Baahubali and the ARRI Alexa XT

Baahubali and the ARRI Alexa XT

Considered as the most expensive Indian movie ever made, Baahubali is an epic action-adventure directed and written by S.S. Rajamouli. The movie chronicles an enduring power struggle raging in the mythical kingdom of Mahismathi.


Cinematographer K.K. Senthil Kumar chose the Alexa XT working with Master Prime lenses in ARRIRAW Open Gate mode for superior image quality, especially in special effects-laden scenes.

Kumar sat down with ARRI and talked about why he chose the Alexa XT, and intimated what it was like to be apart of the most ambitious, expensive Indian movie to date.

As this is to set be the most expensive movie to come out of India, it was paramount to utilize a reliable camera that can allow the viewers to see what the cinematographer sees and wishes to convey.

Kumar has had the opportunity to use the Alexa  XT and he knew the camera would be perfect rendering skin tones of such a wide and diverse cast.

The camera’s sensitivity to low-light was also a big bonus as they can afford to utilize smaller lighting sources more often as needed than they were able to in past projects.

Kumar was also confident the Alexa XT can still deliver superb results even in the most extreme weather conditions. From the scorching hot summer of Hyderabad to the endless Mahabaleshwar monsoon rains and the frozen tundras of Bulgaria, the Alexa XT prevailed as expected.

Kumar enthuses that there was nothing he could do with the weather situation, but he knew he can harness the power of the ARRIRAW format to achieve the aesthetics he was looking for.

Another reason the movie was recorded in ARRIRAW is the fact that Baahubali required a huge amount of CG-rendered graphic effects the Alexa XT can handle

Kumar was also glad the Open Gate mode can record in the whole 3.4K sensor and achieve the best up-sample in post-production to 4K DCP. Most of the film was shot usig ARRIRAW 4.3, then using ARRIRAW 16.9 for the 120 fps shots. Open Gate was tapped for VFX shots.

According to Kumar, one of the best features the camera has to offer is the accuracy of the lens data information when it comes to iris, zoom, and focus settings. All these features ensured cost-efficiency on both set and post-production.

In addition, toggling from 60 to 120 fps (regular to high-speed) was dramatically shortened to approximately 20 seconds – truly a cost and time saving feature.

No wonder the ARRI Alexa XT is pretty much in demand regardless if it will be used for big budget film projects or independent endeavors. If you have any questions about the Alexa XT, please let us know by calling 020 7391 2650. Aimimage carries and extensive range of filming equipment, from AV equipment hire packages, thermal imaging camera hire kits, to broadcast equipment hire kits. Call us today!  We look forward to hearing from you.

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