Actually, I have no issue with RED, Alexa, or any other digital camera for that matter – they’re all fantastic tools. What I do have a problem with is how often filmmakers and video producers get hung up on gear. Yes, quality is important, and the right gear can make a big difference. However, the right equipment is only a part (and sometimes a relatively small part) of the equation.
I was in a meeting with a new production company recently about a project they had just finished but all their director would talk about was their RED camera. He must have mentioned “We shoot on RED” at least five times in our conversation. The problem was, while the video looked great, the acting was over the top, the directing was weak, and the editing was worse.
Not once did he mention storytelling, writing, casting, or any of the other critical elements to making a good film. I worry that a new generation of filmmakers has had access to video equipment at an earlier age than ever and has become obsessed with the latest cameras and other gear. But they need to become obsessed with directing technique, their ability to work with actors, and script analysis.
For the record, if you’re a filmmaker, know this: I don’t care about your RED, Alexa or other hot camera. If we’re going to work together, tell me about your storytelling ability and how you plan to translate that story to the screen.
Because a RED camera doesn’t make a great film. The people in front and behind it do.