It's day two of five. Sadly, I can't discuss the particulars of the pilot other than it's based on a very popular YouTube series. However, I can talk plenty about the camera.
We're shooting the pilot with an Epic (firmware 1.4.9). I wish it was the latest firmware and likely would have if it had come out a week earlier. While we could have upgraded, I didn't want any potential complications if we had. Still I don't feel as if we're hamstrung as a result. We're shooting 5K 2:1 with a 16:9 extraction and protecting for 4:3. We're using Red Pro Primes as well as a set of Arri Macros. The camera is mounted mostly to a Weaver Steadman on a Chapman Dolly because I hate having tripods to move around and also because we have several FX shots of actors head-to-toe and the 3rd-axis feature seemed like a good choice to turn the camera on its side quickly. It's quite a rig with a somewhat diminutive camera attached. The producer came up to me today and asked, "Is this really the camera we're using? It's so small." I agreed and reminded him it's also shooting footage that's of higher quality than anything he's ever shot.
For those interested, our camera vendor is Digital Film Studios (http://www.digitalfilmstudios.com). They put together a fantastic package for us and helped to make sure we were well taken care of - my thanks to you Danny.
Caring for the camera is our DIT Eric Ulbrich, 1st AC Ron Elliot and 2nd AC Mishka Kornai. Thank you guys for an amazing job.
Here are some of my preliminary thoughts about the camera...
So what's gone wrong: Minor stuff really. Had a shot with a few dropped frames but fortunately it was something we could easily edit around and we also had other takes. The monitor on a handful of times would do this weird screen split thing but that was remedied with a reboot (that is super fast now). The biggest hiccup has been getting "battery spike" warning which we're forced to reboot. The inability to record sound or to playback footage makes my brain hurt.
And what's gone right: So much!
Perfect camera for a VFX heavy show. Nearly every shot we're doing is on blue or green screen. The footage has been keying and looking great. Having the huge range of compression choices has been extremely helpful.
We shot 48 fps on 5K today! As someone who has shot a bunch on the Red One, what an absolute joy it is to shoot high speed and not take a resolution hit.
Ten seconds to boot up! Seriously?! I used to die a little every time I needed to reboot the Red One. It's silly but now when we need to reboot, I almost welcome it just to see how fast the camera does it!
While this show will be shot entirely on a stage, I can't wait to shoot on location with this the Epic. I've loved shooting Canon 5D because of the size of the camera and how freeing it is. While the Epic is not light as a feather it is vastly smaller and lighter than the Red One which makes me look forward to shooting inside a car or small New York apartment.
Redmote… awesome. Touchscreen monitor… awesome. SSD download times… awesome.
I've shoot three feature on the Red One and a numerous commercial and yet I've never considered myself a "fan boy". Still don't. BUT… This experience has definitely strengthened my believe that this particular show will benefit and be able to grow with this camera as future firmware's reveal the wonderful capabilities of the Epic. As I work on more and bigger shows, I am often reminded that Red got it absolutely right in pushing for 4K (and now beyond). Kudos to everyone at Red for all the hard work - I'm not looking forward to Thursday when we're done shooting but do look forward to my next Epic show.