Multi-award winning cinematographer Edward Goldner moves to ARRI ALEXA
Multi ACS award-winning cinematographer Edward Goldner recently made the decision to upgrade his camera arsenal to include a new ALEXA XT purchased from and supplied by ARRI Australia. Goldner, recent winner of the John Leake OAM ACS Emerging Cinematographer Award explained, “Purchasing a camera was a big decision for me and I spent a great deal of time weighing up. Being able to tailor an individual look for different projects is something I really value. I had to be confident that any equipment I went with would be malleable to the needs of totally different jobs. That said I quickly saw that the ALEXA XT was what I was looking for.”
Goldner started out shooting on film, something he has kept up even in recent years.
He continued, “I’ve always felt really comfortable with film cameras in the sense that they capture beautiful images whilst the cameras themselves are simple and feel like an extension of your body. The ALEXA has been the only other camera that has come close to this for me, in as much as I have a confidence in the format and don’t get too caught up feeling like I’m tethered to a computer. The XT in particular was also ideal for me given its different formats options.”
Goldner is a purist to his craft. The choice of camera was important but it was the look, feel and results that ultimately swayed him towards the ALEXA.
He added, “For me, the ALEXA’s colour reproduction and latitude have always been its main selling point. My interest in a camera is more to do with good skin tones and being able to push lighting as opposed to having huge amounts of resolution. As I mentioned earlier, the build of the camera is also great. Very solid and straightforward.”
Goldner says that he most often shoots TV commercials alongside the occasional music video and movie and that most projects prefer to shoot 2K ProRes due to the quick turnaround and simple data management although he now sees an increase in shooting ARRIRAW adding, “I have done a couple of TVCs and films this year on ARRIRAW, which is always my personal preference. With a bit of planning, I’ve found the workflow to be just as manageable as 2K ProRes. I shoot in a broad range of environments and have found the camera handles everything well – often better than I do. I find that the ALEXA is very flexible when moving between structured and run-and-gun style projects. It’s generally just a case of selecting appropriate accessories to complement the project in question.”
For Goldner the flexibility of the ALEXA XT is something that initially attracted him to the camera but is now a necessity and one of his favourite things about it as he explained, “The ALEXA XT accommodates a really broad range of job requirements. For projects that are to be shown on a large screen or require a lot of post, I find that the RAW and 3.2K ProRes options are perfect. The camera's 4:3 sensor is also great in that it allows for racking room along with real estate for post to stabilise and extend without having to majorly crop into the image. On the other hand, the camera's 2K ProRes option is so manageable on a data level and quick to work with, that it’s incredibly helpful on jobs with a fast turnaround.”
All in all he is particularly pleased with his new ALEXA XT as his camera of choice. For a busy cinematographer being able to learn and grow with your camera is important as Goldner concluded, “I love that images out of the ALEXA are so incredibly customisable in comparison to some earlier digital options, where the format had an incredibly ingrained look. For me, a great excitement in my work is using unique lenses and filters to best capture whatever project I'm working on at the time. With the ALEXA I find the 4:3 sensor to be a Godsend in that I can shoot anamorphic without losing the beautiful artifacts that are cropped when shooting with a 16:9 sensor. I often shoot with older lenses too, which often have coverage issues on other digital formats, whereas this is far less of an issue with the ALEXA.”