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#1 Jim Jannard

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 02:23 AM

RED to c.com...

I know that posting here puts me at risk of trashing, but I'll try this anyway.

I have stated before that RED's goal was to provide an alternative to film. I think we are proving that we are doing that.

I know that we are not liked here. I understand that our marketing approach is not embraced by this group. Acknowledged.

Understand that I have personally taken a lot of abuse here... James Murdoch/Keith Walters. So my presentations here were not the best. And I am combative by nature... oil and water. My apologies.

The RED ONE is not perfect. It was released as a prototype (fully disclosed to our customers) and then improved along the way. While it has been used in TV episodics (ER, Sanctuary, Leverage), commercials (Nike), features (Ché, The Informant, Girlfriend Experience, Knowing, Book of Eli, Game, District 9 and others) along with many other commercials and music videos... we recognize that we still have a lot to do to prove to the industry that RED belongs. The RED ONE was our 1st camera and we did not know exactly what we were doing. Not bad for a start, but we need to improve to earn our way to a long lasting position in the market.

Scarlet & EPIC are next generation cameras. They both are the benefactors of 2nd generation knowledge. The DR is higher. Frame rates are higher. Post options are growing rapidly. The cameras are smaller. And more flexible. The data rates are higher. The options are greater. And they are priced to own... not rent.

What you need to hear is that we love this industry. We want to make a difference. We are working overtime to give options that matter. We are not the 2nd coming. We are only trying to drive ourselves and others to a place that would have taken years to attain... in months. We are trying to accelerate the timeline. "Big" companies would NOT have been motivated to push things along if they were not forced to. We are just trying to be a force to move things along at a faster rate.

We not only want to move cameras along, but everything in the industry. Our new prime set is a good example. Better than Cooke quality at 1/4 the cost. Accessories that give new function without having to rent.

I don't expect that this board will all of a sudden embrace RED. There actually is an advantage to RED that you don't. But you should know what is what.

I have my helmet on... so flame away.

Jim
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#2 Keith Walters

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 06:20 AM

Understand that I have personally taken a lot of abuse here... James Murdoch/Keith Walters.

(Yawn). Actual examples please? (Actual links, not vague references).
And specifically directed to you and the RED, not your lunatic fanboys.

I have my helmet on... so flame away.
Jim

What, no lawyers, or the FBI?

You've got thousands upon thousands of loyal fans hanging on your every word,
I'm still astounded that you would care what I think. I mean how is that going to make them feel?

Or is it because of a nasty deep-down niggling possibilty that if somebody like me or Phil Rhodes etc had had a hand in designing the thing, you wouldn't have had half the embarrassing production problems you've had.

But it never would have worked would it?
One of the boys at Panavision Sydney used to have this little printed sign above his bench:

"All winter long I worked long into the night, clearing the undergrowth, digging fire breaks.
But come summer it's the fire fighters who get all the glory".


Meaning the trouble is if you work hard to forsee problems and stop them from ever occuring, nobody ever realizes that there could have been a problem and you get no credit for it. You just get called a curmudgeon.

I'm going to see "Knowing" this weekend. Chances are I probably won't find the photography too bad, so don't wait up for me.
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#3 Serge Teulon

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 08:47 AM

Hi Jim,

It's interesting to read your post.

One question - Why do you think your product gets such hard challenges thrown at it and others don't?
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 08:48 AM

I understand that our marketing approach is not embraced by this group. Acknowledged.


Can only speak for myself Jim, but if your marketing approach was more like this post, I'd be alot more interested. Less hype, more substance. ;)

Our new prime set is a good example. Better than Cooke quality at 1/4 the cost.


Here's where you lose me. "Better than Cooke quality" how? Sharper? Greater color accuracy? What? What makes your lenses better than Cooke S4's? Because someone gave their completely subjective opinion and you're taking that to the bank? If that's the case, then the statement is completely meaningless, because subjective opinions (even from respected individuals in the community) are based on far too many variables. That's like saying, "Film looks better than video." It's totally subjective and totally based on the multiple of different conditions on any particular shoot.

If you want to make statements about how some RED product is better than someone else's product, (and I am not implying that some RED products are not better than other products on the market), then you need to have something other than some individual's subjective opinion to back up your statements, otherwise it comes across as just hype.

Again, less hype, more substance.

You guys are making some impressive products, I wish you continued success.

Best,
-Tim
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#5 Tim Tyler

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 08:58 AM

Cinematography.com to R,

You're welcome here, Jim.

http://www.cinematog...c...&pid=112873
http://www.cinematog...mp;#entry192561
http://www.cinematog...c...&pid=192984
http://www.cinematog...c...&pid=192544

I do have issues with your PR department's choice of words though. Your post would have been more accurate had it been written:

Scarlet & EPIC will be next generation cameras. They both will be the benefactors of 2nd generation knowledge. The DR will be higher. Frame rates will be higher. Post options will be growing rapidly. The cameras will be smaller. And more flexible. The data rates will be higher. The options will be greater. And they will be priced to own... not rent.

Our new prime set will be a good example.
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#6 Will Earl

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:02 AM

I don't know about the rest of you, but all the professional shot stuff that I've seen with the RED camera I've been really impressed with the images it's produced, even as far back as the Crossing The Line footage that PJ shot (I was privy enough to see the 4k files that came in and the VFX work that was done on them) right up to a recent RED vs Film test for 'a major motion picture' (I'm not going to name the film - it's not one of the ones Jim mentioned) that I was able to see. In the recent test both formats had issues that one could point out and play the armchair critic with, but overall the RED held it's own against the film - even in the highlights and shadow areas.

There are a few peoples here who deal in absolutes when it comes to Film vs Digital, the rest of us may have a preference one way or the other but tend to be a bit more practical and are open to which format is used.
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#7 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:47 AM

We are only trying to drive ourselves and others to a place that would have taken years to attain... in months. We are trying to accelerate the timeline. "Big" companies would NOT have been motivated to push things along if they were not forced to. We are just trying to be a force to move things along at a faster rate.


Trouble is, that in order to do this, you released the RED one before it worked properly, so that on top of all the other things that have to be dealt with on-set, we were then forced to contrive workarounds in order to use your camera in the ways that we were accustomed to working. We also had to explain why these workarounds were necessary to tech-ignorant producers who had bought into the immense hype surrounding the camera.

As the new builds have come and gone, the camera has become functionally easier to use, and the growth of 3rd party accessory suppliers has solved many of the original issues, but most of those problems could have been dealt with before the launch of the camera if there had been less of a hurry to 'start a revolution' and more time spent on development.

I like the RED one. I shot a feature last year with it, and was very happy with the images. I just wish that it had been as good as it is now all along.
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#8 Jim Jannard

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:07 AM

Tim... thanks for the help with JM/KW issue now and in the past.

Your "will be" point is well taken. We do have working sensors here that clearly demonstrate the performance as posted, but truly they are not in the market yet. There is no question that my enthusiasm and passion for what we're doing can be received a variety of ways. I'll do my best to temper it on this board.

We acknowledge releasing the RED ONE "early". And even though it was crystal clear to the customers that bought them at that time, the message may not have been quite so clear to the rest of the industry. We don't get a "do-over" so we'll learn for the next time.

Jim
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#9 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:10 AM

Hi Jim J.,

Always nice to hear from you.

This post is intended as a respectful "FYI" from a potential customer (me).

I'll only consider buying a HD camcorder which has no major bugs on day 1 of its initial release (1st ship date). Like all pro cams, it's OK if the cam has a few relatively minor issues upon release, but not production-stopping issues such as crashes/freezes, or S/N significantly deteriorating over time (even after of hours of power-on), and so forth. The cam must power-on & be ready to record or play within 5 sec. of power-up.

Further, I expect the cam to be at least 99.99% functional within 90 days of its initial release. I'd allow 1-3 firmware updates within the first 3 months, but after that the cam must be feature-complete. By functional and feature-complete I mean relative to the wording in its published pre-sales marketing brochures/website and spec sheets.

I'm not saying you current products have or future products will have these problems. I'm just stating my expectations. I expect professional gear to work. Period.

It'd be nice if the cam design allows adding new features via hardware/software at a later date, but this capability is not an absolute requirement. Note: "New" features are those not included in the cam's original marketing/specs.

For example, if your company will ship an entry-level Scarlet model cam this year which meets the expectations listed above I'll give it my serious consideration.

If not, then unfortunately other cam manufacturers will probably take most of this business away from you. They're already shipping cams with "similar" capabilities & price points, and I expect them to continue.

Of course, it's perfectly OK if your company chooses to make other (possibly higher-end) products. I have no problem with that. In fact it's very likely I'd occasionally rent those products in the future.

All the best,

- Peter

P.S.: I agree with Tim, please keep conversing with us here, but please, please, please stop describing unreleased products in the present tense. Products don't exist until they ship, and they don't have features until they actually meet their pre-sales published specs.
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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:12 AM

I'm with those REDUser people who say don't rush things and have a robust camera system. Although, I suspect, given the potentially higher production figures for the Scarlet compared to the RED One, you'll want a pretty near bug free camera from the start.

I'd want to be able to buy Scarlet, check it out and then go somewhere like Sudan without serious worries. Which is what I did with a brand new rental Sony BVW200 when it first came out.
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#11 Jim Jannard

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:21 AM

Peter... we arrived a couple of years ago as a "scam". Then elevated to "garage operation" that made an impact on the industry. Whether we stay in business or fall to "remember those RED guys?" status clearly depends on how well we do what you just suggested moving forward.

Jim
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#12 John Sprung

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 01:38 PM

> I have stated before that RED's goal was to provide an alternative to film. I think we are proving that we are doing that.

True, you along with Genesis, D21, F35, maybe a successor to 5D2. For TV production, its a done deal. This pilot season, we're using all of the above and no film.

> I know that we are not liked here.

That's a gross oversimplification. This business and this board attract a lot of strange strong personalities, each with a different grab bag of emotional needs and deficiencies in addition to their strengths and virtues. With freedom of speech and a sample size of 22,000 there'll be some three and four delta cases posting here. BTW, you're one of them.

> And I am combative by nature...

Yeah, there's a lot of that in this group.

> The RED ONE is not perfect. It was released as a prototype (fully disclosed to our customers)

Very true. I've pointed out to the complainers that they were thoroughly warned.

> we recognize that we still have a lot to do to prove to the industry that RED belongs ...
The RED ONE was our 1st camera and we did not know exactly what we were doing. Not bad for a start, but we need to improve to earn our way to a long lasting position in the market.

No, you're definitely in the game. We're shooting two pilots and a series on Reds right now. That's tied with the old F-900's and more than any other camera. Even if you were to pull a VW on us and stop making cameras altogether, aftermarket support would spring up to maintain the thousands of units already out there. The installed base is already big enough to make that viable.

It would have been better to get some industry insiders in the loop earlier, you could have avoided mistakes like not having a focal plane mark. But you learn quick. Canon made a much bigger mistake on the 5D2, not getting it about 24 fps.

> Post options are growing rapidly.

This is the really interesting and exciting thing. The list of pointers and instructions model is expanding to encompass all of post, not just offline/online cuts and dissolves. Nothing gets carved in stone until final delivery.

> And they are priced to own... not rent.

Fine for the individual high end hobbyist. But on the pro side, there are lots of financial and practical reasons why we'll continue to rent. Heck, we even rent wedges and sand bags.

> What you need to hear is that we love this industry.

OK, thanks -- But I'm not sure that the industry knows how to be loved. We may sell a collaborative art that plays on the emotions, but it's all driven by the bottom line.





-- J.S
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#13 John Sprung

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 06:11 PM

> I know that we are not liked here.

That's a gross oversimplification.


Oops --

Re-reading this, I see that I forgot to challenge the premise. Of course there are a few here who don't like you, but there must be far more who do like you. My original point holds that it's a lot grayer and more complex than just like or don't like. Further, in this business whether you like somebody or not lands somewhere in the irrelevant to counterproductive range. Bottom line, you get the show done. It's nice if you like the people you're working with, and usually that's the case. When it's not, professionals put that aside and get the show done. It's something we don't even think about all that much.




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#14 Jean Dodge

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 07:08 PM

The writing is on the wall... film is dying and it's likely just a matter of time before we'll all be shooting with ones and zeros, like it or not. I'm a serious hold-out, but not an ostrich. It's sheer economics, not what Oliver Stone and Spielberg want that will win the day. Kodak is not going to get a bailout from Obama, I'd bet. It's hard... it sucks... it's profane in many ways. I personally have a graduate degree's worth of soon-to-be-arcane knowledge when it comes to silver halide crystals and echtachrome, print lights, filtration, emulsions, anti-halation backings, etc. So be it. As a self described "film-maker," it is a true sea change at hand. But the cinema is my religion, and it will remain so, even if we are making images with a chip in our brain next decade.

Red One at least tries to understand what was important, and yes, sacred to cinematographers and respond. I like their product better than the competing HD cams, in a lot of ways. They fully admit that the "film look" is what it's all about. There was never much guarantee that this was the goal of other companies.

It seems to me that the Red company is learning and improving, and also being dealt some serious challenges as well that spur them onward. The Canon D5Mk2 proves that the basic tech Red is using is available to anyone who might want to give them a run for the money in the pro-sumer market for gizmos to own that make good pictures. The "jump" they have on the competition is less than half a lap it would seem in some regards. I see the Red One as that, a pro-sumer camera to own, not to rent. Which is a weird market, and maybe not what was needed but again you can't stop time or tide.

I've shot my last indie feature in super 16mm, I'm willing to bet. Last summer I worked on one shot on Red, and it was an eye-opener - not a game-changer, but certainly an eye-opener. Then it was back to 35mm... and then back to s16 for a tv commercial, if only for the fact that we needed to do some odd effects that the Aaton allowed. And in the meantime, time marched on. Nothing breakout at Sundance or sxsw was shot on Red, but it might have been. And I'm guessing it will be next year. I saw CHE, and KNOWING... and they didn't totally suck, image-wise... (too bad they did suck, story-wise) so to producers and exhibitors Red is here to stay, and "proven." Again, like it or not.

This week I shot with a DSLR, cheated and gimped into service to make motion pictures. All of them have drawbacks... all of them have strengths. And 35mm still looks the best, has the most reliable accessories, and leads the way in day-in-day out durability. Right now the Red is just another tool in the toolbox. But it's not one that is going away, and it just might be a game-changer with the next generation of cameras/sensors and codec. So let's keep up the dialog with JJ, and be glad he's engaged. He's not Mister Potter from ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE, after all.
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#15 Chris Keth

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 07:22 PM

We acknowledge releasing the RED ONE "early". And even though it was crystal clear to the customers that bought them at that time, the message may not have been quite so clear to the rest of the industry. We don't get a "do-over" so we'll learn for the next time.

Jim


I suppose this really isn't your problem, but I'd like to explain it anyway. The people who bought the first reds may have heard the prototype stuff but it went in one ear and out the other. The vast majority of people who use your cameras are not owners. We are camera assistants, DPs, and operators. A lot of people were so excited about being about to use the newest tech at good prices that a lot of us got stuck using a camera that wasn't ready for a full production environment.

Now that I think about it, I think that's how this forum's reputation as being a bit anti-RED came about. We were simply truthful about our experience in a real-world production environment rather than being idealist "I want to be a movie director" types, or owners trying to feel as good as possible about their investment.


Anyway, that said, I'm looking forward to much more from your company, Jim, and from all of the other companies developing high-end digital movie gear. As time has gone on, build by build, my experiences with the RED have been increasingly positive. May I suggest (and tell me if this is already an option, I don't check you site often) an optical viewfinder? One of the problems we found is that you can shoot 4k but can only monitor 720P. That means that nobody on set can actually see critical focus.
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#16 John Brawley

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 12:52 AM

I know that we are not liked here. I understand that our marketing approach is not embraced by this group. Acknowledged.



Hi Jim.

I don't think it's the case at all. There are probably more posts that could be described as "pro" RED than not here. I don't see that discussion of your product and processes can be anything other than healthy for all involved.

It's fantastic that you make yourself accessible. You've mostly delivered what many said wouldn't be possible. Many films and other projects are now shooting with your cameras (myself included) and you have a lot to be proud of.

Like CML, we may be a tougher crowd to please but isn't it more satisfying that you have been able to let your camera do the talking with many of us sceptics (myself included) now using it ?

Most of the angst with RED related posts here come from spurious posts from users who are passing on second hand or unsubstantiated information as fact. Most of the working cinematographers I know have added RED to the toolkit and moved on.

I would hope you don't think that there is a bias against Red here and I don't think there is real evidence to support that position. I think most working DP's like to test claims but those that do so and find in your favour will only become the supporters you now have.

jb
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#17 Serge Teulon

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 12:17 PM

Hi Jim,

I 2nd what John Brawley is saying.

Personally, the obvious rush to get a product out that was full of problems and the marketing that tried to persuade me that it was the messiah, was the reasons behind my doubtful and suspicious views.

You say that we hate your product on this forum but from what I read the majority say good things. It's just the marketing.....
Heck, I've just recommended the red on 2 ads I've got coming up. And I've never used the red!

There are 3 reasons why I've recommended it.
1 - the digital look
2 - budget
3 -information and experiences from the members on this forum.

I'm looking forward to it and I shall post my experience with it.
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#18 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 10:39 AM

For myself, I would line up to buy a RED/Scarlet etc if possible, but again, the marketing, and the lack of "hard fact," in a lot of it, makes me wary, which in turn caused me to turn my investments elsewhere. This was under the REDOne, and it looks like it'll happen again with the Scarlet. As I've been saying, to many, I cannot project out costs or do the million other little things required to purchase a new piece of equipment-- such as a camera system-- without 100% knowing all the costs involved, and what bits and bobs I'll need to be able to offer to clients.
Now, while I don't doubt the scarlet, like the RED, will be a nice camera system, until I know what it IS and how much it will cost me, it is an unsound camera system. You know what I mean?
I mean, Jim, c'mon, how much will it cost to get one of these "brains" out into the field? And I don't mean the fixed lens system.
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#19 Emanuel A Guedes

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 09:16 PM

how much will it cost to get one of these "brains" out into the field? And I don't mean the fixed lens system.

I second the plead. I have my partners asking me the same every day.
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#20 Neil Duffy

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 12:43 AM

Jim,

Keep posting here. We are happy owners of two RED's. But I go here first to learn about opinions of RED. This site attracts some extremely knowledgeable people who share their experiences with RED. Sometimes, they get too critical. But, overall, I learn more here about RED than from any other site.

Neil

Edited by Neil Duffy, 06 April 2009 - 12:46 AM.

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