Set around the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD, when Germanic tribes halted the northern spread of the Roman Empire, "Barbarians" is a six-part miniseries produced by Netflix and Gaumont Germany. Seeking a bespoke look that would emulate the feel of vintage lenses without creating difficulties for the many VFX shots, cinematographer Christian Stangassinger turned to the lens experts at ARRI Rental to detune and modify ARRI Master Anamorphic and Ultra Prime lenses for large format. He speaks here about his experiences with lens customization, digital look augmentation, the ALEXA Mini LF camera, and HDR grading.
What made large format right for this show?
Large format is an impressive format; the shots gain a new dynamic and depth. People and objects can be spatially delineated much more clearly, allowing a more powerful 3D effect. The results are really significant, especially in the shorter focal lengths, which I love. The larger sensor and higher resolution make the images strikingly realistic, and the image-noise behavior is way better in the low light range, which can be very helpful at night and save costs on large locations.