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RED cameras absent from all Oscar cinematography and best picture nominees


Andrew Reid

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Then:

 

Explain to him how he's wrong about the ugly noise texture in all MX footage, especially tungsten-balanced, making the image look cheap and chunky and digital.

 

Explain to him why the shadows get so chunky and blue in any tungsten-balanced Red scene, whereas Alexas can be shot under any lighting condition. And then go on and add why the Alexa's superior low light ability is irrelevant.

 

Explain to him why it's irrelevant that the Alexa has a smoother noise texture, much more like film.

 

Explain to him why, despite the Red's 13.5 stops of DR being is a total lie (in fact the camera has no more DR than the C300, less than the F5, and a magenta-tinted highlight rolloff), it's still better than the 14.5+ stops smoothly handled in the Alexa.

 

Explain why the Alexa's superior midrange tonality isn't significant.

 

Explain why red code botching details in skin and foliage (again, some of the most emotionally resonant subject matter...) is irrelevant, whereas ArriRAW is fine and even prores handles these details well.

 

Explain to him why the color science of the Alexa matches 5219 almost exactly and offers smooth creamy flesh tones and beautiful green foliage, whereas the red totally botches memory colors, but that's ok.

 

Explain to him how he's wrong that the OLPF of the Red offers ugly internal reflections and color cast over highlights, whereas the Alexa rolls off smoothly like film.

 

I'm curious. Explain how an ugly image with good specs looks better than a beautiful one with somewhat lesser specs.

 

Personally I would shoot a C300 or F5 over an Epic; the Epic has a stranglehold on summer blockbusters for the resolution advantage, but the look is just so... ugly and the workflow so damn shitty.

 

Yes there is beautiful content shot on red. But Prometheus, for instance, required a lot of CGI lipstick to dress up that pig.

 

I do find the character of the Monochrome sensor to be superior.

+1

 

this is what I'm hearing from festival directors and dps..

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Captain Phillips seemed to have the most disparate use of cameras.  Quickly skimming the Nov'13 ACM it appears they used Super-16mm (Aaton) shooting on the water, especially for the Somali only parts

Oh, and it didn't click until now, I must be getting old, Gravity is this year's Life of Pi test. More than 80% of that film is not Alexa or film it's synthetic, lit by digital artists using the Arnol

Funny, that most of you here in the forum comment the absence of RED on the Oscar nominees by technical picture details (pro and cons).   May I give a hint to a possible reason not yet mentioned her

Then:

 

Explain to him ...

OK,

you right i am wrong,

but saying that red is only good on paper is like saying:"I don't know how to use this camera, but it's shit camera anyways"

i shoot Alexas often, and own Epic MX, i am being honest - i wouldn't trade it for Arri, it's just 'more' of a camera. And i am not talking Dragon, just MX. i am very very far from being Red fanboy, i am rather hateboy, but bashing  one camera that half the size and third the price just because you didn't have a chance to get familiar with it and not comfortable with the workflow doesn't seem to be very professional.

If Red is good for Jackson, Scott, Fincher, Soderbergh and many others who choose it as a tool, not a religion, it's certainly good enough for me.

:)

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Funny, that most of you here in the forum comment the absence of RED on the Oscar nominees by technical picture details (pro and cons).

 

May I give a hint to a possible reason not yet mentioned here:

 

The RED Epic is a quite noisy camera (soundwise) and degrades the quality of actors dialogue to a huge degree. If I was a producer and I would pay millions of dollars to get the best actors in the world to play for my movie, I would not work with a camera, which makes half of their work (dialogue) go directly into the trash bin!

 

Even ten years after their first ONE camera, RED hasn´t managed to produce silent cameras, a big obstacle for scenic movies (if that´s the right expression?). The Epic fans only go down to 30% speed while recording - not 0% - a mess!

 

Yes - there have been movies shot with RED. But either the directors/producers didn´t care for actors ADR, or it was such a SFX-movie, that the dialogue couldn´t be captured at all, as most of the other SFX equipment is even more noisy than the camera.

 

But if you want to shoot an indoor scene with a big portion of dialogue and actors presence, then RED is not the choice for a good movie. Maybe that´s a reason.

 

Best regards,

Andreas

 

 

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The only place Epic has the edge for me is being able to shoot compressed raw 4k for compositing, and size/weight

 

TBH the prototype Amira I played with shoulder mount yesterday for a bit is much more convenient than Epic, no silly rigging, it just sits there lovely and balanced

 

The shadows on Alexa/Amira are cleaner than Epic by a long margin, due to the dual-channel sensor readout, and the noise pattern is much more film like so when the noise does show, it still looks nice.

 

Perhaps the Dragon sensor is cleaner in the shadows than the 4K one, I don't know, but I doubt I'll be using it much as 6K size is a real hassle, and Amira 1080p ProRes just looks amazing and is easy to deal with and post. It may get used for compositi-heavy scenes with good lighting.

 

I'd happily Use Amira nd a BMPCC B-cam for absolutely any narrative I can think of, aside from one with huge amounts of CG. But then most of those films that need 100% CG are quite boring crash bang wallop fests so I'm not bothered really.

 

I don't particularly need 4K or 6K to re-frame either, I'd rather just get it right without cropping in every other shot, you know, like they did on almost every film ever.

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There really isn't anything about any of these cameras that makes them better or worse for use with CG than any other camera.  In every case it takes a talented compositor to match the perfectly linear, many times more over-sampled CG imagery to the plate photography.  CG will almost always have to be blurred, its tonality manipulated and some kind of noise/grain layered over the top. 

 

Some might make for somewhat cleaner, off the defaults keying but that's not CG.

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Then:

 

Explain to him how he's wrong about the ugly noise texture in all MX footage, especially tungsten-balanced, making the image look cheap and chunky and digital.

 

Explain to him why the shadows get so chunky and blue in any tungsten-balanced Red scene, whereas Alexas can be shot under any lighting condition. And then go on and add why the Alexa's superior low light ability is irrelevant.

 

Explain to him why it's irrelevant that the Alexa has a smoother noise texture, much more like film.

 

Explain to him why, despite the Red's 13.5 stops of DR being is a total lie (in fact the camera has no more DR than the C300, less than the F5, and a magenta-tinted highlight rolloff), it's still better than the 14.5+ stops smoothly handled in the Alexa.

 

Explain why the Alexa's superior midrange tonality isn't significant.

 

Explain why red code botching details in skin and foliage (again, some of the most emotionally resonant subject matter...) is irrelevant, whereas ArriRAW is fine and even prores handles these details well.

 

Explain to him why the color science of the Alexa matches 5219 almost exactly and offers smooth creamy flesh tones and beautiful green foliage, whereas the red totally botches memory colors, but that's ok.

 

Explain to him how he's wrong that the OLPF of the Red offers ugly internal reflections and color cast over highlights, whereas the Alexa rolls off smoothly like film.

 

I'm curious. Explain how an ugly image with good specs looks better than a beautiful one with somewhat lesser specs.

 

Personally I would shoot a C300 or F5 over an Epic; the Epic has a stranglehold on summer blockbusters for the resolution advantage, but the look is just so... ugly and the workflow so damn shitty.

 

Yes there is beautiful content shot on red. But Prometheus, for instance, required a lot of CGI lipstick to dress up that pig.

 

I do find the character of the Monochrome sensor to be superior.

After watching Prometheus that as you said is clobbered with CGI, I also watched the Counselor and although it looks pretty good visually I am still wondering why Ridley Scott has not dumped those Red cameras and picked up Alexa. Especially for the landscapes, the interiors scenes in available light, not mentioning the night scenes in total dark in The Counselor, the Alexa should have been a no brainer.

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I don't think it's a budgetary thing as the camera bodies (Epic vs Alexa) list for approximately the same in most major markets, the Epic sometimes a few hundred cheaper. This difference is nothing in the scheme of budgets and is offset by the additional workflow hassle you have with having to transcode R3D and Red cameras tending to crash more. Add in the additional 1.5 of highlight range and higher ASA of Alexa, it saves you considerable time on lighting. Switching from studio to handheld on Alexa is also quicker and easier. I work jobs where where we do this several times a day. That time savings really adds up over the course of a show. Last because of Red more limited DR and color gamut, it takes more time in color correction. So add all of the above up, and Epic becomes a more expensive proposition with no clear advantage in IQ.

 

Now consider, few movie theaters resolve  at 4k (let alone 2k) and few people feel the need to buy a 4k TV set, Epic's resolution advantage amounts to very little, even less when shooting Arriraw or Anamorphic. Someone like Fincher who mostly does aggressive color grades, Epic works fine. But for a more natural skin tone, Alexa's color space has a clear advantage.

I used to own a full blown Epic and got rid of it as I found myself trying to hard to pimp it when it wasn't always the best rig for the gig. Since selling it, I've found myself like the industry shooting on Alexa's about 80 percent of the time. 

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The Alexa is a UNION camera.  The Oscars is a UNION event.  Only one movie "Gravity" out of top 10 high grossing movies of 2013 is nominated for best picture.   The Oscars is a UNION event.  Where they pick there UNION friends movie.  Woody Allen can put a picture of his butt on the screen for 90 minutes and he is going to get nominated for something.

 

The Alexa camera is a easy to use camera.  Much less problems with transcoding.  ARRI supports the shit out of this camera.  Red works fine (NOW) if you know how to use it.  Remember the early days of RED, there were some issues but that is the past.  I have rented both and they worked great.

 

The new RED Dragon, you can just point the camera and make sure it’s in focus.  You can relight the scene in post to whatever you want.  The latitude is amazing.  As long as the war between cameras continues we will all be the victors with more and better equipment.

 

As a union member, I have no idea what you're getting at. I see both REDs and Alexas on union and non-union shows all the time. When it's not 3D or require a small body or producers are confident they can frame it right the first time, we tend to shoot on Alexa's, union or not.

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