2017 marks 100 years since August Arnold and Robert Richter rented a small former shoemaker’s store in Munich and set up shop as a film technology firm. The two young friends started with just one product: a copying machine they built on a lathe Richter had received as a Christmas present from his parents. Taking the first two letters of their surnames, they christened their new enterprise Arri. Today, the company is still headquartered at the same address, though the premises has expanded to the size of an entire city block and is just one of numerous facilities around the world. Truly a global player and active in every international market, ARRI has major branches in Europe, America and Asia. Arri is a medium-sized German company that is a leader in his field and has achieved longevity through adherence to rock-solid values. It is a family-owned enterprise as well, which means it is handed down through generations and overseen by custodians with an emotional investment in the brand. Despite its grand age, ARRI is a company that places great value in youthful enthusiasm and passionate dedication. Dr. Jörg Pohlman, one of two Executive Board members at ARRI AG, notes, “I still think it’s amazing how this company was founded by two teenagers; they were so young that their parents had to sign the incorporation documents. First and foremost they were film enthusiasts, driven by a love for visual storytelling and technology. If you walk around ARRI today you’ll see that same enthusiasm and passion – it defines who we are and what we do.” Arnold and Richter were camera operators, film producers and an equipment rental outfit before they ever manufactured an ARRI camera. From the very beginning they worked directly with filmmakers and the insight they gained helped them to develop equipment that met real on-set needs. In today’s industry, with technology driven at breakneck speed by marketing hype, this philosophy of listening to what filmmakers want – rather than telling them – is more important than ever.
At this years IBC Arri presented their newest additions to the Arri family. One of them is the largest and brightest SkyPanel to date: the S360-C. Not only is the S360-C powerful, but it is packed full of exciting features, making it one of the most versatile LED fixtures on the market. Features include full color control, lighting effects on a huge aperture, wireless DMX built in, a unique carbon fiber yoke, and much more. The perfect wireless solution for ARRI SkyPanels is now available as well; say goodbye to DMX cables with SkyLink. Fully compatible to all SkyPanel models, SkyLink is a two-part system that allows for wireless DMX and RDM communication to SkyPanel fixtures. ARRI will also present a new camera stabilizer system at IBC. The all new ARRI Stabilized Remote Head SRH-3 is extremely compact and light while being able carry three times its own weight. Our line of Master Grips has also expanded. On display for the first time in Europe, ARRI’s renowned Full Spectrum ND Filter is now available as a front filter.
Another highlight of the show was ARRI’s Big Screen Event. ARRI invited prominent industry guests, including Peter Doyle, Supervising Visual Colorist at Technicolor and Ari Robbins SOC, Steadicam Operator on La La Land (winner of the 2016 Academy Award for Best Cinematography), to discuss their current film projects. A special screening also unveiled featuring milestones of ARRI’s past and vision for the future. On the eve of the IBC Show 2017, ARRI hosted a grand 100 years party at the Amsterdam Eye Filmmuseum.
ARRI’s actual anniversary was on September 2017, though the whole year will be marked by numerous celebrations, with all of the company’s 1,300 worldwide employees taking part and helping to make it special.