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David Fincher's The Social Network


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#1 ryan knight

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 02:17 PM

I just had the pleasure of watching Zodiac on Blu Ray and marvelled at all the beautiful imagery from the Viper. I'm disappointed to see, via imdb.com, the his next picture was captured on the Red. Anybody here know any details about why the switch, or his workflow?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 02:33 PM

I just had the pleasure of watching Zodiac on Blu Ray and marvelled at all the beautiful imagery from the Viper. I'm disappointed to see, via imdb.com, the his next picture was captured on the Red. Anybody here know any details about why the switch, or his workflow?


He's using the new M-X sensor in the Red, which is going to give him much cleaner results than the Viper, which he often underexposed to shoot in low-light and spent millions doing an expensive noise reduction pass at John Lowry's company. He's always been interested in working at very low light levels and he's using the M-X Red at 2000 ASA, which would have been difficult to do with the Viper without a lot of noise reduction in post.

He also complained that Thomson was not interested in upgrading the Viper -- he had problems with fan noise, for example, and because of that, had to switch to the F23 for the quiet hospital dialogue scenes in "Benjamin Button" near the end of production. I think that experience probably soured him on using the Viper further.

He's always been an advocate of file-based digital cameras, using the Viper tied to a S-Two recorder, so the Red fits into that way of thinking. And now he doesn't have to be tied into a large data recorder.

There are a lot of nice things about the Viper image, especially in terms of dynamic range, but I think the new M-X sensor and new color management software has greatly improved the Red One in that regard -- and obviously Fincher must feel the same way.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 05:50 PM

What I don't quite get is that Red has really not made Viper or F23 that much cheaper, which is at least one positive side-effect you'd hope to see.

Is the new Red sensor actually released and available to rent? Becuase if it isn't, it really hasn't done anything yet.

P
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:46 PM

The upgrade process has been going on now for a month or so, in camera number order, so some private owners and rental houses have gotten their M-X Red's back already. So it's a bit of a search but every week, more and more become available to rent.

Yes, you'd think that a Viper would be cheaper to rent, though there is no reason for the recorder (SRW1 or whatever you choose) to have dropped much in price. F23's are in constant demand though so I don't see a drop in those prices for awhile.

Unlike Fincher, a lot of TV producers are uncomfortable outside of an HD tape origination and workflow, hence why these HDCAM-SR cameras are in high demand for television work. I don't see that changing for a few more years, not until enough post houses are out there promoting their Red workflow capabilities to producers and showing them how affordable, reliable, and painless it is. Trouble with having just a few post houses that are "experts" in Red footage is that producers like to be able to take their footage anywhere for the cheapest deal, which is why they like HD tape so far. I still run into many shows shooting on F900's.
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#5 ryan knight

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 07:23 PM

The upgrade process has been going on now for a month or so, in camera number order, so some private owners and rental houses have gotten their M-X Red's back already. So it's a bit of a search but every week, more and more become available to rent.

Yes, you'd think that a Viper would be cheaper to rent, though there is no reason for the recorder (SRW1 or whatever you choose) to have dropped much in price. F23's are in constant demand though so I don't see a drop in those prices for awhile.

Unlike Fincher, a lot of TV producers are uncomfortable outside of an HD tape origination and workflow, hence why these HDCAM-SR cameras are in high demand for television work. I don't see that changing for a few more years, not until enough post houses are out there promoting their Red workflow capabilities to producers and showing them how affordable, reliable, and painless it is. Trouble with having just a few post houses that are "experts" in Red footage is that producers like to be able to take their footage anywhere for the cheapest deal, which is why they like HD tape so far. I still run into many shows shooting on F900's.


In Toronto, I received a quote on a Viper that dipped by 25-30%, but it still doesn't go out for a price comparable to what I can get a Red package for.

I wonder if Fincher used a digital recorder, since the data rate of the .r3d's is probably nowhere near that of the Viper's data. Or does the M-X up the data-rate and 'raw-ness' of the .r3d's?
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 07:51 PM

In Toronto, I received a quote on a Viper that dipped by 25-30%, but it still doesn't go out for a price comparable to what I can get a Red package for.

I wonder if Fincher used a digital recorder, since the data rate of the .r3d's is probably nowhere near that of the Viper's data. Or does the M-X up the data-rate and 'raw-ness' of the .r3d's?


I don't recall if anything above RedCode 36 is available yet (i.e. anything with less compression.) I heard rumors about a RedCode 42.

I'm not really savvy on data rates, but isn't 4K RAW RedCode 36 mean 36MB/sec or 288 Mbit/sec? HDCAM-SR normally is set to record at 440Mbit/sec, so that is a bit more but on the other hand, it's having to record RGB, not a monochrome RAW signal.

Anyway, I doubt that Fincher is recording to anything but Red's recording products (CF, RedDrive HDD, RedRam SSD).

I see now that Redcode 42 is available, that would be 336 Mbit/sec. Don't know what Fincher is using.
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 08:17 PM

What I don't quite get is that Red has really not made Viper or F23 that much cheaper, which is at least one positive side-effect you'd hope to see.
Is the new Red sensor actually released and available to rent? Becuase if it isn't, it really hasn't done anything yet.


So far this pilot season, we have two on Red MX, two on F-35, one on D-21, and four that I don't know yet. The current numbers are RedCode 42 and Build 30.

The Viper, alas, was ahead of its time. It's a discontinued product now, IIRC.




-- J.S.
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#8 ryan knight

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 10:20 PM

I don't recall if anything above RedCode 36 is available yet (i.e. anything with less compression.) I heard rumors about a RedCode 42.

I'm not really savvy on data rates, but isn't 4K RAW RedCode 36 mean 36MB/sec or 288 Mbit/sec? HDCAM-SR normally is set to record at 440Mbit/sec, so that is a bit more but on the other hand, it's having to record RGB, not a monochrome RAW signal.

Anyway, I doubt that Fincher is recording to anything but Red's recording products (CF, RedDrive HDD, RedRam SSD).

I see now that Redcode 42 is available, that would be 336 Mbit/sec. Don't know what Fincher is using.


"36 MB/sec or 288Mbit/sec". I feel like a moron for not knowing the difference MB vs Mbit... ?
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 10:56 PM

"36 MB/sec or 288Mbit/sec". I feel like a moron for not knowing the difference MB vs Mbit... ?


MegaBytes vs. MegaBits
Typically 8 Bits = 1 Byte
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bytes

When it comes to computers, I don't feel like a moron... I am a moron. But I'm good at looking things up, my only saving grace.
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#10 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:21 AM

David Fincher and Emmanuel Lubezki on RED.

Maybe MX?
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 06:47 AM

I'm not really savvy on data rates, but isn't 4K RAW RedCode 36 mean 36MB/sec or 288 Mbit/sec?


Yes, although it doesn't really compare to an uncompressed recording of a dual-link HD-SDI feed, at about 1440Mb.

Actually, this is an interesting numeric comparison. A 4K image, for instance, would ideally be four times the data of a Viper, so let's say the best part of six thousand megabits per second. Red are recording under a couple of hundred. These numbers are why flinty-hearted cynics such as myself tend to raise a hand and say "er, just a minute, here..."

P
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#12 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:44 AM

:P

David Fincher and Emmanuel Lubezki on RED.

Maybe MX?


Pretty sure that was the M sensor - it was shot about a year ago before the MX sensor was testing.
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#13 ryan knight

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:57 AM

David Fincher and Emmanuel Lubezki on RED.

Maybe MX?


That first infant, at 0:04 to 0:06, flapping his hands... that'd be finding out my next show shoots Viper.
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#14 ryan knight

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 08:18 AM

That first infant, at 0:04 to 0:06, flapping his hands... that'd be finding out my next show shoots Viper.


That'd be me*...
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:46 PM

Yes, although it doesn't really compare to an uncompressed recording of a dual-link HD-SDI feed, at about 1440Mb.

Actually, this is an interesting numeric comparison. A 4K image, for instance, would ideally be four times the data of a Viper, so let's say the best part of six thousand megabits per second. Red are recording under a couple of hundred. These numbers are why flinty-hearted cynics such as myself tend to raise a hand and say "er, just a minute, here..."

P


Well, you have to remember that a bayer-filtered sensor produces a monochrome signal, so 4K RAW would naturally be one-third the data of 4K RGB. That's not compression, it's just the nature of a single-sensor design. So you'd take that 4X figure of 4K over the 3-CCD output of an HD camera and divide by 1/3.

Or to put it another way, three HD sensors, 2MP each, is 6MP of data to record, versus roughly 10MP of a 4K RAW sensor. So yes, the 4K sensor camera should still be more data to record, but it's not 4X the data due to the natural "compression" of a single-sensor with a color filter array.

If the difference between 6MP and 10MP is about 1.6X, and dual-link HD-SDI is 1440 Mb/sec, then uncompressed 4K RAW should be about 2304 Mb/sec, or 288 MB/sec. That's a total guess though, I'm sure someone has the real figure out there.
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#16 ryan knight

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:42 AM

Well, you have to remember that a bayer-filtered sensor produces a monochrome signal, so 4K RAW would naturally be one-third the data of 4K RGB. That's not compression, it's just the nature of a single-sensor design. So you'd take that 4X figure of 4K over the 3-CCD output of an HD camera and divide by 1/3.

Or to put it another way, three HD sensors, 2MP each, is 6MP of data to record, versus roughly 10MP of a 4K RAW sensor. So yes, the 4K sensor camera should still be more data to record, but it's not 4X the data due to the natural "compression" of a single-sensor with a color filter array.

If the difference between 6MP and 10MP is about 1.6X, and dual-link HD-SDI is 1440 Mb/sec, then uncompressed 4K RAW should be about 2304 Mb/sec, or 288 MB/sec. That's a total guess though, I'm sure someone has the real figure out there.


David, Phil. Thanks guys, I've learned quite a bit from this thread.
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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 10:38 AM

4K RAW would naturally be one-third the data of 4K RGB


Well, isn't that the entire point at issue?

Does that 10MP bayer image contain as much information as a hypothetical 4K cosited RGB image? No, it doesn't, and nor can it ever.

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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 11:09 AM

Well, isn't that the entire point at issue?

Does that 10MP bayer image contain as much information as a hypothetical 4K cosited RGB image? No, it doesn't, and nor can it ever.

P


Yes, but isn't that being a bit unrealistic and impractical? No one is ever going to build a 4K 3-sensor 35mm camera, it would be huge -- not to mention, to avoid aliasing at 4K measurable resolution, it would actually have to have more than 4K pixels per sensor. It would actually have to be a 4.5K 3-sensor camera. Plus a prism block would probably be involved. So it's a bit academic, this "ideal" 4K RGB camera.

The only reason why the term "4K" is thrown around so enthusiastically is that it's considered some digital benchmark to match 35mm, which can be scanned at 4K per color channel. But that doesn't mean every color layer in film stock resolves 4K even if that much data is assigned to record it.

You mention advertising overall pixel count instead, but the trouble with that is that aspect ratio affects pixel count, and cameras that combine photosites for the final image, like the Viper or the F35/Genesis does, actually have a very high number of photosites on the sensor, yet by their nature, are only designed to deliver a 1080P image.

I don't think there is any real-world value in "discovering" what a "true" 4K RGB digital image would look like, not in terms of filmmaking in general. Which is why I think it's a bit academic. May be fun to take a monochrome 4K camera and take three images in a row through filters to create "true" 4K RGB, but even that would be a bit inaccurate since you couldn't have any movement in the frame.

You're basically saying that until someone makes a 30MP RAW uncompressed camera, that aren't allowed to call it 4K.

You notice that nobody gets up in arms over the use of the term 2K... like the SI2K camera, it has a single 2K Bayer sensor, so does the Phantom, and none of them can deliver the same amount of data as a 2K RGB scan would.
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#19 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 01:19 PM

David Fincher and Emmanuel Lubezki on RED.

Maybe MX?


Wait! That commercial was shot on the red? I had no idea and it's just about my favourite commercial ever. Fincher, Lubezki and Morricone together!

Also, love the concept of the one guy always moving left and the other right until they collide - it's pretty much perfect, and I don't even like football.
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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 03:05 PM

You notice that nobody gets up in arms over the use of the term 2K


I think I'm on record as having done exactly that.

It was the first thing I said about Kinetta, when I was told what the resolution was - or rather what the resolution they were going to claim in advertising was, and compared it to what they were talking about using to record it. At which point my deep and lasting respect for mathematics kicked in and said "well no, because you can't actually do that".

The difference, as I've said many times before, is that Dalsa, when confronted with this unfortunate reality, said "well, OK, yes, but we still think it's a great camera", whereas Red's reaction is to whine and make excuses and take offense. I think getting pissed off that someone caught you in a - let's be nice - elasticisation of the truth is just about the most wretched, pathetic, and frankly just hopelessly childish thing anyone can possibly do, and suggests a complete lack of confidence. This sort of thing offends me in exactly the same way that the Catholic church offends me for having nearly tortured Galileo to death for pointing out that the earth orbits the sun, and then having taken three hundred years to apologise for their mistake.

I really don't know how many more ways there are to say the same thing, but at the end of the day there should be no dishonor in this. Red haven't made a 4K camera with a 4000-pixel bayer chip, because it is fundamentally impossible to do so, but then again that does mean nobody else will ever do it either.

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