Tag Archives: Red Raven

Seasoned pros and young talent team on short films

By James Hughes

In Los Angeles on a Saturday morning, a crew of 10 students from Hollywood High School — helmed by 17-year-old director Celine Gimpirea — were transforming a corner of the Calgary Cemetery into a movie set. In The Box, a boy slips inside a cardboard box and finds himself transported to other realms. On this well-manicured lawn, among rows of flat, black granite grave markers, are rows of flat, black camera cases holding Red cameras, DIT stations, iPads and MacBook Pros.

Gimpirea’s is one of three teams of filmmakers involved in a month-long filmmaking workshop connecting creative pros with emerging talent. The teams worked with tools from Apple, including the MacBook Pro, iMac and Final Cut Pro X, as well as the Red Raven camera for shooting. LA-based independent filmmaking collective We Make Movies provided post supervision. They used a workflow very similar to that of the feature film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which was shot on Red and edited in FCP X.

In the documentary La Buena Muerte produced by instructors from the Mobile Film Classroom, a non-profit that provides digital media workshops to youth in under-resourced communities, the filmmakers examine mortality and family bonds surrounding the Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday honoring lost loved ones. And in The Dancer, director Krista Amigone channels her background in theater to tell a personal story about a dancer confronting the afterlife.

Krista Amigone

During a two-week post period, teams received feedback from a rotating cast of surprise guests and mentors from across the industry, each a professional working in the field of film and television production.

Among the first mentors to view The Dancer was Sean Baker, director of 2017’s critically acclaimed The Florida Project and the 2015 feature Tangerine, shot entirely on iPhone 5S. Baker, who edits his own films, surveyed clips from Amigone’s shoot. Each take had been marked with the Movie Slate app on an iPad, which automatically stores and logs the timecode data. Together, they discussed Amigone’s backstory as well. A stay-at-home mother of a three-year-old daughter, she is no stranger to maximizing time and resources. She not only served as writer and director, but also star and choreographer.

Meanwhile, the La Buena Muerte crew, headed by executive producer Manon Banta, were editing their piece. Reviewing the volume of interviews and B-roll, all captured by cinematographer Elle Schneider on the 4.5K Red Raven camera, initially felt like a daunting task. Fortunately, their metadata was automatically organized after being imported straight into Final Cut Pro X from Shot Notes X and Lumberjack, along with the secondary source audio via Sync-N-Link X, which spared days of hand syncing.

Perhaps the most constructive feedback about story structure came from TJ Martin, director of LA92 and Undefeated, the Oscar-winner for Best Documentary Feature in 2012, which director Jean Balest has used as teaching material in the Mobile Film Classroom. Midway through the cut, Martin was struck by a plot point he felt required precision placement up front: A daughter is introduced while presiding over a conceptual art altar alongside her mother, who reveals she’s coping with her own pending death after a stage four cancer diagnosis.

Reshoots were vital to The Box. The dream world Gimpirea created — she cites Christopher Nolan’s Inception as an influence — required some clarification. During a visit from Valerie Faris, the Oscar-nominated co-director of Little Miss Sunshine and Battle of the Sexes, Gimpirea listened intently as she offered advice for pickup shots. Faris urged Gimpirea to keep the story focused on the point of view of her young lead during his travels. “There’s a lot told in his body and seeing him from behind,” Faris said. “In some ways, I’m more with him when I’m traveling behind him and seeing what he’s seeing.”

Celine Gimpirea

Gimpirea’s collaborative nature was evident throughout post. She was helped out by Antonio Manriquez, a video production teacher at Hollywood High, as well as her crew. Kais Karram was the film’s assistant director, and twin brother Zane was cinematographer. The brothers’ athleticism was an asset on-set, particularly during a day-long shoot in Griffith Park where they executed numerous tracking shots behind the film’s fleet-footed star as he navigated a walkway they had cleared of park visitors.

The selection of music was crucial, particularly for Amigone. For her main theme, she wanted a sound reminiscent of John Coltrane’s “After The Rain” and Claude Debussy’s “Clair De Lune.” She chose an original nocturne by John Mickevich, a composer and fellow member of the collective We Make Movies, whose founder/CEO Sam Mestman is also the CEO of LumaForge, developer of the Jellyfish Mobile — a “portable cloud,” as he put it — which, along with two MacBook Pros, were storing and syncing Amigone’s footage on location. Mestman believes “post should live on set.” As proof, a half-day of work for the editing team was done before the dance studio shoot had even wrapped.

During his mentor visit, Aaron Kaufman, director and longtime producing partner of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, encouraged the teams to not be precious about losing shots in service of story. The documentary team certainly heeded this advice, as did Gimpirea, who cut a whole scene from Calvary Cemetery from her film.

As the project was winding down, Gimpirea reflected on her experience. “Knowing all the possibilities that I have in post now, it allows me to look completely differently at production and pre-production, and to pick out, more precisely, what I want,” she said.

Main Image: Shooting with the Red Raven at the Calvary Cemetery.


James Hughes is a writer and editor based in Chicago.

Red DSMC2 product line to support Avid DNxHR, DNxHD

The Avid DNxHR and Avid DNxHD recording formats will soon be supported by Red Digital Cinema’s DSMC2 line of cameras, including Weapon, Scarlet-W and Red Raven.

Avid’s DNxHR and DNxHD are known for their ability to reduce storage and bandwidth requirements, and Avid DNxHD has been accepted by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers as the foundation format for the VC-3 standard.

Additionally, these formats offer a direct-to-edit experience for professionals looking to preserve image quality and leverage their investments in Avid in-house production systems. With Avid codecs being an in-camera tool within Red cameras, users will be able to shoot RedCode RAW simultaneously alongside Avid’s DNxHR and DNxHD.

The Avid DNxHR and DNxHD formats will be added to the existing recording capability that Red’s DSMC2 cameras currently offer via RedCode RAW and Apple ProRes formats. Avid DNxHR and Avid DNxHD will be made available via a free firmware upgrade in mid-2016.

Red adds 5K Scarlet-W to Dragon line

Red Digital Cinema is now offering the Scarlet-W 5K camera to its Dragon line, which includes the Red Raven and Weapon.

The Scarlet-W features a Red Dragon sensor, interchangeable lens mounts, simultaneous recording in RedCode RAW and Apple ProRes formats, an intelligent OLPF system and in-camera 3D-LUT outputs.

The cost is $9,950 for the camera Brain and $14,500 for the complete Base I/O V-Lock Package.

Scarlet-W captures 5K at 60fps, 4K at 150fps or 2K at 300fps with Redcode RAW. Its wide dynamic range produces cinema-quality images with rich natural color. Scarlet-W also offers an upgrade path to Weapon and uses the DSMC2 line of accessories — compatible with both Red Raven and Weapon cameras — giving shooters the option to move between camera systems without having to purchase all new gear.

Scarlet-W comes on the heels of the recent 4.5K Red Raven, which is Red’s most compact and lightweight camera. It is priced at $5,950 for the Brain only, with full packages starting at $9,750.

If you have placed a Red Raven order, no worries, the company says you can easily change to a pre-order. Scarlet-W is estimated to begin shipping in February 2016, and deposits are now being accepted.

New Red Raven camera: lightweight, features Dragon sensor, RedCode Raw

Red Digital Cinema has a new pro camera, the Red Raven, which is the company’s lightest (3.5 pounds) and most compact camera to date. Because of its form factor, the camera is suited for documentaries, online content creation, indie filmmaking, and use with drones or gimbals.

The Red Raven features the 4K Red Dragon sensor and is capable of recording RedCode RAW (R3D) in 4K at up to 120fps and in 2K at up to 240fps. Red Raven also offers Red’s renowned color science and is capable of recording RedCode Raw and Apple ProRes simultaneously — ensuring shooters get the best image quality possible in any format.

Pricing for the camera Brain only starts at $5,950; complete packages come in under $10,000.

RED RAVEN ANGLE 3

“Red Raven is a new category in our line-up,” says Jarred Land, president of Red Digital Cinema. “It’s a younger, hungrier, more spirited member of the Red family, with a bit of a chip on its shoulder, ready to take on the entire sub-$10K market with images that users will be incredibly proud of.”

Red Raven will begin shipping in February 2016, and deposits are now being accepted. Customers will be given a choice of purchasing the Brain only and building a kit that best fits their needs or choosing a complete package. The Red Raven Base I/O Package offers content creators the tools they need, while the Red Raven JetPack Package is specifically designed for use with handheld gimbals, drones, jibs and cranes.

Pricing for complete packages are as follows:

– Red Raven Jetpack Package: $9,750 ($1,000 deposit) and ships February 2016. It includes a Raven Brain, JetPack, battery belt clip, Red Mini-Mag 120GB, 4.7-inch LCD, AC Power Adaptor, and a DSMC2 outrigger handle.

– Red Raven I/O Package: $9,950 ($1,000 deposit) and ships March 2016. It includes a Red Raven Brain, Base I/O V-Lock expander, Red Mini-Mag 120GB, 4.7-inch LCD, AC power adaptor and a DSMC2 universal handle.

Deposits can be made online at red.com, or through a Red authorized dealer.