A RED Pirouette

Our most recent shoot, which is more thoroughly documented in our blog over at CLAi.tv, proved to be both challenging and reassuring – obtaining a very complete coverage of Swan Lake performed by Ballet San Jose. There are several things CLAi has strived towards over the years, some of which have worked and others of which have not. Fortunately, this past job managed to overwhelmingly reinforce our practices and tendencies.

The most meaningful bi-product of last week’s shoot is the more clearly articulated knowledge that our RED Alliance can work quickly and capably with very short notice. Through the network we established over a year ago we were able to put together a team of able and willing crew members and an array of workable equipment (check it out at The-RED-Alliance.com). Five RED M-X cameras were required and within three days we got all five along with shooters, lenses, legs, and all the additional goodies necessary. The process proved to be refreshingly efficient and hassle-free.

The thing that most hampered our process came from the sheer amount of footage recorded each of the four nights. It turned out to be close to three hours on each camera, and with five cameras we were coming away with fifteen hours of footage every night. Our DIT kit is well put together, but no kit can handle that much data in any kind of expedient fashion. Recording on 320gb or 640gb RED Raid hard drives succeeded in allowing sufficient drive space, but copying and backing up seven or eight near-full drives each night takes a massive amount of time. We had four Mac towers running each night and into the days to get the job done. So, it goes without saying that we’re excited for RED’s new Solid State Drives and quicker and more powerful ports.

Other than the data overload, there were no real issues. We have the ability to amass a team of willingly dedicated pros, to do it quickly and effectively, and to pull off a truly great program at the end of four nights. It broadens that which is possible for RED owners and that which is possible for those who know RED owners, and we feel lucky to count ourselves in that company… in this case we have to thank our crew and equipment suppliers: Chris Layhe and David Ives at CLAi, Stephen Lovett at Uroboros Films, Caroline Harrison at The Hive Studios, Jason Beckwith, Art Adams, Arthur Rosato, with additional cameras from Purebred Productions and Pedersen Media Group.