When I spoke to Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, directors of Underworld: Awakening, I had one question that was nearly bursting out of me. See, when I heard that Awakening was going to be the first movie in theatres to be shot on RED’s new EPIC 3D camera system, I had to get the lowdown on what it was like to work with this brand-new system.
“We’ve been shooting film our entire lives,” said Måns. “We’ve seen some digital footage that looked pretty good but just not of the same quality as film. But then we saw the RED system and thought ‘Wow, this is a game changer for us.'” He continued by saying that, historically, 3D has looked like a crummy VHS transfer unless it was a cartoon. But now, thanks in part to RED, that is a thing of the past. With the RED camera system, they were able to achieve really crisp and clear 3D shots without the artifacts that plagued earlier attempts at 3D. Of course, shooting 3D on a brand new camera that isn’t even available to most folks isn’t without its pitfalls. Måns said “While the camera itself is small, the complete rig is huge. And changing lenses can take anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour.” Björn was quick to add that this wasn’t a RED problem, and that it was a general issue with 3D filmmaking.
While digital filmmaking has come a long way since its inception ten years ago, I still feel like it has a ways to go. But it’s great to see filmmakers sing the praises of such a great piece of technology. There was never any doubt that RED had a great camera on its hands, but now we get to see the proof of that.