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ARRI Alexa 65 Climbs Aboard the ISS for ‘Life’

“I was attracted to the Alexa 65, not for what it’s known for – epic landscapes and wide vistas – but for how the sensor mimics medium-format photography," says DP Seamus McGarvey.

The new sci-fi thriller

Life

is about a space crew on the International Space Station who encounter the first proof of extra-terrestrial life. Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey speaks to Codex about the challenges of filming aboard a replica of the ISS.

I was highly aware of the challenges regarding the photography, lighting and camera movement – given the limitations of size and space within our ISS sets – as well as the task of visually creating the impression of zero gravity,” says McGarvey, who ultimately chose the ARRI Alexa 65 as the production’s main camera.

“I was attracted to the Alexa 65, not for what it’s known for – epic landscapes and wide vistas – but for how the sensor mimics medium-format photography – its depth-of-field, the lovely way it records skin tones, and the fall-off on faces,” he elaborates. “It is a great portraiture format, with minimal distortion, backed-up by fantastic colour science from ARRI and Codex’s efficient camera-to-post workflow.”

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