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Sony vs. Red... The Forbidden Thread


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#1 Tom York

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 11:53 AM

Apparently on Reduser.net Jim Jannard posted a cryptic rant against Sony and how they would be going against them because they were fed up with what Sony did to them. The thread then shortly disappeared along with at least another one who asked what happened to that one. Now any mention of this Sony vs. Red is promptly 'disappeared' over there. I was curious to know if anyone knows what happened. From what I hear Sony has forbidden ALL Sony funded Features and TV programing from using the Red (and the ban applies only to the Red). Is this true? What is going on?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:04 PM

Who knows. Generally Sony Electronics, Sony as a whole, Sony the movie company, individual productions -- well, there isn't much coordination between them unless you are "Spider-Man" or something with a lot of cross-marketing potential. I've done small movies for Sony companies (Screen Gems, Dimension, Sony Pictures Classics) and never had any interference or support from them regarding camera technology.

It may simply be something like Warner Bros. attitude for a few months regarding the Genesis, after having post problems on "Superman Returns" -- i.e. it's not ready yet so we'd prefer you not use it until we feel more comfortable about the technology. On that level, studio people do stick their noses in decisions all the time, like the "don't shoot anamorphic because we don't like the focus problems" or "don't shoot Fuji because everyone shoots Kodak and we feel more comfortable with Kodak."

I remember the AC article on "30 Days of Night" where the DP had to convince the studio to let him shoot night exteriors on 200T instead of 500T stock, which is bizarre that they would even get into the discussion and interfere on that level.

So this may be a case of corporate technological conservatism more than corporate pushing their brand of technology over another company's product. But I really don't know.

These sorts of decisions by studios often change again in six months, especially as people swap chairs in the executive tower.
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:09 PM

Hi,

What I find interesting is that I can't think of any other business where one would expect to be able to use a competitors product at all.

Stephen
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#4 John Holland

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:19 PM

This 3D movie that Geoff Boyle has just finished in New Mexico used the Red cameras and Sony put up the money for that one .
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:28 PM

This 3D movie that Geoff Boyle has just finished in New Mexico used the Red cameras and Sony put up the money for that one .


Hi John,

I read that too, they even liked the pictures. Hopefully Jim will comment on the matter.

Stephen
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:38 PM

Hi All,

The thread has returned!

http://www.reduser.n...read.php?t=7037

Stephen
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#7 Mitch Gross

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:43 PM

Personally I think it is entirely between the two companies and the dirty laundry should not be aired in public. If one does choose to go public, then really do -- don't make cryptic references. Say something or don't say something.
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#8 Max Jacoby

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 01:02 PM

"don't shoot Fuji because everyone shoots Kodak and we feel more comfortable with Kodak."

Yep, that happened to Eduardo Serra on 'Unbreakable'
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#9 John Holland

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 01:08 PM

Also same thing happened to US DPs with Agfa when it was still available just got have that "Kodak" moment .
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#10 Richard Boddington

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 01:24 PM

Hi All,

The thread has returned!

http://www.reduser.n...read.php?t=7037

Stephen


I find this on that thread....I wonder if they mean us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by *******
To me it sounds like some Sony reps have been running around telling people that Red isn't a safe purchase.

Yeah, something like that I heard from one another "pro" forum.
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#11 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 01:32 PM

I was told by an exec not to use a grip cookie that I was setting to help break up some light hitting the background. :blink: I ignored her and used it anyway. I suppose I should've visited her office afterwards and told her to not use a calculator to figure out her budget. <_<
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#12 John Sprung

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 01:35 PM

.... "don't shoot Fuji because everyone shoots Kodak and we feel more comfortable with Kodak."

I know of one major studio where it was "We have a strong preference for Kodak because we get a volume rebate from Kodak"




-- J.S.
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#13 Gary McClurg

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 02:12 PM

Why would Sony be afraid of Red....

Please lets be real... you think every major studio in town is just going to toss aside all that film or TV equipment they own... even if Red became number #1.. it ain't gonna happen in a year... it would be a few years proving they can make it... and even if it could happen sooner who's going to buy all that film equipment... I mean its not going to be worth anything... and those movie house are just going to throw out all that old equipment also so they can replace it with new stuff that costs twice as much every couple of years...

Actually as I think about it... not a bad idea... I could pick up a nice Arri or Panavision for $17,500 including the lens, matte box, follow focus, and other goodies.. and Kodak stock would go down to about .05 a foot with lab and transfer costs another .05 a foot... wow I could shoot 35mm... the look I love even though I don't mind shooting HD...

Then who knows maybe all the young kids would purcahse all the film camera... and then film would come back... and ditigal would die... and then the cycle could all repeat over and over... and no I haven't had anything to drink this morning... :lol:

Sounds like just another marketing gimmic to me... they all use them...

(Note) this post was written in fun...

Edited by Gary McClurg, 28 December 2007 - 02:16 PM.

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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 05:45 PM

The only reason Sony would be worried about the few features shot on the F23 using the RED instead is corporate pride, not profits.

Their real moneymaking market is the consumer and midrange professional broadcast equipment sold in large numbers every year -- that's an area where the RED camera could potentially do more serious damage to their bottom line, but so far, the whole RAW recording technology and the conversion times doesn't necessarily lend itself (yet) to ENG shooters with short turnaround times, who deliver tapes at the end of a day.

But that's today, we don't know if tomorrow the workflow for delivering RED footage to video producers gets accepted or streamlined, sped-up, to make them forget tape. Formats like P2 have helped prepare producers for this new workflow, but P2 recordings don't need to be processed from RAW to RGB.

But for features, independent filmmaking, etc. RED stands more to gain financially from cornering that market than Sony does, so it seems Sony is worried about that area only because of the prestige of their cameras being used for feature films, which may impact marketing. But in terms of sales, the filmmaking world is small potatoes compared to the broadcast video world.
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#15 Joe Taylor

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 07:07 PM

Hi All,

The thread has returned!

http://www.reduser.n...read.php?t=7037

Stephen



Damn. Now it's gone again.
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#16 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 07:38 PM

The only reason Sony would be worried about the few features shot on the F23 using the RED instead is corporate pride, not profits.

Their real moneymaking market is the consumer and midrange professional broadcast equipment sold in large numbers every year -- that's an area where the RED camera could potentially do more serious damage to their bottom line, but so far, the whole RAW recording technology and the conversion times doesn't necessarily lend itself (yet) to ENG shooters with short turnaround times, who deliver tapes at the end of a day.

But that's today, we don't know if tomorrow the workflow for delivering RED footage to video producers gets accepted or streamlined, sped-up, to make them forget tape. Formats like P2 have helped prepare producers for this new workflow, but P2 recordings don't need to be processed from RAW to RGB.

But for features, independent filmmaking, etc. RED stands more to gain financially from cornering that market than Sony does, so it seems Sony is worried about that area only because of the prestige of their cameras being used for feature films, which may impact marketing. But in terms of sales, the filmmaking world is small potatoes compared to the broadcast video world.


Well said and (not that my opinion means anything at all) that's where the RED strategy falls short. While I can sort of understand the goal of subverting the current preference of shooting actual film, the realistic chance of doing that with the RED doesn't seem very likely, at least not anytime soon.

The camera itself seems much better suited toward the ENG (Electronic News Gathering) market and to a lesser extent presently, to the EFP market (Electronic Field Production). The news people I know enjoy having the instantaneous access to footage that a CF card or harddrive offers. Toss in the price point of the camera itself, the inherent picture quality, and the size (the weight is actually on par with an F900), and the RED could easily become a tool of ENG long before the film community adopts it. However, it's my understanding that the goal still remains to be that of becoming a Panaflex replacement so all efforts both technical and marketing-wise will likely be toward that end.

That's too bad for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that both the ENG and EFP markets (please don't lump them together...they really are two completely different things :) ) could really use a very high quality camera like this at a significantly lower price compared to the standard SONY, Ikegami, or Panasonic broadcast quality cameras. But too much of the camera itself doesn't currently lend itself to the standard work usage that is nearly universal, such as standard size XLR inputs and easy access to things like white balance, gain, and onboard (to the card) audio recording levels. Very quickly, the thing could start looking like an ARRI where it is necessary to velcro at least one thing on just to get it to do what you need it to.

So anyway, from what I've seen and heard so far, I don't think that SONY has much to worry about as far as something like RED taking over the EFP and ENG markets. The camera just isn't designed around those work protocols in the field or the workflow in post. Too many hoops to jump through still that, remarkably, aren't enough to justify saving $70 grand over the cost of an F900R...yet. And from the present scuttlebutt, RED is facing an uphill battle in taking over the feature market, ironically, for many of the same reasons. It's a kind of "in-between" camera that seems to be just halfway there for both markets...not entirely unusable, but not entirely practical either....yet. ;) We'll all have to wait and see how the technology and usability improves over time.

It would be nice if SONY would pay attention to the features that other cameras have. I'm sure that we could come up with a long list of improvements that would be nice to see on their cameras, not the least of which would be a menu system that actually makes sense...perhaps the ability to plug in a laptop computer to EASILY manipulate user-friendly engineering features on the fly. And how about an onboard flip-out "assistant's monitor."
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#17 Werner Klipsch

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 08:35 PM

Apparently on Reduser.net Jim Jannard posted a cryptic rant against Sony and how they would be going against them because they were fed up with what Sony did to them. The thread then shortly disappeared along with at least another one who asked what happened to that one. Now any mention of this Sony vs. Red is promptly 'disappeared' over there. I was curious to know if anyone knows what happened. From what I hear Sony has forbidden ALL Sony funded Features and TV programing from using the Red (and the ban applies only to the Red). Is this true? What is going on?

Apart from "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" I do not recall any Columbia big budget movies that used Sony digital cameras. There may well be a few lesser releases I have not heard of that were, but in general all Columbia (Sony) commercial movies are still shot on film. If Sony have made such a move against RED, this must be a very recent policy change.
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#18 Seung Han

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 06:40 AM

Well said and (not that my opinion means anything at all) that's where the RED strategy falls short. While I can sort of understand the goal of subverting the current preference of shooting actual film, the realistic chance of doing that with the RED doesn't seem very likely, at least not anytime soon.

The camera itself seems much better suited toward the ENG (Electronic News Gathering) market and to a lesser extent presently, to the EFP market (Electronic Field Production). The news people I know enjoy having the instantaneous access to footage that a CF card or harddrive offers. Toss in the price point of the camera itself, the inherent picture quality, and the size (the weight is actually on par with an F900), and the RED could easily become a tool of ENG long before the film community adopts it. However, it's my understanding that the goal still remains to be that of becoming a Panaflex replacement so all efforts both technical and marketing-wise will likely be toward that end.

That's too bad for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that both the ENG and EFP markets (please don't lump them together...they really are two completely different things :) ) could really use a very high quality camera like this at a significantly lower price compared to the standard SONY, Ikegami, or Panasonic broadcast quality cameras. But too much of the camera itself doesn't currently lend itself to the standard work usage that is nearly universal, such as standard size XLR inputs and easy access to things like white balance, gain, and onboard (to the card) audio recording levels. Very quickly, the thing could start looking like an ARRI where it is necessary to velcro at least one thing on just to get it to do what you need it to.

So anyway, from what I've seen and heard so far, I don't think that SONY has much to worry about as far as something like RED taking over the EFP and ENG markets. The camera just isn't designed around those work protocols in the field or the workflow in post. Too many hoops to jump through still that, remarkably, aren't enough to justify saving $70 grand over the cost of an F900R...yet. And from the present scuttlebutt, RED is facing an uphill battle in taking over the feature market, ironically, for many of the same reasons. It's a kind of "in-between" camera that seems to be just halfway there for both markets...not entirely unusable, but not entirely practical either....yet. ;) We'll all have to wait and see how the technology and usability improves over time.

It would be nice if SONY would pay attention to the features that other cameras have. I'm sure that we could come up with a long list of improvements that would be nice to see on their cameras, not the least of which would be a menu system that actually makes sense...perhaps the ability to plug in a laptop computer to EASILY manipulate user-friendly engineering features on the fly. And how about an onboard flip-out "assistant's monitor."


Wow. The first cameras out of beta shipped this week. These are some big declarations.
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#19 Stephen Williams

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 09:09 AM

Wow. The first cameras out of beta shipped this week. These are some big declarations.


Hi,

Are you sure there not still beta?

Stephen
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#20 Seung Han

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 12:55 PM

Hi,

Are you sure there not still beta?

Stephen


I assume the hardware is no longer beta since they are ramping up productions to ship, up to 400 in January.

I just did a quick search and the latest firmware, however, is still beta.

"The beta version of Build 12 (v1.8.6) Firmware and release version of Build 11 (v1.7.0) Firmware have been posted on RED.com/support (password-protected download)."

Edited by Seung Han, 29 December 2007 - 12:58 PM.

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