LOS ANGELES—I recently used the ARRI Alexa Mini on season seven of Crackle’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” the web series created by comedian Jerry Seinfeld. In each episode, Seinfeld drives a specially made and/or vintage car while he and a comedic guest drive to grab coffee and talk. The show shoots on location in different cities across the United States and has featured guests including President Obama, Will Ferrell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jim Carrey, Tina Fey, and Bill Maher.
Multiple ARRI Alexa Mini cameras are used to film “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”RUN-AND-GUN
The series has used a variety of cameras, but for this season our cinematographer John Taggart chose the new Alexa Mini. As we are always on the go, it has been a convenient camera setup for our team. The lightweight Alexa Mini, with its accessory options and quality output, fits our “run-and-gun” style of shooting.
As a Steadicam operator, the Mini is like a Lego set because we can build the camera any way we like that works for accessories, inertia, and power. My camera is always the wide two-shot when filming, which includes many walking and talking scenes. With the proper accessories and mounting options, I can zoom, focus, iris level, power, listen, and record my shot with ease.
LEARNING THE DANCE
The most challenging part of shooting the show is the dancing between the operators, making sure we don’t get in each other’s shots. Since this is essentially an unscripted talk show, we don’t know what we are about to do before we do it. The Alexa Mini camera package makes me as prepared as possible for wherever we are shooting, whether it be a long hill we have to walk up backwards, long traffic lights, paparazzi hurdles, or weather conditions. With the Steadicam, the lightweight capability along with the ARRI-branded quality ensures that I never have to worry about the electronics and duration of the shot; I can focus more on my footwork and framing.
The ARRI look takes the reality part out of the show and makes it more cinematic and the Mini is a very convenient and compatible camera for my package. Every time I work with an ARRI, no matter the model, I believe the camera enhances my physical ability and confidence.
Jessica Lopez is a Steadicam operator and member of the Society of Camera Operators. Her credits include HBO’s “The Lesiure Class,” Hulu’s “East Los High,” Freeform’s “Switched at Birth,” Nickelodeon’s “Bella and the Bulldogs” and Amazon’s “Transparent,” as well as commercials. She can be contacted through email at Jessica@ladyops.com.
For additional information, please visit www.arri.comor call 818-841-7070.