Stuff I Use: The Red Camera

In 2006, DIY filmmakers were splashed with news of a hot new camera, the RED. I lined up with many other eager would-be camera owners and put my $1000 on hopes that it would deliver. After having shot with it myself in Rwanda and more recently back in Vancouver, and after prepping it for several high-profile shows, I can confidently say that this camera Kicks Ass.

4K, RAW photography, shooting to compact flash, flexible, tough, fast to work with, and it makes beautiful images. The proof is in the footage:

If you’ve got bandwidth to spare, here’s the clip compressed in 720p and full 2k. (right-click to download)

Google Maps Street-Level View

Jeep in Austin

Aww… it’s my jeep, nestled next to the Hansen Family Van at our abode in Austin, TX. Eerily enough, you can find this photo yourself by clicking here. I guess Google’s been sending vans around with cameras on the roof, documenting city streets across America. Now you too can stalk your friends from the comfort of your living room…

This photo would’ve been taken between August and November of last year, while I studied at the Piko Fellowship with Chris Hansen.

Vancouver Weather

The weather this weekend reminds me of an early Sunday only three weeks ago. Davies and I woke to piles of snow on the mountains, too good to resist. We hopped in my Jeep, put it in 4×4, and headed for Grouse Mountain (which neither of us had skiied). We slushed through a parking lot buried in snow, piled up the tram and enjoyed a day of freshies in steep, new terrain.
Grouse Top
Taken with the Chris CrappyCam 2000, aka his Sony cell phone

At day’s end back down the tram, the parking lot was bare, the sun was out, people were walking their dogs.
Grouse Bottom

And how else do you cap off a classic Vancouver day? With a fine meal of course… after a crisp view of the ocean, bathing in the sun.

Ah, Vancouver…

Stuff I Use: Hollywood Microdolly

This thing is pure gold: the Hollywood Microdolly. Sets up in two minutes, is smooth, light, and fits into a small handbag about 30″ long. It weighs maybe five pounds, and you can set up a new shot in less than 30 seconds. Fifteen feet of travel and it looks great.

This shot is from a tripod-mounted Red, sitting on top of the micro dolly. Saif was doing a press check at his workstation. Behind us is a 150-foot-long giant of a Heidelberg, pumping out four completed magazines every second.

We set this up while he was working. His movements weren’t coordinated – we tracked with him as he worked, guessing at each action. Having the Microdolly took this from a boring pan shot to a much more interesting movement that accentuates the speed of the action and the size of the workstation, while keeping the focus on his attentive character.

On The Run

Suddenly, things got busy.

  • Post continues on Rwanda: Hope Rises along with preparations for screenings in May and June
  • The Red camera business has taken off like a shot. I spent this afternoon at Anthem Visual FX testing our workflow for an upcoming SciFi network TV show
  • This morning was spent prepping for a week long shoot with the RED, including skydiving, sailing, and ice skating