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Cutting edge Shire - The Hobbit goes digital with RED, plus other updates

Nov. 29, 2010by: Dave Davis

After years caught in the bogs, THE HOBBIT is finally preparing to travel there and back again -- all the way to the 21st century in crisp hi-def 3D digital, thanks to RED's appropriately titled EPIC camera.

Director Peter Jackson says why he digs it for the triple-dimension journey: "I have always liked the look of Red footage. I'm not a scientist or mathematician, but the image Red produces has a much more filmic feel than most of the other digital formats. I find the picture quality appealing and attractive, and with the Epic, Jim and his team have gone even further. It is a fantastic tool, the Epic not only has cutting edge technology, incredible resolution and visual quality, but it is also a very practical tool for film makers. Many competing digital systems require the cameras to be tethered to large cumbersome VTR machines. The Epic gives us back the ability to be totally cable free, even when working in stereo."

For the technically inclined, the EPIC "has 5K resolution, can shoot up to 120 frames per second and has a new HDRx™ mode for the highest dynamic range of any digital cinema camera ever made."

Meanwhile, Sir Ian McKellan sort of confirms yet again that he'll be back as Gandalf, probably maybe definitely.

The two movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved book (and additional material) will start filming in New Zealand early next year for release in December 2012 and 2013. Total Film got a glimpse at the Baggins homestead under construction:

Extra Tidbit: Jackson will use "at least" 30 of the EPIC camera rigs. And countless hard drives.
Source: RED

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7:16PM on 11/30/2010
But the Red 3D system uses the old out-of-date 3D method (two static & stationary lenses side by side). This kind of 3D died for a reason.

The new 3D systems (the ones developed by Cameron) use two robotic lenses that move independently and mimics the way the human eyes move and focus. This new system is what brought 3D back from the grave, because it produces a 3D image FAR superior to the old system.

Red Cameras look great for 2D digital cameras, but their 3D system is out-of-date and
But the Red 3D system uses the old out-of-date 3D method (two static & stationary lenses side by side). This kind of 3D died for a reason.

The new 3D systems (the ones developed by Cameron) use two robotic lenses that move independently and mimics the way the human eyes move and focus. This new system is what brought 3D back from the grave, because it produces a 3D image FAR superior to the old system.

Red Cameras look great for 2D digital cameras, but their 3D system is out-of-date and produces 3D images comparable to what we get with converted films. But the Red 3D system is also FAR cheaper than the new system.
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12:43AM on 12/01/2010
Dude, you have no idea what you're talking about. I work as a digital imaging technician in the film biz, and there is no 'RED 3D system'. They made some promotional mockups.

RED cameras are used for 3D all the time and are fitted into any number of modern beam-splitting 3D rigs exactly like the Pace ARRI Alexa system used on Transformers 3.

If you don't understand the relationship between a camera and a 3D rig, don't comment. You only spread misinformation and make yourself look bad.
Dude, you have no idea what you're talking about. I work as a digital imaging technician in the film biz, and there is no 'RED 3D system'. They made some promotional mockups.

RED cameras are used for 3D all the time and are fitted into any number of modern beam-splitting 3D rigs exactly like the Pace ARRI Alexa system used on Transformers 3.

If you don't understand the relationship between a camera and a 3D rig, don't comment. You only spread misinformation and make yourself look bad.
3:46PM on 11/30/2010

Film isn't organic either...

I've worked a lot with RED, as far as looks go, it's fantastic. I wouldn't use the term 'filmic' to describe it only because that "filmic" look isn't exclusive to film. It's the contrast, the resolution, the shutter speed, the color depth... all of which varies with film stocks and cameras anyway. A lot more films and TV has been shot digitally then you'd expect and by the time PJ color times the thing you won't be able to tell the difference. As far as 3D... I'm all for giving a great
I've worked a lot with RED, as far as looks go, it's fantastic. I wouldn't use the term 'filmic' to describe it only because that "filmic" look isn't exclusive to film. It's the contrast, the resolution, the shutter speed, the color depth... all of which varies with film stocks and cameras anyway. A lot more films and TV has been shot digitally then you'd expect and by the time PJ color times the thing you won't be able to tell the difference. As far as 3D... I'm all for giving a great visionary director a shot at doing something great with it! If it sucks, I'll just by the 2D blu-ray.
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10:43AM on 11/30/2010

Yes, technically film has a higher resolution and all that stuff...

But when you pass it through a 2k digital intermediate (ie. Every film in the last like 15 years, because color timing is done in computers now) things get all skwiffy. You're going from film to digital and then PRINTED back on to film. Since it's already digital, there's no need to pass it through an intermediate THUS RED HAS BETTER RES THAN FILM NOW.
But when you pass it through a 2k digital intermediate (ie. Every film in the last like 15 years, because color timing is done in computers now) things get all skwiffy. You're going from film to digital and then PRINTED back on to film. Since it's already digital, there's no need to pass it through an intermediate THUS RED HAS BETTER RES THAN FILM NOW.
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8:40AM on 11/30/2010

Uh oh

I just saw the dreaded two letters: 3D. That better not mean what I think it means...
I just saw the dreaded two letters: 3D. That better not mean what I think it means...
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12:28PM on 11/30/2010
Yeah, it means tons of pissing and moaning fanboys round these parts . . .
Yeah, it means tons of pissing and moaning fanboys round these parts . . .
1:52AM on 12/01/2010
HAHA. Bigger Boat made me laugh.
HAHA. Bigger Boat made me laugh.
8:38AM on 11/30/2010
Mate they could film this thing on a Box Browny for all I care just so long as it gets made.
Mate they could film this thing on a Box Browny for all I care just so long as it gets made.
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3:40AM on 11/30/2010
Yeah, the point does stand that if you want a filmic look, shoot on film. Seems sort of odd to use something else and try to mimic the look of film. I think RED cameras are pretty cool but it does seem an odd choice when you're shooting something like The Hobbit. RED cameras would be cool for an action movie or something, not for something like the Hobbit. I'm still really excited for this movie though. BTW, does anyone know where the movie will be split for part 2 and how long the wait will
Yeah, the point does stand that if you want a filmic look, shoot on film. Seems sort of odd to use something else and try to mimic the look of film. I think RED cameras are pretty cool but it does seem an odd choice when you're shooting something like The Hobbit. RED cameras would be cool for an action movie or something, not for something like the Hobbit. I'm still really excited for this movie though. BTW, does anyone know where the movie will be split for part 2 and how long the wait will be? Harry Potter is killing me so I hope the same thing doesn't happen for this.
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8:32AM on 11/30/2010
Not sure where it will be split but as for the releases..... Sorry but they will be a year apart like the LOTR trilogy. As for Potter I'm chomping at the bit. Can't wait for part 2.
Not sure where it will be split but as for the releases..... Sorry but they will be a year apart like the LOTR trilogy. As for Potter I'm chomping at the bit. Can't wait for part 2.
5:38PM on 11/30/2010
well its the space that actual film takes up, as well as the size of the camera. with the amount of footage peter likes to shoot, it makes sense to use digital because storing hard drives and transport of them is easier then several dozen things of film for a weeks worth of footage. and with the camera not needing a load of cable/ large rig to shoot with, you can get into tighter spots on set if you need to.
well its the space that actual film takes up, as well as the size of the camera. with the amount of footage peter likes to shoot, it makes sense to use digital because storing hard drives and transport of them is easier then several dozen things of film for a weeks worth of footage. and with the camera not needing a load of cable/ large rig to shoot with, you can get into tighter spots on set if you need to.
2:12AM on 11/30/2010
wont be able to watch all 5 films at once and feel like one long movie.. consistency wont be there..
wont be able to watch all 5 films at once and feel like one long movie.. consistency wont be there..
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1:21AM on 11/30/2010

WOW

This is going to be awesome, RED cam is the tits.
This is going to be awesome, RED cam is the tits.
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1:01AM on 11/30/2010

Oh and another thing...

I would take a 2D IMAX Hobbit ANY day over a 3D Red Hobbit. Hello??? Why are you not shooting IMAX?? Chris Nolan knows whats up.
IMAX NEGATIVE FTW.
I would take a 2D IMAX Hobbit ANY day over a 3D Red Hobbit. Hello??? Why are you not shooting IMAX?? Chris Nolan knows whats up.
IMAX NEGATIVE FTW.
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12:52AM on 11/30/2010

Duh

Bad idea. Why change what is perfect? I'm sorry but film has greater resolution and dynamic range than Red, we'll see what the Epic actually looks like but I personally am not a fan of the idea.
LOTR looked PERFECT in my opinion I though it translated Tolkiens world perfectly. Why change it??? It's going to be a let down I promise. Sure the effects will still be great but over all, it's not going to have the same feel which is what has kept me excited about the Hobbit, going back into that
Bad idea. Why change what is perfect? I'm sorry but film has greater resolution and dynamic range than Red, we'll see what the Epic actually looks like but I personally am not a fan of the idea.
LOTR looked PERFECT in my opinion I though it translated Tolkiens world perfectly. Why change it??? It's going to be a let down I promise. Sure the effects will still be great but over all, it's not going to have the same feel which is what has kept me excited about the Hobbit, going back into that same world. Every time film makers do this it never works out. I thought the Red footage stuck out like an ugly sore thumb in Lovely Bones. The majority of the film was stunning and had me sucked right in.
I work with Red cameras on a regular basis, often shooting commercials and music videos with them, an application I think is best for the image...great...The Hobbit is going to look like a slick Weta Workshop commercial...it's not going to have the same feel as Lord of the Rings. Sad face.
I hope you read this Peter because as a fellow Kiwi and film maker...I love you man. I hope Andrew Lesnie talks you out of it :) I'd sure as hell try to!
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9:57AM on 11/30/2010
I ain't necessarily disagreeing, but considering firstly what some have been able to do with digital, and that this is likely to be very digitized anyway (cgi), I'm not so sure it'll matter in the end. But you're right, we'll see.
I ain't necessarily disagreeing, but considering firstly what some have been able to do with digital, and that this is likely to be very digitized anyway (cgi), I'm not so sure it'll matter in the end. But you're right, we'll see.
-4
12:34AM on 11/30/2010

quadruple post

quadruple post
quadruple post
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-4
12:32AM on 11/30/2010

triple post

triple post
triple post
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-4
12:31AM on 11/30/2010

double post

double post
double post
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+5
12:31AM on 11/30/2010

Can't wait for the Hobbit.

But I don't understand the RED choice. He's quoted as saying, "the image Red produces has a much more filmic feel than most of the other digital formats."

Well if you want a film look, shoot it on film. It's not like you don't have the money... I'm confused.

Ah well. Regardless, can't wait for this movie.
But I don't understand the RED choice. He's quoted as saying, "the image Red produces has a much more filmic feel than most of the other digital formats."

Well if you want a film look, shoot it on film. It's not like you don't have the money... I'm confused.

Ah well. Regardless, can't wait for this movie.
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12:05AM on 11/30/2010
for consistency's sake
for consistency's sake
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11:59PM on 11/29/2010
shoot it on film.
shoot it on film.
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