i just got off a shoot working along side a film crew. i talked to the DOP(one of new zealands best) about the red quite a bit. she had used the red, but was most experienced with 35mm cine. ............................
im sure there are big changes on the horizon, but im not sure RED will be the real big thing in the short term future. all they have are promises and hype at the moment. i think i agree with anton, im sure canon has a massive team and resources working on an answer REDs threat.
Canon may have the resources, I don't know.
I do know that for a decade independent film makers, television producers and visual artists have begged, I mean really, really begged, Canon, Sony, JVC and Panasonic (CSJP) to come out with a digital video camera with a larger frame size, at least cine 35mm, under and over cranking and all the other professional accessories everyone wants and looks like film, not crappy pull focus for twenty blocks video.
I have a studio full of prosumer digital video cameras with all types of workarounds from Letus, Red Rock, chrozile and a bunch of other small companies and they become obsolete about 10 minutes after you purchase them.
Now as far as DP's not liking digital video, that's been true from the first ENG's to the xl1 and in some ways they have a point, other it's just the same old tired line of not wanting to know about anything different that film still photographers had when the first Canon 1ds appeared.
I'm not going to say one medium is better than the other, even in the highlight retention, but what is better with cine film than digital is the workflow is more defined, widespread and accepted, just like it was in our still photography days of film.
Today, digital cine or digital still capture has to be a roll your own process with color and tone and with cine film, any dp can walk into Technicolor and just say, I want our project to look like the movie 7 and they will give them the specs on the film, exposure, process (usually bleach bypass), telecine, etc. etc.
Actually the CSJP companies have moved glacier slow in their development of digital video cameras. Just to adopt a tiny 1/2 inch sensor or a non proprietary hard disk storage took a decade so I don't know if they are going balls to the wall to produce a RED, Arriflex, Panavision killer, any more than they have attempted to make a medium format still digital camera.
Anyway, don't believe everything that a film cinematographer tells you because the ones I worked with hate change and loathe the thought of sitting in front of a computer and trying to become a colorist, or having to do anything other than their specific job and maybe nobody believes a dp will actualy be asked to color their footage, but if it's possible and the client knows it . . . then they WILL ask.
DP's and Cinematographers also loathe the thought that one light on a boom can do what 10 can lights on a box truss previously did, one 3 lb camera and 4 lb tripod can do what a previous 150 lbs accomplished. When we work on the Movie lots we all joke that most of the technology, from the cage doors, to the electrical hookups are old 1940's meat locker technology.
Whether film DP's like it or not it will happen, (maybe not with this generation) but cinema and motion will go through the exact same bumpy road as digital still photography, get the same blowback from labs, dps and colorists and duplication houses that the still photographers got from pre press houses and printers, mainly because nobody wants to upset the status quo, or learn a new process.
On a side note I can tell you from personal experience that the world of motion film is not an open door. When I began building my reel in LA, 7 years ago, I wasn't greeted with open arms unless I paid double retail and just shooting a 2 minute short on film is a beg, borrow and steal proposition and not a system I'm comfortable with as I'm not a beg, borrow and steal guy, so I went digital video and learned to do most of this stuff myself.
As far as RED they have one camera, (though they do have one complete camera with multiple lens mounts) a complete accessory system (all the accessories) and an lcd that can be viewed. That is one thing that already sets them apart and ahead of their still specialty camera bretheren, that and the fact you can actually talk to someone directly at RED without filling a support claim through a dealer.
As far as RED becoming the standard, who knows, but at least they had the cojones to do something that nobody else has done before and from all reports actually listen to their users.
That right there is a step in the right direction and unlike their specialty still camera counterparts RED is trying to develop a camera that works for motion and stills and that is revolutionary process.
Now this may seem hypocritical as I haven't bought a RED "yet", but I've promised myself not to buy anything at huge prices until I know I can use it a lot and I kind of have a bunch of bandaged fingers from sticking my fingers into the still medium format learning fan, so I'm waiting for those scars to heal.
I also would like the RED to be a bit smaller and less cinema looking because in LA paying locations and permits are more than double the costs if your shooting "film" or "cinema" or "motion" or whatever moving images are called, so it would be nice to have a RED that looked like a Nikon rather than an Arriflex.
Now in regards to shooting a combination of motion and stills in the same shoot, sometimes it's possible, sometimes it's not, but if you can use the same light sources (not flash) but continuous you can shoot the motion scene, use that as your motion clip and your "still polaroid" scrub through it, find the elements you believe will work with stills, quickly redirect the scene for stills and shoot a few dozen frames of that for still capture.
The world has changed and just like digital stills, digital cinema will go through the exact same process. All that is waiting is the Canon 1ds1 of the motion world, or the RED scarlet or something like that.
The diehard film guys will fight, scream and cry like babies, say pleeeze let me shoot film, but producers and clients aren't going to pay or wait 3 weeks for processing, digitizing and telecine just to see an image, still of moving.
IMLO (in my limited opinion).