Capturing Moving Cars with AJA Ki Pro and the ARRI Alexa

Capturing Moving Cars with AJA Ki Pro and the ARRI Alexa

August 31, 2010

Director of Photography Timo Plogstedt Records Files to Ki Pro for Skoda Advertising Campaign

Grass Valley, CA - When AJA Video Systems first announced the Ki Pro portable digital recording device, it was met with great enthusiasm and won six major industry awards. Cinematographers, editors and digital video professionals alike eagerly anticipated this small box that promised to manage everything from recording in native Apple ProRes to up-, cross- and down-convert with handy FireWire connectivity for direct access to files for editing. Director of Photography (DoP) Timo Plogstedt discovered these benefits and more when recording to Ki Pro from the ARRI Alexa camera on a commercial shoot for auto manufacturer Skoda.

The recently released ARRI Alexa has helped to drive the growing adoption of digital acquisition for television commercials. When Plogstedt, a prominent commercial cinematographer, shot his most recent campaign for Skoda in Barcelona, he was able to rent the first Alexa camera shipped to the country along with two AJA Ki Pro units from local rental facility AlciCam.

The kit was used on a three-day shoot for Skoda, producing content that will be used for international television commercials and promotional films starring eight different new car models. Plogstedt was shooting moving car footage the Russian arm (a gyro stabilized crane system rigged onto an SUV). The Alexa was mounted onto the Flight Head, with a cable going right into the Ki Pro which was taped onto the dashboard. Output from the Ki Pro ran to Plogstedt’s two HD monitors as well as to three other SD monitors allowing the driver, focus puller and crane operator to preview what was being shot.

The production realized multiple costs savings and benefits by using the Ki Pros, “Without Ki Pro I would have required an SRW1 recorder, along with a second recorder for previewing--not to mention tape stock, and time and gear to capture from tape, which would have further stretched the budget on our project,” said Plogstedt. “In addition, by recording directly to Ki Pro I was able to have immediate access to files on my laptop on set and after each shooting day in my hotel room. This was convenient as I was able to review shots and tweak levels in Apple Color while we were still on location.”

The campaign’s producer also preferred working with Ki Pro because keeping everything file-based saved the overall production time and money. Plogstedt concurred. “Ki Pro is really small, and is great for the field. The Ki Pro has a very small footprint on a production. It’s very well designed, I like that you have FireWire 800 on the drive and it works perfectly as a plug and play solution.”

About AJA Ki Pro

The AJA Ki Pro is a portable, rugged tapeless video recording device that records high-quality Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto computer-friendly media. Because it features SD/HD-SDI, HDMI, and analog inputs, users can interface with virtually any type of camera they may own or rent. Ki Pro’s numerous simultaneous outputs enable flexible monitoring, connecting to both professional and consumer monitors. Intuitive to operate, Ki Pro’s familiar VTR-like buttons provide immediate controls for basic operation. From a distance, users can control operations with a laptop or iPhone web browser via Ethernet or wireless connection. Ki Pro records to removable storage modules including a 250GB hard disk drive (standard), optional 500GB drive, or optional 128GB or 256GB SSD storage modules. When removed, the storage module functions as a standard bus-powered FireWire 800 drive, enabling instant media playback and editing.

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.

Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion and Desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post- production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website

Products Used