Thread: RED's militaristic branding and marketing.

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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Michael Hastings's Avatar
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    Pardon the long novel here but I think it might be useful for RED and REDUSERs to consider:

    I agree with everything the original poster said. Red's marketing has always been stupid and juvenile and it wasn't necessary - throughout the first ten years RED cameras were always number one or two in terms of high end motion picture technology. I don't know of and can't imagine anyone buying a RED due to the macho marketing and they didn't really need the "edginess" to get publicity - virtually every publication covered RED extensively. I suspect it negated more sales than it generated. I say this as someone that was number 206 on the REDone (ordered the second day of the first NAB) purchased Epic-M, Epic-X, Dragon, Scarlet-W and 2 Epic-Ws and was planning to buy Komodo - and was probably responsible for selling another 30 or 40 Reds by recommending to my customers - based entirely on technical superiority.

    But I also talk to an awful lot of industry people that tend to open up to me as I get to know them fairly well because usually purchasing an underwater system is an involved process from the customer perspective and a number of them have NOT purchased REDs specifically because they didn't like the way RED does business.

    Because I'm one of the few companies that make custom housings for any camera, I get hands on use and feedback of most of the major cameras from Phantom, Sony, Arri, Blackmagic, Canon, Panasonic and some industrial cams.

    The thing that concerns me is that the world has pretty much caught up with RED technologically, and as nice as Komodo is it is competing in a space that is flooded with competitors both much cheaper and slightly more expensive (i.e. BMD 12K) that are offering tremendous bang for the buck AND have very diverse product lines that means they don't need to generate all their profit from the camera - or in the case of Sony and Canon the camera can be almost a loss leader to generate most of the profits from lens sales. We are already well beyond what most people can perceive that makes a difference in terms of resolution and color science, and I'm having a hard time seeing how RED is going to be able to compete technically and financially in the future.

    I sold my Epic-Ws last year anticipating purchasing Komodo mainly for the size that would make a big difference in housing size, although a little disappointed to step down from 8K to 6K. I don't shoot 8K all the time but I get to shoot some pretty unique things and I like to get the max res possible. I was a day one Hydrogen purchaser and was a little annoyed at how that was handled (the RED/not RED seemed a bit shysty) and then when we were put to the back of the Komodo line I started to look around in a way a probably wouldn't have otherwise and ended up ordering a Canon EOS-R5. So far very happy, I took delivery after the firmware updates so haven't had big overheat issues, the colors are great, AF is excellent with all my CANON lenses, IBIS is nice (even with my C/YZeiss vintage manual lenses and my PLs), I have 8K when I want it and 4K in camera scaled from 36x24mm full frame is sweet (besides the VistaVision DOF I don't lose wide angle due to cropping which is extremely important underwater) - oh, yeah I forgot, it's also probably the best still camera in the world right now - and the price is right.

    Further I expect less depreciation simply because it is mass market Canon - I think the resale value in a year or two will be as much or more than a Komodo. Bottom line: it is going to take a lot more than global shutter to get me and others back in the RED fold.

    As far as the macho/military/weapon marketing - I suggest RED stop shooting themselves in the foot.
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  2. #12  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    This has been ground covered many times here as many have strong feeling regarding weaponry or even various interpretations of weaponry or what that can even inspire.

    My personal take, I think some naming conventions were a bit much. The Bomb EVF comes to mind. But that's not really a thing now.

    As mentioned things have been slowly changing though. DSMC2 Weapon clearly was "aimed at" inspiring a "secret weapon" mindset. Again though, that has changed due to criticism I imagine and DSCM2 became Unified.

    Do keep in mind though on film sets around the world for about 100 years or so we've been dealing with magazines, reloaded, and various other terminology that is tied to weapons. And as Michael has stated, things like Canon aren't going anywhere. We've had various rifle lenses and such too, like literally with gun stocks, and that didn't seem to cause much of a stir until now.

    At the moment things are nice in regards to camera names and various accessory names. I don't think the term mag or magazine is going anywhere as it's still used all over. But cameras and names like Komodo, Monstro, Helium, Gemini, Dragon, etc. all inspire bold creature fantasy and short of people attacking towns with Dragons I think things are doing fine. Back to Alexander's point. RED seems to slowly be positioning away from some "on the nose" weaponry related branding.

    I'll just say that arsenal, though tied to weaponry also just means "an array of resources available for a certain purpose". I have an arsenal of soup spoons here at the hut as well as shoes for nearly every occasion.


    Just to jump onto the Canon R5 and future of RED talk. I own one and agree it's a good bang for the buck, but it's not the best stills camera in the world IMO, but it's a damn good one and compact to boot. I suspect Canon comes through further on that front later 2021. But for a tiny little 8K roller, pretty amazing and impressively optimized. Sony will also likely dance in the realm of an 8K camera in this general form factor this year, perhaps even something Venice-y even.

    In regards to that overall concept of where cameras are, I don't feel anything still truly out performs any of the 8K RED lineup just yet, especially adding up the sum of all the parts. Doing side by sides with the latest cameras reveals lots of image, reliability, and workflow related things that still kind of keep some of those systems from being fully adopted into major production still. The price to value proposition is very good, but those kinks are still sometimes a bit too kinky. But to that point, technology is moving fast. Komodo is a square, literally, example of that. And I suspect future cameras will be somewhere between DSMC2 with dashes of Komodo advancements and likely some new crazy things.

    My big questions at this point with technology being where it's at is what a $25,000, $45,000, and $85,000 look like this decade and what it can do exactly. This isn't really just a RED thing, but I have the question aimed at Sony and Arri as well, and Canon is once again showing their 8K S35 camera that slots in one of those categories approximately and I don't know if I'd choose that over a Helium at half the price and that camera has been out for years now.
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  3. #13  
    Senior Member Scot Yount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    This has been ground covered many times here as many have strong feeling regarding weaponry or even various interpretations of weaponry or what that can even inspire.

    My personal take, I think some naming conventions were a bit much. The Bomb EVF comes to mind. But that's not really a thing now.

    As mentioned things have been slowly changing though. DSMC2 Weapon clearly was "aimed at" inspiring a "secret weapon" mindset. Again though, that has changed due to criticism I imagine and DSCM2 became Unified.

    Do keep in mind though on film sets around the world for about 100 years or so we've been dealing with magazines, reloaded, and various other terminology that is tied to weapons. And as Michael has stated, things like Canon aren't going anywhere. We've had various rifle lenses and such too, like literally with gun stocks, and that didn't seem to cause much of a stir until now.

    At the moment things are nice in regards to camera names and various accessory names. I don't think the term mag or magazine is going anywhere as it's still used all over. But cameras and names like Komodo, Monstro, Helium, Gemini, Dragon, etc. all inspire bold creature fantasy and short of people attacking towns with Dragons I think things are doing fine. Back to Alexander's point. RED seems to slowly be positioning away from some "on the nose" weaponry related branding.

    I'll just say that arsenal, though tied to weaponry also just means "an array of resources available for a certain purpose". I have an arsenal of soup spoons here at the hut as well as shoes for nearly every occasion.


    Just to jump onto the Canon R5 and future of RED talk. I own one and agree it's a good bang for the buck, but it's not the best stills camera in the world IMO, but it's a damn good one and compact to boot. I suspect Canon comes through further on that front later 2021. But for a tiny little 8K roller, pretty amazing and impressively optimized. Sony will also likely dance in the realm of an 8K camera in this general form factor this year, perhaps even something Venice-y even.

    In regards to that overall concept of where cameras are, I don't feel anything still truly out performs any of the 8K RED lineup just yet, especially adding up the sum of all the parts. Doing side by sides with the latest cameras reveals lots of image, reliability, and workflow related things that still kind of keep some of those systems from being fully adopted into major production still. The price to value proposition is very good, but those kinks are still sometimes a bit too kinky. But to that point, technology is moving fast. Komodo is a square, literally, example of that. And I suspect future cameras will be somewhere between DSMC2 with dashes of Komodo advancements and likely some new crazy things.

    My big questions at this point with technology being where it's at is what a $25,000, $45,000, and $85,000 look like this decade and what it can do exactly. This isn't really just a RED thing, but I have the question aimed at Sony and Arri as well, and Canon is once again showing their 8K S35 camera that slots in one of those categories approximately and I don't know if I'd choose that over a Helium at half the price and that camera has been out for years now.
    Phil, as usual, makes really good points. I own a forged Weapon that was a Dragon, Now a Helium. I travel a lot for work and a TSA guy was going through my camera and even though mine is the so called "stealth" version...he said, "Did somebody really think it was good idea to call this camera a weapon???" Again, I do not like references to guns, or macho shit. But riddle me this batman. If you are buying a $50K plus cinema camera, are you really going to tell me that you will look elsewhere because of a skull?
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  4. #14  
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    Well, this escalated quickly. What a surprise!!!

    I will add something seldom seen. On Instagram I recall GDU or Jarred posting one of the "cartel" golden handles. For DSMC2 or for Komodo.

    A young man in South America made a post asking for RED to please not glorify the CARTELS and DRUG INDUSTRY with this branding and style.


    Looking at California it all makes sense, isn't there a film about this... Escape from LA?

    I had always thought I was going to be shot someday or another, walking around with my epic-w.


    The reality is it stemmed form Jims respect for the Military I believe, and motorcycle background.
    Last edited by Andrew Dease; 01-10-2021 at 11:17 PM.
     

  5. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    This has been ground covered many times here as many have strong feeling regarding weaponry or even various interpretations of weaponry or what that can even inspire.

    My personal take, I think some naming conventions were a bit much. The Bomb EVF comes to mind. But that's not really a thing now.

    As mentioned things have been slowly changing though. DSMC2 Weapon clearly was "aimed at" inspiring a "secret weapon" mindset. Again though, that has changed due to criticism I imagine and DSCM2 became Unified.

    Do keep in mind though on film sets around the world for about 100 years or so we've been dealing with magazines, reloaded, and various other terminology that is tied to weapons. And as Michael has stated, things like Canon aren't going anywhere. We've had various rifle lenses and such too, like literally with gun stocks, and that didn't seem to cause much of a stir until now.

    At the moment things are nice in regards to camera names and various accessory names. I don't think the term mag or magazine is going anywhere as it's still used all over. But cameras and names like Komodo, Monstro, Helium, Gemini, Dragon, etc. all inspire bold creature fantasy and short of people attacking towns with Dragons I think things are doing fine. Back to Alexander's point. RED seems to slowly be positioning away from some "on the nose" weaponry related branding.

    I'll just say that arsenal, though tied to weaponry also just means "an array of resources available for a certain purpose". I have an arsenal of soup spoons here at the hut as well as shoes for nearly every occasion.


    Just to jump onto the Canon R5 and future of RED talk. I own one and agree it's a good bang for the buck, but it's not the best stills camera in the world IMO, but it's a damn good one and compact to boot. I suspect Canon comes through further on that front later 2021. But for a tiny little 8K roller, pretty amazing and impressively optimized. Sony will also likely dance in the realm of an 8K camera in this general form factor this year, perhaps even something Venice-y even.

    In regards to that overall concept of where cameras are, I don't feel anything still truly out performs any of the 8K RED lineup just yet, especially adding up the sum of all the parts. Doing side by sides with the latest cameras reveals lots of image, reliability, and workflow related things that still kind of keep some of those systems from being fully adopted into major production still. The price to value proposition is very good, but those kinks are still sometimes a bit too kinky. But to that point, technology is moving fast. Komodo is a square, literally, example of that. And I suspect future cameras will be somewhere between DSMC2 with dashes of Komodo advancements and likely some new crazy things.

    My big questions at this point with technology being where it's at is what a $25,000, $45,000, and $85,000 look like this decade and what it can do exactly. This isn't really just a RED thing, but I have the question aimed at Sony and Arri as well, and Canon is once again showing their 8K S35 camera that slots in one of those categories approximately and I don't know if I'd choose that over a Helium at half the price and that camera has been out for years now.
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  6. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hastings View Post
    Pardon the long novel here but I think it might be useful for RED and REDUSERs to consider:

    I agree with everything the original poster said. Red's marketing has always been stupid and juvenile and it wasn't necessary - throughout the first ten years RED cameras were always number one or two in terms of high end motion picture technology. I don't know of and can't imagine anyone buying a RED due to the macho marketing and they didn't really need the "edginess" to get publicity - virtually every publication covered RED extensively. I suspect it negated more sales than it generated. I say this as someone that was number 206 on the REDone (ordered the second day of the first NAB) purchased Epic-M, Epic-X, Dragon, Scarlet-W and 2 Epic-Ws and was planning to buy Komodo - and was probably responsible for selling another 30 or 40 Reds by recommending to my customers - based entirely on technical superiority.

    But I also talk to an awful lot of industry people that tend to open up to me as I get to know them fairly well because usually purchasing an underwater system is an involved process from the customer perspective and a number of them have NOT purchased REDs specifically because they didn't like the way RED does business.

    Because I'm one of the few companies that make custom housings for any camera, I get hands on use and feedback of most of the major cameras from Phantom, Sony, Arri, Blackmagic, Canon, Panasonic and some industrial cams.

    The thing that concerns me is that the world has pretty much caught up with RED technologically, and as nice as Komodo is it is competing in a space that is flooded with competitors both much cheaper and slightly more expensive (i.e. BMD 12K) that are offering tremendous bang for the buck AND have very diverse product lines that means they don't need to generate all their profit from the camera - or in the case of Sony and Canon the camera can be almost a loss leader to generate most of the profits from lens sales. We are already well beyond what most people can perceive that makes a difference in terms of resolution and color science, and I'm having a hard time seeing how RED is going to be able to compete technically and financially in the future.

    I sold my Epic-Ws last year anticipating purchasing Komodo mainly for the size that would make a big difference in housing size, although a little disappointed to step down from 8K to 6K. I don't shoot 8K all the time but I get to shoot some pretty unique things and I like to get the max res possible. I was a day one Hydrogen purchaser and was a little annoyed at how that was handled (the RED/not RED seemed a bit shysty) and then when we were put to the back of the Komodo line I started to look around in a way a probably wouldn't have otherwise and ended up ordering a Canon EOS-R5. So far very happy, I took delivery after the firmware updates so haven't had big overheat issues, the colors are great, AF is excellent with all my CANON lenses, IBIS is nice (even with my C/YZeiss vintage manual lenses and my PLs), I have 8K when I want it and 4K in camera scaled from 36x24mm full frame is sweet (besides the VistaVision DOF I don't lose wide angle due to cropping which is extremely important underwater) - oh, yeah I forgot, it's also probably the best still camera in the world right now - and the price is right.

    Further I expect less depreciation simply because it is mass market Canon - I think the resale value in a year or two will be as much or more than a Komodo. Bottom line: it is going to take a lot more than global shutter to get me and others back in the RED fold.

    As far as the macho/military/weapon marketing - I suggest RED stop shooting themselves in the foot.

    Great post.
     

  7. #17  
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    As a very early Red adopter with one of the first Red Ones and a U.S. Army veteran in the late 60's, I was put off by the "weaponization of Red's branding". I suspect the decision makers at Red have not personally experienced the horrors of war and battlefield death. Having said that, my work around is to cover all references to weapons and skulls with black velcro on my Red cameras. I prefer shooting cameras rather than guns since my time in the Army fifty years ago.
     

  8. #18  
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    The kickarse mentality which stereotypes Americans so much in the international world has been embedded in the hive for very much longer than RED, which is really only having some fun with it.

    An example might be the yesteryear corporate morale stimulus event by a motor company buying the competitor's latest model, hauling it aloft with a helicopter, dropping it to smash to ground in pieces. The CEO or PR foghorn then blares to the faithful the likes of, "this year this is how we are going to kill the competition" to the chorus of yairs, hoots and hollers.

    Later, the wreck is hauled away and a patching gang discreetly fills the holes chunked out of the carpark pavement.

    I concede that it is a bit over the top and retired servicemen and paramilitary folk may be less than amused by RED's branding.

    The rest of the world may see stereotypical American culture as being street gangs and bally overbulked blowhards in lumberjackets scooting around in their Dodge Rams and pretend Humvees. However, people of trendy popular influence need to also take care not to elastrate the macho out of the collective mentality too relentlessly.

    The price of that may be a nation of male wimps, disenchanted aggressive males with a sense of lost purpose and a cohort of wannabe wonderwoman Amazons. Like in all things, there needs to be a sensible balance maintained with traditional family values being embraced and modernised when and where sensibly appropriate.

    Now that's going to set the feminists and mannerists having at each other with gay abandon. Damn now I've done it again. In 70 years, words and turns of phrase have been totally changed. Don't forget your MANners - okay???- Aww sh#t, Now I've gone and done it again.

    This political correctness is making my ears go back and my eyeballs frug.


    - Just be nice to each other and just shoot empty cans in the backyard like the guy I saw in Inglewood resting contentedly on his outdoor chair, feet up with his beer alongside on a small table.
    Last edited by Robert Hart; 01-11-2021 at 01:08 AM.
     

  9. #19  
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    Next thing you know, it will be uncalled for to say "I'm going to go out and SHOOT with my camera" As much smack as I talk about RED the naming conventions will not be one of them..
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  10. #20  
    Senior Member William Long's Avatar
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    I suppose it's about caring - or not.

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