Oakley unveils big Red One

4k camera used in Jackson's short

Oakley founder Jim Jannard's startup Red unveiled for the first time publicly a working prototype of its anticipated Red One digital cinematography camera on Monday at the NAB convention.

Announced a year ago as a developing digital camera with 4k capabilities and a low $17,500 price tag, the camera was hailed as a tool that could democratize filmmaking, though there were many skeptics that doubted the company could meet its stated goals.

At NAB, in addition to showing the prototype, Red is presenting "Crossing the Line," a 12-minute short directed by Peter Jackson and lensed by Richard Bluck, who served as second unit DP on Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "King Kong."

Bluck said the short was shot on location in New Zealand with two of the Red prototype cameras and Cooke lenses, recording in "Red Code" raw to a hard drive. It was edited using Final Cut Pro, went through a digital color grading process, and was mastered in 4k using Quantel's iQ system.

Red's Ted Schilowitz, who goes by the title "Leader of the Rebellion," said the company is now accepting camera orders, and it has roughly 1,500 reservations for cameras, which were placed earlier and came with a $1,000 deposit. Schilowitz reported that Jackson's Wingnut is a reservation holder. He also reported that the first cameras, though not feature-complete, would likely begin shipping within the month. He said the goal is to fill the 1,500 reserved orders by year's end.
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