 5, 2018

Recently a unique TVC was shot by talented DP Žiga Zupančič for the New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF). There was a great deal of thought and preparation that went into this shoot and the choice of camera, which according to Zupančič, was absolutely critical. The camera he chose was ARRI’s ALEXA Mini.

Zupančič explained, “As soon as I talked to the director about the look and the technical side of the TVC, it was clear that we had to use the ALEXA Mini. We had to switch through multiple setups along the shooting days from handheld to quick and subtle tracks on the Movi PRO and Movi XL on the tracking vehicle. Since the Mini is so versatile and easy to rig it was the perfect fit allowing us to shoot more and wait less.”

Zupančič and director Jason Bock also agreed on a specific look for the commercial, one that had its own particular style and feel. He continued, “Another main reason to use the ALEXA Mini was the aesthetic the director and I wanted to achieve. The Mini combined with Panavision G series Anamorphic lenses gave us exactly what we wanted.”

According to Zupančič most shots in the TVC were based around shooting with practical lighting, shooting lights through windows and chasing the path of the sun. He added, “The last 10% of tweaking all the levels of the lights is my personal favorite, as that’s when the subtle magic which defines your taste happens. All of these gave the commercial an overall look and aesthetic that the director and I enjoyed. We were going from small indoor spaces to really fast-tracking shots in the forest on the Movi XL and in all these scenarios, especially when going from large to small spaces, the Mini’s size and versatility were incredibly helpful as they gave us the chance to track on the Movi Pro in small, confined spaces.” 

Zupančič has used a variety of cameras throughout his career and his take on the right camera for the right job is an interesting one, particularly in this case. He said, “Everything is dictated by taste and most importantly the way you light a scene, and which lenses you use next to the camera. In my case the ARRI look is my preferred choice from the color science to the way the images feel and how the footage can be graded. When it comes to the Mini, I enjoy the fact that I can retain the ARRI look while having the chance to use it in different rigging scenarios.”

In this case Zupančič, the director, and indeed everyone involved were all delighted with the end result that was achieved with the ALEXA Mini. Zupančič concluded, “The ALEXA Mini gave a beautiful combination achieving a rich look while being able to execute all the technical requirements behind the shots. The camera worked perfectly, and we achieved the exact aesthetics we desired for this project. I also have to give a special thanks to the team at ARRI Australia who, since buying the camera, have been incredibly helpful and most importantly prompt in every situation, especially when I needed something urgently for a shoot.”

For more stills of and to see the NZDF TVC shot by Žiga Zupančič on the ARRI ALEXA Mini go to: www.zigaman.co/nzdf

Photos: The NZDF TVC shot by Žiga Zupančič on the ARRI ALEXA Mini