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I'm an idiot...

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Barend Onneweer
I'm an idiot...
on Sep 11, 2007 at 9:13:04 am

There... NOW I have your attention.

It's probably true though.

I missed the announcement of this new forum to the COW and although I'm a few days late to the game I'm thoroughly enjoying myself reading these threads. I like that these threads are now separated from the more serious forums, because serious posts only interrupt the comic relief provided by these threads.

[Steve Wargo] "Oh Damn it. I dropped my CF card. Now where did that go? My movie was on there. Hey. Somebody help me find my card.........Move your foot, Bob. Oh crap. There it is. Hey, somebody stepped on my movie. Help!"

I almost spilled my coffee there... :-)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I'm an idiot. Well, I might be. I'm RED reservation holder #368, and I'm a rookie compared to Steve Wargo (you'll need to read all of the threads below to find the what I'm referring to...).

I'm not a shooter. Not a bread-and-butter shooter anway. I spend my days in post. Which is why I'm attracted to the sharp and grainfree images that RED produces.

Do I need to own one? Probably not. The last videocamera I bought is an XL-1s - the cost of which I never really recouped because soon after the purchase we started renting HD cameras. It's nice to have a camera to play around with though, develop my skills, doing quick experiments etc.

So at this point the jury's still out whether I bite when my number comes up or if I'll pass. If I rent the thing out I'll recoup the investment pretty quickly. But I don't want to become a rental house with all the added responsibility. I really appreciate what a GOOD rental house does. And I don't want to be that. So I'd be renting out on a small scale - to companies I know and that know I'm NOT a rental house.

So financially it probably makes more sense for me to rent than to buy RED. What's to win when buying?

For me it's knowing the camera inside-out. Making sure I get the right pictures - and developing a unified streamlined post-path, with files that are supported on Windows and OSX.

When shooting HDCAM we need to send the tapes to a tranferhouse and hope they come back okay. (I've once received DV files from an HDCAM tape, when I really asked for uncompressed full-res tifs). And it takes a day.

P2 is a hassle, especially in crossplatform environments. Not having the Quicktime DVXProHD codec on Windows means we need to transcode everying that needs to be available on both platforms...

It's also about being flexible. We do a lot of small scale shoots for elements that we use in leaders, commercials, music videos etc. Camera rental houses are an hour-and-a-half away from where we're based. Owning some equipment is attractive. You're asking where does this end? All in all between 30k and 40k...

It's also about being able to use the camera on projects where the budget doesn't really allow it. Sometimes the budget forces us to shoot HVX-200 while we'd like to shoot HDCAM. Having our own camera would mean we could still shoot great material for projects that might otherwise not allow it - just for love of the project. Obviously I'm an idiot. Maybe I want to make great pictures more than I want to make money. An entirely un-American sentiment I realize, but hey - I'm Dutch!

Ah... but the main point of this post is that not everyone buying a RED One is necessarily a bloody idiot, or an incompetent hack. And Leo is our token responsible RED buyer to prove that they actually exist... Or at least that there is no theoretical impossibility there.

...

But as Steve wisely points out in the quote above, everyone would be advised to walk onto a RED set without your shoes on - in case you step on the movie.

(In the late Bob Ross' voice:) Happy shooting!

Bar3nd

Raamw3rk - digital storytelling and visual effects


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JeremyG
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 11, 2007 at 2:04:54 pm

Apparently you have to have a pilot license or pass some sort of test to play with this camera.

Didn't you know? When you hit the record button, blades swirl out of the top eliminating any need for a jib arm or crane.

Jeremy


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Piper
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 11, 2007 at 3:11:25 pm

Reminds me of a car commercial I worked on years ago; our camera helicopter had set down for a break, and the Shotmaker camera car pulled in front of it; from our vantage point, the camera car completely blocked the view of the helicopter, except for the rotor, which was centered directly over the cab of the camera car. Only then did I know that Hal Needam had engineered the world's first flying camera car.

Good to know the Red can do it on its own, camera cars or helicopters not required.

Gary
SaltAire Cinema Productions


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jiri vrozina
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 11, 2007 at 9:56:38 pm

No You do not need anything at all.
If you have some money just buy Boeing and fly away...better still..get some decent scalpels and become a surgeon-it pays more money .
This must be the only industry on Planet where nobody needs to be qualified...just buy Mac and become an Editor.(make sure it is QUAD).


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Steve Wargo
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 11, 2007 at 3:12:29 pm

Thanks for the laugh Barend. The RED camera has been a real attention getter. In the history of television and film, I know of no other company who had the guts to get $400,000 in deposits from something that didn't even exist. This could be a new trend.

The problem we had on the HD forum was the crowd that insisted that we kneel and pray to Red while all we wanted to do was see a working version and put it through the paces. That was big after NAB '06 and not too much in '07. Red had a few setbacks which are part of the business but they waited till they had a firm product before releasing anything.

Now it's time to see what happens. It's been a week and a half and no comments from the new owners. I did talk to a friend of mine here in Phoenix who has number 18 and I asked him to post a review but no word yet. I'll have to give him a call.

As far as owning one to rent out, you would have to wait till your number rolls around and see what the market looks like. Several people have asked us to rep their Red cameras and we're waiting till there is a complete package ready before we make that decision.

So, what would one want in a rental package and how much will they pay? F-900s and Varicams go for around $1000 a day and they exceed the needs of most people as it is. 4K? 2K? We shot a job for someone with our F-900 and gave it to them in DVCPRO100 on their hard drive and they complained that we didn't digitize it in 4:4:4. I asked him if he knew what 4:4:4 was and he replied "NO. But I know it's the best you can get and I need 4:4:4." Never mind that he's editing on a MAC laptop, but he knows something we obviously don't. His footage in 4:4:4 would have been around 4Tb. Another genius. The Red Challenge, as I call it, should be quite the story for years to come.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Tim Kolb
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 11, 2007 at 8:37:21 pm

[Steve Wargo] "The problem we had on the HD forum was the crowd that insisted that we kneel and pray to Red while all we wanted to do was see a working version and put it through the paces."

Yes, I think most of us developed our initial opinions of RED and it's advocates when we were trying to help people figure out which camera they might want to consider for a project in June of '06 and inevitably we'd have 2 posters all saying "...don't buy anything, wait for RED."

These people damage their own credibility when it's obvious that they simply don't understand that most of us have projects that need doing today and tomorrow, not a year from now.

However, now that it IS out, I'm sure it will take new users a period of time to settle in and start to understand the nuances of the camera and learn how to exploit them for the best possible results.

I'm sure we'll hear about the camera in the real world soon enough...






TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Steve Wargo
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 11, 2007 at 9:10:39 pm

Amen

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Bob Zelin
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 12, 2007 at 2:46:36 am

It troubles me that the ONLY thing I have read about editing with RED footage comes from Lucas Wilson (a real smart guy that used to be an AVID DS wiz) - but now it looks like he is with Assimilate (Scratch DI editor conform box) - which means that he (or they) have a personal interest in the future success of the 4K workflow.

I mention this because hasn't ANY OF THESE GUYS looked at their footage after all this time on their FCP/AVID/SCRATCH editing systems ? No one is talking about the footage they shot, and how they are dealing with it. Are they just sitting in their office, still saying "wow, isn't this SO cool". Its been out for 2 weeks now, and the only peep about real workflow has been from Lucas Wilson. I mean, you shoot with the Varicam, and you can't wait to get back to the office to see how cool your footage looks - but NO ONE is talking about how cool their RED footage looks, and how they are looking at it !

Bob Zelin


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Tim Kolb
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 12, 2007 at 11:47:22 am

[Bob Zelin] "but NO ONE is talking about how cool their RED footage looks, and how they are looking at it !"

I have a sneaking suspicion that the steps prior to the FCP timeline and the absolute necessity of a relatively pricey Windows software program will ambush more than a few of the "upwardly mobile" purchasers, even though it's been quite openly described in RED's own material...Apple hasn't been going out of their way to mention needing a dual-boot system-or two systems.

Of course, 4K capable viewing isn't exactly a household norm either...



TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Bill Crawford
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 12, 2007 at 1:23:29 pm

Hi All,

I've been following the Red story as well. For as long as I've shot video, I've wanted a video camera without an optical block to screw with the image. Red looks like a great candidate, but I'm still lurking. It has some time to go before it proves its chops.

Key thing I see in all the folks on Reduser.net are that there are very few folks who are sharing decent observations. Yes - it makes very pretty pictures. Any of us who have worked with the camera raw format in digital stills know the attraction there. But - and a big but, this is a very foreign process for our industry in general. It takes time, think back to developing film before you get look at the real pictures.

The sane folks - try fxguide.com for one; great post pros that have published on-line for many years - are saying that they are going to have to rewrite their book on the post flow. Check out the podcast with Mike Seymour and Jeff Heuser for information. It's a good ramble on first experiences without the hype. The impression they leave you with is that it will take a time commitment beyond what most are expecting to get good images ready for work.

It also appears that you can rather quickly put the Red raw images in a QT wrapper to view and edit before any real grading, but when it comes time to wrap the edit, or prep final clips for editing, the rendering clock starts ticking. With the current "beta" software some folks have indicated several times real time needed to output clips. Add that to file transfer time from CF cards, and its easy to see that this is not a process for all.

I'm sure it will get better, but it will be a different way of doing things. Probably not the mainstream revolution most on the list are promising right away.

I'm sure it will be some time yet before we have a good dialog on the realities of the post flow. Until then we get to be entertained by the masses.

My favorite the other day was a user who asked about changing the lens mount from PL to Nikon to Canon so he can use all his glass on a shoot. Somebody told him that the mount was collimated so things stayed in focus and that shims were used to adjust the mount. Another poster helpfully posted a link for purchase of a collimator. By the end of the thread he was thinking he was going to keep the lens mounts in a baggie with the shims and change mounts in the field with his "portable" collimator - hey it's only a few screws! ;)

The sad thing was that nobody on the list serve suggested to him that this was a very bad idea. Hopefully by now.

I'm hoping the hype winds down, and Red proves to be a winner.

Bill



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Tim Kolb
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 12, 2007 at 1:49:25 pm

[Bill Crawford] "The impression they leave you with is that it will take a time commitment beyond what most are expecting to get good images ready for work."

...and i think that's the point in a nutshell. There are very few of us who have any doubts the camera will be capable of fantastic images...but I think for those that don't spend their time reading between the lines of the Apple and RED promotion, the expectation seems to be that the RED will be analogous to gourmet European cheese...in a spray can.

Shooting feature quality images will not only take a feature quality crew with the same feature level expense in peripheral gear, it will take feature level post attention and time. A camera that changes the world of cameras forever doesn't necessarily change the world of production nearly as much as some expect IMO.



TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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donatello
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 12, 2007 at 4:35:30 pm

"I know of no other company who had the guts to get $400,000 in deposits from something that didn't even exist."

i think up to Jan 06 it was approx 1400 reservations X $1000= 1.4 mil - and you don't hear any of those persons complaining ...
and don't forget for those 1400+ persons get a $2500 credit toward accessories - so where could one put 1000 and get back $2500 ... for those that choose to cancel they would get 1200 back - $200 more - so what bank is paying 20% interest ? and your 1000 deposit has a cancel at any time full refund ... IMO i think it would be easier to get back my 1000 from RED then it would from a small bank that went into $$ problems ...


what i do find odd ?? -you can sell stock ( short sell) that you do NOT own ... you sell 1000 share of X stock - the $$ goes into your account ... you owe your broker house 1000 shares that you must replace sometime in the future - you're hoping that in the future you can buy the stock for less then you sold it ( difference is your profit ) ...
so if one can sell short ?? i see no problem with putting down a 1000 deposit for a item that is being developed ...





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Steve Wargo
Re: I'm an idiot...
on Sep 12, 2007 at 8:19:38 pm

I wish I would have put down 20 deposits.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Steve Wargo
Repost
on Sep 12, 2007 at 9:48:42 pm

[donatello] "and don't forget for those 1400+ persons get a $2500 credit toward accessories - so where could one put 1000 and get back $2500 ... for those that choose to cancel they would get 1200 back - $200 more - so what bank is paying 20% interest ? and your 1000 deposit has a cancel at any time full refund ... IMO i think it would be easier to get back my 1000 from RED then it would from a small bank that went into $$ problems ..."

I should have put down 20 deposits. Hmmmmmmmmm I wonder if anybody else might have done just that.


Wait! There's still time. I could go the the bank, get a loan for $50K, put down 50 deposits, wait a few months and then ask for my money back and make $10K clear. Oh Boy, here it comes.


Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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