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Why this violence?


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#1 Jon Corcuera

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 07:53 PM

Hi all,
I am realy unhappy the direction that the forums are taking in some points, specialy with RED matter.
I see people that defend RED with violence like a religion and people that atack RED like it will be demon and that is poisoning the forums.
As profesionals most of us Freelance I don´t think we should be making such a general statements because RED/DALSA/ARRI/PANAVISION/... and all the cameras I know have strongh points and weekness and as profesionals we are to have our brain clear to be able to choose the best camera for the proyect we have between our hands. Another thing is to have our prefered camera system that we may perfectly have but there is no need to throw trash in to others roof, we make our point by our decitions.
I know is a naif argument but I am sick of this nonsense verbal violence that is spreeding through the forums an making more complicate to reach the interesting information, that is the actual reason for them to exist, I don´t think the creators of this forums expected them to become a battlefield.
And as a result of this behavior we are loosing the advise of great DOP´s, AC´s, DIT´s, ...
Sorry for this spech but I am just geting tired of beeing forced to read political type of post in stead of technical and profesional opinions.
i am trying to make a test with GEnesis, Dalsa origin, arri D-20 and RED the 15 and 16 of march and I am having more troubles due to this paranoic and sick state of mind that people is getting at than for the actual preproduction matters, and believe they are big ones.
Jon Corcuera
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Sorry for my English (from now on SFME) please correct me, that way i might learn :D

Edited by Jon Corcuera, 28 February 2008 - 07:55 PM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 09:32 PM

I'm pretty sick of it too. It's partly the result of the camera being a very exciting development in terms of being a 4K Bayer-filtered camera for $17,500 (body); it reaches a much wider consumer base than most professional camera equipment because of that. Plus it has been marketed in an aggressive way as being "revolutionary" -- well, revolutionaries are passionate folks, and passionate folks cause other people to become passionately opposed to them.

It's all part of the "you're either with us or against us" mentality that has spread to all aspects of modern discourse.

I find both sides annoying; there are some folks on the RED User site who dump on anyone who posts a problem with the equipment, usually saying that they just don't know what they are doing, accusing them of incompetence and ignorance. And there are the people at the other end who call it a fraud or something to that effect.

I've always said that, marketing aside, ultimately any piece of equipment, once it gets used regularly, shows its true strength and weaknesses. You just have to wait; the truth always comes out. And usually the truth is neither entirely bad nor good, it just shows that nothing is perfect, that every device has room for improvement, and that ultimately you weigh the good and the bad, the strengths and the weakness, and the true costs, and you make a decision.

Or you rent, like me....

RED is a work in progress and since there seems to be constant improvement, forward momentum, I see that as a good thing. Eventually we'll all start seeing entire features shot on the thing on the big screen and this will further add to our assessments.

With the number of cameras sold and the number of people trying to rent the cameras, the demand is exceeding the supply currently, so RED is going to be a force to deal with, so it would be silly for a cinematographer to not learn more about how to use it.
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#3 Jon Corcuera

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 10:13 PM

Hi David,
I certainly hope people starts relaxing and focusing in the real work we have to be doing with cameras.
This work is realy stressing and demanding so I find ridiculous to ad more stress.
I have beeing recently taken as a "RED member" or defender just for trying to do my work that is to go and study every knew camera that I can get my hands on.
I find ridiculous to have to defend myself from being pro Xcamera... as I will find ridiculous to do the same in the oposite direction.
I am a freelance that tryes to work in as many countrys as posible, with as many cameras as posible, with as many posproduction facilitys and with as many crews as posible.
I am 28 years old and I work as DIT/AC and I will become a DOP when I think I am prepared for the jump, and I love this world I have met great magisters in the way, that they have not just give technical knoledge but love and respect for this work. This is what it should be important and any other fact shouldn´t be even consider.
Jon Corcuera
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 01:00 AM

It's all part of the "you're either with us or against us" mentality that has spread to all aspects of modern discourse.



Yeah, what ever happened to polite disagreement?


;)
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#5 David Auner aac

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 02:37 AM

Yeah, what ever happened to polite disagreement?


Sadly, it's era seems to be over (for now). It's not just something we see here on the boards. I see it all over the place. In politics, in social life, economics. It seems everything is currently veering off the middle ground to one extreme or the other. But I guess that's just a natural development, swing of the pendulum. Better than things not moving at all. You just wait until you like the direction it's going a bit better and in the meantime do your best to counter the radicalization. At least that's my take on it.

Cheers, Dave
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 04:00 AM

I find it very difficult and a vain practice to argue rather than intellectually discuss an emerging technology. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles and let an opinion just be that, an opinion.
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#7 David Auner aac

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 06:06 AM

I find it very difficult and a vain practice to argue rather than intellectually discuss an emerging technology. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles and let an opinion just be that, an opinion.


I fully subscribe to that. If only the people arguing whether Camera X or Z is superior would see the light in that! Reminds of the old kindergarden/elementary school discussion whether a Star Wars Star Destroyer would be able to destroy Enterprise...

Cheers, Dave
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#8 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 09:38 AM

I actually find the recent rise of threads and posts dedicated to or casually mentioning either Star Trek, Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica from a certain childhood memory angle similarly worrying for grown-ups (esp. as this tempts me to search through my childhold toy boxes to find that Millennium Falcon playset from Kenner I am sure is still around... never would I give THAT away...)

The very nature of an internet forum is the exchange of public information, unquotable hear-say and valid or biased personal knowledge and experience (I do not separate these two as so many here apparently do, esp. in those "apprenticeship vs film school" threads that regularly pop-up). This structure works very well when people discuss processes or devices they all are broadly familiar with, with the individual angles from anyone due to specific work (such as shooting with a 35 BL in the Cameroonian jungle, or how that Cantar works when continuosly rough-handled for two weeks) truly adding to the value of debate as one does not need to go through the same experiences oneself to get a notion of how things might be or could get.

The problem is just that when issues or topics get discussed the overwhelming majority of people hasn't been able to work with first hand, esp. new technologies or techniques, and the only information flow comes from - I think we all agree on that - occassionally hysteric, mostly hype-generating, but usually sample-less marketing blurb that is so obviously shallow one wonders how the marketeers can truly believe anyone will buy into that, then the reasonable foundation for debate here is eroded. After all, we really can only talk about snippets of knowledge under such circumstances.

I think in the RED's case, that controlled information flow machinery has unnecessarily aggraveted many people because they see through that and are anxious to check the real thing out to get to the nature of things - after all, RED marketing has raised expectations to outstanding heights. When they are confronted with evanglist followers of RED marketing, mostly much younger, less-weathered (though not necessarily less-experienced or knowledgable) freelancers, a hotch-potch of career-threat fears, keeping-up anxiety, erosion of established skills and financial worries seems to come (underlyingly) into play as well when people post here. All this poisons the RED debate unnecessarily, but understandably.

A further complicating aspect is that the electronification of what has been traditionally a rather stayed and obvious industry introduces many here to the new mindset of "battlefield discourses" very much at home in the ICT industry. That is not helping the professional debate either, but people by now should be aware of how such technology is traditionally discussed and accept that as the user base shifts into different backgrounds, such "speak" will become more common-place as far as "e-cinema" devices are concerned (incl. DLP in theatres and digital distribution of content, a realm that hasn't even been started-up for questioning).

As regards the certain pessimism about the development of public discourse - or rather its descent into militant exchanges: It's quite true that after the very liberal 1990s, this decade has brought a more regressive and anti-reflectivist perspective on things. In times when people (are made to) worry, they don't like when you think and double-question matters and tell them that things are diffuse and not as clear-cut and that they have to confront that themselves.
But, frankly, one should read through older newspapers or look at societal transformations that had previously occured within the last century. Just go through a chronicle what happend in one week 40 years ago or 80 years ago. If we saturated folks would have to cope with such a mass/mess of news and situation changes today, everyone would run around and shout "Doomed, we are doomed" after reading the paper or watching the news. Honestly, this decade is really rather calm and much less apocalyptic people believe it to be. It's just that they don't get the necessary distance to see that.

Inhale, Relax, and Exhale ® ! And just dip into the RED forum once a month. In the past months, there really hasn't been anything worthwhile to report or discuss on that device that is based on solid info (incl. Phil's interesting post from checking it out here in LDN). Opening a 70mm user forum would be more enlightening and have work-based threads than the majority of all that is posted in those RED threads.

Anyway, just my thoughts.
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#9 Paul Bruening

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:16 PM

If they're going to fight over it all, why not really let them fight it out? I wonder how well RED would hold as a bludgeon. I'd go into an arena with my Frankenmitchell. I'd come out with RED shaped bruises. They'd carry out the other guy with a crushed head. "Ugh. Me got big camera. Me take picture. Me crush head! Ugh!"
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#10 Tom Lowe

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:20 PM

You can find koolaid drinkers anywhere. Just go to a political forum for any given candidate, and his or her followers act worse than RED koolaid drinkers - any mention of a flaw is jumped upon as "trolling" or "bashing."

I'm a denizen of reduser, and I think the number of koolaid drinkers there is not particularly out of step with other brand-loyal groups. Just look at Mac users! They actually go out of their way to degrade PC users at every turn. There are also plenty of level-headed people at reduser who do not hold back from criticism when it is due. As far as this forum goes, what seems to be lacking to me is a sense of friendship and camaraderie you find on so many message boards. This board is very technical, and it's not often you get a really fun off topic post or people doing off-board meetups, etc.
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#11 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 02:05 PM

May I disagree with you one some points, Tom?

I think there is a difference between debating political issues or religious issues esp. from a party-political or confessional stance in times of elections or change on one side, and the technical discussion of a film or video camera on the other, which - frankly - is by nature not that exciting.

After all, RED sales will most likely not affect the cultural (i.e. political, economic, legal and social) framework in which people will be living for four more years (or more in some countries), and how global relations with hence develop accordingly.
Honestly, even Jannard's mojo isn't that powerful to pull that off.

As re. camaraderie and off-the-forum meetings: I find ciny.com a most civilised, friendly, professional and yet warm and sociable place to contribute and receive, both in cinema-terms and in general. Okay, if you think that the social atmosphere enacted on board the Enterprise-D in 2364 a.D. is a terrible depiction of cultured humans too professional and devoid of fun-loving, letting-your-hair-down stuff enjoying the occasional irresponsibility here and there, then I can see your point. But as far as information exchange is concerned in a mutually-respectful manner, this place is as good as it can get. The "real-name policy" (irrespective whether its the actual passport name or not) adds to that and personalises the debate, esp. amongst those who take their posting and work serious and want to truly assist others in the furthering of their skills.
Likewise, I would ad hoc meet-up with at least a dozen people here if it were geographically possible, and BTW, the oh-so-restricted Britons here already have a pub & industry fair visit down, and the BSC event is looming in mid-March.

All that cannot be said of equally professional forums on - to pick up your ICT line - technology places. Even though those at (e.g.) Ars Technica are catering for high-level ICT professionals, the debating culture and communication standards are significantly lower than this place will ever be able to fall. And the anonymised postings makes you look differently at and wonder about your "IT guy" or "Sys Admin" when you see her/him in the corporate corridors of power.

I knew that someone would eventually bring up the annoying yet very fitting "Mac vs Wintel" battleground, and this ties-in to what I posted earlier about how the electronification of the film industry will also bring in discoursive structures found in these ICT places. RED is a first case in point. And as someone who works with Apple products since 1983, you won't believe the cr*p I had to endure from low-live PC users and their inferior Wintel boxes over the years ( ;) ), so I very much share Jon and David's slightly bothered views on how RED exchanges shape the debating culture here more than any other device before (not even the supressed wave-&-float faults of the Arriflex 16 SR-series, or the "Aaton-is-French" jingoism).
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#12 Jon Corcuera

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 02:49 PM

I am realy glad to hear you talking this way, Michael it realy seems like you have been thinking alot about this matter, impresive "articles" realy interesting.
I think there is a basicly diferent ways to aproach society and in anpersonal world like some forums are, I realy like this forum I didn´t knew it until a couple of days and I am realy happy with the discovery.
As you guys said the proteccion of the name goes against the politeness, because if alows them to say things that they will not say in public.
Thanks for your positive answers and hope I meet you in the seting. :D
Jon Corcuera
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 05:20 PM

As far as this forum goes, what seems to be lacking to me is a sense of friendship and camaraderie you find on so many message boards. This board is very technical, and it's not often you get a really fun off topic post or people doing off-board meetups, etc.


Well, in comparison to a product-specific board like for RED or MAC users, there isn't the same sort of immediate connection between people here that using the same product creates. The only thing that unites us here is an interest in cinematography, which is a broader subject than just DV users or PC users or Nikon users...

I've made friends over the years on this board, though I run into more CML members regularly because they tend to be industry professionals who either live in LA or visit the same trade shows that I do.
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#14 Matt Pacini

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:41 PM

I think part of the situation though was created by the RED guys themselves, and all the "see, we told you film is dead" crowd who over-enthusiastically ranted and raved, when THE CAMERA DIDN'T EVEN EXIST YET!

Just as with anything, there are a lot of people who also over-react to hype, especially when the damn thing was just some mythical prototype that nobody had actually seen, and a bunch of computer generated images of the thing.

So I really don't see that it WAS (at that time) unreasonable for a lot of people to say "hey, come on, this is ridiculous, nobody has even touched one yet, but they're saying it's changed filmmaking as we know it", (me being one of those people).

Now that it is out there, this is another story; the device should stand on it's own, be tested, etc., and a more logical discussion should be taking place.

Still, for all its strengths, I think the fact it has no optical viewfinder is gonna be a tough sell for most people, don't you guys?

Matt Pacini
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#15 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 12:57 AM

I think this is more a symptom of the internet than the product. Often fairly innocent comments can be pounced upon when the intention was never to insult or inflame anyone. I've seen it happen a number of times here where two people seem to be tearing into each other but are arguing the same point.
I think internet forums lack the characteristics of speech and tone but still have an informality which means people don't feel the need to express themselves as precisely as they would in a letter or email. Instead they engage each other in a conversational style but this can lead to a laziness or shorthand which people can misconstrue and then react to.
This is the internet on the whole though, I mean its a pretty aggressive place really. In the end who cares if people disagree about this camera, as long as no misinformation is being spread then I can choose whether or not I will continue to read a thread or someones posts. I mean the Red forum has to be one of the most active on this site now, more power to it. Even if most of it seems to be lacking in anything very substantive.
If I were to complain (and Ive been coming here for 4 odd years or so) it would be about there being a lack of discussion about some of the more practical and artistic aspects of our work, I think its become far to focussed on the technicals. Id like to see more peoples work on here or setups and a discussion of ideas about lighting rather than gear and specs.
More energy seems to be spent talking about this argument than actually arguing it.

Edited by A. Whitehouse, 07 March 2008 - 01:01 AM.

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