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Our Girl, BBC1.  Arri Alexa

Our Girl, BBC1. Arri Alexa

Little is beyond today’s large sensor cameras. But making Leighton Buzzard look like Afghanistan proved quite a  challenge for the Arri Alexa and Canon C300PL with Zeiss UltraPrimes hired from VMI for the shooting of "Our Girl". 

“That aside”, says Line Producer Menzies Kennedy, “the cameras worked wonderfully well. In Simon Richard we had a DOP who really knows how to light for the Alexa. The results were excellent, especially in low light exteriors at night and in sequences shot in a night club. But what really surprised us was how well the Alexa and the Canon C300 matched – the Canon is very impressive.”

Our Girl is a new BBC 1 90-minute drama starring Lacy Turner who as a teenager who is going nowhere. With no qualifications, a troubled home life and no future, the heroine celebrates her 18th birthday by vomiting in the doorway of an Army Recruitment Office. This chance action subsequently leads her to join the armed forces as a soldier in the Royal Army Medical Corps and then on to her first posting in Afghanistan where the film ends.

The production was completed in four weeks, a tight schedule that was made possible by the solid state workflow. “We transferred the data directly into the cutting room which was on location; the workflow into post production was very fast.” Notes Kennedy.

However, there was another important factor in play – the VMI team. “With a tight turnaround, it’s crucial to have trust: in the quality of the equipment, having the right kit at the right time and in the level of technical support available to the production crew. In every aspect VMI were excellent. They understood what we needed and delivered a totally professional service.” Kennedy concludes.

And with the help of artificial sun and shadows, Leighton Buzzard indeed seemed thousands of miles away.

Our Girl aired on 24/3/13 on BBC 1.

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