Juan Carlos Oganes' film-making and work blog.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New gonna-be born: the RED SCARLET

I remember when working on a film project pre-production meeting with the studio people a couple of years ago -being a digital freak with a crush on film-look- I insisted on shooting on digital but only in HD. The subject of the film was a script idea I began writing since 2005 based on the war we had with Chile back in 1879.

Being a period film, there was gonna be costly items and production stuff not only in the post-production stage but in the production itself (costumes, old era rifles and guns, canons, horses, wardrobe, locations, war scenes, explosions, etc). So, all the costs that involved shooting on 35mm film were simply out of the question as many FX work would have to be done digitally for the fight scenes where we had to do a lot of 3D duplicating for soldiers and artillery stuff. Wish we had a licence for the Massive software but with above $30,000 per machina licence.....no way!!

So digital must be....and of course in HD. Researching a year later, I came across an articel about this new little (but grandiose) HD camera capable of shooting in 4k called the RED ONE. I was astonished to read that it was gonna rival close to 35mm film and expand its latitude so much higher than HDCAM or the Varicam and other high-end cams out there....and of course, with the same variable frame rate shooting like my good HVX200.

RED ONE outputs 4,096 by 2,160 pixels is one of the most lusted after cameras of recent memory last year...and now they have announced the SCARLET, a hand-held Flash-memory based camcorder capable of a remarkable 3K resolution that can go all the way up to 120 frames per second!!!! And one thing I can't believe is that it's announced to be around $3,000. That means the relatively small Scarlet (in the pics here it's in its "naked" basic form and then with lots of accessories put on) will be capable of shooting digital video ready for display in digital cinemas, which mostly top out at around 4K these days (although typically only at 24FPS).
This RED guys also announced the EPIC, a new camera that will be capable of 5K resolution. Now that will be a cam that'll output humongous sized footage folks.....definetly, if you wann own one you'll have to take your ass to your closest serious computer store and build yourself the fastes most reliable workhorse around, otherwise your footage wont handle the amzing RAW video files it delivers. Jim Jannard definetly had a vision....the vision of putting in motion the simple question as to "if for some years now all pro still cameras manage to output RAW file picture that keep the pure signal out of its CMOS sensor (Adobe Lightroom anyone?), why not make a digital video camera that can output and handle such a chore and keep the best resolution the sensor captures intact?".....the RED Company was born....and their first baby was the RED camera.
Here is a chart I came across that explains the different resolution nowadays with different formats from pocket PC's all the way up to Ultra High-Defintion Video (passing thru HD, 3k, 4k and up).

Here's another one that should give a better idea of how different in aspect ratios and resolution each format compares with the other.

Now with the RED ONE at 4K resolution and around $17,500 just the body (accesories like lenses are like 6 to 8 grand each!! and the other peripherals arent less than $1000) this cam isnt for the normal indie filmmaker. Putting a good combo together would cost you no les than $30.000. Not cheap. I cant imagine how much then the EPIC with 5K must be. I read somewhere it was around $30.000 or so. So many will defintely run for the SCARLET at $3000. Myslef included for now.

Both EPIC and SCARLET cameras will be available in 2009, so people....start sending your downpayments to RED now! I'm sure there are lots of guys in line already.