REDucation is coming to Asia

REDucation, the official RED training, is a five-day hands-on training workshop using RED cameras for shooting and post-production.

For Southeast Asia RED users, Hong Kong is the place to be November 5-9, 2012.

To register, you can contact RED Greater China Authorized Reseller, 23magic.

This is certainly a much easier way to get acquainted with these cameras than my first DIT job which happened to be with a RED ONE  in LA, back when the camera had been released only a month or two before.

As I recall, my training went something like this:

"You'll be making camera settings and transferring footage. This is the camera. Here's the menu.  Here's a laptop.  Here's the camera manual, Good luck. Don't screw up. Sorry, I've gotta run - gotta get to the hospital before my daughter is born. Thanks for helping out!"

Not an easy way to get to know a camera.  REDucation is.  Since then, I've used RED cameras extensively, I've taken them to the limits and I find there is always more to learn.

A free REDucation Open House will take place on Nov. 7 with speaker DoP Arthur Wong.  There will also be the usual product promotions and mixing and mingling.  I won't be able to make it, so if you go please ask Mr. Wong how a person can possibly get hired to shoot more than 100 feature films within a normal human lifespan, because I would really like to know.

I had a chance to visit 23Magic founder Percy Fung while I was in Hong Kong recently. Percy and the Digital Magic team have been helpful above and beyond the call of duty on a couple of the feature films I shot here in Vietnam and we keep in touch.

Percy asked me to pass along an invitation to REDucation for RED users in Vietnam. He understands the challenges filmmakers face here and that the course is not cheap.

If you're in Vietnam and seriously considering going to REDucation, I would suggest getting in touch with Percy directly.

The class is aimed at working professionals and folks who have an interest in digital filmmaking.

I haven't taken REDucation, but I have had a couple people ask me about whether it makes sense for them.  For what it's worth, here's what I think:

If you've never used a RED before, taking this class is a great way to get started.

For are a young  DoP or Cam-Op with little or no RED expereince, you'd get hands-on experience and footage to take home.  You'd be able to learn what the camera can do by working with footage you shot.

REDucation is a great thing for people who are very busy shooting with other cameras day in and day out and have not had much opportunity to work with RED cameras yet.  If this is you, then you can pick up a RED for the first time and be fine if you've done your homework.  However...

Among the most frequent questions producers and directors ask when calling me for a job is whether I've shot with the camera they'd like to use.  If I have not, landing the job just tends to became a lot more difficult, no matter how much the like my reel or how highly someone recommended me.  I understand where they're coming from.

So, if a producer or director who doesn't know you likes your reel but checks your résumé and doesn't see much RED work, having REDucation under your belt could give them one more reason to say yes to hiring you.

For folks like me who have lots of experience with the RED already and wonder whether or not REDucation is worth doing, I don't know.  For me learning to shoot with the camera was pretty easy. Learning which camera settings to use and the ramifications that can have in post-production was not.

Granted the tools have improved tremendously since I started.  My colorists aren't grading HD-CAM transcodes of RED footage on tape anymore.  I'm not seeing highlights clipped by sloppy batch 2k transcodes nearly as often.

Still, I've had my RED footage release on the web, in theaters (DCP and 35mm), and on pretty much everything else.  In my experience, understanding the relationship between camera settings, RAW files, and deliverables is the most important knowledge required to get the best results with RED cameras.

I probably won't be taking REDucation, but I'm sure I would learn something worth knowing if I did.

On that note, for everyone working in a post-production facility that handles RED footage, REDucation is absolutely for you.   I don't care how much post-production experience you have or how well you understand .r3d workflow.  Get your hands on one of these cameras.  Set a frame, look at the RAW histogram, push the record button, and get an experiential understanding of how the files you work with every day are created.

I would love to see REDucation on the résumé of every post-production worker who could possibly affect the look my footage.  Fortunately for post houses who don't train their staff, I'm a cinematographer, not a producer.


No one paid me to do this, but this post reads way to promotional for my taste.  Sorry.  Complaint department is on the roof.

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