If you read Studio Daily, Studio Monthly and/or Film & Video, you have probably read some of the articles I’ve written for those publications over the years.

And now I’m blogging, which will allow me to throw out the choicest tidbits I discover on my many adventures in Hollywood and cyberspace.

Although Cine Gear 2008 took place 10 days ago, it’s worth adding a few notes to the video I produced for Studio Daily (and the article on “Dark Knight” in Studio Daily and on “State of Play” in Film & Video). If you’ve talked to anyone who’s been there, you know it was a brutal show: my car thermometer read 113 degrees when I left at 5 pm. It’s amazing anyone was there, but a fair number of people did tough it out.

But let’s talk about Red, or, as they like to be known, RED. The show was a bit of a hoot for those of us that roll our at the company’s outrageous marketing ploys. Like the red velvet rope and the 7-foot tall bouncer at their NAB booth. I have absolutely nothing against Red as a camera manufacturer; hey, if it’s good enough for Dave Stump, ASC, who am I to argue?

My beef is that Red’s level of hype has corralled excitable would-be filmmakers into buying a camera that they think costs them $17,000. My guess is that, once these folks realize the amount of money they’ll be spending on lenses and other pricey accessories, that up to half of the Red purchasers will not be able to use their cameras for what they intended. (If you’ve been in this industry for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve also seen how over-amped marketing can create blow-back.)

Back to Cine Gear (I was going somewhere with this). Red, Red, Red was the theme of the show, but on closer inspection, it was what I would call tongue-in-cheek homage to Red. Cooke Optics came out with the Red Set (and a cool poster saying they’d “joined the Rebellion.”) What is the Red set? Special lenses made exclusively for Red? Well, actually not. It’s a standard set of Cooke lenses, chosen so those poor suckers…ahem, bedazzled young filmmakers won’t have to worry about what lenses to buy for their new Red. The Set includes a Cooke S4/i 15-40mm, T2.0 CXX Zoom and Cooke S4/i 50mm, 75mm and 100mm, T2.0 Prime Lenses, a protective glass cover for the CXX Zoom lens and a rigid carry case to hold all four lenses. What makes them “Red”? The ordinary Cooke yellow markings have been switched to–you guessed it–red.

Matthews Studio Lighting equipment also came up with their “newest little sensation” the Red Dolly. What makes it Red? Uh, it crabs, spins on its axis and does roundy-rounds, but what makes it Red is….red paint.

Need I say more? Good on these companies for jumping on the Red bandwagon. For me, well, I appreciate the humor.

Digital Intermediates. One of my favorite topics. Post Logic Studios just used its FilmLight Baselight Eight color grading system to grade “Reach for Me,” which is being billed as the first film to be entirely shot (with the Dalsa Origin II) and graded in 4K resolution. I unfortunately missed an opportunity to see a screening. Up to 2 terabytes of footage a day was collected on a Codex Digital recording unit. According to the press release, much of the feature “takes place in one location,” which indicates that the cameras aren’t very mobile. I also wonder how long it took to turn all that data into editable, viewable video footage (and I’ll find out and report the answer soon). At Cine Gear, a post executive who will remain unnamed told me it took them 22 hours to de-Bayer 2 hours of…sorry, I’m really not trying to pick on you…Red footage.

I hope you had as much fun reading this as I had writing it.

One last note…a recent study showed that the average age of television viewers is 50 (and not getting any younger). Apparently teens turn to MySpace, not cartoons when they come home from school. For that reason, I’m writing about Internet and mobile TV and video on another blog. Do visit me at www.MobilizedTV.com.

Please send me comments, questions and your thoughts.

Until then,

Debra Kaufman