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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Ulf Krentz's Avatar
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    Mark,

    Great advice, I would have been glad to read this a few month earlier, it would have saved me a ton of time. Thank you for your effort!

    When reading our section about the redvolts Id rather suggest at leaast seven redvolts and three travel chargers for constant run, you better allow them some minutes of cool down / rest before recharging. Things may improve with better powermanagement.

    Cheers, Ulf
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  2. #12  
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    Thanks! I added your advice to the revolts section.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulf Krentz View Post
    Mark,

    Great advice, I would have been glad to read this a few month earlier, it would have saved me a ton of time. Thank you for your effort!

    When reading our section about the redvolts Id rather suggest at leaast seven redvolts and three travel chargers for constant run, you better allow them some minutes of cool down / rest before recharging. Things may improve with better powermanagement.

    Cheers, Ulf
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  3. #13  
    Senior Member Nick Wernham's Avatar
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    Great advice, Mark. I wish that I had this thread to refer to when learning about the DSMC system. Very well done indeed.
    C.E.O. of Wernham Entertainment Inc.
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  4. #14  
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    Rig & Rail Components

    Okay, you’ve gotten this far. You have the brain, lens mount, lenses, control, display, storage, sound and power. Now what? Well, you’re done, skip ahead to the DIT & Editing section. Start shooting.

    I’m only half joking. You have everything you need to shoot. If you wanted to, you could ignore that entire section on the Red store about “rail components.” Your camera will be a little awkward to hold, but if you got the DSMC side handle, you can pull it off for run and gun shooting. Again, run and gun refers to hand holding the camera, which is configured in a lightweight way with light lenses, and not using any rig or “sticks” (fancy cine word for tripods for you DSLR guys and gals).

    But sooner or later you will want more. The way a cinematographer or DP (Director of Photography) refers to how they configure all the stuff that holds onto the camera and its parts and accessories is called a “rig.” Rigs vary from giant, tripod mounted beasts where the camera is a buried tiny component dwarfed by lenses, matt boxes (think giant lens shade and filter holder), rods, cable boxes and more, all the way down to a simple top handle (my favorite).

    This was the hardest part for me to understand. What’s the right way to configure a rig? What is the standard acceptable configuration? Why don’t they sell packages for this stuff instead of all these tiny little pieces? What the hell is a rosette and why would I want one?

    Here is the big secret, the one I wish I knew when I started looking at all this stuff. THERE IS NO SINGLE RIGHT OR STANDARD WAY TO CONFIGURE THESE PARTS! Yep, no standards, no single popular way to do things. There is also no standard way to connect all these parts…people will find ways to bolt nearly anything to anything. Every rig you see in the field and in pictures is going to look completely different. Rigs are like snowflakes, no two are alike. They are custom depending on the DP’s personal preference, the equipment on hand, and the phase of the moon seemingly. So don’t be nervous. You cannot, by definition, make a mistake here. Your rig will be custom TO YOU and nobody else. It’s a vast playground, a lego system to build whatever you want.

    So, do you need a rig? Technically no. You can mount your Scarlet to a heavy duty tripod, or just hold it with a wide lens and run and gun it. But I do have a recommendation…your life will be a lot better with a little bit of rig. Movie cameras are heavy, even ones as light as the Scarlet, and your body will thank you for ergonomic options.

    One of the first things you will discover when creating a rig, is that you need more flexibility on where to mount your 5” touchscreen. The twelve inch LCD/EVF cable they include is way too short to move that monitor elsewhere (like on the side if you want to run the camera from your shoulder). So the very first piece of kit I recommend if you are using the touchscreen is a new LCD/EVF Cable (Right-to-Straight) with 18 inches of length. The cable is $240 but you won’t be getting far outfitting a rig without one (this goes for either the 5 inch touch screen or the Bomb EVF).

    It is extremely difficult to figure out what parts go together, even if I explain them here. The best way is to actually handle and play with the parts yourself…either by looking at friends and colleagues rigs, or by visiting the Red Store in Hollywood (at Red Studios - 846 North Cahuenga Boulevard, LA, CA 90038) where they will be glad to show you all the parts.

    Now that you have the cable, there are an infinite array of possibilities. I’m going to do a very brief overview of the parts here, but hopefully in the future we can do a rig guide with several people contributing their own ideas and experiences. The components break down into several rough categories (under “rail components” in the Red store):

    Red Arm - The Red Arm is not located under the “rail components” part of the site, but under the “displays” portion. You will find it useful to mount your touch screen once you’ve given it the longer cable. It has a swivel mount so you can reposition the arm in a variety of way to adjust your touch screen any way you desire. Very useful.

    Quick Release Plates for Tripods, etc. - The most basic and useful are the Quick release platforms which allow you to put the camera on and off tripod heads and rigs without having to unbolt it. . There are two varieties, and one kit, but each of them requires that you attach a Mounting Plate (DSMC) to the bottom of your Scarlet ($100). This mounting plate “docks” with the quick release platforms below for quick on and off access. You don’t need one to mount to a non Arri tripod, but it is a very nice thing to have for quick release.

    Quick Release Platform (Dovetail) - This is a great, convenient way to mount your camera to an Arri compatible tripod head. Arri’s use a dovetail mount for cameras. If you aren’t using an Arri compatible tripod head, then you probably want:

    Quick Release Platform (Bolt-On) - This is a quick release platform that will work with most bolt on tripod heads. You can also get this release to work with Arri heads if you first bolt on a Dovetail Mounting Plate to the head.

    Quick Release Platform Pack - This is a combination of parts, consisting of the dovetail version of the quick release platform, a dovetail mounting plate for non Arri heads. It also has two Universal 19mm mounts for rods. This is only useful if you plan on using rods to support accessories. See “rod style equipment” below.
    Last edited by Mark Kern; 05-29-2012 at 07:10 AM.
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  5. #15  
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    (Rigs, continued)

    Cages & Cheeseplates - These are ways to attach even more mounting points to your camera. These are grids or rows of threaded bolt holes where you can mount a variety of parts. The more holes you have, the more options for placement you have. One of the most useful additions here is the Red Tactical Top Plate. This is because adding a top handle is one of the best things you can do to improve handling and you’ll want a tactical top late to do this. Here is a breakdown of some of the components:

    DSMC Tactical Cage, Tactical Rib Cage, Etc. - You can buy these as complete sets (DSMC Tactical CAGE and DSMC Tatical Ribcage Pack), or parted out. The most useful part of this is the Tactical Top Plate, which replaces the top of your camera with what is called a “cheeseplate” or metal plate with lots of mounting holes…like swiss cheese. The right part of the cage also allows for two rosette attachments points, but will preclude the use of the side handle since the side handle won’t fit inside the cage. Rosettes allow for attachments that can be rotated securely. See below.

    SWAT style mounts - A big part of rigs is being able to quickly change them up for different needs. Simply bolting stuff to cages and cheese plates doesn’t make for quick changes. Rods and clamps to rods have been the traditional solution, but Red has provided additional methods, one of which is the swat rail system. Swat rails consist of a dovetail metal bar with notches cut into it at even intervals. The name comes from Picatinny rail systems found on actual military guns by swat teams and used for mounting lasers, scopes, etc. It allows for precise connections at known points, but that you can slide to any position and lock down securely with a knob. You can buy a couple lengths of SWAT rails from Red and bolt these to your camera or tactical cage or top plate. Only Swat style accessories will mount to swat rails.

    Attaching a Top Handle - One of the most useful things for run and gun shooting is getting a Sliding Top Handle. This handle adds much needed balance to the camera, and give you two grip points for run and gun shooting (the top handle and the side handle). I highly recommend it. It only works with the Swat style rail system, so you will need at least the Swat Rail accessory (any length will do, but 100mm fits cleanly across the top of the camera sideways). You can mount the swat rail directly to the camera, or via the Tactical Top Plate or other options such as the DSMC Top Mount 19mm (which gives you a place to slide two rods as well as gives you an integrated top swat rail).

    Shoulder Rigs (Clutch & Gunner) - Shooting from the shoulder is a much better way to get a steady picture than holding the camera out at arms length. You’ll be surprised at how much more stable your pans and camera work will be once you get the camera up on your shoulder. There are two options for doing this, one is sold conveniently as a complete set, the other is cobbled together from parts that I saw and liked when someone else put it together at a REDucation class I attended.

    Clutch - You can buy the clutch, complete, for $4900. The first thing you’ll realize is that the clutch is not a custom piece of Red hardware…its is made up of many standard Red components, mixed and matched in a way that Red thinks will be a good one stop solution for a shoulder mount. This is just ONE possible way to make a shoulder rig, and Red just happened to put it together in a case and give it a name. Its a nice rig, and you can disassemble it and and use the parts in other ways as to your liking.

    Gunner - The gunner isn’t a shoulder rig by itself. It’s kind of like a spine for your Scarlet. You can bolt it directly to the bottom of your Scarlet, or use a base plate and bolt-on quick release (recommended). The gunner has a minimal shoulder rest built in, and several swat rails to bolt on things like handles. In fact, they package something called a “Gunner Handle Pack” which will allow you to attach a grip to the gunner. You’ll want two of these to create a two handed grip for your Gunner shoulder mount project. Notice the handle packs are actually just made up of other standard RED components (swat rail clamp, dogbones and fixed handles). All together (without the quick release), you are at $1650 for your shoulder rig so far. Now you will need to mount your touch screen in some way, maybe to the side hanging off one of your handles, so you’ll need something like an Accessory Attachment Bracket ($200). Now you are up to $1850, which is still much cheaper (and lighter) than a Clutch. I love this setup, and you can add more to it as you please.

    Rosette components - Rosettes are a special type of rotating mount. They consist of a two mating circular surfaces that are bolted together. When tightened, the groves in the circular surfaces lock together, preventing rotation. They can be easily repositioned by loosening them, rotating, and tightening them again. Various red components like dogbones and grips, will feature rosette style connectors.

    Rod style equipment - Rods are are a very standard way to connect components in the film world. Arri uses 19mm rods and 15mm is used elsewhere. Rods are usually used in pairs, right below the camera and extending out towards the lens (but they can be used anywhere, like the top of the camera). Parts are designed to slide off and on the rods. Common parts include support for long lenses, matte boxes and follow focus. A follow focus is a large diameter dial that is geared up to the focus ring on a cinema lens. The allows for more precise focusing during filming, sometimes with a second person who is solely responsible for focus called the “focus puller.” Since you will be using still lenses, they won’t have gears for follow focus and you won’t likely be using one. Rods are great for larger rigs, but for our still lens run and gun setup, they really aren’t necessary.
    Last edited by Mark Kern; 05-29-2012 at 07:11 AM.
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  6. #16  
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    DIT & Editing

    Once you have built your camera up and shot something, you’ll need to offload the footage (also called ingestion) and edit. This article isn’t going to cover the process, but I’m going to list out the hardware and software you need to get started.

    First off, the Redmag SSD needs a special Redmag reader to read the data. There are only two readers that Red offers that will work. The Red Station RedMag 1.8” and the Red Station Redmag 1.8” (MINI) which comes in both ESATA and USB 3.0 flavors. The non mini version already features both Esata and USB 2.0 ports, as well as Firewire 800.

    When you buy one of these readers, they come with cables and power adapter, so you wont’ need anything else to start reading data except the software Red provides online for free: RedCine Pro, to start processing RAW files.

    Don’t confuse these two readers with the Red Station RedMag 2.5 or the Red Station Compact Flash reader. These will not read your 1.8” SSD media and are meant for other things (regular SSD, non-Red SSD drives for storage and CF cards from audio devices or the Red One camera).

    You also won’t need the Red Station Base, which provides power for multiple Red media readers. This is simply a convenience item for those who run several readers at a time and don’t wish to run all those wall power adapters.

    RedCine X runs on both Mac and PC and will handle the reading and meta data editing of Red’s raw footage. From there you can transcode to a variety of formats..




    That’s it! That’s everything you need to get started. I know it seems like a lot, but its really hard to describe than to actually put together a system. Also, now that you know what all the parts do, you are in a better position to look at each bundled package and decide which one is best for you. But remember, you can also piece it together yourself so you just get the parts you need.

    Hope you found this helpful. PM on Reduser if you have additional questions, corrections or feedback, or post to this thread. Thank you!!!
    Last edited by Mark Kern; 05-29-2012 at 07:12 AM.
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  7. #17  
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    Great write-up, Mark!

    Please allow me one minor correction: the audio connectors on the front of the brain are no mini-XLRs (like the RED One had), but simple circular mini-jacks as we know them from many popular audio devices. They can be configured for symmetrical wiring, though, which makes them compatible with XLR by an additional adapter. This can come as a simple cable, but it would need to be secured well or it could rip the tiny jack apart. The better solution are adapter boxes to be bolted to the camera, like the A-Box from Wooden Camera.
    Regards,

    Uli

    My Red is called Vertov after a Russian avantgarde filmmaker, a pioneer in modern cinematography, a true revolutionary who later suffered under Stalin's bureaucracy.
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  8. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uli Plank View Post
    Great write-up, Mark!

    Please allow me one minor correction: the audio connectors on the front of the brain are no mini-XLRs (like the RED One had), but simple circular mini-jacks as we know them from many popular audio devices. They can be configured for symmetrical wiring, though, which makes them compatible with XLR by an additional adapter. This can come as a simple cable, but it would need to be secured well or it could rip the tiny jack apart. The better solution are adapter boxes to be bolted to the camera, like the A-Box from Wooden Camera.
    Fixed! Thank you.
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  9. #19  
    Senior Member TonySegreto's Avatar
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    Very thought out brother! I think anyone looking to buy an EPIC or a Scarlet should take a look at this thread. Great insight and thoughts. I'm hoping this doesn't get outdated too quickly =P
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  10. #20  
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    Two small issues. DSMC is a way to separate Epic and Scarlet cameras from the Red One camera.
    Tokina is making a 11-16 mm zoom not 11-18 mm
    Best regards
    Andi
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