Thread: RED's militaristic branding and marketing.

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  1. #41  
    I have definitely posted on this before... but yeah I think this is terrible branding.

    I actually do think it encourages the bad tendencies of folks on REDuser.

    So much juvenile, adolescent, aggressive testosterone posturing nonsense that I don't have time for in my life.

    It definitely affected my decision to not buy into RED and to instead move towards Alexa and spend less time on REDuser. Just a calmer, more mature and professional world out there.

    I'm from South Africa and I've had friends killed by folks with guns. In the theatre school I studied there was a bullet hole in the cafe window - a guy shot my directing teacher the year before I got there because he was upset about the timeslot his play was scheduled in.

    My guess is the people doing all this branding came from a nice cushy, lucky, privileged position where they didn't actually lose friends as a result of gun violence.

    And serisously... do I really want to point a WEAPON at my actors? No thanks. I mean if they were a bunch of rich white boys maybe they'd think it's cool but come on man, that's a tiny slice of the real world.

    Please count me among the people who would prefer to not use film equipment that looks like it was branded by a design firm that spends the rest of its week doing hardcore right-wing militaristic websites.

    Also WTF is up with the nuclear blast for GDU?! I mean I guess Hiroshima was a result of "Research, Innovation and Results" (what they have below the nuclear blast) but wow, what a fail. More "toys for boys" nonsense. And for the record I am a boy who loves toys, loves military aircraft etc... just I don't feel it has to be aggressively branded in everyone's face.

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  2. #42  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hastings View Post
    I suggest tough guy TJ should come spend some time in the open water (no cage) with the Tiger sharks with some of of us "snowflakes" that don't need a bunch of weapons to feel tough. We'll prepare him for the dive with the facts of people being killed and maimed by them on these photo dives, and how its most often the inexperienced that waive their hands and get maimed.

    PS: beware of Phil's arsenal



    Maybe consider that you were concerned that it might be offensive because it actually was a nasty way to put it, and could be improved.
    Revising your work for artistic reasons is one thing. Doing it because you fear prosecution from society is another.

    Imagine for a minute that Tarantino decided, way back, to put Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction scripts on the shelf and then decided to film them today. Do you think he would be remotely able to leave them untouched? They would have been altered beyond recognition. And we would have lost two icons of film history.

    It's one thing to find the Red themes juvenile etc. It's another matter to link those themes to the ugly events at the Capitol (as the original post did). What does one thing have to do with another? I see this tactic used again and again to repress others, as I see it here in this post: "If you use certain words or make a certain argument or have a certain preference, you automatically belong to a certain hideous group and need to either bow, apologize and change your ways or be outcast and prosecuted"

    These are not good times for any artists or free thinkers. It is not the responsibility of any individual to bear the ills of society. If Red wants to put a skull on their camera that's their choice and if someone gets inspired the wrong way by it, that should never be their responsibility. And anyone trying to make the link should be confronted, politely and respectfully.
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  3. #43  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Phelan View Post
    It's all a bit of fun and people in 2021 are WAY TOO easily offended.
    Why is it that this seems to be every counter-argument any time someone is critical about things in society? People can be critical and challenge norms and conventions in society without ever being offended. Being critical is as old as philosophical civilization. Critical thinkers and thinkers questioning conventions progress society to new levels and have done so for hundreds and thousands of years. Most of the current society is built upon ideas questioning the old.

    The only ones I can see who are offended are the ones upholding the status quo and who can't accept any criticism. Technically, they are the offended ones because they seek shallow defense of critical thought.

    Militaristic naming and conventions can be criticized because it has nothing to do with cameras. The naming conventions in this style is closer to a juvenile war game, a style of screaming bear-can squeezing humvee kids-with-beards shooting guns in the middle of the desert. This is the mentality that comes to mind whenever I see a militaristic type of style for something that has nothing to do with the military, war games and war.

    It just comes off as unserious and juvenile, which in turn gives off the similar unserious and juvenile sense on set. I've seen people laugh out loud at Red gear because of this and it's rather hilarious to see, but I rather have my gear be more grown-up in style and naming. I'm too old for playing war games and nothing of this has to do with me feeling offended, I just think the styling is juvenile.
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  4. #44  
    And also BTW if they want a "military / high-tech precision" look... it's totally do-able.

    It's just the amateurishness of the branding that makes it have that "right wing gun nut who has never spent a day in actual combat" vibe.

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  5. #45  
    Senior Member Michael Hastings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Hillis View Post
    snip:
    If we're talking about the effect of the militarization of 'everything' on society in general...

    This isn't the place for that kind of discussion.
    I find it laughable that a filmmaking site is "not the place for that kind of discussion". Filmmaking is all about giving/making some kind of impression or statement.

    I don't like the level of violence in so much of modern filmmaking. I don't want to see censorship but there are choices to be made - be it the stories, the way they are told or the way the equipment used is marketed. If you don't think the violence and representations everywhere have an effect - you are oblivious.

    As I said, not looking for censorship (except self-examination) but again choices are being made that have (possibly unintended) consequences.


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    Now back to watching the fall of the American Empire....
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  6. #46  
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Zananiri View Post
    Revising your work for artistic reasons is one thing. Doing it because you fear prosecution from society is another.

    Imagine for a minute that Tarantino decided, way back, to put Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction scripts on the shelf and then decided to film them today. Do you think he would be remotely able to leave them untouched? They would have been altered beyond recognition. And we would have lost two icons of film history.
    Not a good hypothetical. Childish Gambino shocked the senses with his aesthetic on "This is America" and people properly recognized it for the art that it was. If Mr Tarantino loses confidence in his ability to tell stories of grit, determination, betrayal, and general detachment, somebody will surely rise to the occasion. Perhaps even Mr. Tarantino himself!
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  7. #47  
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Sutton-Hough View Post
    After seeing REDís new Youtube videos touting ďRED TECH | ARSENAL '' posted the day after Jan 6, I couldnít stop thinking about how so much of REDís branding throughout the years has always alluded to weaponry and how it plays right into Americaís culture of violence. I donít know about anyone else, but especially after the events last week here in the US, Iím pretty tired of seeing the glorification of guns and war overall, but Iím especially discouraged to keep seeing it featured so prominently by RED in our community of filmmaking.

    Donít get me wrong, I love RED cameras. I own a Gemini and have shot on many other models all the way back to the RED One. Iím specifically talking about the marketing here as a RED owner and cinematographer based in the US. Iím talking about the framing of these cameras as if theyíre military assault rifles, branding them as Weapons, putting skulls on them, calling them Rangers, and using words like Arsenal and Magazine as if swapping out hard drives is akin to loading ammunition.

    If you live in the US, you see this kind of toxic masculinity of glorifying violence everywhere. Itís an unfortunate part of our culture and you can draw a straight line between decades of marketing to make Americans, men specifically, feel weak without a gun in their hand to the domestic terrorism weíre seeing now. What Iím asking here is why RED continues to be a part of selling the juvenile fantasy of war when weíve seen now for years where it leads? Theyíre great cameras for professional filmmakers, not guns for wannabe soldiers. Why keep branding them as such?

    You donít see REDís competitors in Germany or Japan using that kind of language and marketing. Maybe thatís because a few generations ago, both countries witnessed the results of radicalized genocidal movements and since then, have worked to move away from normalizing violence in the exact way America has been moving towards it. Filmmaking should be used to inspire and create, why so much emphasis on destruction and killing?

    So as a dedicated RED customer, I want to see a move away from the militant imagery in their marketing. Theyíre already halfway there. Komodo, Dragon, Gemini, Helium, these are all great names that embody creativity and adventure. You can invoke a sense of toughness with something like Monstro instead of referencing a literal weapon that has taken countless lives. But even these examples are then wrapped up in marketing language as 'arsenals' and branded with the Weapon skull logo.

    I personally donít want to be reminded every time I pull out my camera of death, assault rifles, and the white supremacist domestic terrorism that glorifies them. Weíre not soldiers in a war shooting and killing people, but creators filming and capturing stories to entertain, grow, and inspire a better future. I would like my tools for doing so to reflect that aspiration.

    Cinema Camera marketing might seem small to you, but every little thing adds up. Us Americans need to start taking responsibility to get this country on a better path whether thatís RED rethinking their marketing culture or filmmakers analyzing what weíre saying in the stories we tell.

    Shit got real this week.
    Couldn't agree more. It might seem like a small detail but it does mean so much as it defines what we stand up for.
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  8. #48  
    Senior Member Jacek Zakowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tiemann View Post
    Not a good hypothetical. Childish Gambino shocked the senses with his aesthetic on "This is America" and people properly recognized it for the art that it was. If Mr Tarantino loses confidence in his ability to tell stories of grit, determination, betrayal, and general detachment, somebody will surely rise to the occasion. Perhaps even Mr. Tarantino himself!
    What about TV shows, Home Improvement, Seinfeld, According to Jim? They sure would not fly today with networks. These are just the recent ones, the further back you go the "worse" it gets...
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  9. #49  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hastings View Post
    I find it laughable that a filmmaking site is "not the place for that kind of discussion". Filmmaking is all about giving/making some kind of impression or statement.

    I don't like the level of violence in so much of modern filmmaking. I don't want to see censorship but there are choices to be made - be it the stories, the way they are told or the way the equipment used is marketed. If you don't think the violence and representations everywhere have an effect - you are oblivious.

    As I said, not looking for censorship (except self-examination) but again choices are being made that have (possibly unintended) consequences.


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    Now back to watching the fall of the American Empire....
    I say this isn't the place because these forums are more about the 'how' of film-making, not the 'why'.

    And the 'why' is purely subjective and open to endless circular debate that almost inevitably ends up in people insulting each other, with people stating opinions like they're facts and making clever but false and flawed arguments that drag others in to engage with them under effectively false pretenses, along with a bunch of blatant trolling and flame-baiting, with a bit of venting of old grudges thrown in here and there, among other things.

    Second-guessing RED is a grey area where a bit of leeway is given for constructive criticism and suggestions, but even in the first post of this thread it was clear things were going to go off the rails (check my edit of the first post I quoted).

    Sex, religion, politics and why the fuck there's a skull logo on my camera, these are not subjects for polite discussion at the dinner table, or on a camera forum.

    I'm not even at odds with a lot of the opinions I'm seeing and can understand where those I don't agree with are coming from, it's just not appropriate and messes up whatever constructive communication there might actually be in regards to some of the on-topic matters.

    How 'you' perceive the world and what 'you' and RED can do to save it is off-topic at best, imo.
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  10. #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by Les Hillis View Post
    Sex, religion, politics and why the fuck there's a skull logo on my camera, these are not subjects for polite discussion at the dinner table, or on a camera forum.

    I'm not even at odds with a lot of the opinions I'm seeing and can understand where those I don't agree with are coming from, it's just not appropriate and messes up whatever constructive communication there might actually be in regards to some of the on-topic matters.

    How 'you' perceive the world and what 'you' and RED can do to save it is off-topic at best, imo.
    You could use the exact same argument for why RED and GDU should NOT name or market their equipment in a way that steps into these areas and stirs the pot.

    RED's camera names and marketing does actually materially affect the "how" of my work. Because I have to go through customs / security... I have actors and clients seeing the names and commenting on it, etc.

    I agree that I would rather not be talking about sex / religion / politics / war on a technical camera forum.

    But you can only do that if the camera company themselves doesn't do it in their products and marketing.

    This isn't about censorship or saving the world... I just think that ESPECIALLY if you're doing content with dark weird edgy material, it's even more important to contrast that with a very professional, neutral and safe working environment.

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