“The Brothers Sun”: C. Kim Miles’ cinematic vision with ARRI equipment

Storied cinematographer C. Kim Miles relied on ALEXA Mini LF, Signature Primes, and DNA LF lenses to bring personal authenticity and variety to one of Netflix’s hottest new series in 2024, serviced by ARRI Rental Los Angeles.

Jan. 31, 2024

On the streets of Taipei and Los Angeles, a new saga of crime and kinship comes alive through the skilled hands of cinematographer C. Kim Miles, ASC, CSC, MYSC. Having premiered on Netflix in January, “The Brothers Sun” is a visual feat, woven with the creative threads that have become synonymous with Miles’ renowned career. His work, marked by collaborations with legends such as Robert Zemeckis and Peter Ramsey, demonstrates a storytelling prowess that is only enhanced by the advanced technology at his fingertips.

“The Brothers Sun” materialized for Miles through a blend of professional respect and a nod to his heritage. Kevin Tancharoen, who helmed the production, called on Miles for his Asian background and their shared visual language—a connection sparked on earlier projects and reignited here. “Kevin reached out because of our history and my Chinese-Malaysian roots. He knew I could bring authenticity to a show that deeply involves Asian culture,” Miles recounts.

Miles’ approach to the visual narrative was meticulous. He and Tancharoen sought inspiration but steered clear of mimicry, striving for a unique cinematic language. “We hashed out ideas, mixing references with our vision, aligning on colors, aspect ratios—constructing the show’s look piece by piece,” Miles explains.


The difference in location proved to be an important distinction that was highlighted thanks in part to the use of ARRI Signature Primes and ARRI Rental DNA LF lenses

The distinction between Taipei and Los Angeles in “The Brothers Sun” is visually palpable, achieved through deliberate lens choices. “Taipei had to shine with opulence, hence the ARRI Signature Primes. Los Angeles, with its grit and wear, called for the texture of ARRI Rental DNA LF lenses,” the DP details. Not only did ARRI Rental supply these exclusive lenses, but they supported the whole production out of their Los Angeles branch.

Miles’ dedication to the ALEXA Mini LF stems from a deep-seated appreciation for film’s organic qualities. “Having started with film, I see its soul reflected in the Mini LF’s sensor—its dynamic range and tonal depth are reminiscent of film’s tangible aesthetic,” he shares.


“The Brothers Sun” is the story of a Taipei triad member going back to Los Angeles to protect his strong-willed mother (Michelle Yeoh, pictured above) and oblivious younger brother. Also pictured: DP C. Kim Miles

Opting for the ALEXA Mini LF was a decision of both preference and practicality. “I adore the ALEXA 65, but the Mini LF bridges the gap between large format and Super 35 mm, offering that cinematic feel without the data burden for a TV show’s pace,” Miles states. He emphasizes the sensor’s capacity to tell stories in new ways, with field-of-view adjustments that have narrative implications.

When discussing lenses, Miles’ passion is evident. “The ARRI Signature Primes are impeccable—clean, yet not overly sharp. They handle skin tones with a subtlety I’ve never seen elsewhere,” he says, praising their lack of chromatic aberration and the beautiful focus roll-off. “These lenses bring a personality to the image; they’re consistently reliable across the range.”

With the help of ARRI Rental Los Angeles, C. Kim Miles received a new iteration of VariCon contrast filter for “The Brothers Sun,” made custom for the DP's use on the show. The new VariCon allowed the cinematographer to tint either the entire frame or selectively choose certain areas of the frame, depending on what the scene called for, particularly when it came to the distinction of locales throughout the series. 


DP C. Kim Miles setting up an interior shot with the Mini LF

In “The Brothers Sun,” C. Kim Miles has once again proven that his camera and lens choices are more than tools—they are the conduits for his visual storytelling. With the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF and Signature lenses, he crafts a narrative that’s as much about the emotional undertones as it is about the stark realities of the characters’ worlds.

“The ARRI ALEXA Mini LF and Signature lenses are the instruments through which I channel my creative voice,” Miles concludes. “They allow me to sculpt light, texture, and color into a story that resonates beyond the screen, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.” This series is not just another notch in Netflix’s belt but a testament to Miles’ mastery of the cinematic form, where every frame is a brushstroke on the canvas of high-stakes drama.


A seasoned collaborator, C. Kim Miles finds the Mini LF and Signature lenses to be the ideal tools through which anyone can channel their creative voice