Everyone is up in arms these days over the announcement of RED not targeting the prosumer crowd and the Scarlet being more expensive. I think we all need to take a step back here and realize what’s going on.
First off, what RED has done so far is amazing. The RED ONE simply is an amazing camera and at an even more amazing price. We all had hopes that the Scarlet would be THE camera to democratize filmmaking so any teenage kid with a rich daddy or someone saving their hard earned pennies could afford a tool that is truly (for pixel peepers) on par with Hollywood equipment. Stop right there, it was a nice fantasy…
See, there’s a reason equipment costs so much. RED, even with the price increase, seems like they’re not even charging for the R&D of their products. Cameras like this usually cost at least $60K. I mean, a camera that records RAW, 5K (or even 3K), and a 2/3″ sensor. Name one camera that does that for under $10K let alone for under $60K. In fact, is there even another camera out there that records 3K or 5K that we can afford without selling our house and our first born? We should STILL, even at this price point, be grateful RED is even letting us have this equipment for that price. It really is a gift.
Look, I’m not a RED fanboy, as I’ve frankly grown sick of hearing people talk about what they’re working on. That’s not to say that I hate the company, because I don’t – they’re doing amazing things. What I’m saying is that I’m sick of hearing people talk about buying a camera that isn’t finalized when they don’t even have a script to shoot yet. For me, I’ll worry about the camera after it ships.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be mad. If anything, maybe you should be mad that RED said something but didn’t “deliver” but then again, they ALWAYS had the disclaimer, “Things are subject to change. Count on it.”
Guys, filmmaking has been democratized basically since the DVX or before that. DVX films won best film and best cinematography awards at numerous prestigious film festivals around the country. Those who couldn’t afford to buy the DVX could always rent one. Nowadays, we have cameras like the T2i that can do 24p, basically 35mm sensor size, all for about $800. $800. Someone in highschool can afford that on a part time job if they were willing to save their money for a few months. It’s not the camera holding you back anymore, it’s you or your script.
Don’t worry about the compression, etc, on an HDSLR or other decent cams because if you learn to shoot correctly with your tool, your audience is most likely not going to notice or even care. Put your energy into making a good movie.
Over the summer, I shot a commercial with a total budget of $30K. I could have bought a RED with that money, but I didn’t. I couldn’t justify spending that money because most likely, it may never get paid back. As a business owner, I need my equipment to pay for itself rather quickly in order to profit. What’s my point? My point is…
We all want our backyard videos to look as good as possible, but don’t be mad at RED because you can no longer afford the Scarlet. Use what you can afford because most likely, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, if you can’t afford to use a certain piece of equipment on set, then most likely you/your project doesn’t need it.
Stop waiting for RED to democratize filmmaking. That’s an excuse to not film something. Look at the tools we have now. It has already happened. Now stop waiting, go out there, and create something because the filmmaking world is moving ahead without you… and you don’t want to be left behind.
Speaking of creating… here’s my latest short film (end shameless plug)
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