April 16, 2015
NAB 2015

Redrock Micro's HĀLO May Just Change the Way We Think About Pulling Focus

The term "game-changer" gets thrown around a lot at trade shows like NAB. More often than not, the products adorned with that lovely piece of marketing slang fail to live up to it. However, Redrock Micro's new focus pulling system, simply called HĀLO, might very well change the focus pulling game for the better.

Redrock Micro HĀLO Explorer
The true innovation with the HĀLO system comes from a nifty piece of technology that Redrock is calling the HĀLO Explorer (seen at right). This device sits just beneath your lens, and it maps and tracks the focus cues in your scene in real time. Here's the description of the HĀLO Explorer from Redrock's site.

Incorporating cutting-edge technology (the same technology that powers autonomous cars and delivers precision aerospace measurements), the Hālo Explorer gives you a real-time map of your entire scene, combining pinpoint accuracy with up to 180 degrees of view. Artificial intelligence precisely identifies all your subjects (people and objects) and tracks their distance and location in real-time.

Redrock Micro HĀLO Focus Controller
Redrock Micro HĀLO Remote Follow Focus System

The real magic of this system, however, is what it does with the real time focus data from the Explorer. On their nifty screen/remote follow focus, you can choose to pull focus manually using the real time data as a guide. Or you can just tell the system to pull focus for you by selecting the subject that you want to track. The HĀLO system does the rest.

The price and availability of the HĀLO system are not known yet – Redrock is previewing it for the very first time at NAB – but the company's rep said that they're shooting for a release date later in the year and a price point in the $2,000-5,000 range. 

Be sure to check out our comprehensive post with up to date information about all NAB 2015 announcements.


No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2015 is brought to you by Color Grading Central, Shutterstock, Blackmagic Design, and Bigstock.

No Film School's coverage of NAB is brought to you by Color Grading Central, Shutterstock, Blackmagic Design, and Bigstock

Your Comment

22 Comments

Neat, but that screen better be matted to hell.

April 16, 2015 at 12:54PM

0
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David J. Fulde
Colorist
122

This look like one of those radars from "Alien" movie.

April 16, 2015 at 1:00PM

12
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Keith Kim
Photographer
1453

Yeah this is a game changer. Can't tell you how many times focus gets blown on moving shots.

April 16, 2015 at 1:07PM, Edited April 16, 1:07PM

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Tim Naylor - DP
Director of Photography
287

Looks like the beginning of the end for us 1ACs/focus pullers.

April 16, 2015 at 1:11PM

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Chuck McDowell
1st AC
579

I don't think so man, somebody still needs to turn the wheel. Plus, it has to be set up properly, calibrated from time to time, it probably will have problems with some set ups and in the end it's easier to just have a 1st that knows his/her distances.

April 23, 2015 at 2:23AM

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chris Larsen
1st AC
81

"and a price point in the $2,000-5,0000 range" - 50 grand for a FF is quite a remarkable price )
Typo I guess.

April 16, 2015 at 1:11PM

1
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Igor Ryabchuk
Filmmaker
74

One of these days, I swear I'm going to learn how to proofread!

April 16, 2015 at 1:50PM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
5211

I think he said $2,000 - $5,000, not $50K.

April 16, 2015 at 3:27PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31477

50K for a follow focus system is actually nothing unusual....check out a company called C-Motion....they make exceptionally amazing follow focus systems and their gear can range up to 100.000$ depending on the configuration.
so this seems like an extremely attractive price range given the features.

April 17, 2015 at 8:36PM

2
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Dr Dominik Muench
Cinematographer
81

I would like to keep track of her as well. Oh wait. Sorry.

Great device. :)

April 16, 2015 at 1:18PM, Edited April 16, 1:18PM

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Torrey Rogers
Filmmaker
157

Were not going to have jobs soon.

April 16, 2015 at 2:32PM

2
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Caleb Rasak
Camera Operator / AC
409

Yeah, you will. It's just that your job will be to operate the Halo/Andra.

April 16, 2015 at 4:56PM

6
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Adrian Tan
Videographer
1128

This is awesome. I don't see it putting 1AC/Focus Pullers out of business though. As a focus puller, having this tool will probably get you jobs quicker.

April 16, 2015 at 4:54PM

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I wonder how precise it is when the camera is moving around and what happens if the subjects you want to "Halo-lock" on move really fast.

April 16, 2015 at 5:13PM

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Daniel Falcon
Director, VFX artist
357

Probably not perfect, thus why focus pullers don't have to worry about their jobs quite yet.

April 17, 2015 at 2:37AM

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Jeremy Abbott
Video Producer/Independent Filmmaker
372

Looks like a solid piece of equipment and a nice evolution in camera support. I am sure it will have some bugs with tracking but it will be nice for those jobs where I don't get an AC.

April 16, 2015 at 7:01PM

4
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Can it be set to ignore foreground objects?

April 17, 2015 at 2:42PM

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Tim Naylor ... you aren't hiring the right people. Have you seen how perfect BIRDMAN's focus was? All by eye ...

April 17, 2015 at 2:45PM

0
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Yeah - this. Invest in good Focus Pullers!!

April 23, 2015 at 6:38AM

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J
Director of Photography
81

Yep.

http://soundandpicture.com/2014/11/birdman-interview-steadicam-operator-...

Scroll down to the part about focus puller Gregor Tavenner.

April 23, 2015 at 8:38PM

2
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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2298

Uh... why wouldn't they just strap a bluetooth chip (something small they could have taped to or in backpocket of actor/animal) to keep exact location so even quick movements would be tracked real-time and not dependent on a visual tracking system? since visual tracking is limited and can be obscured (picture person/animal running in forest jungle) and the cameraman not keeping up w/ point of focus. I figure once that can happen, you can add that "smoothness" and add a little lag to focus pull so not so jarring/clinical.

April 20, 2015 at 2:34PM

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Remy Sanchez
VFX Producer/Artist/Writer/Director
169

So it sits underneath the lens... And what - gets calibrated as to how far away from the film plane it's sitting? Or you just have to make sure it's mounted precisely each time...
And it tracks what it sees - which are bodies, generally, at that height - not faces. So - it's a mostly imprecise way to get a ballpark focus for $2-5k.
I don't see what's so gamechanging.

April 23, 2015 at 6:36AM, Edited April 23, 6:36AM

1
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J
Director of Photography
81