One small take from the short: http://brainspasm.com/red/DejaVecu/DejaVecu_shot1.mov
Since I continue to receive questions about whether the fans on #27 work, let it be well known that this report was many months ago and 100% of the problems reported no longer apply, including the fan issue, which Red fixed less than 48 hours after this shoot wrapped.
After a week and a half of test shooting, I was ready for the maiden production voyage of Red #27. The shoot was a narrative short film titled 'Deja Vecu'. It was a script I wrote about 6 months ago shortly after the birth of my son. It's part 1 of a thematic trilogy dealing with different dynamics of the father-son relationship. It was a story I felt so good about that I was waiting for Red to shoot it. I originally had the crew lined up for June 16th (scheduled around NAB) and everyone's been on hold since then. Once I received word I was getting it, I put things in motion for this shoot. We filmed the whole BTS with the Sony Z1u for a Red production dvd we are producing.
The shoot was 4 pages long and had 4 locations: a bedroom, kitchen, front lawn and curbside.
Let's summarize from the top (I hate waiting until the end myself): Red looked gorgeous, ran until the end of the day and the crew was ecstatic seeing some clips from a laptop after we had wrapped.
Okay, now let's get into it.
For camera configuration we had a series of make-dos and compromises. I bought a nice Arriflex FF-2 double sided follow focus but because it was 15mm with 100mm offset, I could not get it to work with my configuration, since my matte box is a 15mm with 60mm offset and I still need the 19mm rods from the production pack. Dang it! I'm now planning on taking it to a machine shop and getting it permanently configured for my Red (by having the rod holders of the FF sawed off and then I'll bolt it to the Red Universal Mount). But in the meantime we needed something NOW and so we used the Redrock FF that the DP owned. I'd love the Redrock to be as good, but it just isn't. It had like 1/4" of play in it, the AC wasn't happy, but we had no choice.
What you see in the pics below is my novel way of rigging the basic production pack. Except for the 15mm rods and that adapter, everything on the Red is the basic prod pack. I found I could mount the battery/drive chasis to the top mount and then mount the handle vertically on the side. It's gimpy, but it works. Then I could take the handle plate off and mount the LCD directly on to that. I ordered an EVF but those aren't available yet, so we have a loaner LCD. We're in the process of getting top rails and a side handle and so forth, but haven't gotten there yet.
I strongly disliked having the LCD as the only viewer. Since the HD-SDI and HDMI cannot be active while the LCD is, I had to only use the LCD and forgoe the director's monitor.
On to the issues of the day, the one potentially fatal one for me.
We couldn't get the fans to shut up. At all. The "silent when recording" would only work for the first minute then it would be raging full blast fans for the entire time. We kept watching the heat readout and it was green 'OK' the entire time.
We then used some washrags to muffle the sound in a desperate attempt but it didn't work, the audio sucks. You hear dialogue that sounds like they were standing in a server room. My sound mixer kept telling me that it sounded like a "jet engine" was in the room (we were in a kitchen). I kept repeatedly setting the Fan to 'Silent' and that would only work the first time after a reboot and then it was all full blast hot.
Anyone want to listen to it? Anyone a wizard in post and can either filter it themselves or tell me what FCP or ProTools settings to use?
On the second one there is about 20 seconds of mostly silence and crew mumblings, we were waiting for a clock to change, but you can sure hear the fan.
Okay, now Red has been awesome in the customer support on this. Jim himself has emailed me multiple times, admitting the problem and saying they've already fixed it and that it's in the next build.
One time I had a minor delay rebooting the camera and put some frozen peas on it. I don't think anything is wrong with my Red and don't think it had anything to do with heat.
In conclusion I absolutely love the camera and except for the fans, I'd have an excellent short on my hands. The shots look great, the acting was great, etc. The BTS will definitely be worth checking out when we get that DVD together.
Thanks for looking!