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Ok, so RED has finally made an announcement about the 2/3″ Scarlet system and the s35 Scarlet. There are plenty of reason we should be excited, and plenty of reasons why you SHOULD NOT WAIT to shoot your film. I can’t decide for you, nor should I. Only you know what you need. Only you can decide. I can only talk about what works for me.


Guys, we’re getting REDCODE 100 for $4750 (fixed lens) or $2750 (maybe more like $6000+ with all the “extras” you need in order to shoot properly) for a fraction of the price of what a true digital cinema camera typically costs. If you have worked with RED footage, you know that the RAW format is awesome for color correction. It would be great to have this accessible to us on a cheap Scarlet.

I don’t want to hear people complaining about the 2/3″ imager. People in Hollywood, even Oscar winners, have been shooting on 2/3″ systems since the beginning of this (soon to be last) decade. You can still achieve shallow depth of field with these systems with a little trickery. Most people overdo this stuff anyways. Obviously, for indies, this option is great, but some Hollywood or “pro” people may hate the 2/3″ size. That’s fine, because when you’re at that level, you can just get a RED ONE (remember that cam?) or any other expensive cam and shoot with that. The Scarlet is not so much targeted toward those people as it is for lower budget indie films. Not for a main cam anyways – B cam, different story.

So basically, what I’m excited about is the REDCODE 100/RAW format and the 3K image size / higher rez. Guys, if you’ve seen Sin City in theaters (digitally projected) you know that 1080p is more than enough (in my opinion) for a great image so 3K is perfectly fine since we’ll be getting high rez, plus a bigger frame size for VFX work. I don’t see a reason to whine about no 4K. 3K is more than I’ll likely ever need, even if a film of mine has a theatrical release. This is all assuming that we’re getting all/most of that resolution instead of the size without the resolution, like the Panasonic HVX200.

So aside from the RAW format and high rez, plus proper monitoring solutions, there’s not much else for me to get excited over. Oh wait, I forgot sync sound :-)

Just remember who this camera is geared towards. You most likely wouldn’t shoot a typical Hollywood feature on a Scarlet, and whatever “shortcomings” (and I use that word VERY LIGHTLY) that the Scarlet has, I’ll deal with. C’mon guys, we’re indie filmmakers! We’re used to that!


I’m NOT dissing RED here, trust me. What they’re doing is amazing. But guys, at the level us indies are at, we don’t need 6, 12, 18, 123432K footage in order to make a good film. Get your grimy little hands on a Canon 7D, a 5D, or the 1D MK4 if you’re willing to spend that much, and GO OUT AND MAKE A MOVIE NOW! Why wait until next summer. If I waited, I would not have the collection of films I have now that I’m currently showing off in order to get MORE WORK and MORE OPPORTUNITIES. Get a 7D/5D/HMC150/EX1, etc. if you have the money and start shooting NOW. The Summer 2010 date on the Scarlet is temporary. Why risk important opportunities NOW?

Brian Ramage shot his film on an HMC150 and he’s (as far as I know) gotten interest from some big names (Brian, if you’re reading this and want me to link to your film, EMAIL or TWEET me with the link and I’ll link it up). I’ve shot stuff on my DVX that’s done some decent things and STILL continues to get work/investors interested in my future projects. I suggest you do the same!

I’m not going to discuss the tech stuff here because you can hit up any message board and read people’s arguments with each other on why one camera is better than another. I suggest that after learning a camera’s shortcomings, make your decision and go shoot. There are plenty of cameras out there that will give you amazing pictures, dare I say Hollywood quality even, if you handle them properly and skillfully. Don’t get drawn in to all that technical debate over which camera resolves 11.5 lines more resolution than the next.

Like I said, if you can’t get one of the current cameras to make your non-techy friends go, “dude, it looks like a real movie,” then don’t expect a “real movie” look from a Scarlet, or even a Panavision Genesis. Leave the numbers and theories to the techs and scientists out there. That’s not you. That’s not your job.

Your job is to have an engaging story and to get enough people to be engaged in your movie so much, that they don’t care about the tech shit or if you edited on Sony Vegas or if you shot on a Sony 1/3″ HD camera.

“It has set the record as the most profitable independent film ever made having earned over $100 million with a production budget of $15,000.”The proof is out there!

Your audience doesn’t care about the tech. Why should you?

You’re a filmmaker. Now go out and make a film.


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5 Responses

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  • Dave on

    Excellent post Paul! I was waiting but cannot anymore! cheers!

  • Reubal on

    Hey Paul, thanks for the shoutout. I agree with you whole heartedly here, on every single point.

    There will be plenty of complaint about the 2/3″ size from plenty of people that have no place complaining. Aside from what you pointed out – that Oscar winners have shot with it, this is the first high level camera with a 2/3″ sensor under about $15,000 – maybe more, I dont really keep up on the price of cameras over $5000. But, the point is, you can shoot great things on 1/3″. 1/2″ is even better… 2/3″ is GREAT!

    Granted, the APS-C and FF VDSLRs have skewed people’s perception of what is NEEDED, but I am EXCITED about a 2/3″ sensor camera that is in my price range. The deciding factor for me will be rolling shutter issues. We’ll have to wait and see about that.

    I shot Severed with a couple HMC150s. My camera choice over anything else, at this moment. I great great response from people that matter – I’m just now in the very slow process of actually turning that into something bigger. We’ll see if I can. But the point here, for those that missed it, is that it isnt about the camera. I got out and SHOT. The HMC150 is a great camera, I’m not knocking it, but you dont need Red, 35mm film, FF sensors, ridiculous bokake, or anything else that people keep waiting for – you JUST NEED TO SHOOT.

    Now, you also need to give yourself as much of a leg up as possible. Dont shoot with ANYTHING since “camera doesnt matter”. It DOES matter, just not as much as some will lead you to believe.

    Great post, Paul, and thanks again for the shoutout. The film is currently down to keep eligible for some film fests, but I plan to get it up again as soon as I can, because MAKING A FILM, and LETTING IT BE SEEN are what are going to progress your career. Waiting for the “next great camera” IS NOT.

    • Triple E Productions on

      Thanks, man. Glad you liked the post. My whole thing is, yes, the camera DOES matter to an extent but once you get your hands on something good enough, then use it and MAKE SOMETHING, like you did. After that, when one’s career progresses and they get work on bigger budget stuff, use better gear. For now, people can and should “fake it” on the cheaper stuff, then when they “make it,” use the better gear. But people will never “make it” if they don’t go out and shoot something.

      Thanks for reading!

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