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Shooting first video on Red on Thursday


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#1 Evan Winter

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 10:39 PM

I'm doing my first shoot on the RED camera this coming Thursday and I have one big question:

We're shooting a music video and it will end up on DBeta. So, from the moment we wrap and walk away with all the footage on hard drives, what is the 'best' way to get the highest quality looking footage on to those DBeta masters?

The production company has shot quite a few RED videos and they have a system in place but it seems like everyone and their mother has a RED post-flow in place and that the resulting quality can vary quite a bit... Anyone have opinions/workflows that they believe maximize the RED's potential?

Thanks,

Evan W.

P.S. - I've done quite a bit of reading and studyin' but if anyone has quick pointers I'd love to here them! :)

e.g., - set your meter to 320ASA and expose correctly; don't do the standard MV 1/2 - 2/3rd stop overexposure thing.
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#2 JD Marlow

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 10:13 AM

Hi Evan,

It really depends on what kind of system you're working with and what kind of turn around time you need. Assuming you're planning on Final Cut Pro editorial, you can:

1) use Quicktime Proxy files (unreliable if editing anything longer than a couple of minutes). Pro is realtime editing and no transcode.

2) Transcode to ProRes or ProRes HQ via L&T (will only use 1 core of your Mac -- so transcode can be up to 20:1 of realtime footage)

3) Import as Quicktime R3D native (still requires processing of proxies to playback, but you can transcode to ProRes after this from Compressor and take advantage of multiple cores that way.)

It is unfortunate that you're shooting Red only to end up on DigiBeta --- but since you are, you won't need anything better than a 1920x1080 ProRes. No R3D conform needed for this job.


I'm doing my first shoot on the RED camera this coming Thursday and I have one big question:

We're shooting a music video and it will end up on DBeta. So, from the moment we wrap and walk away with all the footage on hard drives, what is the 'best' way to get the highest quality looking footage on to those DBeta masters?

The production company has shot quite a few RED videos and they have a system in place but it seems like everyone and their mother has a RED post-flow in place and that the resulting quality can vary quite a bit... Anyone have opinions/workflows that they believe maximize the RED's potential?

Thanks,

Evan W.

P.S. - I've done quite a bit of reading and studyin' but if anyone has quick pointers I'd love to here them! :)

e.g., - set your meter to 320ASA and expose correctly; don't do the standard MV 1/2 - 2/3rd stop overexposure thing.


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#3 Evan Winter

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 02:16 AM

Thanks for the reply JD!

The shoot went well and I had a very well respected and amazingly experienced first AC on the job (Alex Gomez). My AC really had me covered and this shoot felt no different from a typical 35mm day, except that I could shoot and shoot and shoot. :)

Here are my impressions in brief:

A) The red is really well built and handles very much like a 35mm film camera. On occasion I even forgot I wasn't shooting film. Although, I really didn't like how the Red's fan sounds similar to film running through a camera because during a few handheld scenes my key grip would hand me the camera and my first thought was always - we're rolling!! :o

B ) As a DP, with first and second ACs who are experienced with the Red's on-set workflow, working with this camera is almost indistinguishable from working with a film camera.

C) It's really nice to be able to instantly play back your takes and watch them on an HD monitor and basically see exactly what you've got.

D) My 2nd AC had a macbook pro and raid drive ingest system going and during lunch I sat down with him and played with curves and colors and everything to get a sense of what I had captured during the first half of the day - that was pretty damn cool.

E) The camera was sucking batteries dry like a vampire.

F) Because the camera uses an electronic viewfinder you can't look through it when the camera is powered down, or when its batteries die.

G) The camera takes a decent amount of time to reboot after having died. It's probably only 1 or 2 minutes but on set that can feel like an eternity.

H) The electronic viewfinder on our camera had this weird artifacty thing it would do. Every so often it created weird semi-transparent circles or dots. This was surprisingly distracting and made my eyes feel funny. :blink:

I) When I watched the footage back on the monitor it was impressive to see how clean it all looked (we shot without filters on Cooke S4s). However, it doesn't quite have that film feel and if beauty is really in the eye of the beholder then I find film to be more beautiful.

J) Although this was my first Red shoot I've debated shooting it many times and I've run all the numbers. For a music video a Red shoot is comparable in cost to a S16mm shoot (in fact, they almost cost exactly the same thing). That said, and now, given my new experience, I believe I will always choose to shoot Red over S16mm if I have the choice (I do reserve the right to change my mind after I see the final full resolution footage in our transfer suite) ;)

K) The overall experience really brought home the theory that it's not the tools that make the cabinet. In other words, it's just a camera, it's just a tool. The shoot day is still the shoot day and nothing much at all has changed; for the DP at least. :)

Evan W.

Edited by Evan Winter, 07 February 2009 - 02:17 AM.

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Ritter Battery

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