Description image

Is RED Digital Cinema's Jim Jannard Stepping Down?

Jim Jannard LMUNot quite, but in a recent REDuser post, Jannard laid out his plan for the future of the company. Whatever you think of the outspoken leader of the California camera maker (he’s not technically the CEO, though he might as well be), he has absolutely left a mark on the industry. While his message could be misconstrued to mean that he’s not going to be involved with the company anymore, that’s not the case at all.

Check out some of the original post below (emphasis added):


In 2006, we announced the RED ONE. 4K for under $20K. That was quite shocking. Sony’s digital cinema cameras were $200k+. Apparently shocking enough that I almost got into a fist fight with Geoff Boyle in the aisle of NAB where he questioned why we would “scam” people into giving us $1000 deposits for a product that could never happen. Scam? This is the 1st time anyone had ever questioned my integrity. Ever. In hindsight, I wish I would have pulled the trigger. Maybe I’ll get the chance one day. Actually… I look forward to it. (furrowed eyes here)

At that NAB in 2006… we also declared Obsolescence Obsolete. We talked about upgrades instead of having to buy a new camera every time there was some new technology advancement. This concept was new. I had never seen a company do what we were talking about. I still haven’t. The question is… could we really do this?

We released the RED ONE with Mysterium sensor… 4K for $17,500 in 2007. It recorded 4K REDCODE to a Compact Flash card! The only way we could do that was through incredible compression technology. “Ché” and “Knowing” were shot on this camera.

Our color science improved on a continual basis. We upgraded firmware for free… as we should have.

Then… we developed the next generation sensor, the Mysterium-X. We offered this sensor as an upgrade. You didn’t have to buy a new camera, just send your camera in and pay for the upgrade. As far as I know, this was a first in the entire camera world. Obsolescence Obsolete was alive. Several more features were shot on the RED ONE MX, including “The Social Network”, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Informant” and many others.

I should mention here that there were many color science and feature upgrades… for free. Again, what company ever offered that?

Enter the EPIC. As promised, Obsolescence Obsolete continued. Trade in your RED ONE for FULL price value towards an EPIC. I defy anyone to find a program on any electronics product in any industry like this one. Your “old camera” just became a “new one”.

EPIC is legendary. The amount of projects shot on EPIC will go down in history. “The Amazing Spiderman”, “The Hobbit”, “Prometheus”, “The Great Gatsby”… the list is too long to type.

So what next? The Dragon.

The Dragon is an Obsolescence Obsolete upgrade. More resolution. More dynamic range. More color depth. And it is an upgrade.

Somehow… I read on CML and other idiotic forums, that I an a hypester, a scam artist. I just have to wonder what these guys are smoking. But I have to say… they have gotten to me. I don’t need this. I don’t deserve this. Life is short and I am tired.

I can only hope that the incredibly stupid posts from people like Geoff Boyle and Art Adams (many other CML posters) do not in any way taint the work we have actually done.

With the release of the Dragon sensor… I have finished my mission. I am done posting. I will no longer be the face of RED. Mercifully, Jarred will take my place and he is worthy times forever. Jarred is me… only 30 years younger.

My final thoughts…

I have done my best. I saw a fatal flaw in the camera industry. We did our best to address it.

I will now sink into the background, I hope with my reputation intact. I will work on the future of digital cinema… behind the scenes.

RED Dragon with New Top Plate

It is absolutely astonishing what Jannard and the team have been able to do in just 7 years. In 7 years, they went from not having a camera, to being one of the top choices for independent and Hollywood productions alike. Along the way there have always been many options for filmmakers and professionals, but actually carving a market is no small feat. RED single-handedly brought down the price of digital cinema cameras. The only reason you’re getting a 4K Super 35mm sensor from Blackmagic for $4,000 (eventually, at least) is because of RED. The F35 cost over $200,000 when it was introduced in 2008. You can now find them for under $10,000. If RED was not there to light a fire under all of the camera manufacturers, that camera would still cost quite a bit, even 5 years later.

This is why we had the F65 and the ARRI ALEXA starting under $100,000. For better or worse, RED made it possible for almost anyone to own a camera that can shoot pictures good enough to project on a big screen. Sure, you can make anything look decent with enough tweaks in post, but there is a reason these cameras were used to shoot major feature films. If they didn’t stand up on large screens, they would never be shooting $100 million dollar movies.

I think it’s important to highlight those things in light of what Jannard is saying. His late night posts have always been fascinating, especially because there isn’t another company of this size with the leader speaking his mind directly to the public.

Many have dismissed the company and the things he has said, but let’s face it, without any of that, we don’t have digital cinema quality images at anywhere near affordable prices. DSLRs might have made large sensors popular for the masses, but RED was one of the first camera systems that gave you as much as was currently capable inside the hardware, rather than piecing together a carefully designed and crippled camera line.

A few of us here at nofilmschool own RED and have shot RED. We always try to find the middle ground between the what the company says and what the detractors say, as the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. We’ve rooted for them and called them out on certain things, but in the end, it’s just a camera. Just another tool that you’re going to use to tell a story.

Jannard is not stepping down, merely letting someone else be the public face of the company. This has been happening more and more over the last few years, and if you’ve been following along, it’s surprising it didn’t happen sooner.

Even if we don’t hear from him again (I wouldn’t put money on it), he absolutely has had a positive impact on the industry by giving affordable tools to filmmakers and forcing other companies to evaluate their strategies. At very least, we should tip our caps to Jim for that.

You can read the full post over on REDuser.

Link: My Final Post…. — REDuser

[top image courtesy of Los Angeles Loyolan]

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 94 COMMENTS

  • This one guy who prefers to avoid blacklists on 08.19.13 @ 6:55PM

    I hope Jannard steps down. He’s the biggest reason why Red is a joke in the film world. If you act like an old-timey snake oil salesman and take cheap jabs at other companies instead of silently outperforming them, you end up making your company look like a bunch of tools. Red products should speak for themselves. They should take a page from Arri’s playbook and keep their fat mouths shut about future products and competitors.

    • I’d rather have Jim’s outspoken personality than the silent leaders of all the other camera makers any day. I don’t always agree with him, but at least you know what he thinks…. and he seems to care about more than just the bottom line.

      • You know what he thinks ? Everything that comes out of his mouth is ego-boosting. I wish he really gets out of the way so his company can reach it’s full potential and be quiet about unrealistic release dates because now, Red’s reputation is less than stellar.

        • Perhaps you prefer other companies approach of saying nothing until a product is ready. Other companies that have been as ambitious as Red and announced upcoming releases (ie Black Magic) have also missed their estimates terribly. Red has still gone from nothing to producing some of the best digital cameras in the world in 7 years. If that isn’t stellar, I don’t know what is. Slam ‘em for missing product release dates all you want. They are still ‘taking it’ to large, long established players in the camera making business. If I was Jim, I’d feel exactly the same way he does. He’s been told over and over again: ‘you can’t do that’. And he and his team has done it. End of story. Fact.

        • And I really don’t understand people’s love of the business ‘style’ of the Sonys, Canons, and Panasonics of the world. Sell obsolete/handicapped technology for inflated prices. People quickly forget that many film cameras from less than a decade ago could not even be bought, but only rented because they were so pricey.

          Something is REALLY wrong with Canon when hackers from Russia can rewrite firmware for a 5D Mark III that enables it to output RAW video. If the hardware is capable, why doesn’t Canon write the bloody RAW outputting firmware themselves?

          Now we have Black Magic and even GoPro offering 4k cameras for prices unheard of just a few years ago. This all started because of Red. They were the catalyst for this rapid change.

          If it was up to the Canons of the world, 4k would probably not yet be available, and certainly not at the price points we are now seeing.

          If the Dragon sensor is indeed better than the F65 sensor, I’ll gladly upgrade our Scarlet for a Dragon.

          Oh, yes, Red is the only camera company that allows me to upgrade my old camera to a newer model…. and I can still use all of the accessories we have for our Scarlet with the new camera. But perhaps you like buying everything attached to the camera sensor all over again every time you upgrade?

          • “And I really don’t understand people’s love of the business ‘style’ of the Sonys, Canons, and Panasonics of the world. Sell obsolete/handicapped technology for inflated prices.”

            agree with that 100%.

    • Don’t really see how Red is a “joke in the film world.” I’m sure you read the impressive list of amazing features this camera has produced. They are far from a joke. I do agree that the “cheap jabs” and constant comparisons get old and that they’d be better off waiting until products are complete before telling us about them… but a “joke in the film world?”…… SMH.

      • This one guy who prefers to avoid blacklists on 08.19.13 @ 10:09PM

        Go check out how many HUGE budget movies are using Alexas. Now compare that to how many are using Reds.
        I have yet to encounter a Red Epic being used for anything but effects plates in the last three years on major motion pictures and TV shows. Alexa won the war vs. mysterium and mysterium X. The Dragon may change these numbers, but it’s obvious that Red has been in need of a new sensor for at least three years. If you had been listening to Mr. Snake Oil Jannard all along, you’d believe that Red has been in the lead since their inception.

        • RED 84
          ARRI 73
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_shot_in_digital
          Arri has lost;)
          with Dragon, the gap will increase :))

        • Red has led the world in a few areas for a number of years. 4k video capture, RAW video native camera recording, and the best RAW compression codec. The Red haters will always want to downplay the significant impact Red has had on digital filmmaking. Just because you don’t like their style doesn’t mean their product is bad. It’s tiring to read people spouting wacky exaggerations, while bitching about Red doing what they are doing even worse!

          • Red has definitely forced the hand of other camera makers into the 4K realm much faster than they would have otherwise. Jannard may rub people raw, but he gets things done.

          • > “Jannard may rub people raw,”

            hehe, I see what happened there….. #rawrevolution

        • ARRI commenters really need to lighten up. They’re not good representatives of the camera they say is the best. Why do they feel the need to be that way when Red is talked about? Insecurity? Obviously they’re not feeling secure.

          • Weren’t you the guy who (falsely) claimed that films shot on Red too more at the box office than the Alexa?

            ironically, it’s people like you and the fanboys at Red User (and Jim Jannard himself) that hurt the Red image. With that attitude, you’d better have the best damn camera in the world by a mile (and not one that crashes, has colour issues, or comes with an onboard hair dryer).

          • Lighten up. Smile.

    • john jeffries on 08.19.13 @ 7:15PM

      “joke in the film world”

      Typical NFS commenter retardation

      So, how many big budget features have you made, again?

    • Cinematography Mailing List.

    • Aren’t ignorant people super fun!? Always good for a laugh.

    • I didn’t like a lot of the stuff coming out of his mouth but Jim and his camera company changed the film industry for ever!

    • The biggest Joke is handing over the operation to JaRED Land . An obnoxious no vision loser. Red will soon be dead because of his ship steering.

    • Man, you’re a funny guy. Probably only touched a 550D with the kit lens…

  • Matthew Rogan on 08.19.13 @ 6:57PM

    Can someone tell me what the CML site he is talking about is? Seems like a good read!

  • Wow, the jealous people come flaming out of the woodwork when people like Jim Jannard succeed beyond what they could imagine in their small worlds.

    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

    –Einstein

    Jim,

    if you’re reading this, I hope you venture into R & D-ing 16K.

  • shaun wilson on 08.19.13 @ 7:28PM

    Jim was a visionary, and my hat goes off to him and the company. As to “Red is a joke of the film world”, the only joke here is the people saying and agreeing with that comment. If it was a joke, then why do so many DPs and producers choose RED to make their films possible? You clearly need to look at reality and get your facts right, sorry to say, the only joke in this equation is you…

  • It’s his company & he started the s.o.b. with his own money. He can say and do whatever the hell he wants, really… I like the fact that he’s on a forum all hours of the night in his off time defending it and reaching out. Some people are better equipped to put up with people’s shit than others though, and he’s probably thinking he’s worked his ass off his whole life and deserves a little more respect than that.. Especially since he’s getting older. I would. Cameras aside, he’s got a lot to be proud of and a hell of a legacy when he looks over his shoulders. Starting Oakley from the back of a van, and ending with a camera like the Dragon is a nice note to end on.

    And here come the fanboy comments

    • Defending? He is being worshiped on the forum. You know, money buys “friends”, and “admirers”, and “followers”. You must have noticed how most argument on that camera end with Jim’s money and success used as an argument.

      And those disgusting forum guys… always looking to be some company’s pet. The Sony guy, The Panasonic guy, The Canon guy, The Red guy. All of them complete creative failures. They find somebody to “work” for and that somehow makes them feel better. If you can’t make it in show business or art, you can always be somebody’s prostitute.

  • All I can say is if ever their was a DOP that needed his light punched out it would definitely be Geoff Boyle.

  • All aboard the low budget “red is gay” bandwagon*. Leaves the station when the RED Dragon is revealed to be a scam.

    *tickets only available to 550D owners.

  • I think the annoying part is the overeaction of jim jannard in some cases.
    I love the red products but i hate the “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone with a bad attitude” politic. The best answers to the haters are all the big names choosing the red cameras to shoot. Nothing else is important. I’m not fond of philip bloom but the fact to ask him to give back his red camera because he was honest and wrote an article that was not pleasing jim jannard is totally childish. And there is a lot of childish episodes in the reduser forum. They should just relax and focus on all the positive feedbacks. Acting like arrogant punk teenagers was okay to start the company i guess, but if they want to get some respect they should act like grownups. They claim that they do whatever they want and f**** off if you’re not pleased, i think it’s also normal then that their customers or non customers do whatever they want and say whatever they want without being censored on reduser or accused of sabotaging red. They should take care of the non american customers a bit more sometimes too.

  • Anthony Marino on 08.19.13 @ 8:49PM

    I think Jim sees the days of the $60.000 camera coming to an end. It’s no longer exciting for him, hell the guys got 2 billion dollars. In his mind he manufactured the greatest camera ever made, so what’s next? It sure as hell wasn’t about the money, from the beginning it was obvious, it was all about the ego. But we gotta give him credit for pushing the industry as far as he did. That alone is worth something whether you like him or not.

    • 50,000 cameras at $50,000 with accessories would be another billion after taxes:) But the window of opportunity was lost, no one can sell common 2.5″ hard disks or cheap LCDs at a 1000% margin these days

  • He just got tired of the internets, realized it’s time to stop posting and spend time in more productive way. Good for him.

  • claude riban on 08.19.13 @ 10:00PM

    It’s amazing what he and his company have done. I will miss his candor.

  • Isn’t the fact that Red cameras are largely modular merely a reflection of the fact that pretty much any camera components can indeed be subcontracted out? If one looks at camera as – the line I stole on the webs – a computer with the lens, then any independent can break into the ranks with enough funding to pay for the programmers, the electrical engineers, the sensor fabs and come up with a reasonable product.
    .
    I’ll share the overlap with the high end, audiophile quality stereo where the margins are obscene but necessary due to very small volumes shipped. Similarly, in the high end feature/TV camera world, the volumes are minuscule compared to the 150 million cameras of all types shipped (including DSLR, P&S, camcorders but not smart phones) worldwide and high margins for the F35 and Arri types are to be expected. So, Jim/Red jumped into a somewhat inefficient market niche, which was destined to become more efficient due to the inevitable technological advances not some sort of a genius marketing moves.
    .
    Which brings me to the final point. The technological advancement goes far beyond Red and the ever increasing bang for the buck was in the offing regardless of Jim Jannard. If you compare the low/mid end video recorders, from the full size VHS of the 80′s (it did revolutionized the Porn Valley) to the Hi8′s of the 1990′s to the first DV’s of the mid-late 90′s to the early HD cams of the 00′ts to the first solid state recorders and the various compression formats, the “bang for the buck” ratio has always been rising. Red did this temporarily for the high end pro market but, let’s face it, an affordable mass market 4K camcorder would be arriving shortly regardless. That’s technological progress. It has nothing to do with Red.

    • That’s BS…large companies with a corner on a market don’t have any financial incentive to innovate, and they have no goals outside of profit so progress crawls. It’s only when another entity enters the game that wants to innovate rather than make a profit that real progress happens. For another example, look at the huge strides in affordable and reusable rockets that Space X has made compared with Boeing, Lockheed, ect. Space X is driven by someone (Elon Musk) who personally wants to go to Mars.

      • Ya, well, that’s a beautiful Marxist point of view … except, Jannard isn’t exactly a pauper himself. Moreover, it was the dirty capitalists of Nikon who came out with the first HD capable DSLR (D90 in 2008) that was immediately followed by similar Canon models. Canon, another of these dirty, rotten capitalists – according to Lenin, at least – had by that time manufactured a long line of the “prosumer” camcorders. XL H1S was out in the late 90′s and recorded in SD; XL2 in 2004 also recorded in SD only but had a higher frame rate; the HDV consortium was formed in 2003 and basically consisted of major conglomerates; the first 1080p camcorder was Canon HL1 in 2006, the compression codecs were likewise developed either by these conglomerates or by the a multitude of companies supporting the MPEG-4/H.264. There is no indication that the above wasn’t progress. Nor that it was in any way, shape or form influenced by Red.

        • LMAO, “Marxist”? Methinks you don’t know the meaning of the word. Everything I said is about capitalism…and in capitalism, if someone comes out with a better product at a lower price they’re going to destroy the old guard….just ask Kodak. That’s what I said. Where did Marx come in?

          I started filmmaking on the DVX (which was a better camera than the Canon XL2 I might add) and the Red One was miles better than those cameras. It was a camera that challenged the very best in the industry like the F900 and Genesis, cameras that cost $200,000. Because if you wanted the best you had to pay a huge premium. Don’t kid yourself, 1080p’s been around since the 80′s…heck there were close to 720p TV transmissions in France starting in 1949.

    • @DLD. Your post trivializes and dismisses RED while completely missing the bigger picture: RED did it – 6 years ago, at that. It wasn’t Sony, Panasonic, Canon or Arri. You make it seem like when Jim announced his plans, everyone said, “Well, duh! Who ISN’T going to be producing a 4K camera for under $20K by next year? Hello…it’s called technological progress.” But, that’s not what happened at all. Instead, many people scoffed and said it couldn’t be done or, if it could be done, it would be Sony or Panasonic who did it. In fact, no one else did it that year, or the year after that, or the year after that, or the year after that, or the year after that. It took 5 years, 2012, for 4K cameras to start showing up from competitors. They were literally dragged into it kicking and screaming.

      If anything, RED proved your point about technological progress by actually doing what the other companies refused to do at that time, and for a time after. They accelerated the process by exposing and exploiting some of the factors you mention whereas the established players were obscuring them. You make it sound like recognizing a void in the market and filling it with capable and affordable tools by leveraging the availability and nature of computer components and programming to become one of the most successful digital cinema camera manufacturers on the planet is some shit anybody can do. You should tell Aaton, Ikonoscop, Digital Bolex and BMD how easy it is because they obviously didn’t get that memo either.

      It’s hard to know list price with some of these high end cameras but it seems like, before RED, each new model was getting more expensive, not less. I just don’t see Sony slashing their prices to a fraction of what they were charging a few years ago, almost overnight, because they felt driven to deliver bang-for-the-buck. If RED had charged $150K for the R1, people wouldn’t be talking about which digital cinema camera to buy today. At $17,500, it was less expensive than some Panasonic SD ENG cameras. RED bitch-slapped an entire industry. For that, they will always be reviled by some and praised by others. They did the equivalent of breaking the 4 minute mile barrier. After Roger Bannister proved it could be done, people started doing it on a regular basis. That’s where your Canon C Series, BMD Cinema Cameras and Sony F3/5/55 come in.

      And where is that affordable, mass market 4K camera you speak of? What you say isn’t wrong, per se. I think your interpretation of how it relates to RED is, sorry to say, nonsense.

      • “You make it sound like recognizing a void in the market and filling it with capable and affordable tools by leveraging the availability and nature of computer components and programming to become one of the most successful digital cinema camera manufacturers on the planet is some shit anybody can do. You should tell Aaton, Ikonoscop, Digital Bolex and BMD how easy it is because they obviously didn’t get that memo either.” Bryan
        .
        Actually, this is almost exactly what I am saying. One of the major differences between Aaton, Ikonoskop, etc. and Red was that Red had real money behind it and could ride out the slumps in the market and their own engineering difficulties. To me, of course, having a wealthy backer/investor is no shame. It’s a part of the game.
        .
        Second, of all, Red’s success could be temporary. If the market is flooded with sub-$10K 4K cams, there’s going to be very little reason to invest $50K in the Epic model. (and I’ll say the same for F65, Arri Alexa, etc). Red picked its niche very well back in 2006-07, when the only available 4K model was Dalsa Origin. They conceivably played a role in the price collapse of the 4K cams. Having said that, there are a bunch of competitors in the same niche now and Red, not being an electronics giant, will have a very hard time competing against the Japanese and South Korean conglomerates that will try to undercut it – snd each other – on price points.
        .
        Third, I don’t begrudge their success. I just don’t think the product was revolutionary as much as evolutionary. There were other 4K cameras available and, once Alexa appeared, most non-CGI laden films, went to the German manufacturer’s product anyway. Had it not been for Red, more features and TV shows would have been shot on film, while the lower budget production would have been content with the 1080p quality of 5D MK II or 800E. At some point, the two markets will have merged regardless.

        • A lot of TV went over to digital during a strike a few years back, iirc. The studios realized their agreements with the unions only covered *filmed* TV productions, so 3-perf was ditched and Arri filled the gap.

        • @DLD. There will probably come a day when you can walk into a Best Buy and every TV and camera they have is 4K, including the phones. This is the future RED said was coming years ago and I assume they’ve planned for. They started the affordable 4K cinema camera push at $17,500 6 years ago. The current Epic brain is that much today. It’s still quite a bit less than what Sony and Arri are offering at the top of their lines.

          It’s important to understand that RED makes cameras for the highest tier of filmmaking. What throws people (and what made RED so savvy) is their cameras are also affordable for many individuals and smaller companies. Unfortunately, it makes people assume RED is trying to beat everyone in a race to the bottom. But, that perception is wrong. It probably wasn’t helped by the fact that some early R1 users were “videographers” (funny how no one refers to themselves that way anymore – everyone is a cinematographer or DP) who didn’t understand what they were buying and were subsequently responsible for making a mess of RED footage. As long as there are filmmakers and studios with reasonably sized budgets that value the quality they get from the top tier, they’re going to mostly choose among top tier equipment in order to achieve it. Films at that level need gear to perform to a minimum standard. As long as RED satisfies that need they’ll be fine. And, I agree. Having a substantial war chest didn’t hurt.

          The top tier of a market is rarely, if ever, flooded. I can see what you say about sub-$10K 4K cameras flooding the market hurting companies like BMD and Digital Bolex more than RED, Arri or Sony. Those companies shouldn’t be affected any more than Home Depot hurts Arri light sales by selling cheap, high wattage halogen work lights. Similarly, no high-end recording studio is going to build its main room around M-Audio interfaces. Yes, the top tier prices will fall as well but those sub-$10K 4K camera makers will probably have a hard time keeping their prices from plunging because of the abundance of competitors and the fact that their goal is to get cheaper product into more hands. They’ll be forced to give up certain top tier features (if they ever had them), that filmmakers will always prefer to have, in order to keep prices down.

          I don’t think Grant Petty has any illusions about who BMD’s 4K camera is going to appeal to and how or where it will primarily be used. Sure, some high-end features will use it for some things and maybe a few will use it as an A-cam, but I believe that will be for novelty’s sake in most of those cases. To be fair, if Shane Hurlbut thought the BMCC gave him what he was looking for to shoot “Need For Speed”, I think he would’ve built it up and gone to town with it.

      • Arri had the D-20 in November of 2005. It shot 12bit RAW at 2880 x 2160, in addition to uncompressed HD. The camera also had a spinning mirror and optical viewfinder and used a CMOS Super35 size sensor.

        The Red ONE was a big achievement, but it is a fairy tale that at that time the rest of the industry were sitting around drinking coffee.

        • Furthermore, if you check the prices of Arri D20/21 and Arricam long after Red’s release of One, those still remained in the $150K range (as, I believe, did the Panavision cams) even in 2009. Plus, there were a bunch of other 1080p cams that were perfectly suitable for TV (Ikegami, Panasonic, Sony) and even film (Grass Valley) production. This makes em think that the developing technology forced the price cuts as much as the Red’s entry into the market.
          .
          @Brian (btw, sorry for the misspell earlier) – while Walmart’s work lights may not high end pros stop using Arri’s Fresnel, one could definitely shoot a feature film using FS 700 with the Convergent Design Q7 and that’s a ~ $12K package (not counting lenses or support rigs) rather than a $50K Red Epic. In terms of lighting, one could buy the mid-tier LED’s with a matching gel and get pretty close to the performance of a higher end rig. What the video technology is experiencing is akin to the music world of the 1950′s when the 100+ db amps (Fender, VOX, etc) and the electric guitars (Fender’s Telecaster and Stratocaster, Rickenbacker, Gibson Les Paul) became available in the US. Suddenly, anyone with a few hundred dollars could become a professional musician. Only a small percentage of these amateurs did become full timers but the music scene in general exploded into the Elvis/Beatles era. I expect the same here too.
          .
          @Gabe – you’re simply wrong about the major corporations not innovating.

        • @Bill. I never said or implied other companies weren’t developing more advanced tech in their cameras, but how much did they cost? RED did two things simultaneously that made the D-20 and D-21 combined pale in comparison to the impact the original RED ONE had. 1) The R1 had very appealing (better, in a couple cases) specs and 2) Jane and Joe Schmo could afford it. If RED could’ve ultimately only mustered 2880×2160 resolution from the R1 but still sold it for $17.5K, Jim would’ve had to eat his words a bit but it would’ve still been a hit based on the massive price difference. It wasn’t just about high-end digital cinema cameras. It was high-end digital cinema cameras you could afford to buy yourself. Huge difference.

          @DLD. <$50K gets you brand new tech that's not officially available yet. If their track record is any indication, RED will eventually offer the Dragon brain for somewhere in the $17-$18K range. According to this NFS article – http://bit.ly/1aM695t – two of the top three most used cameras at the Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca film festivals in 2013 were Alexas and Epics (some flavor of 5D was the third). Even at $50K, it's a cheaper rental than the Alexa and Alexa was number one. If Dragon truly delivers on image quality over what the MX offered and gives Alexa fans something to drool over, it will make for a very attractive alternative to filmmakers at the film festival level films and above, don't you think?

          I get what you're saying. But take a favorite point of reference around these parts, Skyfall, which was a visual treat. If Roger Deakins was picky enough about those images to only use a handful of the Epic shots (due to operator error or camera deficiencies or whatever) when entire movies have been beautifully shot with the camera, he, and others like him, aren't going to run out and start compromising their image quality by using okay gear that gets them kinda close when they can afford the higher end stuff that delivers exactly the look and performance they want. I'm sure Skyfall used some lower cost alternatives here and there (but Litepanels over CoolLCD, for example) and, as newer and better performing tech gets cheaper, productions like it will use even more. I just think there will always be a cheaper alternative on the market that top tier leaning folks will shy away from when they can afford to and the difference is noticeable.

          BTW, my understanding of the whole rock era explosion isn't quite the same as what we're experiencing with camera and other filmmaking tech. It wasn't like there was a long history of prohibitively expensive electric guitars on the market that only established musicians could afford and then Fender and Gibson came along and turned the market on its head. Electric guitars and amps were NEW and AFFORDABLE. They were novel and produced a sound no one had ever heard before, literally demanding new genres emerge from their very existence. Today, if you're just starting out, maybe you get the Strat made in Mexico and the Marshall made in India or China. If you're more proficient or a working musician, you'll probably opt for the American made Strat and the Marshall made in England. Digital vs. analog audio is probably a better analogy to what's happening with digital cinema cameras. There was a time that digital audio struggled to just stand on its own. Now, technology and computing power have progressed to the point where digital quality is superb and is trying to reclaim some of what was lost from the analog days. They realized it made no sense to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Analog had some very desirable traits. We'll see more camera makers eventually do the exact same.

          Alas, Avid has Pro Tools, MBox and M-Audio. There's always going to be tiers, no matter how inexpensive the technology gets. I just don't see that changing. RED caters to tier 1 while pricing for tier 2, with rental prices accessible to many in tier 3 (if they're actually realistic about the cost of making movies). That's a pretty powerful strategy. Sorry about the length. I tend to write everything like it's an essay.

          • Skyfall (or pretty much any Deakins shot film, including the “Assassination of Jesse James…” or “True Grit” – check out that early courtroom scene) will look great and any film budgeted over a mil or so should rely on the best of equipment (even at ~ $3K/Day rental, a month long shoot is normally charged a 10-day fee and $30K out of a $1M budget doesn’t sound too unreasonable). A $50K budget, however, won’t be able to afford to spend $30K on rentals and that’s where the lower budgeted gear – which is getting more plentiful by the moment – comes in. The main point is that the ratio of low/no budget productions to the big budgets will grow as their quality grows accordingly and, sooner rather than later, the market will be dominated by the $2K 4K cameras (Sony is due to announce a 4K Honami smartphone this September and you can be sure that some films will be made on that!)
            .
            A quick bit on the early era rock-n-roll equipment (or, IMO, the equipment that created rock-n-roll) – it replaced the acoustic type of music (classical, jazz, swing), which normally required large (big) bands in order to be heard in the theater size auditoriums. By the mid-50′s, you could just plug your Tele, Strat or Precision into a Fender Bassmann amp and easily play to several thousand folks. Primarily, it was a gigantic technological leap forward (in the modern parlance, “game changing”). Digital video – including shooting, editing and color grading – is similar game changer. When you really think about it, it’s still at its nascent stage. Pretty soon, 4K cameras will have the full professional editing/coloring suits in the same package and will be priced at under $2K. If you project the downward price shifts over the last decade a bit forward, this 4K-for-$2K theory should arrive anywhere from the next 18 to 24 moths.
            .
            And, in that case, the majors – Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Canon, Nikon, etc. – will still be standing. A small company like Red, on the other hand, will have its main product’s profits squeezed out and have to come up with something else to stand out of the crowd. Which it may or may not.

          • On your first point: I think that’s 100% correct.

            On your 2nd point: Yes, bigger bands were necessary to fill bigger spaces when music was almost all acoustic (vocalists still needed to be mic’d in many cases). And yes, going electric had the benefits you stated (vocalists needed to be mic’d more than ever, and drums on occasion) and changed the game. But I’m not so sure those benefits are what drove the electric guitar’s development. It seems more like added value versus the mother of invention. I could be dead wrong about this, though. I’ve never read a history of the electric guitar. If it was the driving force, it seems like a moot point now. The preferred method is to mic amps and run that signal through FOH speakers along with the drum. vocal and wind mics and any other synthetically produced sounds. So, it really doesn’t matter if you have an amp powerful enough to fill the space or a single acoustic guitar. They’re both relying primarily on the main house system to be heard. I agree about your view of the nascent yet disruptive nature of digital video but I guess your analogy is still a wee point of contention for me. But that’s a minor thing.

            On your third point: Turmoil is coming in the digital cinema camera space and you’re probably right about the $2K 4K settling point. But I’m positive that’s going to be the middle tier once everything stabilizes. When it does, you can expect prices to stay relatively put for the foreseeable future. Maybe the top tier of cameras will be from $8K-$12K. You also have to consider the human factor. There will always be people who think, “I can get one of the best cameras in the world for not much more than I paid for my Sony EX1.” That’s a pretty strong incentive.

            My predictions: BMD’s top of the line will be the segment’s middle tier price point. Sony will definitely tier their cameras – it’s how they do everything – and keep a hand in the CineAlta class cookie jar. Canon may keep their current tiers or choose to fall back to their pre-cinema camera position (waffling…I know). Nikon is probably never going to make a dedicated “digital cinema camera.” They’ll stick to the “good enough to make a film” realm. Of the companies you mentioned, Arri and RED will be the ones who focus primarily on the top-of-the-line crowd and stay out of the lower cost camera fray. Except, RED will be the more affordable of the two.

            The other thing to remember is RED is taking pages out of Apple’s and Sony’s play-books and building an ecosystem. They’ve got the acquisition device, a playback device, a projection device in the works, a distribution codec and a distribution network in Odemax to tie them all together that, like their cameras, will scale to cater to mega-budget, multiplex features all the way down to the tiny indie feature that could. And that’s just the stuff we know about. It seems like the future is theirs to blow.

          • Rental prices for the Alexa and Epic are the same here in the UK.

          • @Daniel. They may now be the same here in the U.S. as well. Admittedly, I haven’t checked in a while. That might not have been the case when those film festival submissions were in production. Depending on how you look at it, it’s good for RED and bad for Arri – rental houses being forced to lower the Alexa price due to market pressure. Or, bad for RED and good and bad for Arri – Epic no longer has a price advantage in the rental space and Alexa will take even more jobs from it BUT they were still forced to lower their price due to market pressure (and possibly, a perceived threat from Dragon? – which is good for RED).

          • To bo honest, I haven’t noticed that much price change on the Alexa and Epic. The two new Alexa’s are marginally more expensive than the Epic (about 20% more for the 4:3). I guess when the rental house adds the extra equipment needed to get the Epic brain functioning, it brings the price up closer to the Alexa.

            It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the Dragon comes out — the latest footage is looking pretty good.

  • This post leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Honestly, I dont see what it contributes to filmmaking and I dont see why Jim Jannard, considering the whole reason he posted that, needs the be the subject of conversation at NFS comment’s section, which is known to bring out the worst in many people. Love him or hate him, at least show the man some respect and stick to real filmmaking posts, not this TMZ shit.

  • JJ was never called a scam artist on CML, every message ever posted since 1996 is available online, there aren’t any describing him as a scam artist.

    Just for the record, I never called him a scam artist, I made this clear to him at NAB 2006 but he continues to say that I did without a shred of proof, it suits his marketing approach as the outsider when in reality he’s a multi billionaire who is used to getting his own way.

    What really happened is that I heard about a guy starting up a camera company on the basis of “give me a $1,000 now and I’ll give you a camera in
    9 months” I didn’t know any more than that and I said it sounded like a great way to make money, take the deposit and fold the company a few months later, cool scam.

    I then found out who was behind it and realised it wasn’t a scam. I bumped into JJ at NAB 2006 telling a bunch of people that this guy had called him a scam artist on the net, I went up and introduced myself and explained exactly what I had said to everyone present. I had never called JJ a scam artist at any time.

    I also said he wouldn’t deliver by November, he couldn’t in a business renowned for late deliveries, he took offence at this at said that I was disrespecting him and that he always kept his word, I said it wasn’t a case of his word it was other suppliers. There was a bet at that time, he didn’t deliver anywhere near the November date.

    He’s got to stop trying to tell everyone that he’s a tiny outsider, he’s a billionaire major camera manufacturer and Hollywood Studio owner.

    • +1, for sure.

    • Geoff don’t sweat it.

      Your work speaks for itself.

      Just keep shooting. We’ll all be watching your work for years to come.

    • Jim is obviously exaggerating your guilt in this story, while I feel you are exaggerating your innocence. If anyone even inferred in an indirect way that I was trying to rip people off, I’d get pretty upset and defensive… as I’m sure most people would, including yourself. It doesn’t matter if you ever literally called him a ‘scam artist’.

      And do you honestly think his money makes it trivial for him to compete with other camera companies with long established teams, processes, and manufacturing infrastructure? Money is but a part of the equation.

  • He’s built a successful company there and released some incredible products at much lower price points and more future proofing than most (or all) of the competition. The man deserves some honor from the filmmaking community for his accomplishments.

    Personally, I’ve wanted a RED from day one. The possibility that I might be able to rent a camera like this without breaking the bank is astounding. The only way I can justify that though is if the story/production demands it… where I’m at right now, the BMCC is a great fit.

    I hope to merit shooting on RED one day, and I’d owe Jim a big thank you when I do.

  • As you intimated, people have to realise that if Real Madrid had paid what it would take Spurs to sell (i.e. lump sum of 80m+), do you think they would keep it quiet being behind Barca and just signed another world record fee / player. They would want to milk it for all its worth as soon as the ink dried from both a PR and revenue perspective. I honestly don’t believe Real McDread would have agreed to keep quiet if they had paid what Dl would want…

  • Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder[1] in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.

  • I almost always disable comments on videos I post on YouTube. The ones I don’t disable I set to approval before posted publicly. I saw years ago how ugly people can be when sitting in front of their computers, not face to face with the people they are addressing, saying things they will not be accountable for. As time goes by I can see more clearly why some web sites strictly moderate comments before allowing them to be posted. Comment threads can quickly turn into mosh pits. This comment thread is turning into one. The first comment at the top was out of line. The commenter could have disagreed without being vicious. Most of the comments on the internet are quite impolite. Some even mean spirited.

    It’s not hard to be polite.

    • Will Gilbey on 08.20.13 @ 8:52AM

      +1. Great Charlie Brooker quote about ill-mannered folk on the net, “You know a lot of that squabbling and babbling just doesn’t ring true. No species that angry could have survived the invention of fists.”

      Love or hate Red, they made every other company up their game.

      • I love the irony of Charlie Brooker of all people leaving his Guardian column because they wouldn’t turn off the comments in their misnamed ‘Comment Is Free’ section. He can dish it out etc. etc.

        Bit like uber-troll Piers Morgan complaining about trolls on Twitter.

    • @Gene “…saying things they will not be accountable for.” Mathew 12:36 – But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

      • I see. Yes, we will be accountable to God. I was saying not accountable to the readers. I do get your point though.

    • mikko löppönen on 08.21.13 @ 5:08AM

      If you take out comments from your own videos, you will miss feedback. Even feedback in the style off: “This is shit”, tells you something. You gotta learn to take it all in. Message boards are different.

      I don’t respect people who take out comments because they like to live in a bubble.

    • Why do you want people to watch your videos?

  • “For better or worse, RED made it possible for almost anyone to own a camera that can shoot pictures good enough to project on a big screen.”

    It’s definitely for the better, why even doubt that? It’s not as if a Red suddenly makes a hack into a skilled cinematographer, but it certainly provides skilled cinematographers who are wanting own-on-a-budget with a fantastic tool.

    Btw, seeing all of this go down via the CML mailing list has been a depressing experience. There’s a tremendous amount of infighting amongst the community that is frankly, sad to watch. Part of me feels bad for Jim, while another part frowns at the Red community in all of its gear-worship.

  • Even though RED and JJ are pretty obnoxious and overly militant (which strangely carries over to their camera designs since they all look like Military issued Hummers), I do like the fact that he hears your complaints and suggestions. People have been complaining very loudly about Canon and Sony for years, and they rarely (especially Canon) do anything about it. They are just a faceless corporation that rarely listens and there is nobody to address you suggestions or complaints to.

    So yeah, even if you hate RED, at least you know they hear your bitching and it seems like they try harder than most camera companies to address things through firmware upgrades and what not. How often does Canon or Sony (with the exception of the F5 or F55) release firmware upgrades? Hardly ever or closer to never.

    • I once commented on the deficiency of only one EVF port and the yoke of the touchscreen being somewhat inflexible and hard to position for certain uses. JJ ‘s response – banned for life and publicly said the only way I’d own an Epic is by proxy. Of course he deleted the thread but I still am banned from buying an Epic and Red Loser.

      And this is the guy who listens to complaints and suggestions? I eventually owned an Epi and have since sold it. It was fun and shot well. But the Arri 2k revolution just looks so much better.

  • Another marketing trick by JJ / RED and a pretty good one. Dragon is finally out and they needed press and attention.

  • Problem with claimed concept of huge RED innovation and Jannard is that he did NOT invent the whole “capture raw bayer data straight from the sensor and compress it”.

    It was actually a single guy in one Internet camera newsgroup who had the whole concept down. Jannard was reading that newsgroup and he (and his money) rolled on with that idea. Hopefully the guy got paid.

    If you think I am making this up, ask around. There are still (honest) people, who witnessed the whole thing and can testify how it went down.

    So… calling Jannard somekind of visionary is simply load of crap.

  • I was around near the very beggining. I had wanted to do a diy professional camera the year before. A guy started using a sumix machine vision camera to record raw, the right idea cheap, and sumix wanted to make a top grade camera soon for us at a very cheap cost. Then some people decided to steal the show, and make a fanciful limelight hogging camera, and sumix lost interest (killed the low cost industry). The other people did a lot of talk, not so much listening to wisdom from what I could see, got know where publically, even though there claims were on the vergebmintgs before they dissapeared. However, I suspect that that camera might have got snapped up by Red, which might help explain the delay and cost. A freind of mine did the first propoer camera in the group, the Drake, with a little advice. The film, the Drachen Feder, shows off nicely the 16 stop range of the sensor (nice picture for the day) that Red now has, and my old dead $79 hd camera had. The guy that nailed raw recording on the group was David Newman of cineform used in the silicon imaging si2k after some advice. The Red plans seem to also follow sone advice posted on dvinfo up till the scarlet fixed was scrapped.

    Before all this, there was an effort by Jaun at dvinfo, to record raw off of an dxv100 and produce hd eventually.

    We went from $2k-5k camera systems to nearly $20k camera systens overnight due to attracting high cost companies. The reality is that Sony had a cheap consumer 6+mp 60fps sensor near 2006, and could have gone head to head with Red, even in ultrahd sensored camera for $2,000. Instead the industry went to hdmi recording off little sensored cameras, that stiffled interest in low cost cinema cameras, but the older plan to get them to enable hdmi recording in the face of cheap professional commercial cameras sparked off from the diy community worked. If my $59 fullhdp25 nearly 24mb/s goid quality h264 encoded toy camcorder is any thing to go by (I buy these things to check out as a hobby), the true cost of a basic lens mountable 4k camera is over $200 + a hdmi recording unit. Not everything is as it seems.

    I give them a lot of marks for effort, as far as archievement, a lot more could have been done and cheaper. I like Jim, but I am not concerned he us retiring, except it might be goid for his health. Jim offered to find me a job at Red once, and that was the last I heard.

  • I was around near the very beggining. I had wanted to do a diy professional camera the year before. A guy started using a sumix machine vision camera to record raw, the right idea cheap, and sumix wanted to make a top grade camera soon for us at a very cheap cost. Then some people decided to steal the show, and make a fanciful limelight hogging camera, and sumix lost interest (killed the low cost industry). The other people did a lot of talk, not so much listening to wisdom from what I could see, got know where publically, even though there claims were on the vergebmintgs before they dissapeared. However, I suspect that that camera might have got snapped up by Red, which might help explain the delay and cost. A freind of mine did the first propoer camera in the group, the Drake, with a little advice. The film, the Drachen Feder, shows off nicely the 16 stop range of the sensor (nice picture for the day) that Red now has, and my old dead $79 hd camera had. The guy that nailed raw recording on the group was David Newman of cineform used in the silicon imaging si2k after some advice. The Red plans seem to also follow sone advice posted on dvinfo up till the scarlet fixed was scrapped.

    Before all this, there was an effort by Jaun at dvinfo, to record raw off of an dxv100 and produce hd eventually.

    We went from $2k-5k camera systems to nearly $20k camera systens overnight due to attracting high cost companies. The reality is that Sony had a cheap consumer 6+mp 60fps sensor near 2006, and could have gone head to head with Red, even in ultrahd sensored camera for $2,000. Instead the industry went to hdmi recording off little sensored cameras, that stiffled interest in low cost cinema cameras, but the older plan to get them to enable hdmi recording in the face of cheap professional commercial cameras sparked off from the diy community worked. If my $59 fullhdp25 nearly 24mb/s good quality h264 encoded toy camcorder is any thing to go by (I buy these things to check out as a hobby), the true cost of a basic lens mountable 4k camera is over $200 + a hdmi recording unit. Not everything is as it seems.

    I give them a lot of marks for effort, as far as archievement, a lot more could have been done and cheaper. I like Jim, but I am not concerned he us retiring, except it might be goid for his health. Jim offered to find me a job at Red once, and that was the last I heard.

    Appologies for the typing, late and lousy keyboard.

  • reduserbuthateit on 08.28.13 @ 10:07PM

    magic lantern and red has proven that the tech marketing cycle is simply about milking the cows (all of you) dry. the hardware is built in, they just upgrade software. at least ML offers upgrades to existing hardware for free. for red to offer upgrades (basically firmware) for thousands of dollars, is simply ludicrous.

  • CARLOS TAMBA on 02.8.14 @ 6:08PM

    Hello am Carlos i want to buy RED CAM CINEMA what i can do please i need it my contacts 00244 928 704 518 carlos.tamba@yahoo.fr I live in Angola Luanda

LEAVE A COMMENT