Filmmaking / Directing : "We will be filming on RED" it said in the post. by Peter Carr

Peter Carr

"We will be filming on RED" it said in the post.

It's a dead give away the film makers are new at the game when this is stated in their post because it's not the camera that makes a good film. If you have the talent as a Director / Cinematographer it will show no matter if you shoot on 16mm, Super-8, Regular 8, Betacam, VHS, Hi-8, 1/4 Video or RED.

Andrew Sobkovich

Excellent observation Certainly opens the experience and knowledge level of the poster to some further thought. When personal experiences are added to the consideration, there is the added determination of if the posting is boastful or apologetic.

Marc Morgenstern

That's not true at all. You are correct that a talented DOP and Director can utilize any media, but it's not just about them is it? It could be about post work-flow, It could be about size of image. There are a myriad of things that one thinks of when they shoot with a camera. It's a little arrogant to think the entire production is only the Director / Cinematographer.

Keith Bailey

Not necessarily. They might be wishing to convey that they are using good equipment that will garner exceptional film quality from what is shot.

Bryan DeWeese

I agree this CAN be a newby action but It isn't necessarily a bad idea to list what camera you are shooting on to convey value or for other unknown reasons... Case and point...I have been in a situation where my production team was shooting on a red one camera and a very talented lead actresss did not know this and when she found out she refused to be in the production as she had had a bad experience with her image on a red camera in the closeups from a hollywood movie she had been in. she was concerned that the camera would show every wrinkle on her face and was not very "complementary" and was very "harsh" not like the beauty of film.... I spent several hours shooting some test footage and color grading/post producing it only to show her that the red could look good on her, before she would agree to do the production.

Ralph Barnette

Camera choice makes a difference in many key areas. First in workflow in relation to your budget - if you are shooting underwater or on and around moisture or extreme heat or cold, then a digital camera could be the biggest mistake of the production. Another area is format and features - Do you need slo-mo? Variable frame rates? Very low light (camera and lens package)? Still another is weight - a light camera can be hard to keep steady (boat shoot anyone) and a heavy camera can be difficult to support such as on a shoulder mount or Steadicam. Streamlining workflow is a big part of how you PLAN a shooting setup that stays on-budget, such as shooting in ProRes vs. RAW to save in post. Then there is setup time, power and specialty setups such as car mounting. Still, there is the perception factor that potential investors relish; the hype of Red production creates a value-added aura that could help the project while hurting the budget. There are definite advantages to 4K (or better) production such as being able to pan-and-scan in post, as well as 'future-proof' distribution formats. All these considerations lead many productions to use multiple cameras on many productions. One camera is rarely the answer to all things.

Yale Gurney

It'll show even better IF you DO use Super 8 in my opinion. Or at least add in some Super 8 clips.

Richard "RB" Botto

Posted this in another thread as well, but worthwhile to repost here given the topic... We've brought in one of the most respected gents in the biz, Mitch Aunger of Planet 5D, to teach a Next Level Webinar on just this subject. Mitch is simply fantastic. He'll also be doing a half hour (min) Q&A during the session. Here's some more info: https://www.stage32.com/webinars/The-Camera-Conundrum-Choosing-the-Best-...

Crystal Diane Stevens

I've been involved with a number of short films and I'm sorry to disagree, but I have to say that there is a HUGE difference in quality - the film shot on RED wins, no contest. I've gotten many subsequent jobs based on that one film shot on RED.

William Scherer

Video shot on a RED means nothing. Any HD camera is just as good as long as the final product is viewed on a TV or computer. It's the story, sound and lighting that counts-- not the camera.

Stephen Folker

The camera is just the tool to tell the story. If you're an amazing carpenter, you don't need a fancy set of tools to make a bookshelf. Same applies to film. It doesn't matter if you shoot on RED, BMCC, DLSR or flip cam. It's how you light the shot, direct the talent, your STORY, your AUDIO. That stuff matters. Take it for what it's worth.

Tony Angelo

Hi i would love to be apart of the project can you tell me more

Ralph Barnette

Red, or Arri or F55 or BMCC can make a lot of difference when used properly. They do not always fit the budget for a number of reasons and are not the right choice for every project regardless of budget. I've shot with all Red's cameras, Alexa, F5 and F55 as well as 5D and BMCC with my same set of Nikon lenses and more expensive alternatives like Zeiss and Cooke lenses. They each have idiosyncrasies and advantages depending on the project. I have seen crap shot on $100K cameras and totally great stuff come off the BM Pocket Camera. Check this out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO-mEcsJ31k It looks great even at 480P.

Ralph Barnette

See what I mean? Looks are only part of the story; the guy has a great story to tell. With a larger camera, he would have had a harder time shooting in cramped spaces like the behind the counter shot, tailor-made for a small high-rez camera.

Bryan DeWeese

You know... I think the original issue here wasn't "which camera is best" but rather "is boasting about the camera you are shooting on, a sign of a newby..." I mean this thread has become a pc versus mac kind of thread... I am of the opinion that the right tool for the job IS the right tool for the job ONLY if you can use it right and if fits your needs... just my 2 cents....

Andrew Sobkovich

Nobody said nor inferred that the Director and DP were the entire production. Since the “filming on Red” statement is about a specific camera and nothing else, the point made was that the people and their crew who first interact with the camera can affect the look by applying their talent which is far more important than the particular camera indicted. Of course everyone and everything in the entire workflow through to the final viewing venue is important, as everyone knows, but not mentioning them in a posting about a specific camera really does not imply otherwise. The "filming on Red" statement is absolutely an indication of experience level for a multitude of reasons.

Sharon Agina

Adding "RED" means the quality will be top. I think producers usually want a good director and the right tools and the results of good quality.

Andrew Sobkovich

That "RED" is somehow considered de facto "top quality" is certainly a testament to their enormous viral marketing campaign. There are better cameras. Ideally, cameras are chosen because their combination of traits best match the needs of a given project. No piece of kit guarantees top quality.

Darren E. Johnson

Who cares what camera the DP chose? You'd assume that he/she chose whatever camera they chose because it suited the needs of that production. No need to broadcast it. Tech changes constantly. What really matters is, do the director and producer actually know how to run a production and make a finished, saleable product? Unfortunately, far too many do not. Their proclamation of what camera they're using is just an ego thing.

Kira Gurnée

No matter which side of the technical debate you fall on, I think it's wonderful to point out how what someone posts in their breakdown makes them look at first glance. For instance, I can't count how many posts I have read that use the wrong word, bad spelling, obvious typos, or sentences that are combinations of two different ones that they were thinking about using, but somehow lost their train of thought midway, starting with one and finishing with the other! To me, if a person can't be bothered to take a few minutes to proofread something before posting it as the first impression of themselves and their work, do I really want to work with them??

Darren E. Johnson

Great point Kira.

Kira Gurnée

Thanks Darren!

Ralph Barnette

While everyone is entitled to their opinion, some opinions are more accurate than others. I disagree about not caring what choice of camera a DP chooses. ANY Director and/or Producer who knows what they are doing really understands the importance of the camera choice. Filmmaking is a tightly woven sequence of decisions in action where every decision impacts what happens in another area and how that area has to be handled. Neither can a Producer or Director or other crew member take this choice for granted. For instance, if one is going direct-to-camera for sound but the DP loves working with the 5D, this could be a disastrous choice for post production if you plan for a rich sound mix, need to independently adjust levels for separate characters, or simply need to maintain separate tracks of sound for any reason, not to mention shooting a lot of fast action or fast-panning shots. If anything, most DPs have little experience, don't fully understand today's quickly changing technology, and rarely spend an appropriate apprenticeship learning the craft to earn the mantle of DP. A title is no indication of one's level of craft.

Simon © Simon

When you all get done buying your R3d cams with your 4k and 8k cameras. Please help me. I am a a budding film maker who has some great stories I want to share with you. Although I do care about the color, and being able to track the footage in post. I am pretty good with lighting, focus and setting my backlight correction on Set using Grey and White cards, coupled with my colored clap board. So if you have some old ENG's or maybe some older Sony,Panny or Canons that shoot in the old 'crappy' 4:2:2 on separate CMOS's or CCD's. Your donations would be appreciated and I would be grateful. I am starting a school to intercept trouble youths in AZ ages 11-16 where I will teaching film making, post, amongst other 'living off the land' trades. So please, again send me your old cameras, when you get one of these beautiful R3d cams. Thank you, SF

Romain Gierenz

Its absolutely not true that the choice of the camera doesnt matter. If you want to shoot slow-motion for example, you cannot shoot with a 5D or like Ralph said direct to camera sound should be shot with a broadcast camera. For documentaries, you have to look that the camera is easy to carry and mounting different extras doesnt take too much time.. Then, when you will hit the big screens, its important to have cameras with big resolution cause the postproduction process needs it, anyway the picture has so much grain so you can kick all your night shots.. But before renting and shooting on big cameras, make sure your movie makes its way into cinemas.. Hope this helps a little, Cheers

Simon © Simon

Not to single anyone out, What about shooting your night scenes during the eve, key out the sky in post for a night feel without having to crank the gain or F stop to get the contrast? As far as slow mo goes why not under-crank the footage in Post? Where I would take 30fps and crank it back to 15fps and use Frame Blend or Motion Blend pending on the objects edge I am time-remapping? As far as rez for theaters I have yet to be able to apply one of my edits to a large screen. So I do not know if a 1920x1080 file formatted as such via Bluray (IE FIlm Fest) will blow out my codec, of Mpeg4 at 1920x1080, which looks great on a 60" TV in HD.... Albeit 4k has more info and great for pulling in, or more lateral in post. Yet if your DP uses the right lens and is in frame, well.... However with an adjustment layer in Post with a little blur, I can make a $500 Canon camcorder shooting in AVCHD look like it was shot with 35mm film Warm and rich. That is why R3d's are so hot for those in Post who know what they are doing with the info, or if the movie was shot by 3 diff DP's in 3 diff locations and the Editor wants to make them all match. The info is there for Post. Just like the Megapixel.... Most pro cams do not even go over 3mp. Due to not wanting to blow up a button on a jacket to read the "made in China" on it. The most we usually go, and very judicially is maybe +20% or stuff 1080 into a 720 hole. (Yes, 2000 in a 1080 hole is optimum) I do not want to argue with a well beaten subject. Those were just suggestions for those who "think" they need a R3d cam, when as stated prior, the content is most important. People will forgive a bit of grain more then they will forgive a crackling mic. There is a point where you have to add blur to some of these cams, or they look too 'real'. Like Panavision at 24fps is a soap opera and or a cinema staple. Having info you are not going to use. A lot like bringing every tool you own on a camping trip. Now if you disagree, or think I do not know what I am stating, please again, my school is real, I am filing a 501c ATM and could use all those almost extinct cameras as mentioned in my prior post. We would be grateful for your generosity.

Ralph Barnette

Simon, that sounds a lot better than it works. I've pushed 16mm film to ASA 2000 and it looks much better than a DSLR at 1600 ISO. All my lenses are f/1.2-2.8 and I shoot low light a lot, wide open - nothing beats the resolution when you need it. Over and under-cranking has severe limitations, and depending on what you need to do it simply does not work like doing it right - and savvy clients and directors/producers KNOW the difference.

Ralph Barnette

To be sure, no one camera is the ultimate solution, and that will probably not change. I think having and understanding the options is a great position to be in compared to 20 or 30 years ago. But Even if one owns a Red, Arri, or Sony or other 4K camera it will not be the solution to every need. 70% of my work last year I shot with a DSLR, and probably more of the same for 2014, so I know the caveats of these cameras (I shoot stills as well). They offer some great advantages but come with limitations.

Simon © Simon

Well Ralph, I bring reasonable, doable, affordable, solutions to the table. Again, once you all buy your 40,000 cam let me know about your throw aways. MmmmK. As far as a slow scene undercranked on Set at 15 fps, or me doing it in post. Well I bet you would not know how it was done while eating popcorn and watching a 2 second clip. We are not talking NFL play back, which btw are not shot with R3D either.... Like wine tasting and I slip you well breathed 2 buck chuck or a 9 bottle of Kendal, you prob won't know the difference. However I am sure you think you would. Have some fun have a wine tasting party and let me know how it goes. LOL! </rest

Ralph Barnette

Simon, please don't degrade the thread with silliness. I never said anything about buying a 40M camera, though I have used many that have cost as much and several times that. The childishness you exhibit does not add anything useful to the conversation and certainly will not help your chances of getting donated equipment. With that, I sign off from what started out as a informative thread.

Andrew Sobkovich

Eric’s original point was well stated, that the users have more of an effect on the final picture than the tools they use. Sure different cameras look different, and have different capabilities and different uses, but in skilled knowledgeable hands they will perform significantly better. Choosing the correct camera to interpret the story, or as is likely, interpret part of the story is a skill based in knowledge of personally tested performance, filtered through the on set and post production workflow. The range between the visuals of a story done with any camera turned off and resting in its original shipping box and the theoretical “perfect” motion picture is a scale from nothing to infinity. All pictures fall somewhere on that scale between the two ends. The difference is the people using the tools to make the motion picture. Turned off in the shipping box, all cameras are equal in image quality output.

Andrew Sobkovich

Ralph, I understand your intent but honestly “most DPs have little experience, don't fully understand today's quickly changing technology, and rarely spend an appropriate apprenticeship learning the craft to earn the mantle of DP” is painting with a very broad brush indeed. I’m a DP, so must assume that I am included in “most DP’s”, and as you are a DP are you also in the “most DP’s” group?. Let me ask, when does one accept the mantle of Director of Photography? There are many answers. I also surmise that my answer will be significantly different than yours. Who’s guidelines do we go by? Many people on Stage32 claim experience in lots of areas, which is fine as they can claim what they wish. Of course that does not mean that everyone claiming experience can perform specialized tasks at the same level. Interesting issue. As to technological change, how many days of continuing education are needed to stay abreast of the information needed? How many days per year do you spend in seminars and training sessions learning new equipment and techniques?

Peter Carr

My original point was that young film makers seem to be more concerned with renting gear they don't necessary need than taking care of the crew that's volunteered their time and resources to make the picture the best they can. And by that I mean holding back $150 to buy them dinner or a round of beer at the end. It also seems so many young film makers use RED as a way to inflate their own egos and impress those who volunteer their time. "Oh boy their not going to pay or even feed me but they're shooting with a RED. That sure will look good on my Production Assistant resume!". It's a given that most indie shorts are always volunteer especially when its a student film. Back when I was in film school and even after, when a crew call for a short came up everyone knew there was no money and made good with what the film maker had. And the film maker would always make sure they could buy the crew diner at the end of the day or at least buy a round of beer. Again it seems that respect, that 'thanx for lending me a hand' has disappeared.

Don Bledsoe

Boy! You got that right ... and I am clueless about cameras, but learned that the hard way. If one is good, you're good. Crap is still crap. Skill seems to jump off the screen at you, I've found. I must also confess it doesn't happen as often as I'd like.

Juliana Acosta

Thank you!!! I was told that once, so I thought "Wow, it must be a big deal." I mean, I'm an actor, I don't know about cameras. The entire production was very unorganized. Today's technology has gotten so easy to get a hold of, that now everyone is a "filmmaker".

William Joseph Hill

I've been in many a film shot on the Red, as well as Canon 5D and 7D. The Red camera is pretty high maintenance, and it takes a longer time to move memory cards to the hard drive. (Don't get me started on how long it takes for Post!) I think it's more about the DP and how good they are, rather than the camera, just as Peter has said. I've seen some crappy "Red" films and some pretty awesome 5D productions. Nothing wrong with the Red camera--it just has its own limitations too.

Tony Angelo

Hello let's talk I produce,direct, act let's network

Tony Angelo

still like to work with you let's talk

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