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Looking for a REDucation? RED Offers Digital Cinema Training Course - for a Price

05.12.12 @ 6:15PM Tags : , , , ,

Amid the hubbub of new product announcements this item has flown a bit under the radar — this Fall, RED will start offering a 16 week digital-cinema training course.  It aims to take students from pre-production to production to post-production while developing their own projects with the guidance of working professionals.  At first glance, it looks like a pretty interesting opportunity — you get to make projects on RED equipment, while learning the tools, craft and technique from experts.  But what will it cost?  And what are the pros and cons of this sort of program?:

First, here are the details:

In the course of a sixteen-week program, you’ll start by developing projects and then bringing those projects to life. Pre-production, Production and Post Production are all taught by real world professionals that make the world’s biggest movies, television shows, commercials and music videos,

Each program is limited to twenty-one students. You will learn and gain working experience in the roles of Exec Producing, Line Producing, Directing, Cinematography, Lighting, Data Management, Offline Editorial, Online Editorial and Distribution.

During REDucation X, you will create and have a selection of completed works to demonstrate your skills to the professional motion picture industry.

REDucation X will be headquartered at RED Studios Hollywood and will utilize locations throughout Los Angeles.

The cost for the sixteen week program is $15,000.

The program runs from October 1st, 2012 to January  25th, 2013, while the application deadline is May 31st.

Now, I can appreciate how cool it would be to go through that process — the promise of getting to use top of the line real-world equipment, having experts providing training and guidance, and having several work samples in the can at the end of 16 weeks.  But the other side of me says — at $15,000, this isn’t going to be cheap.  Sure, if you’re looking at going to NYU or USC and willing to drop $40,000 dollars on a year’s worth of tuition, this is a relative bargain.  But even when going to those schools, you can try getting lower interest student loans through the government or banks — while for these kinds of unaccredited/no-academic-credit programs, you’re usually looking at paying $15,000 the hard way (unless RED is offering some kind of financial aid, which their website doesn’t mention).  This also doesn’t factor in the cost of room/board/transportation, or how intense the course will be (i.e full-time or part-time) — will I be able to work on the side, or will I have to take 4 months out of my income-generating life?

So there’s the straight cost that makes me blink.  The other thing is the opportunity cost — what else could I do with those $15,000?  If I had $15,000 to spend on my film goals, and was starting out, I think I would spend it differently.  One alternative would be to volunteer to work on other folks’ shoots, learning the tricks of the trade on the job, forming the trust and social network that makes future collaboration possible, and getting a sense of real-world production costs.  As you learn, you can start planning your own project, mapping out something that could realistically be done with the resources at hand — while picking the brain of anyone willing to give advice.  Once ready to pull the trigger, you could spend the money on a proper project.  The  downside to this approach can be that it may take a longer time, and you may not always get a chance to pick the DP’s brain when your job is to keep pedestrians away from the set.

All the same, I’m sure there are folks for whom the REDucation X model will work — folks who don’t have access to nearby productions to work on, or have the money and simply want to learn straight from someone who’s supposed to teach them.  There are pros and cons for each, and I guess folks will know which works best for their temperament of circumstance.

Does this sounds like an attractive alternative to film school?  How would you spend $15,000 towards your film goals?  What other alternatives will save you money while gaining practical knowledge?  Share below!


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Description image 31 COMMENTS

  • Andreas Kopriva on 05.12.12 @ 6:27PM

    It’s a good option to have, and the cost considering what you’re probably provided with isn’t that bad. The lack of any accreditation at the end however makes it a bit of a deal-breaker. At this point in time, there are far too many learning opportunities (including this very site) out there, available for free. Furthermore, considering that $15k is the price of a functional Scarlet package, the best option would be to get a Scarlet and learn ‘on the job’ :)

  • Red has turned me off everything they offer, to the point of making me wish they’d go bankrupt. That’s the effect oft an unrealistic, bloated attitude on me.

    • Ben Incahutz on 05.15.12 @ 3:42AM

      You cant afford their cameras. Okay we get it.

      Maybe you will hate on Arri as well?

  • john jeffreys on 05.12.12 @ 7:55PM

    for 15 grand you can make your own feature film lol

  • Should we expect any delays ? ;)

  • $15K might be worth it for just the contacts you’ll probably make.

    • I totally agree. It’s the same for NYU, USC, AFI or other big/expensive school in that matter. Usually connections are the thing you can’t buy and often strong partnerships arise by time in which you are learning together. E.g. Matthew Libatique and Darren Aronofsky which went together to AFI. …

  • Y not spend 15k on equipment /crew and learn on the job. That’s what I would do.

  • 16 Week which breaks down to like $973 a week ummmm …. thats is a interesting option …. and i would second what norman said … you would make great contacts … but the habits you would form and and the work ethinc would be invaluable to a young filmmaker or even a aspiring filmmaker who is going though a slow period looking to re invent him/her self …

  • I learned by DP’ing student projects. And dropped about 15k on gear. No one should spend 15k to learn on someone else’s equipment unless it’s in university or an accredited film school. While I’ll admit you’d learn a lot in this RED training course, in the end, you’ll finish with some knowledge on shooting RED and the RED workflow, but be without a RED camera, and will likely have fewer contacts than you would have made doing a local accredited film course. Not to mention, RED isn’t everything. Very few of my shoots are on RED and while their footage looks fantastic, their camera’s (aside from the Red One) have been a nightmare on set (firmware problems, overheating, etc.) Take your 15k, buy a BMC and a GH2, get some lenses, some lights, and shoot, and keep shooting. In the end, people who want to learn, don’t need to spend 15k on a course to do so, not in the age of google, and not when for that price you could get everything required to start a low budget production company.

  • 15k for for a 16 week program, things that make you say hum! If this was 6 years ago when Red first come out and you had disposable income yeah why not but in today’s well connected world you can find a ton of training material on-line. For that money you can write a short get a crew together and rent a Scarlet or Epic for a week, shoot and then take your time learning Red’s post work flow and still have a few dollars left.
    I always point to movies like Monsters written and directed by Gareth Edwards shots on a Sony EX3 with a very small crew and lots of the effects done in After Effects.
    This sounds like when Atlanta Art Institute started It’s Audio Engineering program back in the 80′s we got to meet working pro’s, work in world class recording studios and work on various student team projects for 9 months. When all was said and done the students with the drive and desire to work recording studios were successful the other well they when to do other things.
    If RED really wanted people to learn it’s work flow then they would have been better served releasing a lower cost i.e original Scarlet to get the masses use to Red Raw but I understand why they didn’t it’s one thing to support and service thousands of cameras then worry about ten of thousands world wide they don’t have the support network built like the others do. 4k is great and all but in the real world it’s not needed for most things. Plus let’s face it your only going to sale so many Epics and Scarlets so I see this as another product to get people to buy into the RED walled garden!

  • It’s a big scam being peddled that you need to spend big money in order to be successful.

    • This is a TOTAL scam from a company that has been desperately trying to place a piece of equipment that not many real WORKING professionals can find a use for.

      I might ask, what “BIG TIME PROFESSIONALS” are teaching this $15k seminar (sales gimmick).

      This is clearly an attempt to inculcate the RED into the very crowded pro camera market.

      Get yourself a 7D and all the necessary accessories and then take the leftover $12k and make yourself a movie!!

      • Danny Bright on 05.16.12 @ 9:56PM

        Werner Herzog shot his film My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? with the Red One. He was disappointed with the camera’s long reboot times, saying “It drove me insane, because sometimes something is happening and you can’t just push the button and record it”. He described the camera as “an immature camera created by computer people who do not have a sensibility or understanding for the value of high-precision mechanics”.

        Say no more.

      • a very good point well made

  • shaun wilson on 05.13.12 @ 3:56AM

    For a 24 week (2 semester) intensive Film and TV Masters by Coursework (Not research MA) degree in Australia its about $28,000AUD (or roughly $30,000 USD give or take a bit) so for the resources of what RED will provide in 16 weeks with next gen/ up to date knowledge it will cover, the course fee of $15,000 is about right in terms of international competitor rates. The one big advantage is that it allows students to gain access to facilities that only a few film schools in the world would offer. Its a good deal if you ask me. This direction of RED to offer a coursework program is in theory an excellent step forward although the percentage of RED productions in film and TV may not be as high as the marketing spin over at RED might lead you to believe.

    • I assume you’re referring to AFTRS, and that’s a bit different. AFTRS is a nationally recognised accredited school. And those who go to AFTRS are generally from Sydney (95% of the time), so you gain a lot of local industry contacts and you don’t learn one specific work flow which is only good for one manufacturers cameras. You learn the industry.

      • Two things…this is in Los Angeles, which is probably a better place to make film connections than Sydney…and this isn’t focused just on the camera and its workflow, it covers all aspects of a production.

  • I would say it’s worth it if it wasn’t run by RED, but rather some organization a little more open minded to the variety of options… I’m sure there is a ton to learn in these classes, but $15k to spend 16 weeks in indoctrination?

  • Plus in the industry Red is so polarizing. A certificate with the Red stamp on it might be helpful in some cases, but a hindrance in others.
    When it comes to training, I really think bipartisan options are the best ones, even if they don’t have as much money to throw at gear. And it would be nice to get adacemic credit for your $15k too…

  • Nygel bissel on 05.14.12 @ 2:18PM

    Just Make sure that you have access to Red cameras after your 16 weeks. I don’t have this budget and even if I had it I would rather go for academic credit.. All you need is passion courage and dedication. Red is not the only one out there.. Nobody knows what type of cameras will be out next year.
    Good luck to you guys who have 15k to spend…

  • Douglas Velie on 05.14.12 @ 5:33PM

    For 15K, I would much rather just buy a Scarlett and start shooting.

  • Kodak never had KodakEducation.
    Therefore no Need for Reducation. It is Rediculous concept.

    Back in the day everyone understood if the footage looked bad
    it was your fault…not Kodaks.

    If your footage looks bad you need to go to film school and figure it out.

  • $15,000 is that all?

  • i wonder who exactly they consider to be their target market, in this economy?

  • looking for a price REDuction!

  • Hi guys, If you have to recommend a place (university, institute, workshop, etc) to study for: 1)Director of Photography (focusing on real lighting!!!, among others vital items of course); and 2) Color grading, color correction. Where should that be? I ask because I would really like going to study those matters to the Sates or somewhere else, but aside from promotional publicity of some famous institutes I really do not know where you can find some really professional, strong education on those matters. Where is the best formation today? From where are coming the best Directors of Photography and colorists today? Where do the masters on these matters teach? some one knows?
    PLease excuse my english, I am not a native speaker

  • It’s wonderful that you are getting ideas from this paragraph as well as from our dialogue
    made at this time.