July 17, 2015

The Incredible Trailer for 'The Revenant' Gives Us Our First Taste of Alexa 65 Footage

The Revenant Trailer Alexa 65 Footage
Christmas can't come soon enough.

First it was announced that Tarantino's latest flick, The Hateful Eight (which was shot in 65mm anamorphic), will get the widest 70mm release in over 20 years. That alone is enough to get any hardcore cinephile stoked for the holidays, but it looks like The Hateful Eight will be playing second fiddle to another epic western shot on large format. I'm talking, of course, about Alejandro G. Iñárritu's The Revenant, which was shot by Emmanuel Lubezki on the new Alexa 65 camera system. And as of today, The Revenant has its first trailer, and it looks amazeballs.

Not only is that trailer gorgeous and visceral and a whole bunch of other adjectives, but, if I'm not mistaken, it gives us our first true look at footage from the Alexa 65. To my eyes, the combination of a massive 65mm-sized sensor, paired with some extremely wide Hasselblad 65 primes, creates an immense amount of depth in the frames. When paired with the remote wilderness of Alberta, this technological pairing (in addition to Chivo's compositional prowess), will likely give us some of the most stunning nature cinematography in recent memory.

Anyhow, I'm stupidly excited for this flick, and if you have a functioning set of eyeballs, you probably should be too.     

Your Comment

69 Comments

Wow man, no film school has huge a huge hard on for Emmanuel Lubezki haha. They also shot on Red Dragons http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663202/technical?ref_=tt_dt_spec but that's none of my business. Also Alexa 65 video still looks like a regular Alexa and digital-like, which isn't a bad thing. With Emmanuel Lubezki(not going to say Chivo, because I do not know him personally) and his team behind the camera you can expect gorgeous footage coming out of the system. But let's not go saying that "Oh my God, this camera is soooo much better". Let's just appreciate the awesome cinematography. Cheers gents

July 17, 2015 at 4:35PM, Edited July 17, 4:40PM

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Its worth noting that a few new films have been shot in the 65mm format. We all know that the talent behind the camera matters a 1000x more then the camera itself. But I can't help getting excited for a film that is shot on 65mm. Even more exciting is the fact that camera technology is growing so fast and the prospect that what happens at the top eventually works its way down to be more affordable.

July 17, 2015 at 5:11PM

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Rex Warner
Digital Storyteller at The Arbinger Institute
179

This film is not shot on 65mm, this is shot digitally with a sensor that has the same size of 65mm. Film still gives you 16 + of dynamic range, where as the Alexa 65 gives you 14+ of dynamic range at 6k. It's also worth noting 70mm film can go beyond the resolution of 8k scans. Where the Alexa 65 will shine over celluloid is low light

July 20, 2015 at 8:53AM

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This film is not shot on 65mm, this is shot digitally with a sensor that has the same size of 65mm. Film still gives you 16 + of dynamic range, where as the Alexa 65 gives you 14+ of dynamic range at 6k. It's also worth noting 70mm film can go beyond the resolution of 8k scans. Where the Alexa 65 will shine over celluloid is low light

July 20, 2015 at 8:53AM, Edited July 20, 8:53AM

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IMDb is as reliable as Wikipedia. Lubezki has said himself that he shot the entire film on the Alexa 65. Either way, you are right that the film looks amazing. Besides, you are watching from a heavily compressed video rather than on the big screen.

July 18, 2015 at 2:34AM

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Henry Barnill
Director of Photography
631

All video on YouTube goes through the same process. But there is better looking video than this one, many videos that look better than this one, on YouTube. I was expecting something better than this from this new Arri camera. But people will still be excited because it's Arri, just like when the un-impressive footage from the Digital Bolex came out there was people flipping out over how good they thought it looked.

July 18, 2015 at 1:22PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1982

Yea, I thought the same thing. For me, there's nothing amazing about this trailer, cinematography-wise. It's all wide lenses and natural lighting set in the nature. But we'll see when the film gets out.

p.s. In the first shot you can see the editor used interlaced mode on the clip or something, the trees look very weird.

July 18, 2015 at 6:44AM

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Norbert F
DOP
154

I think the fact that it's shot with wide lenses and in natural light makes it amazing cinematography!

July 18, 2015 at 7:46AM

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Forgive my ignorance but how is a 65mm lens being referred to as "wide"? This trailer looks like the focal length of my 12mm MFT lens. Super wide and even bordering on distortion. What am I missing?

December 9, 2015 at 6:37AM

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Shooting with available light and keeping things consistent from shot to shot over the course of the day is not as easy as it sounds. Especially out in the woods The sun does move you know...

July 19, 2015 at 12:09AM, Edited July 19, 12:09AM

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an a7S w/ Atomos Shogun may have done better.

July 20, 2015 at 10:52PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1982

Dude you're watching a YouTube video. You cannot tell 65mm quality from a YouTube video.

September 11, 2015 at 4:27PM

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Alvaro
81

Shot in available light only, MASSIVE homage to the visceral cadence and style of Braveheart. Amazing, cannot wait.

July 17, 2015 at 4:42PM

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I do have to say, I'm finding it a bit on the dark-grey side for my tastes. I think it's possible that we're not seeing a final color grade, though. Also, the light in that part of Alberta at that time of year is pretty grim, and it almost looks like they filmed exclusively at night and near-ish sunset, a little like Terrence Malick likes to do. Am I mistaken in thinking that such a big sensor would result in a relatively ridiculous amount of light sensitivity? Hard to tell from this trailer alone, have to wait more for the actual movie.

I had the great pleasure of meeting and chatting almost all the big players in this film, including the Producer, Innarito, Hardy, DiCaprio, and Will Poulter at my job at LAX awhile back, the day after the Oscars. Will was amazing and was so excited to be going up there with these big players, being so new on the scene. I'm also from that area of Canada (Yukon, actually), so I'm really excited to see this.

July 17, 2015 at 5:30PM

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Edmund Lloyd
Cinematographer/Director
62

Glad I'm not alone on not feeling like the grade was a home run.

July 17, 2015 at 8:08PM

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Brooks Reynolds
Director/DOP
583

Part of the look of large format photography is the insane amount of shadow detail. Being able to go that dark and still see everything while keeping the sky from blowing out is probably what attracted them to the camera in the first place. Using a smaller film or digital camera would probably look much more murky.

It's not as much about increasing dynamic range and making things less dark, but about being able to see better IN the dark.

July 18, 2015 at 2:06PM

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The photosites on the Alexa 65 sensor are actually the same exact size as on the normal Alexa. It's essentially three Alexa sensors put together so it wouldn't have more dynamic range unless the electronics/software inside are better at utilizing the data coming off the sensor.

Where the sensor isn't natively faster than the the normal Alexa, I would bet that noise isn't so apparent since it's now at 6.5k. It would seem finer, a lot like film grain on 65mm film would appear compared to 35mm. So as long as they don't actually plan to show it on a screen 3 times bigger than normal, the noise would allow them to push the sensor further which is a big help with large format and large format lenses in that you can stop down as a courtesy to the focus puller (also that most large format lenses I've seen only open up to t3.5 or thereabouts at the widest) So it's faster and it's slower.

July 19, 2015 at 5:32PM

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Peter Phillips
Filmmaker
661

Alexa aside, there are some bold lens choices there. It's all very wide isn't it? Not that that's a bad thing though - it certainly piqued my curiosity!

July 17, 2015 at 7:03PM

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That's kind of Chivo's trademark.

July 17, 2015 at 8:07PM, Edited July 17, 8:07PM

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Brooks Reynolds
Director/DOP
583

I have it on good authority that Lubezki shot almost the entire film on the 20mm re-housed Hasselblad Alexa 65 lens set, which is incredible and definitely seems to be the case based on the trailer. Incredible, beautiful stuff. The film looks stunning and really powerful - this kind of things excites me far more than Birdman, to be perfectly honest :)

July 17, 2015 at 9:24PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2220

It was rehoused Hasselblad HC optics

July 20, 2015 at 8:56AM

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It was rehoused Hasselblad HC optics

July 20, 2015 at 8:56AM, Edited July 20, 8:56AM

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I have it on good authority that Hasselblad never made a 20mm, since the widest they've ever released is 24mm (also the widest in the Arri collaboration). This footage looks more like it might be shot on the 28 or 35 of it were in fact one and the same lens.

July 20, 2015 at 1:09PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1196

This looks awesome!

July 17, 2015 at 8:15PM

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That last shot before the title card is glorious. How they perfectly track and choreograph a shot seemingly inches from a galloping horse...this eludes me.

July 17, 2015 at 11:05PM

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I think that horse is fake

July 18, 2015 at 8:47AM

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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1703

I think you're right.

July 18, 2015 at 4:10PM

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Deakins looks at this and cries himself to sleep. Good job, Lubezki!

July 18, 2015 at 2:30AM

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Henry Barnill
Director of Photography
631

Nothing against this film or Lubezki but, I see nothing here that would cause Deakins to have even the slightest tinge of jealousy.

July 18, 2015 at 8:42AM

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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1703

No, he looks at the comment section and cries at the blind praise.

July 18, 2015 at 8:31PM

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Tobias N
Director of Photography
1354

Yeah, wtf? I think most cinematographers feel an incredible joy seeing good work coming out of other cinematographer's work. It's not a competition...even when it is...with stuff like the Oscars with their best cinematography category. Judging "best" on something that is not quantitative like the long jump or a race is already kind of stupid. And when stuff like Avatar and Life of Pi get best cinematography Oscars, it heightens the fact that the category is a bit of a joke.

August 6, 2015 at 1:30PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2320

...Does anybody else think Robert Hardy sound like a Cracked writer?

I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I think professional language goes a long way; "amazeballs" "I'm stupidly excited" "if you have a functioning set of eyeballs" fall short.

July 18, 2015 at 9:26AM, Edited July 18, 9:26AM

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In the 1990s, speech in the manner of "Like, oh my god, it was awesome" was reserved for a small subset of the population, and for SNL sketches that mocked these people as idiots. Then it became popular in an ironic way, and then the irony faded and it was just popular.

And yes, when professional writers do it, it's all the more painful. Maybe if we all just like get on board it would be totally epic.

July 18, 2015 at 4:09PM

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This looks amazing but my favorite part of the trailer is the song and how it mixed in sound design of breathing. Very primal.

July 18, 2015 at 11:06AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2558

After all the talk about this camera, and all the rave about Arri as a company, and with how obscene the daily rental cost of this 6K camera is, I certainly was expecting more than this. As the commenter said above, it's not different in much of any way than their previous camera. Odd. But then, like another commenter said, maybe this is not the final grade. We'll see. There needs to be more from this camera by various shooters put out before I finalize any opinion of this camera, though.

So let's see the first footage from the 8K Red that is now in pre-production test use. It is supposed to be available in December. Red 6K already looks better than this camera. Well, even Red 4K looks better.

BTW, and OT, is this really the best actor for this type of movie? Hollywood can always pretend, as they do, he is right for the role. I'm just apprehensive the reason Leonardo DiCaprio was chosen is there's going to be some political message in it. The look of this movie is reminding me of Jeremiah Johnson. But I won't get hopes so high to think it will be as good as that. You know what they say about movies released in January............

July 18, 2015 at 1:17PM, Edited July 18, 1:33PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1982

This is basically their previous camera but with a bigger sensor so I don't know what you were expecting. It's supposed to look like the normal Alexa.

In what world does Red look better than Alexa? Red make great cameras, but the Alexa highlight rolloff and colour science is still way ahead of red in my eyes. Skin tones on red are not the best.

July 18, 2015 at 4:04PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1196

Wait a second, 4K isn't supposed to look better than 1080p? Come on.

July 19, 2015 at 4:33AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1982

No resolution looks "better" than any other. The sensor design, compression rate, dynamic range, color science, etc. make it look better. Not more, mushy pixels.

July 19, 2015 at 1:10PM

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Taylor Russ
Director of Photography
661

Double post

July 18, 2015 at 8:55PM, Edited July 18, 8:56PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2220

To be fair, a compressed 1080p video on YouTube is NOT the platform in which you will see the true power of this camera system and sensor. I was lucky enough to be able to see some Alexa 65 footage on a state-of-the-art 4K Canon monitor (downscaled to 4K, mind you), and it looks unlike anything I've ever seen before. I can't quite explain it but there is a level of depth, detail and quality that is unmeasurable.

The only real way to see the effects of the large format is to see this footage projected at 4K (or hopefully in the future higher resolutions, though the oversampling and downscaling to 4K still provides a lot more perceived resolution) on a massive screen. In the meantime, I suggest passing any judgement on the quality of the footage specifically as it pertains to the Alexa 65 until you get a chance to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

July 18, 2015 at 8:55PM, Edited July 18, 8:55PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2220

They are certainly not paying the standard day rate. At the very least they are paying a 3 day week. But regardless it's pretty irrelevant. The rental cost of the camera is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of making the movie. And this isn't exactly a cash starved indie.

As for the Dragon you're never going to see the 6k off that sensor since the camera can't shoot uncompressed RAW like the Arri 65. It's like comparing a compressed jpeg to an uncompressed TIFF. Same goes for the color latitude.

The real competitor to the Arri 65 is the Panavision 70, if they ever ship the darn thing. After that I would say the Sony F65, even though it's 'only' S35.

July 19, 2015 at 12:33AM, Edited July 19, 12:33AM

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The price is not irrelevant. With 5 days rental of this camera you could buy an entire set up, body, expensive lenses, expensive memory cards, expensive tripod, etc., etc, etc, of a Red 6K, Sony f65, etc., etc., etc.

Someone at Arri is getting very rich, very quickly.

July 19, 2015 at 4:47AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1982

It will probably be cheaper renting a film camera

July 20, 2015 at 10:27AM

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Dear Gene

I don't know how it works in ''live streaming', but in the movie business productions rarely purchase a camera for a show. They rent.

The movie has an estimated budget of $60 million dollars. Even if the rental was $6000 per day for the entire package, that would amount to $600,000 for a 100 day shoot. That is 1% of the total budget of the movie. You could double that figure and it still would be one of the cheaper items on the picture and short of the actors there is no line item more important.

Besides, the rental on the A65 is a bargain compared to shooting on 65mm film.

As far as Arri making a profit on the rental of the Alexa 65, all I can say is good for them. If costs an enormous amount of money to develop a camera like that and I'm glad to see that they will recoup their investment.

July 20, 2015 at 10:38AM

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I have to correct something I said. It is 10 days rental to add up to what I said, not 5.

Anyway, thanks for putting me in my place. Was kinda amusing to read.

Daily rental is (apparently) $10,000.00 a day. A 100 day shoot, $1,000,000.00. Yeah, that's one million dollars.

So justify to me again that camera is worth it. I need so more amusement. Yeah, that video above looks like one million dollars.

/sarc/

Can't wait to see footage from the Red 8K. Red 4K already looks better than the video above.

Oh yeah, thanks for saying 'dear gene'.

July 20, 2015 at 8:52PM, Edited July 20, 8:52PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1982

Here's the problem with a production buying a camera. Once the show has ended there usually is no place for it to go since the LLC that was formed for the show is in all likelihood dissolved. It's not like the old, old days where the camera went back to the studio. Or Stanley Kubrick took his Arri BL3 home and put it back in the closet. You wouldn't even want to do that with a digital camera, since they are on a short product cycle. It just doesn't make any sense to buy a camera for a show, even if it was cheaper than renting it. We are not talking about a owner / operator situation. Neither the studios nor the production companies want to own gear and deal with maintaining the cameras, lenses etc. Ultimately it's cheaper and a lot less of a PIA to let the rental companies deal with that.

You also need to keep in mind that the Arri 65 is a specialty low rental item. In comparison any Red, Alexa or Sony is a mass produced item. Arri will only build a handful of the A65, so there will be no economy of scale. It took millions of Euro to develop and build that camera, all of the accessories and lenses that go along with it. It's all handmade in Munich, Germany where labor is not exactly cheap. If Arri only makes 25 of them it's going to take a long time for them to recoup their investment. That's why it's so expensive to rent.

Even at a million dollars in rental fees for the A65 is cheaper than shooting 65mm film. A 1000ft load of Kodak Vision3 is about $650 dollars. A 1000ft can of 65mm costs a lot more, not only because it's physically bigger, but also a special order item. Add to that the cost of developing and scanning for dailies and final output and even at $1 million it's a bargain with a lot less headache.

And once again. After the talent the two most important pieces of gear on the set are the camera and microphones. Without a camera you don't have a movie. It's pretty important. On a $60 million dollar Hollywood with to major stars no one is going to bat an eye on dropping that kind of money on the camera department. They are probably spending that much on catering and the honey wagon.

July 20, 2015 at 11:58PM

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I was expecting a 4K output coming from the large format acquisition, nevertheless it has its merits and an amazing overall production value. There is however one shot I could not believe the filmmakers missed ...when DiCaprio shoots the guy down from the tree... the impact of the body is not realistic. Also I'm still not liking the wide angle choice of lens and creating such distortion when close to subjects...takes me out of the realism of the story.

July 18, 2015 at 1:44PM

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Am I the only one who thinks, after having seen the trailer, that the core of the movie, the STORY seems to be nothing that I am excited to watch?

July 18, 2015 at 2:02PM

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Gerard M.
1202

Yeah, absolutely right.

July 19, 2015 at 12:07AM, Edited July 19, 12:07AM

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Aung Ko Ko
Director of Photography and Colorist
88

The cinematography is definatley amazing, but i know people are going to dog on me for saying this or just ignore me but does anybody else think this look like it was shot with an iphone? maybe it's all the wide angle lenses they use with 65mm anamorphic but I was watching the trailer and a word came in my thought... iphone.....

July 19, 2015 at 2:36AM, Edited July 19, 2:36AM

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Keith Kim
Photographer
1583

This isn't shot anamorphically. I think you answered your own question; probably confusing heavy use of wide angle lenses with iPhone.

I must say I'm incredibly impressed with the level of detail and depth of the images. Never seen any other camera come close on that point. The fact that the gamma curve and colour science seem to be the same as the old Alexa only makes it better. And the old Alexa has given us about a million different looks so far so this could be something out of this world.

July 20, 2015 at 1:17PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1196

dang, it's so wide though. haha, that's probably what it is,
Man imagine the production on this to fill the whole frame. It's amazing! Yea, the details on the footages are crazy, you could see how crazy the dynamic range is on this camera knowing it's shot on natural light. Hopefully we get to see some 4k trailer. Can't wait to see it on the big screen.
*hoping Mr. Bay don't get his hands on this for his bayhem movies. It would be still interesting to see how he tackles wide angle on his spinning scenes compare to his usual tele lenses.

July 21, 2015 at 12:21PM

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Keith Kim
Photographer
1583

"Christmas can't come soon enough."

You're right, for "In The Heart Of The Sea":

trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXllyl05O04

July 19, 2015 at 4:30AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1982

This must be a new record: it was 1 day before the first Red-hate comment came out in a post about an Arri camera. They usually show up within the first few hours.

July 19, 2015 at 4:43AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1982

Haha. Oh NFS...

July 22, 2015 at 8:45PM

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Tony
345

Love the look of this. Remember its all available light. Can't wait.

I listened to DP Greg Fraiser who has been testing the Alexa 65. He said it's amazing and everyone will start using it.

If you think about it there's little reason not to on a big production. Unlike 65mm film it's not hugely expensive (well at least it won't be once the daily rate comes down). Looking forward to Red's version as well.

July 19, 2015 at 5:33AM, Edited July 19, 5:33AM

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Stu Mannion
writer/dir/dp
699

Anyone else thinks DiCaprio's is a toy horsy =| ?

July 19, 2015 at 1:27PM

5
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Looks freaking awesome. Love the grade, the style, everything.

July 20, 2015 at 9:11AM

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Michael Muench
DP, Editor
181

Nofilmschool please fix the multiple post issue

July 20, 2015 at 10:27AM

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In Youtube's 1080 "HD" with like 2 Mbit/s I cannot really say that I am super impressed by the pictures. It could have been shot on a 5D MkI and graded well, it would look just like that on Youtube in 1080... They could have at least put it up in 4K (although I am not saying we need 4K everywhere, but on Youtube it actually does look better than 1080 because their bitrates are much too low for any resolution)

I think to be really impressed by this movie you'd have to see it in a theater with a high quality projector and screen. Then it probably is really impressive.

July 21, 2015 at 9:26AM

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I don't remember watching any movie trailer that many times :)

July 21, 2015 at 1:29PM, Edited July 21, 1:29PM

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Looks incredible, love the camera work and look. It says inspired by true events and since the trailer doesn't give much of the story...at all, I looked it up. Actually seems like a very compelling story. I'm extremely excited about this film. Aside from the fluff, put DiCaprio in a movie and i'm going to watch it, simple as that.

July 21, 2015 at 2:03PM

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Brandon Blackburn
Videographer / Editor
185

Wow!

July 22, 2015 at 8:43AM

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I think it looks great. I can see the difference that the 65 mm sensor gives.

My opinion about digital cinema cameras: Most of the higher end cameras, arri, sony, red, etc. can all look good, look filmic especially with color correction. The Arri Alexa has the best highlight performance among all the cameras, in that regard it is more filmic than the other cameras. The majority of people working in the camera department on films and television shows from the DP to the Loader prefer the Arri Alexa among all others because the image, reliability, and simple ergonomics. For AC's the layout of the EPIC/Dragon's ports(hdsdi, power, etc)on the back is the worst, it is so hard to access, especially after you start adding all the stuff to make a Red camera work, for example the Red Dragon doesn't hold timecode so you have to put a lockit box(timecode generator) on it.
Most high level DP's don't give a shit about 4k not to mention higher resolutions. now there are a bunch of shows shooting on Sony f55 and Red Dragon only because they need to be finished in 4K for Netflix. And guess what?! on the shows that shoot on the Red Dragon they shoot in 4k HD because the DP doesn't want his shot reframed in post. Also a lot of great cinema lenses won't cover 6K.
High resolution does not equal a pretty image. Resolution gives more detail and a lot of times it is not needed and looks terrible especially for skin on people's faces.

July 22, 2015 at 5:18PM

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Peter Staubs
Camera Assistant
549

-

July 22, 2015 at 5:18PM, Edited July 22, 5:18PM

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Peter Staubs
Camera Assistant
549

This is digital but stills looks great , also the team behind this is fenomenal.
Algo bueno sacaran.

July 23, 2015 at 12:29PM

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Mauricio Camargo
Director of Photography / Filmmaker
86

Love that horse ride tracking shot

July 26, 2015 at 8:14PM

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Tony Wesh
Filmmaker/Photographer
101

Gear Wars!!!! Wohoooo!!! *Grabs Popcorn* Lets do this! ... smh

July 27, 2015 at 3:50PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2741

It looks stale and cold. Skintones are really lacking.

August 8, 2015 at 5:42AM

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