We’ve written about our good friend and client Scott Duncan before, drawing a comparison between him and Indiana Jones – the analogy is as apt as ever. The Emmy-award winning filmmaker has worked in some of the most interesting and dynamic places on earth. This time, his mission was to capture extreme sports and beautiful landscapes to create an exciting show open for Red Bull’s Signature Series.
Recently, we had a chance to talk to Scott about his vision for the project and shooting with the Arri ALEXA.
What was your overall creative vision for the Red Bull open?
My idea for the Red Bull open was multi-layered, as I wanted to show not only the dynamic sports and athletes in motion; I wanted the viewer to be a part of it, to take them on a little ride.
What made you choose the ALEXA for this project?
Choosing the ALEXA for the Red Bull project was an obvious choice. With the flexibility of the 120fps frame rate and the type of “in the moment” action athletes I was working with, there was no other option.
Did you find the experience of shooting with the ALEXA an easy one?
For me, the ALEXA is a game changer. The unrestricted visions this camera can offer are unstoppable. It’s simply the best newly designed camera by far. Its design is so fluid you forget about the device entirely and focus on the subject and imagery. The camera is just an extension of me.
Were there any challenges you faced with this project, as far shooting in remote locations, with limited lighting, etc…
I wouldn’t say “challenges.” I would say there were choices we made, and the ALEXA helped make those choices doable. For instance, utilizing the 800 ISO low light sensitivity range with my nighttime signature visuals of a helicopter with spot lighting chasing motorcross bikes across a desert was a perfect match.
Did you use any other gear to help you capture your vision?
I did mix up the formats a bit in order to express everything in the way that I wanted to. I love to introduce the beauty and grain of 35mm film for some of my landscape images, for expressing earth and sky. The Phantom was the so-called “icing on the cake,” as I was able to capture moments at super sick high-speed frame rates to find those details the naked eye can’t see – like the ice particles in the crashed ice sequence. Absolutely crisp.
What was the best part of shooting with the ALEXA?
When using ALEXA, the word “challenge” does not even fit in the camera vocabulary – the ergonomic design, user-friendly settings, menus and adjustments. With the digital film SxS cards, it only takes only seconds to reload. From the Arctic Circle to Samoa to hot African deserts, the camera has performed perfectly.