Production Notes – Unexpected ALEXA Insight

I had lunch the other day with an old friend, screenwriter John Orloff, whose new film Anonymous, directed by Roland Emmerich, is coming out this September.   John and I went to high school in L.A. together, and we find it damned amusing that we now live in the same tiny county in Upstate New York.  I figured we’d catch up, talk shop, etc. but I didn’t expect to get an earful of ebullient praise for the Arri ALEXA, which was used to film Anonymous.  “We shot with nothing but candles in one scene, and it was gorgeous!” John told me, excited in a way that is atypical for a writer; but as a graduate of UCLA’s film program, he knows quite a bit of tech.

I was very encouraged to hear that the ALEXA performed the way it did in low-light conditions for this major feature, giving me even more confidence about what we hope to achieve on gone Elvis.  One of our challenges will be to shoot over about four days and make it look like all the action occurs in a single day.  That means some careful scheduling as well as a prayer or two to the weather gods for relatively consistent conditions.  We also have night scenes and some other challenging available-light locations that have had me doing mental math on luminance = bodies + trucking x time.  “You’re not going to need it,” John assured me.  “You’ll be amazed at what you get out of that camera.”  Good to hear.  Looking forward to it.

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