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Herzog slags off Red One?


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#1 Hampus Bystrom

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:11 PM

Right, I admit that this is sort of a shameless attempt at drumming up some controversy, but also I think that criticism as well as praise should be brought up. I don't know if this article has been talked about before, but I couldn't find anything, so anyway... Here's what Werner says about the R1

Q: What about shooting digitally?
A: We used the RED camera for My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done. It's an immature camera created by computer people who do not have a sensibility or understanding for the value of high-precision mechanics, which has a 200-year history. It's terrible: Whenever you have to reboot the camera, it takes 4½ minutes or so. It drove me insane, because sometimes something is happening and you can't just push the button and record it. An assistant cameraman said this camera would be ideal if we were filming the National Library in Paris, which has been sitting there for centuries. But everything that moves faster than a library is a problem for the RED. Super 35 mm celluloid is still better.


Source: http://www.dgaquarte...rnerHerzog.aspx


Any comments? I mean I've just held an Red camera for a few seconds before it was whisked off to a more important director, so I don't really have any opinion.
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 08:17 PM

How old was that quote? How old was the camera he used, and its firmware build? Red is a moving target. Boot time's a lot better now, among many improvements.





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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 10:06 PM

John, I think the "moving target" is a bit of an Achilles's Heel for the RED. Yes, things do get better on the system, no doubt, but there is a lot to be said about "stagnation," inasmuch as you know it'll behave the same way next week, next shot, next year! I, for one, am hoping that with coming RED systems the updates slow down (because they are less needed) to we'll know that, well, it'll take x time to boot up, for example, and can plan 'round that etc. my 2 cents.
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#4 Matthew Rogers

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 10:07 PM

Well, the article is current, so I am guessing it's a current quote. Even if it were 3 years old it still wouldn't be accurate. I got my RED almost 2 1/2 years ago and it's never taken longer than 2 minutes to start up. And if that's such an issue, why did he not use a hot swap plate, or a battery through the d-tap to swap, or any other number of solutions. Sounds more like a director who doesn't know what's talking about when it comes to tech running his mouth. Yeah, it's not like film where you can hand crank if you have to. But you also don't have to swap out film mags, or pray nothing is in the gate, or something happens to the film while being developed.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 10:11 PM

you still certain load/unload the red, and also can still get crap in the gate (just not film chips ;) ). This is, again, just me, I always feel a lot safer with film stock in a can, taped up like mad, than I ever have ANY digital anything, ever. I don't know why, perhaps because it's tangible; who knows.
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#6 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:28 AM

Well, the article is current, so I am guessing it's a current quote. Even if it were 3 years old it still wouldn't be accurate. I got my RED almost 2 1/2 years ago and it's never taken longer than 2 minutes to start up. And if that's such an issue, why did he not use a hot swap plate, or a battery through the d-tap to swap, or any other number of solutions. Sounds more like a director who doesn't know what's talking about when it comes to tech running his mouth. Yeah, it's not like film where you can hand crank if you have to. But you also don't have to swap out film mags, or pray nothing is in the gate, or something happens to the film while being developed.


The RED shoot that Herzog is referring to was probably shot a few months before the film's premiere at Venice in Sep 2009 (imdb).

But before any more RED owners feel the need to leap to its defence at the mere suggestion that it may not be the perfect vehicle for motion picture capture, perhaps they should read the article.

Like many people of genius, Herzog is a particularly idiosyncratic director, with unorthodox approaches to filmmaking that nonetheless work for him. He never shoots coverage, never does reshoots, and despises the 'video village' (according to the article). He also never uses storyboards, and once had his entire cast hypnotised. Not liking RED is probably the least controversial statement he makes.

I particularly like his reading list for aspiring filmmakers:

" I recommend four books for people who want to learn filmmaking in a rogue way, with a different spirit: Virgil's Georgics, Icelandic poetry from the 12th century, Hemingway's The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, and The True History of the Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Díaz del Castillo, who was a footman in the army of Cortés that conquered the Aztecs. He wrote an incredibly detailed account that is really storytelling at its best."

Not too surprising really that he doesn't buy into a product with lots of hype but no history.
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#7 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:45 AM

you still certain load/unload the red, and also can still get crap in the gate (just not film chips ;) ). This is, again, just me, I always feel a lot safer with film stock in a can, taped up like mad, than I ever have ANY digital anything, ever. I don't know why, perhaps because it's tangible; who knows.


EXACTLY. So mags have to be swapped out...where's the problem? So the gate has to be clean...where's the problem? This is where meticulous ACs come into play. And it's been done effectively for over 100 years. Are you honestly telling me that you feel digital is more reliable??? If so, go with God. I simply don't trust any kind of image-capturing device that stores everything as data, which floats in some intangible, electronic universe...especially after having two hard drives crash on me.

Gimme' film any day of the week.
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:53 PM

This is, again, just me, I always feel a lot safer with film stock in a can, taped up like mad, than I ever have ANY digital anything, ever.


I'm not sure you were reading what A was saying. You're arguing that you think film is safer as opposed to this part of his quote?




I don't know why either of you would think of film as safer. There are many many factors that people take for granted with its handling and storage that I never would. Any step of the transportation, processing, or exposure to temperature/radiation before or after exposure can ruin your results.

There's no way to control what some idiot who splices a roll of film together with scotch tape gets on the processing machine right before your day's shooting. There's nothing you can do about a torn perf. in the machine, either. That is a huge Achilles Heel of MP processors.

Sure sh*% happens with digital too, but you can mitigate the risks much better by making backups. There is nothing to do with rawstock or latent-imaged stock until it is processed. You are limited to one fragile original that can suffer all sorts of terrible tragedies until it comes out, dry, at the end of the contact-printer/telecine.



I am talking about potential for problems in USING film, though, not shooting it. It certainly seems that film CAMERAS are far less trouble-prone, and quicker to set up and shoot with. Of course, if you have a limited number of mag.'s, or are shooting high-speed, or on short ends, film definitely can suffer from its own bottlenecks.

What about loosing a great take because of a hair in the gate?


All of these factors can be minimized, but can't really ever be eliminated completely.
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