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Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?

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Travis Valtierra
Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 7, 2008 at 11:46:36 pm


So the feature that i am about to start is looking at shooting on the Red, the DP and i have already done some tests with the camera but the workflow still is a little shaky. I have been reading on here and a lot on Reduser and these are the workflows that seem to work? But my question is what is the best one for a 95 min. feature or is that just a bad idea?

I personally think the REDtrip is a great idea but when i tried a quick test it worked up until the point where i was trying to convert the Redcine.xml to a FCP.xml

I imported the "_H" files into my FCP system, it converted my sequence into ProRes HQ and i did my edit in that. I had a orange render bar and had to render it out everytime. Once i finished my quick edit i exported my XML into a seperate folder with my Redtrip Droplets and did the first step of Red Trip and it made a new XML for RedCine. I opened RedCine, opened all the shots that i used and opened the RedCine XML that i just made. Did my color set my output settings/path and made sure all the clips were set to "Width". I rendered out all the shots as ProRes HQ 1080, then saved my RedCine XML before i closed out. I then tried doing step two of the Redtrip, and it found the right path to the xml but i tried typing in my own path of the Renders because it wasnt finding the right folder and it kept saying "No path found" I literally tried this at least 10 times in different ways but no luck. i havent had time to test this again but i want this workflow to work.

I did not try what it suggested it the instructions, which was to export/compress your "_H" files to ProRes with the name that the camera gave it, i would assume the only real advantage to this is not dealing with rendering?


The second workflow that i am seeing is just converting all your footage to another format off the bat, such as a ProRes in RedCine. The only thing i am having trouble with is an easy way to label all the footage and do a batch at the same time with out having the same name. (If not i might just have to relabel in finder)Also the fact that it would take a good deal of time to process all of this if you have a long format project. My next question would be if i did do it this way and still kept the original name with in the file name what would be the process to go back to a 4k out if need to be.

The production that i am on are really thinking about shooting on this camera on 4K for a 95 min Indie Feature. We were going to shoot on the HPX3000 but it doesnt really do what we want it to do and the HPX500 isn't really as comparable. I am new to this camera, i have done some test shoots with this but my main concern is my workflow since i am the one who is going to be cutting it and working with it for the next couple of weeks.

Would it be possible to help shed some light of this? It would be much appreciated!

What would be the best and the safest workflow to work with, also having the option to go back to the original 4K res for a possible film out?

Keeping it all organized, do i need the original file names? Im assuming yes.

Then what is the best format to cut it with out having my machine struggle? I was planing on ProRes.

I will also be on set downloading to my laptop then transfering it to my MacPro to Process all the files, so i can hopefully do some editing on set.

also im cutting on a Quad 2.66 with 4GB Ram and a G-Speed es Mirrored through Sata.


Thanks in advance for reading this!!!






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Chris Burke
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 3:07:40 pm

What is your budget? As you stated it is an indie feature so the budget is probably small. So this makes every penny count even more so, compared to larger funded features. With the uncertainty that you showed in your post, I would not use the Red. If for no other reason than for the huge headache and holes in your wallet you will get when trying to fix things in post. What is more important to you? What format you shoot on or getting your movie made and released. I fully realize that format goes a long way to the over all telling of a story, but if it gets in the way of you actually making the movie, then look else where. Further more, working in a 2k or 4k workflow will be very expensive. How is your film going to be finished? Will you have to pay for a film out? With all this taken into consideration, it may indeed be cheaper and certainly will be easier to shoot 35mm 1.85 and go for a contact print. Of course it may not, many variables come into play and I no nothing of your project. I would look around to other options before deciding.
I will share with you a brief conversation I had with one of the accountants of a major Hollywood film that is about to be released. It was shot on the Genesis. Cost well over 100 million to make. Doesn't look all that great (my opinion). I started to ask this person at a party I was attending if it was "better" to shoot Digital, before I finished my sentence, he cut me off and quite emphatically stated, "No, Super 35 would have been cheaper, faster easier."
If you are like me and have little to no money to make movies with, you need tried and true performance. Every penny HAS TO BE well spent. I don't want my post to be interpreted as a digital vs film statement, it is just that the Red isn't all it claims to be. It will improve as all the kinks are worked out, but can you afford to fix them yourself? I think either a tape based or film based workflow would be best. Good luck.


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 3:53:23 pm

Despite your brief conversation with an "accountant," there is NO way a motion picture can be more expensive to shoot on Red rather than 35MM film, unless the producers are totally incompetent. I certainly don't doubt this possibility!

35MM film stock and processing costs are huge, then you have to bear the transfer charges to edit digitally or make prints for film editing. Film editing, by the way, is a slow, slow, slow process; that's why you don't find Steenbeck's around around every corner these days. I think they now operate out of a large garage-sized building in Holland.

I always enjoyed the tactile feel of editing on a flatbed, and the big guys can afford the luxury of editing anyway they wish, but it's just no longer practical for the rest of the world.

I'm puzzled by your statement, "it is just that the Red isn't all it claims to be;" what claims are you referring to? Have you ever operated a Red camera or worked with the Raw files? The footage I've seen is spectacular and the limited tests I've done with RedCine are very straight-forward. I've moved the files easily into Final Cut with no problems so far.

If you check the Red site, you'll see a few features are/have been produced with the Red camera.

Now, whether or not the original poster should shoot with Red, I would recommend a lot of research first. Visit producers who have finished Red projects. Examine a realistic Red vs. Film budget. Obviously, it's possible to produce with Red because it's been done; whether it's right for any specific project is a question that cannot be answered with a generic post.

Good shooting and best regards,

Leo








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Aaron Neitz
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 5:53:52 pm

Chris does make an important point for Travis: if you're not comfortable with RED in post and time/money are important considerations, maybe you should shoot with a format you know.

RED is amazing and I'd leap at the chance of shooting a feature on it...but it comes at the price of 1) being technically savvy and willing to experiment, 2) expending great amounts of time up front and at finishing to retrieve your RED footage in a standardized format, and 3) being able to manage clients expectations when there are problems and you need even more time to smooth things out

For our 1st RED project I spent days fooling around with footage to determine what worked best for my editors and my finishing pipeline. I think simply sitting at a computer and hitting buttons with test footage is your best bet at learning what works and what doesn't - rather than getting a flowchart from anyone else. No one has the "perfect" workflow yet. And that's part of RED's indie charm!



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Travis Valtierra
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 6:43:35 pm


Thank you for your replays and your honestly. I have a pretty good idea of the Red workflow but it just seems everyones doing everything different and it one story compared to the next. Im just trying to figure out whats the best possible offline that is still able to go back to the original R3D files for your online. I tried Red Trip, but its still a beta version and im hearing this program "Crimson" which is suppose to be better but not out yet, then theres scratch which i hear is super expensive. I just saw "Jumper" last nite and that was shot on RED, so im trying to do some more research on what their workflow was. Im a pretty quick leaner when it comes to this stuff and i have no doubts that i can handle this workflow with out any major issues but im just looking for some advice to help back my understanding.

Also 35mm is way out of the budget because shooting 35 is just plan out expensive compared to the RED. Right now our plan and budget isn't for a film out but we would like to have a workflow in place in case we do get that type of distribution.

Thanks again,

Travis



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Aaron Neitz
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 8:24:33 pm

FYI - Jumper and Wanted... only have "select shots" that were done in RED. I think the first films that are all RED are still in the post hopper.

As long as you keep the RED filenames intact you can always go back and get 4K files by hand. RedTrip sometimes works...sometimes doesn't. Maybe you should consider making HD prores files out of all your RED, edit and complete your movie, and if there's enough interest and $$ in an ultra definition finish, just saddle up to a workstation for a couple weeks and go find your 4K selects. Any major feature film would have a team of DI assistants doing this busy work... but no reason a single person couldn't handle it either.




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Chris Burke
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 7:32:01 pm



When producing any kind of movie, it is the labor that cost money, the above the line costs and such, not the format. Filmmaking is expensive no matter which format you choose. Cast and crew don't usually work for less with one type of shooting and more with another. You mention all the film related costs and you are correct, they add up and are large. But your argument still doesn't hold water. Superman Returns, shot on the genesis (probably for free or cheap), cost $270 million to make and lost money. 300, shot on super 35, cost $65 million to make and made loads of money. Your statement that there is NO way a 35 feature can cost less is incorrect, it can cost less and it can cost more. The producers are not incompetent, they are merely working within a market that is over inflated as is. Sure feature have been made with the Red, they were very well funded and probably had a great deal of resources that the original poster may not have. I don't know about you, but most of us don't have a major studio backing our projects like Peter Jackson or Steven Soderberg.





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Travis Valtierra
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 8:22:50 pm

I am the original poster, we dont have a big studio backing our project and i know everyone involved on this film, our budget was not made for 35, if we could we would shot 35 but we just cant. My question was not about the cost of production but rather peoples workflow on the Red camera and their experience.

If anyone can help me out with the Workflow and what they experienced on a long format project it would be much appreciated.

Thanks



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Ben Holmes
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 9, 2008 at 1:50:07 am

Travis

Although I am the last person to believe everything I read on the internet (or indeed reduser), it looks extremely likely that a 'proper' RED>FCP workflow is immenent. At least one product, named Crimson is being touted for a pre-NAB release that will allow proper XML parsing for your project.

Even if this does not happen, I suspect RED themselves will get this sorted around NAB. Personally, the biggest bugbear for me at the moment is the inability of QT to play 16:9 2K or 4K files (I'm looking to use RED for video work), which is an Apple, not RED problem - and messes up any proxy-based FCP workflow at the moment.

RED isn't perfect (especially the workflow) but if you can transfer using REDCINE during your shoot and edit in FCP, you have a pretty amazing product at the end for a really indie price. If you transfer rushes daily, is the manual method really so bad for the little bit longer?

Ben



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Robert Torrance
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 10, 2008 at 8:19:21 pm

You might want to try your best to see if you can contact Soderberg's post department. Try his offices. You might be surprised. I once called ILM about doing bluescreen on 16mm and they got right back to me. Soderberg is doing FCP offline/online then scratch finish.

Bob

Bob


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James Smith
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Sep 21, 2011 at 8:56:03 pm

I assume that your production is finished after this late date, but the question you posed still had merit especially for a true independent and not a studio backed independent or one with the clout of prior feature films on their resume. I think it would be good for anyone thinking of shooting on the Red should read the following article. I'm not anti-Red, but it seems like an awful lot of filmmakers these last few years having been proudly stating that their project was shot on the Red like that automatically equals a great film. This is similar to back in my day when indie and amatuer filmmakers used to love to claim a feature was shot on 35mm. So they shot on professional equipment -- didn't make the films any better. The Red is no different.

http://www.theblackandblue.com/2011/08/04/epic-cost/


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 9:56:11 pm

The absolute cost of a movie compared to it's box office return has absolutely no relationship to the cost of shooting Red vs. 35MM film.

If you're claiming that the acquisition format directly affects the audience appeal, you're hopelessly off base. In point of fact, acquisition format is probably one of the least, if not the least, influential factors contributing to a movie's success or failure.

Any hack buying a Red camera believing that it's potential for image quality will in itself allow them to create great films is sadly mistaken. The same is certainly true of any film format; we've all been subjected to either horrible cinematography, dreadful stories, wooden acting, or all of above regardless of the acquisition format.

The digital vs. film cost issue is long settled; the percentage savings is dependent on the overall budget, but the absolute dollar savings is considerable.

Good shooting and best regards,

Leo






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John Kert
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 9, 2008 at 8:03:23 pm

You should check out this Cineform site:

http://www.cineform.com/products/TechNotes/Red-Prospect4K.htm

It shows both options.
JK



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Travis Valtierra
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 10, 2008 at 10:01:53 pm

I might try calling Soderberg's office for their opition, thats a good idea thanks. I would like to do a FCP offline/online then scratch finish, ive been hearing that it works well. I think thats the route i will take if the scratch house doesn't cost an arm & a Leg. If not i will do what Aaron Suggested which is to edit/finish in a ProRes and see whats up for distrubution because i can always go back to my .R3D files later.

Thanks Everyone

-Travis



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Arnie Schlissel
Re: Indie Feature Be Possible on Red? read this article
on Mar 14, 2008 at 9:01:05 pm

http://www.studiodaily.com/main/technique/casestudies/9097.html

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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Todd Terry
Re: Indie Feature Be Possible on Red? read this article
on Mar 15, 2008 at 7:28:20 pm

Actually, got some feedback from John Sayles a couple of weeks ago (the film co-op here brought him in for a little talk, and most of us from the office went down to see what he had to say)....

Someone (not me) asked Sayles if he had ever considered shooting high-def or with RED. He said, no, he hadn't in the past... had only shot real film. But he said the idea was interesting, that he might consider it someday... but from everything that he had seen it looked to be "a couple of years" before he felt the technology would be a worthy replacement for film.

I think the old-schoolers are going to be harder to convince (besides, when you have guys like Haskell Wexler and Roger Deakins DPing for you and wanting to shoot film, you shoot film).


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Graeme Nattress
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 17, 2008 at 1:09:17 am

I'd speak to someone like OffHollywood as they've done and are doing more RED indie features.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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Torrey Loomis
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 19, 2008 at 6:15:28 am

Travis,

Doing an indie on RED is 100% do-able. We are in post production on our first affiliated RED feature film:

http://www.sensoredthemovie.com

Pre-production has already started on the second:

http://www.melissamayi.com

The guys working on "Sensored" would never go back to shooting film or HD after they saw their initial trailer on a 4k projector at San Francisco State last week. They knew their footage was good, but it looked amazing on a huge screen.

Even before the screening, they loved the workflow. We had experienced people on set (DP, AC, and DMT) who had shot on RED before. The director had even prior experience with RED.

Disclosure--while we used the SXRD at SFSU, we were only able to project in HD since our Quvis had some hiccups with the audio.

The producers were still thrilled. I can't wait to get the workflow straightened out with Quvis so we could see it again--this time in true 4k.

If you can surround yourself with folks who have RED experience (budget permitting) you'll be very happy with the results.

Torrey
-----------------------------------------------
Torrey Loomis
President & CEO - Silverado Systems, Inc.
Outfitter to the World's Foremost Apple Professionals
2600 East Bidwell Street, Suite 280
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 760-0032 • FAX (916) 404-5258
tloomis@silverado.cc
http://www.Silverado.cc


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Stuart Ferreyra
Re: Would a Indie Feature Be Possible on Red?
on Mar 23, 2008 at 4:30:03 pm

Travis,

I don't know where you are located, but if you are around Los Angeles, give us a call or a visit. We have worked on several RED shot projects and have the workflow down. We are also experienced with Indie features which most of what we do. I am the colorist and co-owner. I will be willing to give you a hand on this one. For more info follow this links:

http://leaders.creativecow.net/leaders/ferreyra_stuart/
http://www.timecodemultimedia.com



"High-end Post Services at Affordable rates"
------------------------------------------------------------

Stuart Ferreyra
Timecode Multimedia
Colorist / Online Editor
310.826.9199
AIM: stuart.colorist
http://www.timecodemultimedia.com


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