This was one of the first projects to use the ALEXA Mini LF. Why did you choose it and how was your experience with the camera?
Yes, we were one of the first teams to film with the ALEXA Mini LF. I'm kind of proud of that. I've always preferred ARRI cameras and have filmed nearly all of my projects with them. After carefully testing large-format cameras, the ALEXA LF was by far my favorite. It's really impressive in terms of contrast ratio, low light handling, and color reproduction. Sadly the ALEXA LF wasn't ideal for this project due to its size, but it wasn't known if the smaller and lighter Mini LF would be available in time. Happily, ARRI liked the project and although the Mini LF wasn't on the market when filming began, they provided us with four pre-production models -- a really great service that I'm truly grateful for!
The ALEXA Mini LF is only minimally heavier and bigger than the ALEXA Mini. Alongside the great pictures the larger sensor provides, it was also the best solution to our technical needs on set: easy to rig, quick and easy to use in a gimbal, TRINITY or Steadicam, and not too heavy for complex handheld sequences.
Had you worked in HDR before this project?
"Barbarians" was my first project in HDR. I'd looked into HDR before, but only in the form of smaller tests and the odd talk with a colorist from time to time. On "Barbarians" the decision wasn't made until postproduction that the project would be finalized in HDR. The workflow on set was arranged for SDR, so when we began grading, I had to depend on Utsi. He is a really great and experienced colorist, who was also involved in the development of the ALEXA Mini LF. I had put together the LUTs with him for the show in advance, so he knew exactly what was needed to create the desired HDR look.