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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old April 16th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #1
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RED for wedding video production

I know most of us have probably thought about it but didn't want to sound crazy and actually verbalize the thoughts. But I am going to say it....

I'm thinking about buying some Epic's and Scarlets for wedding video production (maybe mainly the epic-s and the scarlet fixed).... not only for weddings but if I own them, I'll use them for weddings. Anybody else thinking about bringing the red, and 3k and 4k to the wedding world. I know that we can't deliver at that high of resolutions but it'd be great to reframe parts later, and stabilize footage with our resolution.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #2
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re: RED for wedding video production

I thought about that, as I do other forms of video production; not just weddings. If I do own one in the future, I might be tempted to bring it to a wedding.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #3
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re: RED for wedding video production

Thread title changed from "Ok I'll say it..." to "RED for wedding video production."

Please avoid ambiguous thread titles on this site. Thanks in advance,
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Old April 16th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #4
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Re: RED for wedding video production

I've been thinking hard even using a F3 for my quinceanera events which is over kill itself for that type of work. If I had a Epic-S or X I'd use it for my event job cause it's just sitting there.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #5
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Re: RED for wedding video production

Nope, actually went the other way after assessing my market and competition. IMO, most of the customer base out there doesn't know/doesn't care about the things we often are so concerned with. If you have a market segment that demands the RED, by all means go for it !!! Here in my market I can match or surpass the quality of imagery my competition is providing, and do that with a GH1.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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Re: RED for wedding video production

I have the attitude that I don't really care if the client is going to notice the higher quality camera or that extra few days I spend touching up edits and color grading, I know, and one day I might have a client who actually notices the difference between different cameras and they might appreciate it...

however... I think the red is more than just if the client is going to notice the extra quality. I think the extra resolution might help us reframe and fix some mistakes that happen live due to the fact that there is so much extra resolution for us to play with... thus making our lives easier... Thats why I'm thinking about using the red.. not so much because the clients will really notice that its 4k and not 1080p. if that make sense...
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Old April 16th, 2011, 09:58 PM   #7
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Re: RED for wedding video production

Louis I have seen your work, it's gorgeous !!! I am sure if you end up with a RED, you will make it just sing !!!

Your thoughts on your upgrade are similar to what I just did, a major change-up for each of us. The only thing we would have in common about our upgrades though, could be the decision process we use.

I had X dollars to work with and went down the checklist comparing the camera I wanted, to the one I bought. The one I wanted blew away the one I got in potential quality, but the quality was going to be lost in my delivery method and/or on those who would view it and not know the difference. So FOR ME, the one I wanted was going to be "overkill" which I equated to "wasted money". I took the difference in costs and invested that instead into other gear that WILL help ME in producing things MY audience will see.

Your decision has a number of intangibles connected to it. Before you get to those you really should go down the business aspect of the decision and find out your real cost to own and use a RED will be.

Figure out the depreciation you expect the cam to have during it's life with you. Add to that the cost of any financing and additional cards, gear, software etc the RED will require that you don't already have. If having a RED will bring in extra work because the work REQUIRES a RED, estimate what you think that amount is, take that projected profit (not value of your time) and subtract it from the earlier total. Now total that all up and divide it by the number of "non required RED" shoots you expect to have during the RED's life with you. That should give you a realistic "per shoot equipment cost".

You mentioned additional post time, you have to estimate that now and add a per shoot estimate of the value of that time to the averaged out "per shoot equipment cost". Now you should have an honest "cost per shoot" of what having and using a RED is going to be.

Whatever that number turns out to be, you can sit there then and ask yourself "is it worth this much TO ME to be able to save some shots, reframe and put out weddings in 4K quality ???"

I went down that same basic "decision tree" and when I got to the bottom, for the camera I wanted MY answer was no. You know yourself and your situation better than we do. You might get to the bottom and scream "HECK YES !!!!" Honestly I hope that would be the answer you come up with, would be neat to see some 4K weddings. :-)
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Old April 17th, 2011, 12:24 AM   #8
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Re: RED for wedding video production

First thank for the compliment on my work :)

Depreciation is definitely a plus to RED though as I was looking at RED Ones before I was looking at an Epic. I couldn't find a used one for less than 24k... for a camera that retails for 25k. So the way RED holds their value because of the upgrade paths really does help me to think the depreciation model of the RED is a rather shallow curve.

On the profit basis, I think that I will be able to get a good amount of jobs that will require me to use the RED for other productions that are not weddings, this is another one of the reasons why I'm thinking about going with the RED for my next camera, but we'll have to see if corporate work picks up a bit before the Epic-S starts shipping.

If I do get the Epic-S to shoot with, then I'll probably do weddings with 1 Epic S, and 2 Scarlet Fixed cameras, and be able to deliver top quality wedding work... I also like the fact that I can use all my nice glass on the Epic, AND be able to have auto focus, which is definitely something I miss when shooting with DSLR's at weddings... at other projects I shoot manual anyway.

I'm not worried about the extra post time... I put that in anyway, and I enjoy it... and I have the extra equipment to edit RED anyway.. so I'm just excited by the prospect of being able to shoot weddings with really professional gear now that the new RED cameras are really small. I'm going to need to get into the RED game anyway for my main job so we'll have to see!!!
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Old April 17th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #9
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Re: RED for wedding video production

I have to say, for weddings, I think this is overkill.

If you have other work that you could make money off the RED with then by all means buy one, but even if I had one I still wouldn't use it for weddings.

It's only a wedding film after all. We're talking the lowest common denominator here. Lower than music videos or indy short films on the scale of production. It's just not worth the extra hassle/resources/time/effort/expense/risk/liabilty over using a camcorder or DSLR (unless you have magically found a market where you are regularly charging $50,000 per wedding!) when the end result is not going to be all that different to the viewer.

That's not to say that RED cameras don't make me drool, and that you'll no doubt produce amazing imagery with it in whatver other project you use it for.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 09:35 AM   #10
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Re: RED for wedding video production

John | I think it's a bit offensive to say that weddings are the 'lowest common denominator'. I think a well-done wedding film carries far more value over time than a well-done music video. Those of us dedicated to capturing the most important day in a couple's life and creating a story from it don't see it as the 'lowest common denominator' ... and neither do the couples. Just sayin'.

Louis | I will say I agree with John that using RED gear at a wedding seems like overkill, just not for the reason he stated. 4k is beautiful, but you can't deliver in 4k to the couple so they will never see the benefit of the technology. Given the sizable investment required to upgrade all my current gear to RED gear, and given that I have no way to realistically deliver the extra quality, it's not worth it to me. Sure it would be nice to maybe reframe or zoom a shot now and then, but that alone can't justify the cost for me.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 11:02 AM   #11
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Re: RED for wedding video production

I don't think John intends to be offensive -- instead he simply might not realize just how high-end the wedding video market can get! It is by no means at all "the lowest common denominator," not by a long shot.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 11:27 AM   #12
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Re: RED for wedding video production

I wonder what it'd cost for a properly outfitted RED for shooting weddings? I'm thinking you could easily show up to a gig with over $100,000 worth of gear. Get a little distracted and next thing you know your camera has grown legs.


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Old April 17th, 2011, 02:07 PM   #13
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Re: RED for wedding video production

Well Louis I am probably way more a "numbers guy" than I am creative. It appears FOR YOU the numbers for owning a RED work out though. Now all you have left is the "emotional" side of the decision process. Guys have brought up good reasons not to such as, overkill and potential loss if gear this valuable is stolen.

But what no one has brought up is what impact on YOU will having a RED as your camera bring to the table. The pride of ownership is a definite possibility. That pride could be translated into an actual desire to present an even more improved product to YOUR clients. If YOU are shooting with tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear, YOU are going to want to deliver something that let's the client know that YOU did. IMO, I see that as both a conscious as well as subconscious motivator that could take your work even further.

For YOU, because the numbers appear to work out and the ownership need will be there anyways soon, and you like the additional editing time portion of your projects, I don't see any reason YOU shouldn't do it.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 09:23 PM   #14
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Re: RED for wedding video production

I don't think it's overkill at all. I fully intend to buy a Scarlet 8X fixed the moment it's released and use it on all my shoots, weddings included.

Many of us here already shoot hi def and deliver in SD all the time, and nobody thinks that's nuts. Shooting in 4K and delivering in hidef (or still SD) is just looking forward. And you'll have the equipment necessary to use on more hi-end shoots.

If this works in your business model, then who's to say you're crazy to do it?
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Old April 18th, 2011, 04:13 AM   #15
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Re: RED for wedding video production

Just out of curiosity, what do red owners realistically charge for a full day of wedding shooting and editing? $2K? $5K? $10K? $20K?
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