For THE IVORY GAME, the new Netflix documentary feature film about elephant poaching, an ARRI AMIRA was used as the main camera.
From November 4th onwards the streaming service Netflix is exclusively showing the documentary feature film THE IVORY GAME. With this hard-hitting production, directors Richard Ladkani and
Kief Davidson unmask the corrupt network behind worldwide ivory trafficking. During their search for poachers, traders and buyers of African elephant tusks, they filmed all over Asia and Africa with an ARRI AMIRA as their main camera.
“We knew from the beginning that we would use many different cameras, but we wanted the lead camera to be the AMIRA because we love its natural and cinematic look. When it comes to images of people, especially faces, I haven’t seen anything that compares to that kind of quality,” explains Ladkani, who also served as cinematographer. “We were going to risk our lives shooting this film; we would only have the chance to shoot things once, if at all, so there was no room for compromise.”
Besides the directing duo, DP Tobias Corts on second camera and sound recordist Roland Winkler were part of the shooting team. “But quite often in remote regions it was just two of us; I had the AMIRA on my shoulder, with Roland recording sound,” recalls Ladkani. “The key was to be as close to our characters as possible and to be immersed in their world, which meant we had to be extremely flexible and fast. We couldn’t plan anything.”
In an interview with the German magazine Film & TV Kameramann Ladkani described the AMIRA as “currently the best, most reliable and most robust docu-camera” available: “If you’re somewhere in the African outback, on the Somalia border, and your camera won’t boot up anymore because it’s too hot, what are you going to do then? The AMIRA persisted despite every stress test I put her through.”
Ladkani’s praise of the AMIRA continued when he spoke to ARRI: “I remember saying to my crew how amazing it is that I had this camera in Africa for 11 months straight and it never had a problem. It lived through all the incredible hardships of wet and dust so extreme that our faces were completely orange. So it survived this shoot and that’s pretty unbelievable, because all of the other cameras didn’t.”
THE IVORY GAME is already receiving an enthusiastic response. The docu-thriller has been successfully screened at important film festivals like Toronto and Telluride, and was honored at the Bristol Wildscreen Festival with the renowned WWF Golden Panda Award. More prizes could follow soon; the film is nominated in the Documentary Features Competition at Camerimage in Poland.
THE IVORY GAME was produced by Red Bull's Terra Mater Factual Studios in association with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Productions and Leonardo DiCaprio's company Appian Way. Netflix has acquired the distribution rights. ALEXA and AMIRA are already the cameras of choice for UHD and HDR productions from Amazon Studios, the other major player in the streaming market.