London, UK – 19 September 2012 - The Lookout (Le Guetteur), the new French-language crime thriller from Italian director Michele Placido (Crime Novel, Angel of Death) is a riveting tale of bank robbers, a sniper and hard-nosed cops that plays out in the meanest streets of Paris—it’s also one of the latest films to employ the Codex/ARRIRAW workflow.
Cinematographer Arnaldo Catinari shot the majority of the film with ARRI Alexa cameras, capturing ARRIRAW data on Codex Onboard M recorders. Codex Transfer Stations were employed on-set to process dailies, so that media from each day’s shoot could be delivered to the film’s editorial team, without the need for additional post-house processing. The result was a workflow that delivered imagery of the highest quality, while facilitating a production schedule of just nine weeks and a production budget of 14 million euros.
Babe Films’ Fabio Conversi, who produced the film, said that they chose ARRI Alexa and Codex Onboard because they valued the qualitative advantages of capturing ARRIRAW. “When audiences enter a movie theater, they expect to be amazed,” he explains. “Today, people have access to imagery on many screens—television, the internet, smart phones and iPads—and therefore cinema has to be an exceptional experience; it must be the very best.”
Catinari notes that he wanted to give the film an art house look and so shot in 1:2.35 aspect ratio and 800 ASA. The view of Paris presented by the film is thus a far cry from what is seen in tourist brochures; the city is grey and malevolent, a dense urban jungle. “The Codex recorders allowed us to shoot with the Alexa set at its highest quality,” Catinari observes. “I love shooting with very little light and have adopted the method of the great Almendros concerning the use of natural light. We were able to use natural light even in interiors as key light—again, that would not have been the same without Codex and ARRIRAW.”
Catinari adds that many of the scenes were shot handheld. “I used the Easyrig, and with the handle over the Codex we had perfect balance,” he recalls. “I look forward to using the new Codex Onboard S as its lightweight design will make handheld shooting even easier.”