An estimated 500 guests from Hollywood’s cinematography community filed the DGA theater on Tuesday evening for the debut of leading motion picture camera maker ARRI’a Alexa 35, a 4K Super 35 successor to its popular Alexa Mini camera — and it has already attracted some leading cinematographers.
This week three-time Oscar winning DP Robert Richardson (The Aviator) begins lensing the Ben Affleck-directed drama about former Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro with one of the first of the new cameras, ARRI representatives tell The Hollywood Reporter. Additionally, they said three-time Oscar winning DP Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki (The Revenant) and six-time Academy Award nominee Bruno Delbonnel (The Tragedy of Macbeth) are using the Alexa 35 to shoot Alfonso Cuaron’s Apple TV+ series Disclaimer.
The Alexa 35 introduces ARRI’s first new sensor in 12 years: a 4.6K sensor with 17 stops of dynamic range (more than the current Alexa) and what the company says are improvements to low light performance and richer colors. The camera officially becomes available in July, with a list price of $77, 940.
As part of the launch, ARRI released a series of 11 shorts based on the theme “Encounters” using prototypes of the cameras. These shorts were lensed by cinematographers from around the world including Erik Messerschmidt, Oscar winner for Mank (his “Encounters” short is titled The Swing); Ari Wegner, who was Academy Award nominated earlier this year for The Power of the Dog (Encounter’s Sweetheart); James Friend, an American Society of Cinematographers Award winner for Patrick Melrose (Encounter’s The Siren), Christophe Graillot, Bárbara Álvarez, Nikolaus Summerer and Yoshikatsu Date.
“The Alexa 35 is a really exciting step forward for ARRI,” says Messerschmidt, who participated in the launch event.
During the presentation, ARRI introduced the camera system’s new “Reveal” color science (which is also backward compatible). The camera accommodates a range of lenses, including anamorphic and spherical, Super 35 and large format, and has a selection of accessories and new workflow apps. All the updates, relates managing director Stephan Schenk, are a result of customer feedback.
Alexa 35 launch events were also held on Tuesday in Berlin and New York. Additional camera debuts in international cities such as Toronto, London and Vancouver will follow in the coming weeks.