October 25, 2019

RED Shuts Down Hydrogen Project as Founder Abruptly Retires

RED Digital Cinema has announced some major changes to the company regarding the Hydrogen smartphone project and founder Jim Jannard.

Everything changes—at least according to RED founder Jim Jannard who echoed that sentiment in the opening words of a surprising post on the RED Digital Cinema forums, announcing that not only is the Hydrogen project being canceled, but he is retiring from the company after opening its doors back in 2005 due to health issues.

Jannard writes:

I have spent the past 45 years building “inventions wrapped in art”. Just now turning 70 and having a few health issues, it is now time for me to retire. I will be shutting down the HYDROGEN project, ending a career that has included Oakley, RED Digital Cinema and HYDROGEN. I am very proud to have worked with many great people over the years who have signed on to the vision.

RED Digital Cinema will continue stronger than ever with Jarred, Tommy and Jamin at the controls. Komodo is about to be launched… and the HYDROGEN One will continue to be supported in the future.

I want to thank everyone for the support I have felt over the years…

Jim

And as for the Hydrogen project...

Despite being highly anticipated when it was announced in 2017, Hydrogen was plagued with problems and setbacks right from the start, including postponements and disappointing reviews upon its released the following year.

 RED's smartphone most likely got nixed (after just one model) because those who were most excited to adopt it were disappointed when the device they received didn't deliver the bold new technologies it originally promised, including the famous holographic display and state of the art imaging.

In fact, many users described the "4V" or "4 View" functionality unappealing and downright nauseating, which is not a side effect something that you stare at all day should give you.

However, even though the project is being shut down, the RED will still continue to support Hydrogen One going forward, so if you're a customer, you can breathe a sigh of relief that RED, at least for now, is not leaving you out in the cold with a very expensive product.     

Your Comment

16 Comments

you missed a great opportunity on the title. it should have read, Red Hydrogen runs out of oxygen.

It was a great attempt but dont think the tech is there quite yet for hologram technology

October 25, 2019 at 12:08PM

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Mark K.
253

Dude your title is 10000 times better haha

October 25, 2019 at 3:03PM

0
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Ba-dum-tss!

October 25, 2019 at 3:13PM

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Mike Eden
Photographer
92

I think it's fine as hell.

October 27, 2019 at 3:01AM

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Jordan Fisher
Photographer
74

It was mediocre at best attempt, let's not fool anyone here.

October 29, 2019 at 7:33AM

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Frytech
154

Man, I hope he's okay. RED changed the game.

October 25, 2019 at 5:03PM

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Peter John Ross
Director/Producer
264

Seriously! The last time a charismatic CEO stepped own, it was Steve Jobs... and he didn’t live long after hat. I hope Jim is ok and lives a quality life in retirement. What a crazy career to go from creating Oakley’s to creating the Red cameras.

October 25, 2019 at 6:41PM

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K W
696

Judging from his latest pics he doesn`t look well at all...maybe there were a few too many cigars in his life...not making fun, just observing.

October 26, 2019 at 5:33AM

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DingDong
1944

"RED changed the game."

Uhm... where?
Most Hollywood movies and many series are shot on Arri.

October 27, 2019 at 11:09AM, Edited October 27, 11:09AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
1944

Yes, digital video cameras were already on the market when Red popped up. But their image quality was nowhere near what was required for a mainstream feature and did not hold up to actual film. Red helped usher in the age of digital cinema cameras that could compete against 35mm film. And they created the first modular digital cinema camera (a design the Arri Mini shares today). They also helped knock prices down from the world of $100k movie cameras to sub $50k movie cameras. I get why people hate them, as they can be a ridiculous company, but they definitely have a place on the mantel.

October 27, 2019 at 3:53PM

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Derek Doublin
Director, Cinematographer, Large Scale Artist
708

Price drop... I think it the was the Canon EOS 5D Mark II in 2008 and the development of the consumer cameras feat. film options, e.g. the Panasonic GH family. Then followed by Blackmagic Design. Their latest cameras are outstanding at the prices. It’s cheaper to own one of those than renting a RED or an Alexa for low budget productions.

I also think that BMD is displacing RED now.

October 29, 2019 at 10:36AM, Edited October 29, 10:39AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
1944

So I guess all those sketchy legal issues have nothing to do with this.....just a dud phone and retirement ......move along folks, and don't mention RAW.

October 25, 2019 at 8:03PM, Edited October 25, 8:03PM

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Hydrogen was not a success at all, Many PR stunts to give nothing at the end.
With the REDMAG scandal and plenty of new competitors in this business; I can only forecast a very near end for this brand.
Investing now in a expensive RED camera and see that something can disappear overnight is very scary.
Not the best way to manage a business for the remaining team.
Good luck,
I guess second hand RED camera will be all over eBay soon.

October 25, 2019 at 10:21PM

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You voted '-1'.
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visionrouge.com
DoP freelance cameraman 4K HK & Shanghai.
437

October 27, 2019 at 12:40PM

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Wayne M
Director of a Life
447

Man, I hope he's okay. RED changed the game.

October 27, 2019 at 11:54PM

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van phong pham vinacom
Sales Manager
8

Thanks so much for the mention! We have several new upcoming free projects.

October 31, 2019 at 6:36AM

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fortnite skin generator
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