Dir. Mai Iskander relies on AMIRA

b whirlpool amira

 Caregivers often don't get the recognition they deserve, and Whirlpool wanted to celebrate their value in the heart-warming campaign Every Day, Care™ launched with creative shop DigitasLBi and viral content site Upworthy. "Perceptions of Care," which shows three generations of one family living under the same roof, was directed and shot by Mai Iskander on the ARRI AMIRA to capture the slice-of-life vignettes.


"I was inspired by the chance to change the perception of care and recognize its givers," says Iskander. "Whirlpool and Digitas wanted to open peoples' eyes to the value of everyday care, and show how it forms a cornerstone of the modern American family."

Neither Whirlpool nor the agency Digitas created a script or storyboards. "They provided creative direction and gave the director the creative freedom to come up with a way to tell the story of every day care," says Iskander, who says the companies reached out to her because of an earlier Liberty Mutual campaign she did with the New York production company goodstory films and executive producers Paula Cohen and Susan Horn Toffler. "The Whirlpool project was a great fit because Paula and Susan have extensive expertise in producing shareable content and brand storytelling,"

Iskander adds. "It was also exciting to work closely with Upworthy through the process, which enabled the videos to have a broad reach and a substantial impact."Iskander chose to shoot the campaign -- a mix of studio days and hand-held days in peoples' homes -- with the ARRI AMIRA for ARRI Rental NY. "With its dynamic range of 14 stops, subtle highlight handling, natural skin tone rendering and the exceptional quality of the ALEXA, along with a lightweight and compact body, the AMIRA was a natural choice," she says.

On the days Iskander shot in the studio, interviews were shot against a neutral background, with a feeling that was “very reflective and quiet, in contrast to everyday life." "I didn’t have to worry about the background banding or becoming grainy, because the AMIRA has exceptional picture quality," she says.

b amira boy

In contrast, on the days when Iskander shot in peoples’ homes, the AMIRA “allowed the camera to be close, intimate and in the moment." "Whether the camera is fly-on-the-wall observational or filming from a character’s point-of-view, it allowed us to create a sense of eavesdropping as each interaction unfurls organically," she says. “It gave me the ability to capture the emotion of the moment and details of the story that are full of spirit and sincerity: a spontaneous hug, hearty laughter and the everyday tasks of ironing clothes or chopping the vegetables for dinner."

Using the ARRI AMIRA also made it easier for Iskander to fulfill her dual-duty as director and cinematographer. "It's easy to pick one up and shoot," she says. "It's easy to balance on your shoulder and to adjust settings via assignable buttons on the operator's side. Neither I or AC Laura Nespola had to spend time fussing with the settings or different accessories."

b peter seller  21

skander reveals that the production shot Log C. "Having access to the 3D LUT made it so much easier to have a reference for the color correction," she says. "The DIT Robert Bluemke liked the implementation of the CFast media, which he found really easy to work with and because it offloads as fast as SxS." She also credits gaffer Ned Hallick, his best John Roche and assistant editor Emily Tolan who, on set, organized the footage shown on site.

The edit was done at Cutters with editor Kathryn Hempel and the color correction at Flavor. "We had flexibility all the way through post," says Iskander. "It was an easy, fast workflow, with no hoops to jump through."

"The camera, with its ease of use, fell into the background, allowing the focus to be on the individual stories that each person had to tell," she concludes. "When people feel comfortable expressing themselves in their own way, great portraits emerge."

Back to top