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Fluid Motion Theater & Film
23 West 73rd Street #502A
New York, NY 10023


April 2, 2008

First Person: Annetta Marion and shooting on the RED

Our newest film project, MIDAS' SON, was shot on the RED camera. The RED is an HD camcorder that -- according to the marketing materials -- "renders obsolescence obsolete." It is one of the most sophisticated tools available to indie and professionalfilmmakers.

And we had the chance to shoot with it.

Fluid Motion asked director Annetta Marion to blog a bit about the experience. Here's what she had to say.

The vision for MIDAS' SON was beautiful and lyrical; using water as the healing element and our motif throughout. Shallow depth of field was going to be very important because of the disconnectedness of the characters. Shooting in 2.35 also spoke to the distance between the characters.

Since we couldn't afford to shoot on film, HD was the only other option. I knew nothing about the RED camera except for that is was new and sexy. Cutting-edge technology. Which is very exciting but scary.

The RED camera is a huge and gorgeous camera, a little strange that instead of an eyepiece it had an on-board monitor. We never could get both the on-board monitor and the big monitor to work at the same time. Also the RED camera seemed to have a life of its own, which I've never seen with other cameras (video or film). What I mean by that is the RED camera would decide on its own to turn off, sometimes in the middle of a take. There we would be, in the middle of a take, watching the actors do their terrific work and suddenly in the monitor we'd see a message that the camera would be turning off in 30 seconds, the message would count down 29, 28, 27, etc. At those moments I would will the actors to finish the take before the camera went down and we were very very lucky; the camera would shut off just as I would be calling cut. So the gremlin behavior of the camera never actually hurt us but was a little nerve-wracking the whole time. That said, when I was able to see what we were doing in the big monitor, it was GORGEOUS. I'm so excited to get through the processing our footage into workable quicktimes step so we can start the edit. All in all, it feels more like working in film than video: its GORGEOUS and also once we returned the camera, we could no longer see the footage until we "processed" it. I'd use the RED camera again in a heartbeat although the next time I'd like to have a technician with the camera. Especially now that I understand more about the post work flow.


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