Without a doubt, Emmanuel Lubetzki, ASC is one of the most revered and ground-breaking cinematographers working in Hollywood today. The Mexico born Chivo, as he's jovially called sometimes, has been a long time collaborator with auteurs like Terrence Malick and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu.
In their prior collaboration with the latter - "Birdman", for which both director and cinematographer grabbed the Oscars, Lubetzki entrusted his own and his director's vision to the ARRI Alexa XT and Alexa M's to capture the manic and fascinating world of Birdman. The 2.8K ARRIRAW capture enabled him to get the most out of the glimmering stage lights and colourful exteriors, but for their latest project - "The Revenant" a film with a much larger scop, they chose to go with the biggest digital capture system today - the ALEXA 65.
Announced last Fall, to plenty of fanfare in the world of cinematography, the rental only ALEXA 65 is a true 5-perf 65mm digital equivalent to the mightly large gauge film used to capture lavish and larger-than-life Hollywood epics from years gone by. "The Revenant" set in the desolate North American wilderness tells the story of a fur trapper, played by Leonardo Di Caprio, who is out for revenge against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.
See the first trailer in all its magnificence below:
Here are some features and specs of the ARRI ALEXA 65:
- 65mm Digital Cinema Camera
- ARRI A3X CMOS sensor
- 5-perf 65mm (full camera aperture)
- 6,560 x 3,102 resolution (maximum recordable)
- 54.12 x 25.58 mm Sensor size (active image area)
- Weight: 10.5 kg / 23.2 lb
- ARRI XPL Mount (64mm diameter)
- 200 - 3200 ISO. Base is 800 ISO
- Dynamic Range: exceeds 14 stops
- Uncompressed ARRIRAW
- LDS metadata
- Electronic Shutter 5° - 358°, adjustable in 1/10° increments
- 0.75 to 27 fps (upgrade to 60 fps planned for early 2015)
According to a recent ASC article, This is what Lubetzki said regarding the 19th century set The Revenant, which was shot in Alberta, Canada.
“We’re doing a lot of exterior work with natural light and Steadicam,” he said. “The lenses are very wide and close to the actors. It’s extremely visceral. The temperature has dropped as low as -30°C [-22°F], and we’ve been experiencing some difficulties with the equipment. At one point, it got so cold our monitors froze!”
While the ALEXA 65 is a phenomenal technological achievement, and surely the most immersive technology available, it is a rental only option at this point and does require the use of specialty glass like the Hasseblad 65 lenses and other specialty lenses capable of covering the massive sensor of the ALEXA 65.
ARRI are due to release the latest family of ALEXA cameras - the SXT very soon, which utilise the internal electronics used in the Alexa 65 and carry the well known and effective ALEV III Super 35 CMOS sensor from the rest of the Alexa line-up. Internal 4K ProRes capture is also possible in the SXT range. We just can't wait to see the new Alexa cameras and the images they'd produce.