Why Shoot Red MX Digital Cinema?

The Red One MX camera is good enough for Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (in 3D no less), The Book of Eli, The Informer, and other major pictures. But, you ask, is it good enough for my project?

Oh yes.

Why shoot with the Red Digital Cinema camera? Here's the terse executive summary, with bullet points, for Powerpoint addicts:

  • Over 4x the definition of “high definition” (HD)
  • Same selective depth-of field control as 35mm motion picture film.
  • Can use the same lenses as the best 35mm movie cameras: Super Speeds, Ultra Primes, Optimas, etc.
  • Mounts PL lenses, with additional mounts for Nikon and other lenses
  • Significant cost savings over film production
  • A lower cost option to other 4K cameras. The very few others.
  • 4K is the coming standard for theatrical distribution.
  • Makes people - even people over 40 - look good. The Makeup Department won't hate you for shooting "just" HD this time.
  • Rocky Mountain 4K offers the innovative Red camera package backed up by two very experienced film and video professionals based in Denver, Colorado.
  • Red cameras have been and are being used for principal photography on numerous major motion pictures and national commercials.

Tried and Tested

Though the Red Camera is new that doesn't mean it hasn't been tried and tested. Several major features shot on Reds have already hit theaters and many more are in the pipeline: Doug Liman's Fair Game, Soderburgh's Ché (AKA Guerilla and The Argentine), The Informant, and The Girlfriend Experience, Ron Howard's Angels & Demons (effects shots), Alex Proyas's Knowing, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's Gamer, The Book of Eli by The Hughes Brothers, Peter Hyams Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, and many more projects. On television: Leverage and Sanctuary, plus scores of commercials.

Why Shoot 4K?

The Red One's 4K image means never being limited to one output format. You can always go back to the "negative" to output to something else entirely. But if you shoot in 4K you'll never be stuck with trying to blow up an image that just doesn't have the resolution.

The illustration below shows the relative amounts of information delivered by several common video formats — with the 4K format having over four times the resolution of even the best HD format . Having more information is almost always a good idea, but in the case of 4K video production it means that the image can be downconverted to any of the other formats — or projected in 4K to rival 35mm film projection. Wanna see what that looks like? More and more theatres are installing 4K projectors — and that's the only way to see a Red feature in all it's glory.

Red Camera Resolution
Information is Power. This illustration shows the relative amounts of digital information in various video formats, from Standard Def TV (white block), to 720, to 1080 (dark blue) to 2K and finally 4K (dark red).

With incredibly high-definition pictures and flexible output your speculative web movie—having sold well at Sundance, of course—could be re-rendered to play on a big cineplex screen.

What About the Arri Alexa?

The digital cinema world is changing quickly, with new cameras arriving from Arri, Sony and others. The Arri Alexa is the hot new camera around, with many similar capabilities to the Red One. Where the Red excels is the 4K image, higher frame rates, and a lower rental rate. Do you need 4K for an HD commercial? It gives you lots of room for post manipulation. Plus the Red can yield an 1080 image at 100fps (120fps if you're willing to stretch a bit).

And the coming Red Epic offers even grander features - a 5K image, higher frame rates at 4K, an HD output option and more.

The 35mm Look for Indy Film Producers

Up until now the "35mm Look" has been out of reach for the most indy of independent film producers. The Red allows indy fllm producers to shoot with a 35mm look on a video budget. Okay, a big video budget. True, it's possible to shoot cheaper, but it's not possible to shoot better cheaper.

Did that make sense?


Rocky Moutain 4K contacts: 303.322.5042 or 303.807.8459

What is 4K… or 2K for that matter?

Video and Projection formats — to almost no one's surprise — count thing differently, and in this case at right angles to each other.

TV or video standards count the vertical lines of a picture: 720P has 720 lines of vertical resolution, and 1080... you guessed it. The 2K and 4K projection formats count the horizontal lines. Just over 2000 across for 2K and 4096 (it's a digital thing) for 4K. Of course 3K falls somewhere in the middle. Reasons for using 2K or 3K? They allow higher frame rates - up to 120fps for 2K.

For purposes of comparision — since they're making this difficult — a 1080 picture in 16:9 aspect ratio (the HD standard) is 1920x1080 pixels. A 2K at the same ratio is 2048x1152 and a 4K: 4096x2304.

Peter Jackson on Red

Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) shot a test film (Crossing the Line) on some very early Red cameras.

If you shoot at 4K, but want a "film look", then you finish at 2K and add some grain. It's easy. It looks like film. However, if you finish and screen at 4K. the result is like shooting in 65mm, like the old epics used to do.

Jackson bought four Reds, and used Red cameras for effects shots and aerials on his latest project, The Lovely Bones.

2K and 4K Digital Projection

Digital projection is here and it's going to take over the theater. No more splices, scratches or those funny little round holes at the end of the reel. Most existing digital theaters use the 2K format, but the newer ones will be 4K.

The Red One originates in 4K (with the option to shoot in 2K) and so is ready right now for the theaters of tomorrow. The really cool thing is that even if you choose "direct to DVD" right now, you can always take your EDL and go back to the original files and do a full scale "film out" when your movie hits it big.

Colorado HD Video Production

While RM4K is all about the Red camera, Rich Lerner also provides more 'standard' HD cameras for High Definition video production in Colorado. Call him at 303.807.8459 for information.

How to Tell an Indy Film

The term "indy" (for "independent film" not the guy in the hat) is getting overused, according to a deity of the indy film movement:

If you know the release date of your movie when you're making it, it's not an indy. — Bruce Campbell

According to Campbell one of his movies "wasn't released, it escaped." Now that's indy.

"Pirates" 3D — on Red.

The latest Pirates of the Caribbean epic is being shot in 3D by Dariusz Wolski.

We tested ALL the digital camera's available and against film and we chose the RED MX for Pirates of the Caribbean 4....the cameras are performing flawlessly under extreme conditions and we could not be happier. — Dariusz Wolski

Pirates IV is using six Red MX stereo rigs.


Contact RM4K

Contact either of us at these numbers:
Nelson Goforth: 303.322.5042
Rich Lerner: 303.807.8459

Or use this Contact Form

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