The second annual Shot on RED Film Festival was held December 5th, 2013 at Thunder Studios in Long Beach, California. Taking home the Festival Prize - which includes the RED EPIC-X MYSTERIUM-X PRO COLLECTION, an Nvidia K6000 card, a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, and a Sharp 4K Panel - was Close by Johan Lehman and Jon Lindroth from Sladgeproduction. RED spoke to Johan about the film and the win. Close had a unique beginning:
"This project started completely backwards actually. The local fire department was going to burn down an old house. So they contacted us and asked us if we wanted to take the opportunity to shoot something. Of course, we had to shoot something. But what? So the brainstorming started. We had two weeks to set everything up and get ready because the date when the house was gonna burn was set in stone."
While the fire didn't take direction well and their actor took direction too well (one time remaining in the burning house because Johan hadn't yelled "Cut" before evacuating), Johan and Jon found a great tool in the RED EPIC:
"To us, it's unique and magical when you find yourself never thinking about the camera. The EPIC has become like a part of us, its like a hand or something. You don't think about using it, you just do and it works. It's instinct. It has become that way for us with the EPIC. We can forget the tech and just focus on the creativity and the content we need to create and get in camera."
Johan and Jon had unique requirements for the shoot which couldn't have worked with any other camera system:
"We knew that we needed lots of dynamic range to be able to not blow out the highlights completely. We needed the resolution because we were going to pull stills and print them for an art gallery which was going to project the film in the gallery as well. On top of all that we needed slow motion of course. Adding the flexibility of raw to that, and still quite small files, there was just one camera to choose from." "We love the qualities of the pictures, we love the freedom it gives us. We can be just as creative as we want to be, the camera always says yes. And it always works. We have treated our cameras like trash at times, humidity, water, dust, cold, heat, you name it, and this time lots of smoke and dust flying around. It's like a tank or something."
The Festival Award win comes at a great time for the team. Johan told us:
"This truly is a life changing event in our lives. Coming to LA, we were on our knees. This has really filled our batteries. This will give us so much freedom to be creative. Making films like Close are really hard in Sweden because its really hard to find someone that wants to back a weird project like this. So owning our own EPIC means that we can create more weird little gems like this one. Someone must shoot the movies that otherwise would never see the light of day. We will do just that and always trust heavily in the visuals. And try to shoot something that we have never seen before."
Happy Tears by Martin Monk won the Student Award at the festival. Starring Alan Cumming, the short fashion film is a creative collaboration with Swiss fashion designer Julian Zigerli. Monk told RED:
"Since this was a fashion short, we needed a camera that could reveal textures and colours with the highest clarity. To have an organic look and cinematic feel the DP Eun-ah Lee and myself opted for a set of Cooke high-speed primes to complement the EPIC's sharpness."
As part of his prize, Monk won a SCARLET LIGHTWEIGHT PACKAGE. About his new RED, Monk said:
"My life will change because I can now shoot whatever I want whenever I want! Having a RED at hand means saving valuable production time that is used up by frequent rentals and equipment pickups. It also gives me the freedom to follow my inspirations as they hit me. I can now just get in my car and shoot a landscape or still-life in my city, or I can spontaneously rehearse and test a scene with actors. Images are the starting point for my stories so this process will be hugely beneficial."
For the second year, the Shot on RED Film Festival showcased superb films shot on RED cameras and finished in 4K. RED congratulates the winners and looks forward to more exciting work from them next year!