This is what filmmaker Adam Harig is doing. He bought five broken ARRI Alexa Classics in the hopes of fixing at least one. Is he insane? Sure. But I’m 100% behind him. 

The man behind the FoxTailWhipz YouTube Channel, Harig’s desire to own such a tool is a testament to the creative power an Alexa Classic holds. Also, for $1,250, it’s a steal. But what can we learn from Harig’s bold yet bananas project? Quite a lot.

Starting in the Middle

The coolest thing to come out of this project has been Harig’s most recent video—a full teardown of the ARRI Alexa Classic. At just over an hour long, we get an unobstructed view of every component, and it feels a bit like ASMR for camera nerds. Check it out below. We’ll see you back here in about an hour. 

But why should filmmakers care? Well, if you hate every video that iFixit ever put out, you might not. From where I’m sitting, it’s such a cool treat to see how one of the best digital cinema cameras was put together. It’s not something we get to witness, because who wants to break into such an expensive machine? Sure, there was that one video where Frame Forge did a teardown of the ARRI Alexa Mini, but that’ll just catch you with your pants down. 

I’m a big proponent of understanding the function of my tools through and through. Seeing Harig’s project evolve, as well as his teardown, is helping me connect with my gear more than ever. Here’s the beginning of Harig’s project, if you want to follow along. 

What’s in a Camera?

To quote a famous play about toxic codependency, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." A camera is a camera and its brand name is irrelevant. Point it at something and get pretty pictures. That’s obviously a gross exaggeration, but here’s my point. It won’t matter if you shoot on an ARRI Alexa Classic, or a Canon EOS 5D (which has also been popping up around the YouTube-o-sphere). What matters is how inspired you are to create with it. 

Adam Harig ARRI Alexa ClassicGod speed, you crazy man.Credit: FoxTailWhipz

Look at Harig. That’s a man who’s inspired. Who are we to judge him in his crusade for the right tool? Sure, there’s a fine line between Gear Acquisition Syndrome and the desire to have a fancy hammer (AKA camera), but as long as you toe it within your level of comfort, go buy that thing that inspires you.

Kubrick owned a lot of his gear, why can’t you?