In the just published first installment of a series of Sponsored Entertainment & Advertising Technology features, SHOOT delves into digital workflow solutions, placing the spotlight on five pioneering companies, including ARRI Rental. In this feature, SHOOT connects with leaders who tell their stories of how their tools are helping to define today’s constantly evolving digital workflow.

The feature titled "Workflow in the Digital Age" was published on October 17, 2014 across SHOOT's digital and print platforms including SHOOT Magazine, SHOOTonline and The SHOOT >e.dition.  ARRI Rental’s Digital Workflow Manager, Chris MacKarell, was interviewed for the article.

Here is an excerpt from the SHOOT feature about ARRI Rental..

MacKarell explains that workflow starts with the camera. “The production chain starts with acquisition,” he says. “There used to be solid barriers between acquisition and post, but those hard lines are now more like permeable membranes. Post is creeping closer to camera, and camera/acquisition is creeping back down the postproduction chain.”

ARRI Rental, formerly ARRI CSC, is a leading provider of camera, grip and lighting equipment to the feature, TV, ad, broadcast and events markets, with rental facilities in the U.S. and across Europe. MacKarell was working at Deluxe when "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"—the very first motion picture to be shot with the ARRI Alexa–came through postproduction. “It was a pioneering workflow, and I worked very closely with ARRI Rental, which was serving the camera, lighting and grip side,” he recalls. “A couple of years later, when high-end digital cine acquisition really took off, I joined ARRI Rental in a workflow-related role, since their core business was changing and evolving with the onset of digital.”

In the last three years, says MacKarell, ARRI CSC has been deeply involved in consulting, planning, testing and clearing up problems during digital camera shoots. ARRI has been pioneering in varied areas, a prime example being metadata, data that describes info about hefootage, which becomes important for post and VFX. The ARRI Alexa records 135 distinct pieces of metadata, from time-code to “a whole set of accelerometer data that provides the pitch and yaw of the camera in space.” “All this data is, again, useful in the post pipeline,” says MacKarell.

The ARRI camera’s image data is another advantage in the digital workflow process. “It’s true ARRI RAW 1:1 data,” says MacKarell. “The sensor doesn’t record pixels, it acquires information through light sights and turns it into pixels, encoding color information using a Bayer pattern. Although ARRI can do compressed images, the 1:1 is the difference between video and high-end cine acquisition.”

Since the pioneering digital workflow on "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," says MacKarell, “We’ve come a long way–TV commercials shoot RAW and a lot of the data is dealt with on the DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) cart.” Over the last few years, ARRI Rental has serviced "Wolf of Wall Street," "Noah," TV episodics "Homeland" and "Elementary" and commercials for Macy’s, among other projects.

And new technology continues to emerge and evolve. In fact, ARRI has recently rolled out two cameras: the Alexa B&W and, more recently, the Alexa 65, which change the workflow to some degree. “Because the camera isn’t recording color information, it will yield more spatial resolution,” says MacKarell about the Alexa B&W. “The ability of each pixel to represent shades of gray is more than the regular Alexa, and there’s a very specific workflow attached to that. We had to give software developers and vendors an SDK (software development kit) so they could modify their tools to work with B&W files.”

For the new Alexa 65, a scaled up version of the Alexa XT, which features a CMOS slightly larger than a five-perf 65mm film frame with open-gate resolution of 6560×3102, the big change is the amount of datait records: 2.6 terabytes per hour. The solution came from a two-year development partnership with Codex to create a 24-core Vault that does “extremely quick de-Bayering.”

“Being flexible and thinking on your feet can solve some problems,” says MacKarell. “For the rest, we’ll continue to work with post partners to define the workflow of the Alexa 65. The art of the workflow is the selection of smart choices.”

To read the full "Workflow in the Digital Age" sponsored feature, please visit one of the following links:

Click Here to read the online version of the article.Here's link to online version of article.
Click Here to view article in the PDF version of the October 17, 2014 PDF version of SHOOT Magazine. (click on first issue at top of the page)
Click Here to view/download PDF version of just the article.
Click Here to request information on future SHOOT Entertainment and Advertising Technology sponsored features. Sponsorship includes participation in feature article plus digital and print advertising & promotion.

ARRI’s rental companies have united under a single brand--ARRI Rental, providing exceptional service and support and access to exclusive high-end technologies such as the Alexa 65 system. ARRI Rental offers an expert staff, a strong network of closely linked rental facilities, state-of-the-art equipment and service. ARRI Rental is part of the ARRI Group with nearly a century of history and experience in developing products for filmmakers.

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