NEW OWNERS - WELCOME - Take Caution
There are thousands of people that come and go on these boards every day. There are only about 20-30 of us that actually own cameras and are not directly or indirectly affiliated with RED.
I am one that is not affiliated with RED, nor do I own a rental house, rather I am a producer/director/editor that knew very early on that this would be the greatest thing since the Jazz Singer allowed us to hear sound in movie theatres in 1929.
In the spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood I want to share some of my experiences over the last 45 days, so that you all do not have to go through some of the pain i have experienced.
First, (and this has been said in many places and in many different ways, but allow me to reiterate), if you think that your camera will cost you 17,500 you are dead wrong. if you think that the more likely figure of $35-40k is what you will end up spending, you are also wrong. you MUST also purchase support gear if you want to use your camera for yourself and you MUST purchase even more gear if you expect to be an owner/operator/rental guy/gal.
Second, once you take possession of your camera, you are now in a legitimate GANG. a gang that is bound by some of the same principles and rules as any street game or team. we must be loyal to our boss, in this case red...
These camera are not done. they work and do an awesome job, but we want more and so will you. if we bitch and moan and publicly de-face the company, outsiders cling on to that information and suddenly we have a 10 pound door stop. Jim doesn't need your money, but he is the only Billionaire that i know ( and i know many) that sits on a bulletin board and answers random questions from his customer (current/future and potential customers). he and the team he has assembled are unparalleled in their quest for 100% customer satisfaction, not 99% or 99.99% but 100%, which is a perfect score with no errors/ ERROR-Proof.
I have a suggestion for owners coming in this week, if you have a question, PM a few owners (1-50) first, call or email red second, then go to the board for your answers as a last resort. the red team is a dedicated and focused bunch, but so are 1-50 and many of us are more than willing to help the new owners, who knows we may need to partner with you someday for a multi-camera shoot.
Support your teammates - let's continue to help each other because a bad experience for a producer/director/dp is a lost customer for all of us.
Third, DO NOT EXPECT TO GET YOUR CAMERA FRIDAY AND RENT IT OUT ON SATURDAY. please use your camera for a week or two on your own. Learn the menus, shoot under all conditions, extract the data, play with red-alert cut some footage on final cut....know your shit backwards and forward before you show up on set because if you do not it will be a disaster for not only you but for RED and the other OWNERS. you are representing us ALL, act accordingly.
You will know more about RED then every single person in the room and on set. Know it, learn and know it all. be patient, and by all means have a presence in the field, cause you are the expert and you are the one representative of us all at that moment, in that place.
Fourth, BEING A DIT/RED TECH/OWNER ON SET IS A HUGE RESPONSIBILITY. Unlike any other recorded medium, RED requires patience , speed, dedication, knowledge and expertise. the job of running through menus to change a setting (fps, asa, format, monitors, test screens, white balance, shutter speeds...) is a full time job on set, ONE FULL TIME PERSON PER CAMERA BODY TO STAY WITH CAMERA CLOSE TO THE DP & DIRECTOR. This person can not also be the ingest/let me see how it looks guy/gal. that is a separate person PER CAMERA BODY. IF YOU THINK YOU CAN RENT YOUR CAMERA AND BE ON A PROFESSIONAL SET WITH A CREW LARGER THAN A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM AND BE BY YOURSELF SUPPORTING THE DP/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/EDITOR AND GET ALL THE CF CARDS OFF LOADED AND MIRRORED ON MULTIPLE DRIVES, LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING -----YOU CAN NOT!
You must bring a small staff to help you in that situation. I recently rented my camera (and a second body) to a very well established production company that was producing a very high budget promo for a new cable show featuring one of the top 10 celebrities in the World, it was high pressure and the staff i brought preformed flawlessly. but without them, it would have been a bust.
Fifth, ASK QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU RENT, MAKE SURE EVERYONE (DIRECTOR/DP/PRODUCER/AC'S/EDITOR/POST HOUSE) IS ON THE SAME PAGE. make sure you and they have established a proper workflow from camera to drive to bay to color to delivery. know the weak links. If the "Star Editor" whom has won countless MTV awards & Clio's. will only work on an AVID system from the mid 90's because it runs on OS9 and never crashes and is what he knows and is the only editor that the award winning director trusts, then know a work around to the published (this board) workflow scenarios. [CALL STEPHEN BERES AT PLASTERCITY DIGITAL POST 323-469-9800 IF YOU WANT THE BEST OF THE BEST TO HELP WITH CONFORMING TO WHAT EVER THE NEEDS ARE or Chris Blythe at RIOT].
Sixth, KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE THE FIRST PERSON DOING WHATEVER IT IS YOUR DOING AND THAT THE ONLY PEOPLE ON THE PLANET THAT CAN HELP -- YOU-- FIGURE THIS SHIT OUT IS 1-50 & RED. be prepared for...WE HAVE NEVER DONE IT THAT WAY...WHY, HOW COME, IT COSTS HOW MUCH???? OR BETTER YET, NO, WE CAN NOT DO THAT.
KNOW that 98% of every major post house on the planet uses AVIDS and they do not own intel based macs as a rule and most highly paid professional editors that are ACE editors do not know FCP. so be prepared to teach, nurture, cajole them into getting the FCP religion.
YOU ARE A PIONEER, YOU WILL GET ARROWS SHOT AT YOU FROM IN FRONT OF YOU BEHIND YOU AND FROM THE SIDE. be prepared to answer all the questions, be prepared to do 10 demos before you get one rental. there is a lot at stake for this to not happen, we are all changing the way this system works and there will be supporter and detractors, feed off the supporters and listen to the detractors and if you are armed with the knowledge, then you and the camera and specifically the properly exposed and composed imagery will mitigate the detractors concerns.
Seventh; HAVE A SYSTEM. figure out a physically system for extracting data off the CF cards, because it can get tricky.
Eighth. BUY A 24" IMAC WITH 4 GIGS OF RAM. 1920 X 1200 MONITOR RESOLUTION, 800 FW, COMPACT...YOU WILL THANK ME LATER. It is what the High end Digital photogs use because the monitor is world class and the form factor is elegant and by all means functional.
9th - have at least 4 batteries and two chargers and at least 10 cf cards, short of that and you will be in trouble on a pro set.
I want you all to be successful because one day you too will be busy and i may not be and i want that business that u are turning away and vice versa.