Why I'm Ordering a RED SCARLET-X, and How it Relates to My Feature 'Man-child'

In a post about the new RED SCARLET-X, I mentioned that I ordered the camera myself. First of all, some context: I've been a "professional" in video (since apparently we need to distinguish between professional and amateur) since I was hired as a video editor in 1999, at the age of 18. Since then, save my four year stint in college, I've made my living in and around the industry, shooting, editing, directing, producing, designing, etc. for hire (here's a resume). Yet I've never owned a "professional" camera. So I got all excited on Twitter about the prospect of finally being able to own and operate a camera of the SCARLET-X's caliber, after twelve years of working my way up to this point. But I've been surprised at the number of people who have left comments questioning this decision, accusing me of misspending the Man-child Kickstarter funds, or writing critiques with me at the center. So here are a dozen points of clarification:

  1. I have not touched a penny of the Kickstarter funds and would never betray the trust of the 2,336 individuals who are making my dream possible. Anyone who knows me, and I hope any of my readers, would back this up times a thousand. I'm in this for the long haul, and misappropriating the funds would not only go against my own sensibilities and honor, it would also be the stupidest thing I could do for my career and this website. Anyone who suggests otherwise is not thinking straight.
  2. The decision to buy this camera has to make sense for my larger film career regardless of whether we use it on Man-child, because I'm probably not DPing Man-child myself (I'll have my hands full writing and directing, especially when working with child actors). That's why I'm not spending a penny of the Kickstarter funds on the camera. This purchase should benefit the film, however, because if I own a SCARLET, I can rent it to the production for free (or a deferred fee), which will allow us to put more of the Kickstarter funds on screen. Not sure how there's anything wrong with that.
  3. Ordering a $15,000 camera does not mean you have $15,000 to blow, just as buying a $300,000 house does not mean you have $300k in the bank at the time. If you have good credit, you can get a credit card with 0% APR for 12 months and pay off the camera over a full year with no penalty. If you spend $25k on a RED including lenses, that's an extra $2,000 a month you're on the hook for. Can I afford this over the next year? By not having a family, by not owning a house, by not owning a car (or paying car insurance), by refraining from moving into a new apartment, by saving money living out of a suitcase for a year, by not going on extravagant trips or buying really nice clothes, and by not having health insurance for the last two years: yes, I hope so (see the notes below about partnerships and renting it out as well). But only because of these sacrifices. Which is what irks me when people say "cameras don't make a movie!" I know, man, I've arranged my entire life around this. And I've spent a lot more time over the last year writing the Man-child script than I've spent writing about cameras (or anything else, for that matter). The script wouldn't have gotten into, for example, IFP's Emerging Narrative program if I hadn't worked my ass off on it (and I continue to do so, and will up until we roll camera).
  4. "I'm ordering a SCARLET-X" does not mean "I'm spending $15,000 today." You put a deposit down in order to get in line, and given RED's site was slammed with orders and I couldn't get through for a few hours, I'll be lucky to get a camera before 2012. You're charged 10% up front and the remainder when the camera actually ships. Which, as many RED owners have found, could be a while (even if it says they start shipping on November 17th).
  5. On top of this, "I'm ordering a SCARLET-X" also does not mean "I'm ordering a SCARLET-X and am going to pay for everything alone." I may or may not be going in for a SCARLET with one or more NYC-based filmmaking partners, wherein we split the financial commitment. Most filmmakers are not shooting twelve months out of the year, after all.
  6. On top of this, buying a "professional" camera means you could/should rent it out. For many this is the main way of recouping their investment, though I do think the market is going to be flooded with SCARLETs over the next year and, similar to what happened with the RED ONE rental market, prices are going to be driven down a lot. But due in part to this website, I should certainly be able to make my rental package more visible than others.
  7. If I'm not planning on DPing Man-child myself, shouldn't it be up to the DP to choose the camera? Absolutely, but as I said in my multimedia lookbook, I expect we'll shoot it on a RED because of the slow-motion sequences in the script. If we can find a discount on an EPIC package, then it would make sense to shoot A cam with a rented EPIC and B cam with my SCARLET-X. They're actually the exact same camera, the only difference is the ASIC included in the SCARLET can't handle the higher frame rates of the EPIC.
  8. For the people questioning why I would order a camera without getting my hands on it first: let me repeat, it's the exact same camera as the EPIC, but the circuit boards are spec'd lower. Same body, same sensor, same dynamic range, same accessories, same everything. I've handled an EPIC and I've seen it projected at 4K, so it's not as if this is a brand-new camera that I'm unfamiliar with.
  9. Now that Sony, Canon, and Panasonic have played their cards, the indie feature film camera market is pretty set as far as the next year is concerned. I'm in love with the colors of the ARRI ALEXA but it's a $75k camera and renting one is around $1,400 a day. Using one rental house as reference, with support gear and lenses that's $2,460 a day. A three day week is $7,380, and so a month of shooting would work out to roughly $30,000. Is that $30k that I'd rather spend on owning a camera that can be used for future productions? Yes. Are there also advantages to the RED, like its small size, resolution, and (in the case of an EPIC) frame rates? Also yes.
  10. That said, if the DP wants an ALEXA, and he or she can convince me we'll be able to get some of the shots I have in mind despite its larger size, we'll try to find a way. Whatever it takes.
  11. If I'm not DPing Man-child, why do I need to own a camera? Well, I have DP'd things in the past, and I probably will again in the future. Getting familiar with a camera's ins and outs is useful regardless of whether you're operating, DPing, or directing.
  12. Buying a SCARLET-X is committing to the RED ecosystem: learning the RAW workflow, REDCINE-X Pro, etc., and it's an ecosystem I believe will continue to improve. RED also does what other camera companies do not, which is to release new sensors for existing hardware (the first example is the M-X chip for the RED ONE, and the SCARLET will be eligible for the forthcoming Dragon sensor in a year or so, which should improve its low-light capabilities among other things). There's a certain element of future-proofing built-in with the RED, and while I think the new Canon EOS C300 is a nice camera, I also think there's an element of planned obsolescence at work there. I'm a big fan of the Sony F3, but the 720p/60p limitations hurt Man-child in particular, and it's actually significantly more expensive than the SCARLET-X once you include the the $3,500 S-LOG firmware and an uncompressed external recorder.

So that's why I ordered a SCARLET-X, and how it relates to Man-child. I could go on, but this should be enough to clarify some of my logic behind the purchase. And hopefully some of these thoughts are helpful for anyone else considering the new cameras.

While I hope to share what I learn along the way with the RED, don't worry, No Film School will not be turning its back on DSLRs and lower-end projects/shooters/budgets. More on this soon!

One RED thing I would like to share at present: the idea that you need a $5,000 RED ROCKET in order to edit 4K files is apparently not true. Via commenter RebelPhoton, check out this $3,500 homebuilt PC editing 4K .R3D files in Premiere Pro in real time without any special hardware other than an nVidia graphics card for CUDA acceleration:

From the vimeo page, here are the specs, courtesy editor Tom Lowe:

As computers get faster, and as interfaces like Thunderbolt find mainstream acceptance, this will become more and more viable. Hey, now we're back to discussing something productive that is useful to other people! Great, that's why this site is here.

[original basketball photo by The Tattered Coat]

Your Comment

164 Comments

Was thinking of investing in a new Zeiss Lense, the macro 100mm. Is $1842. Anyone have any problems with me doing that?Just thought I'd learn from Koo's mistake and ask for permission before investing I'm kinda professional I suppose, do paid gigs and teaching work in multi media. Not working for Peter Jackson yet but you never know, and this lense (although it is only a tool!) will benefit my work.
Oh I bought a car a few years ago, not sure if that's relevant but better to mention it to make sure. Got married as well, so I guess I spent a few quid on that, what else, let me see... oh yeah, I went on holidays that one time.

November 6, 2011 at 8:34AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Peter

Love it :D

November 6, 2011 at 8:55AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Luke

Peter you're making a huge mistake. I'd like you to send that sweet glass to Miami so I can use it. Thanks!

November 6, 2011 at 8:57AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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You forgot to tell about the school loan.. Hahaha funny

November 6, 2011 at 1:09PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Menelikk

I don't know, buying equipment with your own money... sounds like some sort of scam!

November 6, 2011 at 8:32PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

You should not have to explain yourself just become some blogger with jealously issues disses on you. If you spent all your money on jellybeans who gives a shit, its your money.

Welcome to the internet where everyone is a expert, yet few of these "experts" can create anything decent. True if these experts were working on the regular they would not have much time to blog.

I expect you not to be blogging as much in the future and I congratulate you on your success! Kill it man!

November 6, 2011 at 8:56AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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I've been researching an A camera for an upcoming documentary myself. One thing I haven't seen any mention of is the fact that while DSLRs are amazing, they don't shoot broadcast quality codecs out of the box. Id imagine if you want your doc to air on TV, you've also taken this into consideration. I'm also saying this under the assumption that Scarlet X does shoot 4:2:2 etc. without the need to go through an external recorder.

Or.. is the concept of broadcast quality going away? We all know content is king -- you'll see some segments appear on networks shot on an iphone, but I thought before accepting a feature length film they'll still make you jump through the hoops.

November 6, 2011 at 8:59AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Ryan

Me thinks the term "broadcast quality" may be on it's way out the window. There have been a lot of dslr footage that has been broadcasted on television that looks fantastic in despite of the "technically" crappy codec. If you can see it with your eyeballs, then it's broadcast quality.

November 6, 2011 at 12:06PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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The term broadcast may be out the window but not quality. A project shot on Super 8mm or VHS can be worthy of broadcast or theatrical screening but these formats are a sane choice only on the rarest of projects. If I'm aiming for a fresco to rival the sistine chapel, I'm sure as hell not going to use Crayola. 60" displays and 8ft projection screens are common; this is digital cinema and Crayola will not do!

November 7, 2011 at 11:31AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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nobody

Koo, man, you've already got two pages of responses proving that the community's behind you so it may be a drop in the ocean, but just adding my support. It's made me genuinely angry to see how some people have reacted to this; I just don't know where they get off.

I'm a Manchild backer and I'm totally behind you. Hopefully I speak for all your backers when I say we believe in your ability and determination to get the job done, and trust your judgement on how best to do that. We didn't back a roadmap of specific plans and milestones, we backed you and your film. Go to it! :)

November 6, 2011 at 9:03AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Luke

Thank you! Working on it!

November 6, 2011 at 8:33PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

+1 for the first paragraph
and +1 for the second paragraph

November 7, 2011 at 6:44AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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+1 as well. Haters Gonna Hate.

November 7, 2011 at 8:55AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Nate

Giulio, no sweat, you get permission to invest on your end, we'll go halfsies and post it back and forth!

November 6, 2011 at 9:51AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Peter

Koo,

As an investor in Man-Child, I am thrilled that you've been able to put in your order for one of the sickest cameras on the planet. I can't wait to see what you and the rest of the crew can do with it.

All I want to know is: where in the hell do you find the kind of time to answer a witch-hunt inquisition like this and do it so well? Props to you. You've handled it better than most people would have, certainly better than I would have.

Best wishes going forward.

Sincerely,

Burton Morris
Producer, Cinelook Studios
Durham, NC

November 6, 2011 at 10:24AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Thanks Burton!

Durham, eh? Might be shooting Man-child in your backyard...

November 6, 2011 at 8:37PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Just do what you do best Koo. Remember, you are a trailblazer, no time to listen to the critics. Yet.

November 6, 2011 at 10:42AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Franklin

Great response, Ryan. I'm not sure why anyone should have to justify such a purchase - even to those who donated money. Good luck with the film.

November 6, 2011 at 11:35AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Good article. I helped back ManChild on Kickstarter and I wouldn't have been bothered a bit had you used any of those funds for the camera. Your money, your movie - do whatever it takes to make it happen. Good luck.

C.

November 6, 2011 at 2:49PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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You should only be judged by final product.

November 6, 2011 at 6:10PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Jake Jabbs

Koo,

I love your site, and I think it's a fantastic resource. Man-child is the first and currently only project that I've backed on Kickstarter - because I think you deserve it, you deserve the chance to make your film at the highest level possible.

I think it's important to re-emphasize a few key facts, even though they've already been covered by you in the post and others in the comments. Your FAQ on the Kickstarter page listed a cost of $15,000 for your intended camera package - and you even stated that you were going to use a Red. So anyone who committed to funding your project could easily have been aware of this.

Now you've made it clear that you're buying the Scarlet-X yourself - or at least without using the Kickstarter funds - and you may rent it to the shoot for free or a deferred price. So you've now freed up $15k of your budget to spend elsewhere, even if some of it does go towards renting a second Red. That's not just smart - it's damn good producing! It's win-win. It helps this project, it helps your business and it helps us because you'll tell us all about it. It's a good thing.

It's a crying shame you had to defend yourself like this. Absolutely ridiculous. But fair play to you for doing it, and thank you for your candour, for this site and for what I'm sure is going to be a great film.

- Eoghan

November 6, 2011 at 6:11PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Eoghan

Thank you Eoghan for backing, and thank you as well for getting this point! That's what has been the most surprising to me about all of this, is that I'm trying to find a way to put more of the Kickstarter funding on screen, and there is no way that's a bad thing...

November 6, 2011 at 8:41PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

What a silly bunch of folks making you justify this.
You ave made a good decision based on the fact that you need a pro camera to last for a few years (besides shoot your feature) without becoming obsolete in 6 months. And Canon and all other manufacturers besides Red and maybe Arri make cameras that last and produce consistent good images.
Just for full disclosure I do own a RED ONE MX and a Canon 7D!, and have purchased an EPIC and Scarlet. I speak with my hard earned cash. And I am a working DP so having these systems doesn't hurt my career either.
Good luck on your film.

November 6, 2011 at 8:14PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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I personally would never judge a person based on what they buy or own. That's their business. For instance, I used to work in a camera & electronics store, and one day a wealthy father and his teenage son walked in and purchased a 5D Mark ii & 24-70 lens. Hey more power to him, hope he learns as much as he can and create great stuff. Therefor, people coming down on you for purchasing RED, are ludicrous. Hell, I wouldn't of cared if you purchased the C300 or the Alexa Arri or even the Sony HDW/SRW. It's your own money, your own decision, and bottom line your own business. I just care about checking out the creation behind it!

November 6, 2011 at 8:22PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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PsTak

This is the most 'gangsta' reply to a foolish accusation I've ever read. You ever thing of speech-writing for public officials!!!? lol

November 7, 2011 at 1:37AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Vincent Powell

Koo, don't bother with the haters. I'm really excited to see Man Child, and after everything I've read on this site, I'm so happy to be a supporter of it. Most people don't understand how to run and operate a business. Good luck with your film dude, keep doing what you've been doing.

November 7, 2011 at 7:20AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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I hate when people use the word haters. What motivates people to contribute to these forums is hard to guage from a paragraph of text. The anonymity of the internet contributes to the tendancy of incondsiderate posts, so please pause before hitting the submit button, or those with information you might want to know will quietly disappear. I lose sight of this being a DSLR forum serving those who produce, direct, shoot and edit now that the tools are more affordable. I get that learning the craft using these tools are often the only means for getting a foot in the door for many of you. Unfortunately, the principle of specialization still applies for narrative films that hope to appeal to a broad enough audience to become profitable. I really don't care if Koo gets a new Red, but as a DP, I have seen how purchased equipment defines the range of options considered, and how expensive items on set tend to impact their owner's frame of mind. This isn't theory, it's experience. This is my advice, not a criticism and certainly not a demand. Think twice before buying professional camera equipment, especially a newly designed camera. If I were to buy anything, I'd consider lenses before a camera.

November 7, 2011 at 11:57AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Russell Steen

Sniff sniff, smells like troll.

November 7, 2011 at 9:24AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Jonathan

being ridiculous is more like it, you should pick up a film book and learn the many different jobs on a filmset. The DP is talking to the Director to organize shots. Artistic creativity is achieved by all as a collective on a filmset.

November 7, 2011 at 4:07PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Julian

Indeed. Some people would call "telling people what to do" directing.

November 7, 2011 at 5:16PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

The fact that you were able to purchase such a nice camera only makes me more excited to see Man Child. I know that the camera was not purchased with Kickstarter funds, but even if it was when people back you they should trust you to decide where those funds need to go. When a film has a budget, that budget includes equipment like cameras. Did people expect you to film a full length film on a 5d?

November 7, 2011 at 9:35AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Travis

I'm late to the party, but also wanted to say that I have often invested in camera gear when it was an extreme challenge to do so financially, in order to obtain equipment that would do what my current gear could not. It bothered me, as well, to read that people were questioning your purchase of camera gear with your own dough. I am also a backer of Man-Child, and would have no problem if some of the budget donated to the film was used to purchase a camera. Do what you gotta do, manage the budget, and make the best film you can.
And, as someone who has benefitted from your contribution of the DSLR Guide, thank you for that.

November 7, 2011 at 9:36AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Mark Strand

Koo,

I appreciate your candor and as one of the many backers of Manchild's kicker starter campaign, I would not raise an eyebrow at you using some of the funds to pay for the camera, even if it goes against the grain of what traditionally occurs when getting a production together. This is a time where new rules are being written and innovation should be a part of everything we do, including, the financing and production of our work. If people are clutching their pearls over you spending your kickstarter funds on a camera that will more than likely be part of the production's equipment, they would pass out if they found out where the money comes from for Hollywood productions....let alone how the money is spent

November 7, 2011 at 9:36AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Jason

I also think that Koo has made a well thought out decision with purchasing the RED Scarlet with the intention (for now) of using it for Man-child. With this decision is he he saying that the RED Scarlet is a better camera than the Canon C300 or the Sony F3? Absolutely not. His unbiased reporting with comparisons between these cameras, shows me that he knows how to critically evaluate and compare features and "true operating price" points. His conclusion is simply that the RED Scarlet makes the most sense for the needs of Man-child. There is no "winner takes all" when it comes to cameras. Every camera has strengths and weaknesses. His argument about the slow motion quality needed for his film makes sense. Scarlet does have the edge there for now with 60 fps at 2K resolution.

I'm not so sure how viable 120 fps will be for theatrical presentation if a lot of it is used. Would require some testing. If my math is correct, 1K is actually lower resolution than 720 x 1280. Another point of consideration is field of view. I'm sure that Koo already knows this, but for others - when 2K res is used on a RED, the filed of view of any lens is cut in half. So a 25mm lens effectively becomes a 50mm lens. 1K res would cut in half again, so the 25mm would have a field of view of a 100mm lens. Although the depth of field qualities and perspective would still be that of a 25mm lens. This is not necessarily a deal breaker, just considerations to be thought through and dealt with.

I'll make another post later about the problems associated with letting emotions interfere with cool headed decision making. I've been seeing a lot of that lately with these new camera "wars."

November 7, 2011 at 10:39AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Koo - thanks for writing, great points, I support your vision.

For the Hack, I want to confirm that I have real time playback, full screen of 4k RED files in Premiere Pro with:
980x OC to 3.75ghz (this allows me longer life of my CPU because voltage was not changed)
24GB RAM 1600 mhz (RED footage does not push anywhere near this amount of RAM, more around 12GB)
4 TB RAID 0 - WD Blacks (not even pushing the hardrives with RED footage)
NVidia GTX 285, 1.5 GB RAM (I took power management off, so my card is full throttle, but runs cool)

Yes, that is right, no problem with the 285. I saved money not buying the 580. I'll get 2 more cards for Davinci - a basic ATI for GUI and another CUDA to process alongside the 285.

But for kicks, I graded some RED 4k footage in Davinci with ONE gtx 285 (technically, you are not even supposed to run Davinci with only one card), and with 2 nodes, I was getting 12 fps. That alone is faster than COLOR!

I love it!

November 7, 2011 at 10:43AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Great to hear. I'll have to test this with my own Hac, which is 2.8 right now but could certainly be overclocked...

November 7, 2011 at 3:25PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

What a bunch of crap!

I agree with your ideology not to use the Kickstarter money to buy the camera. In the same position I'd feel the same way as you, Koo.

But as a backer I wouldn't be mad or fault you for doing it. I sent a pledge with the expectations that my money would go toward your movie getting made, and a camera IS an integral part of the overall picture after all.

Not to mention that the very same camera could then be used for future projects.

Double not to mention that I could then haggle the crap out of you when I was negotiating a rental package based on the fact that I paid for .002% of that camera. Haha!

Haters gonna hate. You're a filmmaker on your way. And the road will be paved with cynics, critics and envy. You'll deal with more of this for sure. Don't listen to 'em.

November 7, 2011 at 11:39AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Kyle Kapetanakis

I remember the days before Andrew of eoshd had his own site. Went back and forth withthat guy for months on user before he finally got banned.

It's a shame that he's even allowed on the Internet, you'd think after Jim/RED sued him he would've gone back to keeping his mouth shut/fingers off of the keyboard. he's like the Bill o Reilly of our no name sector. Only nowhere near as educated on the topic.

Shoot that moviE. And send me my copy! =D

November 7, 2011 at 2:06PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Koo,

I don't care if you shoot Man-child on a point and shoot. If you have a good story, I'll watch it.

Keep doing your thing.

November 7, 2011 at 4:37PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Scott David Martin

Not sure why it matters how you're paying for the scarlet - you received full funding for your film, and if one line item costs more than another you just move the money around. You'll find savings somewhere else to offset it. Why would anyone think you're required to spend the exact same amount in your preliminary budget as your final?

November 7, 2011 at 4:44PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Tim

Anyone giving you flak for buying a Scarlet are, frankly, short sighted idiots. I'm in a very small market where I am, and everyone I know who invested in a Red One has more than made back their investment (in some cases 3 times over and counting). There will always be demand for high end cameras, and the fact that the cost of entry is so low means you can price your rental package lower, more small productions can rent it, and you'll end up making it back faster.

November 7, 2011 at 6:06PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Great post Koo. Sad you felt you needed to make it.

Just love it that people suggest that someone who raises funds to make a film, is then misappropriating them by buying a camera. Very very funny stuff.

Best Wishes
Lliam

November 8, 2011 at 6:25AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Lliam Worthington

I think one point you forgot is also that footage produced with the RED will look better if your movie gets to be distributed for the screen, which everyone should wish you. You are taking a future-proof decision, it's good.
But please, if YOU want to be future-proof, take an health insurance, dammit ! I'd donate for that :)

November 8, 2011 at 6:57AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Hey Koo!

Those people are just jealous cheap a***!
I wish I had enough going on to justify the use of a RED on my features. Speaking of that, I would love to see a post on what's the workflow when using the 4K cameras.

L

November 8, 2011 at 12:09PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Sucks that you have to justify what purchases you make - some folks are just idiots. Can't wait to see what you put out with the Scarlet!

November 8, 2011 at 3:30PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Cinepixtor

Great post Koo.

Even if you were buying from the funds have people not realised you spend all your time providing them with FAQ about the industry and equipment, surely somewhere along the line you deserve some payback?

Keep it up and check out DSLRfilm.co.uk

Oli

November 10, 2011 at 12:32PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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DSLRfilm.co.uk

Keep telling us how to use, learn and master the RED. Nothing wrong with dslr's but like you the future is changing and s-log and raw are where we're going and I'm not as techy as some and look forward to you learning curve...

Monty

November 10, 2011 at 12:50PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Monty Wentzel

Koo,
Ignore the haters and focus on making the great film you know you can. They're just mad no one donated to their films, and especially mad that you're getting a Scarlet LOL Maybe if they put a fraction of the work you put in they would have similar results. Lames

November 10, 2011 at 1:04PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Horus711

Makes total sense to me. I often buy gear then hire it to my own productions, the production gets cheaper hire and I get something back for the investment I've made and, as you say, have chance to get familiar with the equipment so there are no surprises on the job. Good on you Koo.

November 10, 2011 at 1:06PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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If you spent money on a scarlet-x for the Man-child, I would not be the least bit upset (as a small contributor myself) I would not have sent you money to do this project if I did not believe in it, nor trusted your judgement. That being said, if others are complaining about it (even though you did not spend man-child money on the scarlet, but even if you did), then thats kind of weird...why would they invest money into a project if they dont trust the person heading it?

P.S. in regards to your post about the red rocket edit, and Tom Lowe's edit suite, I was editing 5k in premiere in real time with transitions and effects on my 1400 dollar LAPTOP with an nvidia card in it. Everything is getting better and cheaper. Congrats on your purchase!

November 10, 2011 at 1:17PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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When I decided to Kickstart this project, I evaluated Koo based on his sales pitch and resume. I also read "between the lines" of the pitch and decided that I was going to trust him to use the funds to get the picture made. That is the beginning and end of my ownership of the funds I decided to give to the project.

Once you handicap a project and decide to "add to cart" so to speak, you have no further claim on the project or the money. You just have to trust the guy or girl to carry through. It's their dream, after all, and if they fail to perform, it's on them. After that you shut up and wait for opening day.

I trust Koo to make the picture, and I don't care if he uses the Kickstarter funds to pay for a hundred whores if he decides that is what is necessary to get it done.

Koo, get the camera. It sounds kick-ass. You owe us NO EXPLANATION. You pitched us, we bit, end of story. You will make the movie or die trying, I know that. And if you have to run another Kickstart campaign to distribute the damned thing, I'm in for that too. To anyone else who has a complaint - please just shup up, go about your life, and enjoy the movie when it comes out.

When you Kickstart, and the project successfully funds, YOU ARE DONE AND HAVE NO FURTHER SAY. You decided there was value, you made your decision, and that is the end of it. If the decision turns out badly, which is always a possibility, well then be more careful in evaluating the talent on the next project.

Koo, do not waste any further time or energy on this negativity. You have our full support and I don't want to hear or know anything about the Kickstarter funds now or ever. I just want see the picture!

-Marc

November 10, 2011 at 1:22PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Marc Paolella

ditto...speaks for me too

November 10, 2011 at 6:38PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Terence

Thanks for sharing, but I don't think you should feel like you need to explain/ defend your production costs/purchases. You're taking on a huge project, you've obviously already invested and sacrificed alot of your own person time and money. The majority of us are just looking forward to see how it all comes together, and really appreciate that you're willing to involve us with insight of this projects progress.

November 10, 2011 at 3:11PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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dave

why are you even taking time out to explain this to people? If they're making these sorts of claims towards you, they don't know how the industry works and are what you called, ammeters. You only need trust the opinion of us pros. Get back to doing your thing.

November 10, 2011 at 3:24PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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On a side note re: working with GPU accellerated 4K

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro/gpuacceleration

Sony Vegas always seems to be ahead of the other editors out there.... just saying ;)

November 10, 2011 at 6:39PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Terence

*Disclaimer
I am going to sound very rude but the guy asked for it.

After reading this post I went over to eoshd to see where all this "started". I was shocked!
The post on eoshd is ONE OF THE MOST IRRESPONSIBLE, POPULIST, MISLEADING ARTICLES I HAVE EVER READ IN MY short EXISTENCE!!! jesus christ!
What suck even more is the fact that someone commented below the post trying to drive sense into this eoshd guy to explain why he is wrong;

the conversation goes:

carsonbenett November 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Being the good journalists that we are, we should read as much as we can about a given situation before we jump to conclusions. Koo is not using any Kickstarter money for the camera purchase, to quote the man himself:

“Koo on 11.3.11 @ 11:41PM...

Thanks Michael! I’m actually not going..."

EOSHD November 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Business, business business.

It is all I ever hear from most filmmakers these days. “If you’re not making money off your shooting, you’re wasting your money”? What utter crap."

When a person points out mistakes in your reporting and further your poor "journalistic skills" the least you can do is ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR MISTAKE(even big newspapers do it)! you dont have to change your opinion entirely just accept the misreporting!

I could go on and on about how much I'm pissed at this guy! Can I write a guest rant for this Koo? :)

November 10, 2011 at 11:15PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Waweraw

It is definitely the right thing to do, spending a reasonable amount of money on something that will not be obsolete for a long time.
You are absolutely correct on everything besides health insurance, please think again about this.

November 11, 2011 at 2:32AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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November 11, 2011 at 3:50AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Waweraw

I do not always agree with every technical point Koo makes but his integrity seems beyond reproach. And who else provides and shares SO much useful info? I hope his film is a huge success and that it is just the beginning of a long run of huge hits. Koo definitely deserves it! We will all get to say we knew him back when.

November 11, 2011 at 2:01PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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ED

Thanks again for your thoughts and support, guys!

And yes, it's time to get health insurance. Though looking back on it, at $300/month, two years of health insurance would've run $7,000. No way I would be able to order a SCARLET if I'd been insured all this time.

But that was a calculated risk that is certainly not wise in the long term, so I'm working on it!

November 11, 2011 at 2:50PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

"NoFilmSchool will not be turning its back on DSLRs and lower-end projects/shooters/budgets. More on this soon!"
Thank God for that!
I hit this site like 10 times a day (on average) and it's become a reference tool, source of inspiration, and quite frankly a much needed pit stop for an industry newbie like myself.
Awesome articles.
Thanks a lot Koo. XD

November 12, 2011 at 11:49PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Marc

Why to go Koo congratulations on the new Camera. A Red Scarlet is a great investment. Even if you buy it out of the Man-Child budget it's justifiable expenditure.

Enjoy the new gear. And thanks for the website.

November 14, 2011 at 6:46AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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I broke down and bought a Scarlet X as well. The deciding factor was the eduction I would get with owning the camera. Is it expensive, yes, very. But this will be my first professional camera, and I am excited. I had to put off owning a car (my brother wrecked my previous one) to afford it. So I feel you.

November 15, 2011 at 7:41AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Christian

30 yr establised DP who always regretted not getting an the 16mm Atton LTR when it first came out. If you want to be a DP you have to buy a camera. You have to live with it and have it around like a good hobby. I've owened many cameras in my time and with the tax advantages it can be a good investment if your smart about it. Having said that be realistic, If you want to really make money with it the camera is only the beginnig. You need lenses, filters, tripod setup, insurance. Add all that and now you more than double the cost, probably triple with PL glass unless you have friends you can swap with. The camera will also go down sometimes, yes it will.

At least you can get in reasonably inexpensively with some marginal glass and learn the craft, just be realistic and fair to yourself.

November 15, 2011 at 10:16AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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Mr. Bill

Koo, Just go on with your production. Don't waste your time on negative people. It's your dream, not theirs.

November 16, 2011 at 1:12PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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enh... f**k 'em Koo. You know you are getting close to make your nofilmschool dream a reality when people are starting to upset about it and wring their hands and hem and haw...

To wit, I have ranted similarly to those folks before (about tech not making a filmmaker), but is just not the case with you. I've been a devoted fan and student of your work since your first film project at Midd -- I would wager I know your work first hand better than any of those writing negative things about your project or your camera purchase. The truth is that when I have seen your success over the years, I just feel jealous that I have not been able to be as successful in my filmmaking. You have chose to pursue a difficult path and you are succeeding, that is testament to your perseverance. You have chosen a bold path, a path that many others chose not to take. You have nothing else to stand on beside the quality of your work, no connections, no networks, there is no greater commitment to an art than that. I think others that have made safer choices and chipped up to the green, so to speak, are just a bit jealous -- like I am.

Like, s**t, the world is changing and new ways of making film art are not going to replace the old ones, they will probably exist side by side for a while, but the negative responses to your project and camera purchase are just reactionary knee-jerks from the old way of doing things. "In my day, a filmmaker had to..." more of less sums up much of what they say. I do agree with the idea that many companies are selling professionalism with their prosumer stuff, but what's the big problem with that anyway... (political spoiler) its like the argument against gay marriage... if homosexuals get to say that what they are married, too, then it invalidates what I have... Its just childish.

to recap: I'm terribly jealous, f**k 'em, go you.

November 16, 2011 at 1:44PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

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