More on RED
Well... Some of you liked my RED write-up and others thought it was very pointed and one-sided. I'm just glad people are reading the blog to be honest.
So I've worked with the RED again several times and honestly, my opinions haven't changed a whole lot. It's still a very very post intensive process and just isn't the right tool for every production. No camera is and I don't believe Red ever claimed to be.
As an addendum to my previous post - after seeing a lot more rendered footage I'll say that it is definitely possible to arrive at the look you saw on the monitor with Red's one light color correction tools. But it isn't nearly as easy as just loading a Look Up Table (LUT) with the ingested footage as if it were a Genesis project or something equivalent. Shooting on Genesis though is obviously far beyond the means of most small productions so if you're willing to spend the time (and/or) money in post, the RED is certainly a viable option.
This leads me to the main point of this blog post which is a really cool little whisper I heard through the grape vine - that a LUT workflow is being developed for the Red. These non-destructive LUT's created on set by a DIT might be the greatest thing ever because you are painting in a look that can be scrapped entirely, used as a starting point, or if they are really in a hurry or just really like your work - can be used as the actual finished picture. All this without the guess work and experimenting of the current work flow. Achieving the picture on set at the monitor is truly a time and money saving strategy and is the best way for a cinematographer to protect the integrity of their work.
As is stands now, there really is not much of a role for a DIT to play on a Red shoot because there is no way to REALLY paint or control the images from an engineering stand point. They aren't video images so there's no way to used a waveform or vectorscope to measure them. This means that on your Red shoot the role of the Red Tech or DIT or DAS or whatever they're calling themselves is primarily data management. There really isn't anything else for them to do because as it stands now, all the color and engineering is done in post. That will change immediately when the paint box capable version of Red One comes out. This will happen. Reason being, # 1 95% of post houses don't know what to do with the stuff and #2 as a matter of turn around, doing it all on set is just faster and more importantly cheaper than doing it in post. This is a very cool development which I will be reporting more on as information comes in.