With each trip to India I learn more about the Indian peoples passion and love for Cinema, love for the big movie screen experience and Joy of getting the best possible images up on the many, many movie screens all over the Country and on the many, many eyeballs of millions of very sophisticated moviegoing patrons that consider going to the movies among their favorite things to do (pretty similar to me and many of my friends from around the globe actually :-)
I want to share a couple of stories of my recent visit to Chennai and Mumbai. As many of you know, We took our REDucation class to India this past week (July 2012 for those that may be reading this sometime down the road) A very large Film Lab, Film Studio and Post Production facility, Prasad Group hosted us in their studio in Chennai for the class, and they were the most gracious, most accommodating hosts anyone could ask for. They provided a giant preview theater with a Huge screen for us to teach the class and show EPIC and Scarlet footage on, and each day served gourmet Indian food to everyone. It was a fantastic experience.
We had a large press conference that Prasad organized, with mainstream media from all over India asking very intelligent questions and reporting on our announcement of the RED India office getting set up and starting up (I took a tour of the facility under construction today, right in the heart of Mumbai in one of the most modern buildings in the city - the RED Office is going to be something to see once it's fully up and running in a few months!)
Our REDucation class had over 75 students from all the Cinema regions of India in the North, South and Central and Also International Students from exotic places like Myanmar, and Bahrain - They were all great, had so many questions and were with us to really learn how to get the most out of the RED cameras and really learn how simple and logical and cost effective doing post production for RED is. We shot footage each day and projected and graded it on the big movie screen at Prasad- really fun and valuable learning.
We even tried an experiement in this India class where we Did an FCP 7 edit, doing a real time transcode via the Red Rocket while the course was running, of some EPIC footage I shot while I was in Sri Lanka, and did a conform in Scratch and full on Grade and finish of the shots all in about an hours time, all in real time grading from the R3Ds without any rendering, just direct grade from the Raw files - everyone saw how amazingly easy working with RED footage in post can be - real time myth-busting in front of a crowd, one of my favorite things to do. I think we will do this in upcoming classes now with various DI grading options, it was super interesting to see and learn from.
While Jill from 3Ality Technica was teaching 3D on EPICs, I was able to run out with Arjun to the local Cinemas and check out the most modern, state of the Art Cinemas in Chennai, a place called Escape Cinemas - The are doing something really unique - they don't have any projection booths at all - I'll put some pix up when I download them and show you how the make really big impressive theaters without giving up any real estate to projection booths.
We went to one of the Escape Cinemas with 1400 seats (yes pretty big theater :-) it was totally packed on a Wednesday afternoon, and they were screening a movie on a giant screen called Billa 2 (a huge hit here in India, all shot on EPIC cameras) from a Director/Producer named Chakri that is a super early adopter and great supporter of the RED in India, and has become a good friend over the years.
So in this giant theater, we watched a scene from Billa 2 where the heroine get's her throat cut as the hero is being held by his captives, with a knife in his side, as the girl is killed all the women in the audience let out a loud gasp, and some even scream loudly, as if it was actually really happening! The hero then pulls the knife out of his body and proceeds to kill all the bad guys to the massive cheers and claps of the over 1000 people in the crowd! it was truly an awesome moment and made me really proud that RED can be a part of this movie making joy in India that is so clear to me know why they adore it so much.
Thanks for reading, more stories from my adventures with RED around the world to come!