Seeing RED: BIGFOOT ENTERTAINMENT Puts High Definition Technology to the Test
Every film made over the last eight decades, from the classics (The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia) to the not so classic (Howard the Duck), all had one main characteristic in common. They were all captured on film -- a sheet of frames coated with an emulsion of silver halide, that when sufficiently exposed to light and a chemical process, forms an image. But starting in the late 1980s, a new concept emerged – electronic cinematography. The first generation was Sony’s analog HDTV cameras. In its wake, other iterations have come and gone, from the HDCAM recorders to the MiniDV format. While this gradual industry transition from film to digital has occurred off the radar screens of most people, the buzz about the latest in high definition filming technology – the RED camera -- has managed to catch the attention of even the casual observer.
And for the cast and crew working on Bigfoot Entertainment’s latest feature film, the RED camera has made its own unique footprint. In fact, Bigfoot has three RED camera bodies in its arsenal. Talking with the team of men who manage the camera everyday on the film set, one can learn much about how the filmmaking technology translates into the final images that one sees on the screen. Rick Robinson, the camera operator behind Bigfoot’s latest feature, and its Director of Photography on Deep Gold, breaks the professional process down: “If you decide you want to shoot on RED, you have to have a workflow to be able to accommodate that. What I mean is, you have to be able to know all of the complicating factors and do a lot of homework and find out what sort of issues you’re going to have in post [editing].”
In working with Jack Messitt, the Director of Photography on this project, Robinson feels that Jack has done his homework: “the process of how Jack has come in and how he has broken the script and process down -- he’s done it in a very smart way, even though the RED camera has its own unique learning curve.”
And with this newer format at hand, Bigfoot Entertainment, like other leaders in the film business, is eager to capitalize on better and smarter ways to make pictures. In fact, the cost of producing a film on a digital format is profoundly lower than that of film, and that is music to the ears of film producers worldwide. Robinson concedes as much when he talks about the trends within current film production: “I think eventually one doesn’t have much choice because this camera, or something along this line of cameras, is going to take over. Will film go away? No, because film has more latitude, you can do more with it, and so people with huge budgets will just shoot with film.”
The technical aspects of working with the RED might be interesting to a layperson, because it shines a bright light on the reality of all the hard work that goes into creating the images we might take for granted, as we munch on popcorn and sip our sodas in the darkness of a movie theatre. Robinson reveals some insider info on mastering the RED: “In 30 years of filming, and I’ve shot every type of camera you can think with every kind of possible configuration, this is probably one of the most interesting devices I’ve ever had on my shoulder. However, the camera can be temperamental in certain situations.”
With this said, the odds of Jim Jannard’s RED creation rendering 35-mm movie film obsolete are definitely increasing. Brad Draper, the Bigfoot head electrician (called a gaffer) who works closely with the RED camera, compares this situation to those who resisted the Industrial Revolution at the turn of the 19th century: “The bridge is closing between what you can achieve visually with digital and film. There were a lot of people that loved horse and wagons before the car came along, and they got left behind. You have to see where the technology is going, and you’d better help control where it’s going. If not, then you’re going to be left behind"
The brain trust of Bigfoot Entertainment certainly won’t be among those left behind, as the people within the company understand what’s really at stake with the revolution in motion pictures. Robinson concludes: “ The bottom line comes down to the end user, and what the end user sees. If they believe that what they are seeing looks the same as what they would pay their money to go see if it were shot on 35mm, then that’s the point. And if it hits that mark for the end user, that is the most important thing from the producer’s perspective.”
About The International Academy of Film and Television
The International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) offers courses that combine theory and application under the expert auspices of leading Hollywood filmmakers serving as faculty mentors. Located in the heart of Asia on Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines, this tropical waterfront campus houses state-of-the-art facilities for filming and postproduction. IAFT extends a comprehensive, hands-on approach to making films and videos using the latest in equipment and technology. Courses are designed for aspiring filmmakers as well as industry professionals looking to advance their skill sets.
IAFT presents a unique internship program that allows selected students to work on feature films and television productions with Bigfoot Entertainment. Our curriculum serves to nurture the creativity and individual talents of each student, cultivating the next generation of filmmakers, and continuing the entertainment traditions of Hollywood and other film capitals of the world.
The International Academy of Film and Television - Asia’s Premier Film School.
For more information, visit www.filmschool.ph
About Bigfoot Entertainment
Bigfoot Entertainment is an innovative entertainment company, which provides quality content, products, services and training for the global marketplace. Founded in 2002, the company continues to finance and produce feature films, television series and reality shows that are distributed throughout the world, many of which receive recognition and awards at film festivals. With primary production facilities in Cebu, Philippines and a presence in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, Bigfoot is positioned to be a viable competitor in the international entertainment industry.
Bigfoot Entertainment - leaving lasting footprints in the world of entertainment!
For more information visit www.bigfootentertainment.com
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- PR Manager
- Bigfoot Entertainment Ltd.
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