RED Epic-X Production

....has begun, making a lot of filmakers out there very happy/giddy filmakers.  All I've got to say is go RED team go!  Despite the delays the EPIC project is an incredible feat and I wish more electronics manufacturers were out there pushing limits like you.  Hopefully Epic-S and Scarlet (ESPECIALLY Scarlet) won't be too far behind now that the Epic-X production lines are going.  Until then I'll be figuring out ways I can get my hands on $35k for an Epic-X......yeah....right..... Epic-X production thread here at Reduser.net

RED EPIC .r3d files

Above: REDCINE-X EPIC .r3d screenshot

I've posted before about the RED EPIC 5K digital cinema camera.  The  "nuclear reactor in a matchbox" according to Jim Jannard of RED.  In addition to being a 5K digital cinema camera that fits in your hand, it also marks RED's first DMSC - digital motion and stills camera - meaning it takes stills too!  The EPIC cameras out in the wild currently have an alpha build of the firmware where only motion is enabled.  However, it is still possible to extract RAW stills from the .r3d motion stream without the still mode enabled.  The camera industry is currently abuzz with talks about the future of cameras being still/motion hybrids.  Only time will tell if that holds true, but I'm certainly not opposed to it.  Jarred Land of RED has been kind enough to post some RED EPIC .r3d motion and still files throughout reduser.net for us to play with.  I decided to play with a few and posted the results below.  Hard to tell how these would stack up with a still camera in the same situation, but the results are pretty neat, especially since these were extracted from a motion stream.  A lot of photographers are used to playing around with RAW stills, but playing around with RAW motion files is a whole new beast and a frankly, a whole lot of fun!  Limited run EPIC-M cameras are currently being shipped to special existing RED customers and other existing RED customers should get their EPIC-X cameras this summer.  It will be interesting to see some A/B tests with EPIC and other still cameras, esp medium format ones....

Below: my attempts at "grading" some .r3d files (photos below courtesy of Jarred Land, RED Digital Cinema. Original source here)

Peter Jackson, I Hate You

Well I don't REALLY hate Peter Jackson, more like extremely jealous of.  Although I still am a little confused as to how he went from making such films as 1990's Meet the Feebles (probably the raunchiest puppet movie ever) and 1992's Dead Alive (cheeky zombie movie with lots of corn syrup dyed red) to making the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and producing District 9 (awesome take on species relations between humans and aliens, set in the racial hotbed that is South Africa...shot in part with the RED ONE), the man clearly knows how to direct movies and make big productions happen. Right now my latest gadget obsession is the RED Epic (http://www.red.com/products/epic).  It's a 5K digital cinema camera with over 13.5 stops of dynamic range (I believe I read around 19 stops with the RED HDRx feature) that also takes still and can use Nikon and Canon lenses in addition to the pro-cinema PL-mount lenses out there.  In short...I want one.  Jim Jannard of RED recently announced that the Epic is finally production ready after several years of development.  RED is currently taking orders for pre-production Epics, with production on the Epic slated for Q1 2011...I think.  Of course RED delivery times are always subject to change.  Anyway, it was just announced that Jackson's latest production, The Hobbit, will be "filmed" in 3D with the RED Epic.....at least 30 of them!  All jealousy for Mr. Jackson's ability to play around with 30 Epics aside, I can't wait to see the results.  I doubt I'm the only one, Tolkein fanatics worldwide are probably drooling over the thought of a non-animated cinematic adaptation of the famous book.  Jackson's The Hobbit: Part 1 is slated for 2012, so we'll all have to wait til then to lay our eyes on the feature.  Cheers!