Ang Lee visits ARRI in Munich

The Oscar-winning director Ang Lee takes a tour of ARRI facilities in Munich, including the only Dolby Vision grading suite outside of LA at ARRI@Bavaria Film.

Movies such as BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN; CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON; and SENSE AND SENSIBILITY have made director Ang Lee famous worldwide. For his 2012 film LIFE OF PI, which was captured with ALEXA, the revered moviemaker was presented with his second Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing. The film also won in the cinematography and visual effects categories.

At the 2016 IBC show in Amsterdam, Lee stopped by the ARRI booth to look at the company’s latest offerings and was given a demonstration of the ARRI TRINITY camera stabilizer system by Product Manager Curt O. Schaller.

A few days later, the Taiwanese-born American director travelled to Germany and visited ARRI at its headquarters in Munich. “We have a famous visitor with us today,” commented ARRI Executive Franz Kraus as he introduced Lee to various employees during a tour of the facilities. Among other departments, Lee visited the camera assembly area where the cameras he used on LIFE OF PI were put together and rigorously tested.

The afternoon agenda included a trip to the ARRI@Bavaria Film facility in Grünwald, which houses the only Dolby Vision grading suite outside of Los Angeles. On the screen were comparative recordings from different cameras in different resolutions. Lee wanted to know the exact technical details, asking several times: “Can I see it again?” When he was shown footage from the ALEXA 65 large format camera, he commented, “Yeah, it’s really good.”

Entering into a technical discussion on potential improvements to image quality, Lee voiced the opinion that: “Frame rate is more important than resolution, because higher frame rates give a much more natural look.”

At the end of the tour Franz Kraus asked the innovative director about his impressions of the ARRI postproduction studios. “In some ways it’s a little bit smaller than in Los Angeles, but you have everything here with the latest technical standards that you need for modern movie postproduction,” responded Lee. “In the end it is usually a decision based on costs and quality of living,” he explained, adding: “Munich is definitely a great city.”