Hot on the heels of RED Digital Cinema’s recent announcement of Peter Jackson’s, The Hobbit, being shot in 3-D with the new RED EPIC cameras, RED today announces that Marc Webb’s Spiderman 4 (full title to be announced) will be shot in 3-D and be the first major motion picture to begin shooting with EPIC. Renowned Director of Photography, John Schwartzman ASC, whose credits include Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and Seabiscuit, will exercise his vision with EPIC, which is quickly becoming the “go-to” camera for today’s high profile 3-D projects.
Successor to RED’s revolutionary 4K RED ONE, EPIC boasts 60% more resolution with its larger 5K sensor (6 times the resolution of an HD video camera), a frame rate as high as 120 frames per second, at full 5K resolution, and a new HDRx™ mode that extends dynamic range beyond anything ever seen in a digital cinema camera. Building on the experience gained in producing thousands of RED ONEs, RED designed EPIC from the ground up, producing an innovative, modular camera, that is smaller, lighter and an order of magnitude more powerful.
At almost 1/3rd the size and half the weight of the original RED ONE, itself one of the smallest, lightest digital cinema cameras ever made, EPIC is perfect for 3-D, where two cameras are mounted on each 3-D rig. Spiderman 4 will be the first major project to begin shooting with the new EPICs, with cameras rolling early this month.
John is no stranger to RED, having used RED ONE cameras for VFX work on Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, and most recently, some reshoots with the newer RED ONE M-X for The Green Hornet. Originally shot 2D Anamorphic on film, then converted to 3-D, John was faced with the dilemma of having to quickly provide 3-D scenes that would integrate seamlessly with the existing film. There was not enough time to reshoot on film, so testing began with the current cream of the crop of digital cameras. After extensive testing, the RED ONE M-X was selected, by virtue of its superior resolution, beating out cameras many times the cost of the RED. Four scenes were intercut with the film, the results proving to be, according to John, completely transparent. “As a die hard film user I must say that I have been blown away by the image quality of the MX, it doesn’t have the same dynamic range in the highlights as film but I believe with EPIC and HDRx™ it will.”
John Schwartzman ASC went on RED’s public forum, reduser.net and wrote the following:
“Today was Epic, Monday December 6 marks the first day the Red Epic camera was used to shoot a major studio motion picture. I can say for certainty the camera does exist and boy is it ready for primetime, as a matter of fact it’s a true game changer. We shot in 3D with 4 Epics mounted on 2 3ality TS-5 rigs today, we did 22 set ups, including running high speed and the images look stunning! I do believe the sensor is iso 800 minus 1 stop for the mirror in daylight and iso 640 in tungsten light but that is really for every dp to determine for themselves, Brook Willard and I figured 640 tungsten but that’s just a number. For the first time in digital cinematography, small size doesn’t come with a resolution penalty, as a matter of fact there isn’t a higher resolution camera available other than IMAX, and this one weighs 5lbs with an ultra prime on it, suddenly 3D isn’t a 100lb beast! We had the cameras on dollies and a libra head today and we flew the 3D rig like it was an Arri 435. You guys told me you could do it in September and here we are today, Congratulations.
I am lighting by eye except that I’ve had to re-train myself to work at lower light levels because the camera is so sensitive. The images we made today were stunning, rich beautiful color and the resolution of a vistavision camera all in a package the size of a Hasselblad 501. We are shooting 2.40 at 5K, there wasn’t a hiccup from the cameras all day, the data was flawless, and there was a lot of it. I can tell you without these cameras it would be impossible to move a 3D rig in the ways that THIS story demands, if Jim and the crew hadn’t made these cameras available to us I don’t think we could have shot this movie the way our director envisioned it in 3D. Guys you’ve trusted me to take these out on their maiden voyage and I can tell you that after today I won’t let you down. I will have the members of my team, most of whom are familiar to the REDUSER site post about things about sub-menu’s and stuff my camera assistants won’t let me touch. I would like to thank Nate, Brook, Michael, and Deanan as well as my regular camera crew for an unbelievable first day, and Brook thanks for the Tiff’s they look amazing!
Mazel Tov RED!”
Jim Jannard, owner and founder of RED, considers John’s adoption of EPIC for his latest project one of RED’s most shining moments. “John is a consummate artist, a friend, and a professional that I have great respect for. His faith in our program and belief in what we are trying to do is immensely gratifying.” The team at RED has been working with John for many weeks in preparation for shooting and looks forward to continued support through the project.