Kenny (seated in the first row, far right) and crew with their new gear on set for
Justified‘s third season.

RED’s Jarred Land has just confirmed in a thread that the current season of FX’s Justified is being shot with RED Epics. The show already took a significant leap last season when it became the first to adopt the new IIF-ACES color-encoding workflow developed by AMPAS and Curtis Clark, ASC.

Justified‘s DP Francis Kenny, ASC, who spoke to us earlier this year about his work using the Sony F35 (season one) and SRW-9000PL (season two), obviously had a difficult case to make before convincing Sony Entertainment executives to transition to Epics for season three. “We persuaded Sony Entertainment that by shooting with Epic cameras production would be increased tenfold and it would look spectacular,” Kenny explains in a follow-up post. “Episode one of season three is now complete and our dreams have come true. The show looks better than ever and the producers are now true believers of the Red System.”

Although Sony’s “True 4K” CineAlta F65 was “built from the ground up” to support the IIF-ACES workflow first tested on the F35, it is not expected to begin shipping until this January.

Speaking to the converted, Kenny continued his reduser thread with a host of Epic superlatives but also cited a few specific examples of Epics shortening production schedules as total takes increased. “The same cameras were recently used on a pilot for BET I shot this summer in New York,” he says. “We averaged 180 takes per day because of our ability to move these tiny cameras around quickly. All four cameras performed without a single problem.”

180 takes per day? That’s amazing, especially what it means for everyone’s time on set. But let’s not forget all those files must also be managed. While eight-hour work days might be within sight for some productions, post teams won’t be so lucky. Fast and flexible on-set digital dailies systems, as well as experienced DITs, are post production’s last line of defense.

But the 4K future, particularly for audiences, is almost here. “The key words that made the difference was the term ‘Selling Future Forward,'” he says. “4K televisions will arrive within a year. Why would anyone want to shoot with a camera with less resolution?”