When director Lawrence Jacomelli asked me to shoot horror movie, “BLOOD STAR“, one of the first conversations we had was about how we are going to shoot these huge night exterior scenes.  The film opens with a bloody, barefoot, young woman chased down on a barren, dirt, desert road by an anonymous killer.

Lawrence and I both wanted to practically see infinitely in every direction to fully immerse the viewer in her world and show her isolation from civilization in every direction.  The problem is we didn’t have the budget for balloon lights or super speed lenses.  So the question became what camera and sensor will allow us to retain every single photon from this moonlight source for maximum latitude and detail in the shadows with the widest spread?  The follow up question was how do we move the camera very quickly from setup to setup to shoot this movie in 10 days?

What may surprise you is that I am a proud Alexa Mini LF owner, and we opted to shoot on the Red Gemini.  The decision was not a financial one but a logistical and creative one: the Gemini’s Low Light 2000 ISO paired with the native 5K sensor for supersampling to a clean 4K delivery could not technically be beat by my Arri Mini LF.  The high sensitively allowed our moonlight to be a 6K HMI and 4K HMI PAR blasting side-by-side through an 8×8’ 1/4 grid on a 80 ft condor, backed 300 ft from the road.  Our lensing was Cooke S4/i at T2.0, with the opening shot at 35mm.


Another huge benefit I found from shooting Red Gemini over Mini LF is weight / form factor giving us flexibility to move and fit the camera in spaces otherwise impossible.  We could not usually afford steadicam but our workaround was the DJI RS3 Pro gimbal which balances the Gemini perfectly and of course cannot balance the heavier Mini LF.

We also shot a lot in the picture car where, often, getting the camera a few inches closer to ceiling or window makes all the difference in capturing the right angle.  The Red Gemini proved invaluable in squeezing the camera into these tight spaces – often with myself Lawrence, and my 1st AC Bruno all cramming into the same tiny car!


Lastly, rigging the lighter Red Gemini to the exterior of the moving picture car meant we could safely secure the camera on suction cups or hostess tray with less grip equipment and time than would otherwise be necessary with the heavier LF.

Every camera has its strengths and weaknesses and the Gemini proved to give us a superior image quality in low light and gave us more flexibility to mount, frame, and move the quickly on our very demanding schedule.  Take a look at Blood Star and let us know if you like the result!