Starting 2016 Off Right: Vignettes on the Arri Alexa Mini

I got a call last Friday from a director that I had interviewed with a few weeks before, Julian Klepper. I felt like we meshed well, but he ended up going with a different DP for his project- a series of vignettes about anger. 

The weekend of the shoot rolled around and I got a call from Julian; the other DP got food poisoning the day of the shoot. Luckily, I was available to pickup the slack.

We shot on the brand new Arri Alexa Mini, which was like driving a... nice car.. I know nothing about cars. It was like shooting on an Alexa! The image was unlike anything I've ever seen. The definition of light and shadow, the color depth, and the skin tone rendering was simply on another level (and with an 80k price tag, it had better be).

We shot on my Nikkor ai-s lenses and we couldn't have been happier with the result. The images were simply beautiful. All of the footage in this reel- were shot on the described combination. 

Julian had an interesting philosophy about shooting. He's a sort of an experimental minimalist; He had a script, but he certainly left room for the actors to interpret their character, and he always looked to use as little equipment as possible, which I really appreciated. Most of the scenes were light with natural light plus some fill from my Ikan LED panels on gooseneck clamps. We kept the set very small and as a result achieved intimate performances. 

We shot almost entirely in a huge, airy Brooklyn Brownstone, using different floors as different sets. My favorite portion of the shoot was a surrealist vignette about a verbally abusive father and his son. The father, while watching Bob Ross on TV, yells at the son insisting he go draw him a bluebird, then has an out of body experience where he replaces Bob Ross on TV.

"Don't you know you're just yelling at yourself?"

"Don't you know you're just yelling at yourself?"

I think that the makeup artist was the most excited about that segment, for good reason! She brought a legend back from the dead. We shot that particular part on my iphone 6 with a VHS convert app, I never thought I'd be taping an iphone to a light stand when I had an Arri in the other room. 

It was a really fun shoot and I can't wait to see the finished product, Julian is a really talented guy with a great sense of humor and solid vision for the project.