HollywoodDIT.com Blog

A Cruel Money Trench . . .

Wandering backstage at “Grey’s Anatomy” one day, I found this intriguing poster;



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Red Dragon Feb 2015 new build

A few new features came along with this new build v5.3.29 for the RED Dragon.

  • A new color science matrix:  DragonColor 2
  • Independent monitor LUT’s
  • GIO Scope
  • In-camera curve editor
  • Lift/Gamma/Gain controls

All of these are exciting new features but the one I like the best so far is the ability to draw a luminance curve with my finger on the touchscreen.  No longer are we confined to using the pre-made LUT’s which never look quite right from shot to shot, but we can now simply draw the curve that looks the best, display it on the monitor(s) and then send it along as metadata for post.

Being able to independently control what goes on the display of either the LCD touchscreen, HDMI output, and HDSDI output is huge also.  The operator can now have a clean image free of data and in either Log or corrected Look while the AC can see all the data menus and have a LUT or Log look applied to it.  Pretty nice.

The GIO scope is something that I will have to experiment a while with, but it appears that the level displays you get with it are independent of the Look/LUTs applied and show the values in different colors for all 16 stops of latitude.

DragonColor 2 – well it looks quite a bit richer than it’s predecessors RedColor 4 and DragonColor 1 but more experimenting will show it’s true potential.  More to come . . .


Both Red Dragon LLO and ST OLPF’s here now

Just received the Red Dragon Low Light Optimized OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter) to use in conjunction with the Skin Tone Highlight OLPF.

The Low Light Optimized filter is tuned for higher ISO shooting, and similar to the OLPF used in the EPIC MYSTERIUM-X.  This OLPF provides excellent color and tone reproduction in dim environments. This OLPF is used to capture and preserve color quality in mid-tones, darks, and shadows.

The Skin Tone Highlight filter offers a stop of extra highlight protection, the most incredibly accurate skin-tones and color science as well as additional flare control, with the expense of a stop of light sensitivity. This OLPF is used to capture and preserve color quality in highlights, bright colors, and well-lit environments.

These two interchangeable OLPF filters round out the amazing versatility of the Red Dragon color science by providing both rich 35mm quality color (especially skin tones) as well as the famous Red low light exposure capabilities.   If you were shooting in lowered light environments then you would want to use the LLO to protect the shadows, and to protect highlights in adequate light level situations, use the Skin Tone Highlight filter.  The Skin Tone Highlight filter does render colors, especially skin tones as lifelike as 35mm film.  

Red Cinema rates the Skin Tone Highlight filter at ISO 320 – 640, and the Low Light Optimized filter at ISO 800 – 2000.


The switchout takes about 5 minutes – 4 screws after you take off the lens mount.  I have one of the Arctic Visible Dust cleaners to clear the sensor safety glass piece (there is a layer of glass in front of the actual sensor) of any dust or other nano-particles during changeover. 

Personally, I wouldn’t change filters during the same scene unless the light level (light loss of daylight) dropped significantly and there was no way to boost the light level artificially.  If you were to shoot all night in a dark alley, then you would probably use the LLO for the entire time.  Unless I was on a stage set, I’d probably take the camera out to my camera van and close the doors to do a changeover, just for precaution.


On-Set Color & Dailies Workstation info

On-Set Color & DIT Workstation for 2D and 3D / HD,2K,4K,5K & 6K 

 Features Include;

*  Media readers for Red Dragon/Epic/Scarlet, Arri Alexa/Alura, Sony F3/F5/F55, Canon        C100/C300/C500
*  Live Grading capability for 2 cameras / Cam A & Cam B
*  Live iPad dailies with metadata notes using Teradek Cube
*  3D footage alignment features
*  Red Rocket X Accelerator card for realtime transcodes and playback of Red RD3 – 4K, 5K,     6K footage
*  Color calibrated grading quality monitoring and computer screen  (ECinema & NEC)
*  12 terabyte Raid 5 mini-SAS storage with mirroring redundancy for safe storage
*  Tangent Wave color surface for color and levels adjustment of all footage formats
*  Leader 5750 waveform/vectorscope for live levels monitoring


*  Pomfort Silverstack – the industry leader in secure error-free footage cloning/transfers
*  Pomfort Live Grade – color correct live camera output for accurate on-set viewing
*  Adobe Speedgrade – for 3D on-set alignment and color adjustments
*  Live Play & ToDailies – for on-set iPad dailies with camera take notes insert ability
*  Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 NLE programs
*  DaVinci Resolve – color grading and transcoding software for FCP X, Avid, Premiere Pro CS6 dailies


(Click picture for larger view)

NEW! Fiber Optic On Set

HDLink Fiber


Sometimes positioning the DIT workstation on locations is problematic and difficult.  There is no room at the location or easy access is unavailable.  The problem is now solved with the addition of fiber optic transmission between the DIT workstation and the camera(s) on set.  It is now possible to work up to 1000 feet from set and still color correct a live camera signal, then display that corrected image on the monitors of video village.  We use fully duplex 2-way tactical fiber optic cable, the same quality as is used by the US military so no quality is lost.  In fact it is possible to be over 2 miles distant from the set to use this system without signal loss.  One small diameter cable supplies a feed from the live camera image and returns it processed with a Look to Video Village for viewing.


Fiber Reel 001


On Set – LTO Archive


Just added – HP Ultrium LTO 5 archiving tape cassette services.  Now an entire project can be backed up on guaranteed 30+ year media while filming.


LTO 01


Introducing — Red Lab Cinema

RED+Lab is an exciting new concept in cinema production.



Red Lab 003


Along with the advent of 4K & 5K cinema pioneered by Red Digital Cinema, comes the addition of a mobile post-production house laboratory.  This mobile lab replaces many, if not all of the early post house lab jobs including; dailies audio syncing, dailies color correction, and dailies transcoding to NLE compatible file formats like ProRes and DNX. You also get fully verified MD5 checksum backup cloning of camera original footage from any camera source.

Along with these Lab features you get live on-set color correction for all cameras, turning flat or overly contrasty camera output images into a final corrected look – monitored on set live.  This is then copied to the camera files metadata and accompanies the original files all the way to final color correction.  DP’s can rest easy that the footage look they apply on set will follow the footage through to the final stages intact.

Pricing includes full camera package + DIT workstation.  Low budget production discounts available

Call for pricing.

Updated: James Cameron on glasses-free 3D

Update:  October 24, 2013

I went to the SMPTE show in Hollywood last week and saw this Dolby 3D display for the first time.  In a word it was breathtaking.  Various 3D clips from Avatar and other films were screening on a large (I would guess 60″) screen in glasses-free 4K.  The field of view was quite wide, I could step 6 feet to either side of picture center and still see perfect 3D displayed.

All in all I must say that I think if there is a breath of a chance for broadcast 3D to be resurrected – following the wholesale diaspora of 3D content and distribution channels this past year, this Dolby glasses-free 3D system is the best hope.  The Dolby reps indicated that they are in serious discussions with all major panel manufacturers to get this technology out to the mainstream as soon as possible.  That could be by 2015 if everything goes well.  I’m putting off any 3D set purchases pending more news on this front.


Las Vegas, April 9, 2013: Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and Royal Philips Electronics in association with CAMERON | PACE Group (CPG) announced that they have signed an agreement to integrate the Dolby® 3D format into CPG’s 3D video content production workflow and to collaborate on the use of the Dolby 3D format. All parties believe that glasses-free 3D presentation in the home can be improved by delivering premium-quality autostereoscopic 3D content using the Dolby 3D format.

Dolby 3D is a comprehensive suite of technologies for the creation, delivery, and playback of glasses-free 3D content, producing autostereoscopic images with lifelike realism. In addition to eliminating the need for glasses, Dolby 3D has no narrow “sweet spot,” so viewers can enjoy the sharpest images, regardless of where they sit.

“Dolby and Philips are committed to taking the 3D experience to the next level, so we are very pleased to be working with CPG to jointly promote a technology that will transform the way 3D content is consumed all over the world and to introduce a new way for the creative community to tell the story,”

Tony Scott remembered

The news of director Tony Scott’s death was sad and unexpected.  It got me thinking, or more accurately reflecting back on one of his films that I had the pleasure to work on many years ago – True Romance.







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Want to have some fun rolling your own 3D pictures on a dreary wet or snowy afternoon this winter?  Here’s how.








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