A Few Best Men shoots with ARRI ALEXA uncompressed data

By Sam Dallas

A Few Best Men has become the second Australian feature film to be shot with the ARRI ALEXA and the first to use the camera's RAW uncompressed data.

Tests were initially conducted during the filming of the new Tom Hanks/Sandra Bullock film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in New York. ARRI then allowed the Australian production to have access to the Beta software two months early via local camera shop Gear Head. 

Cinematographer Steve Windon ACS (The Pacific) has also been instrumental in the process alongside post-production house EFILM, led by Anthos Simon.

Cinematographer and Gear Head managing director David Knight ACS said the new enhancements and software developments had “unlocked the debayering processing of the raw data on the ALEXA camera”, indicating it would take digital image capture to the next level.

“You’re getting much better resolution from the camera and you get more quality control in the grading suite,” Knight said.

“There are lots of cameras around but when you start recording this way you’re really taking camera and image quality to a whole new level.”

The new ARRI upgrades for the Autodesk Lustre grading system and the ARRIRAW conversion ALEXA software have allowed shooting raw on the S.Two OB-1 data recorders.

A Few Best Men is the second feature in Australia to shoot on the digital high-end camera after Say Nothing. The film is being shot in Sydney and the Blue Mountains and stars Twilight’s Xavier Samuel and Kris Marshall (Death At A Funeral).