My First Red Camera Experience

  • Published in Film + Web

Updated 12/23: Looking to go Red on your next project? We’re in business. Updated 8/13: You can watch the finished music video at pleasejustsaymyname.com.

Director/DP Aaron Proctor and the Red One camera

Directing and shooting with the Red One camera Photo by Tom Smith Jr., drummer for Negative Blue

Stills from the Red footage

First Look: Negative Blue

First Look: 120fps

I just finished directing and shooting the music video for Negative Blue’s “Crash”, which used the new Red camera. Here is what I learned:

  • Do the right thing (on set)
    • Hire an owner/operator, like C.J. Roy, at least as your DIT: tips and tricks will spread through the crew all shoot long
    • Shoot 4K at the sure-thing aspect ratio of 2:1, instead of 16:9, but dial in your gridlines to operate
    • Learn what doesn’t work: there’s no viewfinder (yet), the product design is a lot of form and only a little function, and the film plane’s hook for measuring focus is right by the big red record button; expect to discover you’re own behind-the-scenes footage burning to disk
    • Suck it up and shoot at half the size — 2K at 120fps … or at the technology-limited 113fps if all you’ve got is CompactFlash cards and not hard drives
  • Know your place: you’re on the bleeding-edge
    • Use double redundancy backups with FW800 and/or eSATA from Fantom Drives; they’re handy to give one to an editor, too
    • Think of yourself in the same boat at Peter Jackson, Doug Liman, and Steven Soderbergh — their latest projects were shot with this camera — and then get over it
    • If you’re an owner/soon-to-be-owner, the camera really costs much more than the pricetag ($17,500)
    • Figure out your post production workflow, even though the Red post production workflow isn’t all that figured all out yet; support is mostly crowdsourced
    • Upgrade (or downgrade) the camera’s operating system: development (and bug-squashing) is fast
    • Everything you set, short of the focus and aperature, is metadata; the inside joke of “fix it in post” is no longer a joke
  • Familiarize yourself with the community
  • Be prepared to give up shooting film
    • Director/DP Steven Soderburg notes on the company’s web site, “I should call up Film on the phone and say, ‘I’ve met someone.'”

Author

Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site
Contact



Commentary


[…] 8 April 2008, 3:17 pm by Dan Carew Aaron Proctor, on his blog at FWD:labs, posts some useful notes on shooting a music video with a Red. Short and aimed mostly at newbies, it still contains some good concrete […]

Great hands-on notes on shooting a music video with a Red One camera « Indie 2.0 #

Aaron Proctor, on hisblog at FWD:labs, posts some useful notes on shooting a music video with a Red. Short and aimed mostly at newbies, it still contains some good concrete nuggets of advice.

Indie 2.0 #

It was great working with you Aaron, the band and the rest of the crew. Can’t wait to see the final result!

Cheers.

-CJ Roy

CJ Roy #

Thanks for making this list.

Any chance to see the finished video? I am particular curious as to how one would use high-speed on a music video – don’t you need everything in sync (unless your band can do playback at 3.5x speed – now that might be a cool idea, actually….)

modifoo #

modifoo, thanks for your comment. The finished video will be online here in July.

We did playback double speed, which was a limitation balanced between the camera’s resolution and drummer’s health. Some is visible in the edit, but it wasn’t enough. The non-sync 120fps footage worked better.

proctor #

[…] Information Red Site Red One Forums My First Red Camera Experience The Nothing Men, Dress for Success with RED RED One Unboxed Shot on […]

Red One, why it’s so Great « Synaptic Light’s Weblog #

Just a follow-up to my own comment, “The finished video will be online here in July.” The video is actually 100% done today and will roll out with a little marketing campaign within the next week or two. The band is about to have their tracks available on iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Aaron Proctor #

You can watch the finished music video at pleasejustsaymyname.com.

Aaron Proctor #

[…] The video was shot in 4K with the Red One camera at 24fps and 120fps with Zeiss T2.1 primes. Read about the first reactions. […]

Negative Blue "Crash" [Official Music Video] #

[…] Information Red Site Red One Forums My First Red Camera Experience The Nothing Men, Dress for Success with RED RED One Unboxed Shot on RED Shooting with RED Seeing […]

Red One, why it’s so Great « Synaptic Light #

The work and information on this website is great!! You all might be interested in website.

Grace Larrea #

We just have a bengali film released in Calcutta, India, shot in Red one, its stunning to take a look at it, anyone following the Red should take a pick!

Jul_Sorel #

Jul, sounds fantastic! Please share the name of it when you’re ready for people to take a look.

Aaron Proctor #

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