So a lot of people have been asking me what I think about my new RED Scarlet-X camera. Words cannot express how absolutely in love with this camera I am. All of the problems I was worried about having are not problems at all.
My biggest concern was that I wouldn’t be able to easily edit it natively, and that transcoding the footage would be annoying. Also, transcoding would force me to either finish without the magic of my 16-bit raw data, or it would be a pain to reconnect if I just used the transcoded footage for an offline edit. People said Premiere could playback raw RED files natively, but that wasn’t the case on my system. Premiere choked on the test clips I got from the RED forums. I am a Mac user, and I don’t have one of those Nvidia cards that Adobe has been pushing like a crack dealer lately. I have a rock solid ATI card with 1 GB of memory, and I didn’t want to switch over to Nvidia because they apparently hate Mac users and really suck at taking care of them. So I thought I was stuck.
HOWEVER, I have been editing with a pre-release (BETA!) version of Premiere Pro CS6, and I gotta say – it’s the greatest thing to ever happen to the world of editing. I’m currently preparing a blog on my favorite new features, and there are like BILLIONS of them! But the biggest one is that my 4k 16-bit RED footage from my Scarlet plays PERFECTLY in its native format. And there’s this A M A Z I N G workflow using RED’s free grading/transcoding tool Redcine-X Pro with Premiere. AT ANY POINT in the workflow, I can grade in Redcine-X and just reload the footage in Premiere, and my Redcine grades show up in Premiere. It’s incredible. I also experimented with Adobe’s new app, SpeedGrade, and was pleasantly surprised that it also easily handled my 4k raw footage without transcoding. Adobe is doing some amazing things these days, folks.
So, I decided to create a little camera test. In case it totally sucked, I didn’t want to bring anyone else into this. I also wanted to see what I could do with this Scarlet without some great cinematographer that knows what they’re doing, or with any kind of assistants or grips or anything. And I also wanted to test my ability to improvise story points in writing, and also in editing. So I cast my 25 MONTH OLD BABY to play the lead character. So with all of those requirements, and without any help or crew (or even cast, outside of my wife and kids), I set out to play with my Scarlet, and this is what I made. It’s called GODLIZZA (watch it in 1080p for the full effect). Enjoy.
Creator of Movies & Computers. Filmmaker. Author of How to Cheat in After Effects, The After Effects Illusionist, and of several video training series on Lynda.com, Video2Brain, Total Training, and VTC.