Featured Member: Tim Daust
I think RED knows they’re about to change things and I think that’s why they’re putting them in people’s hands, who wouldn’t be able to get them. People like me.
Where Did You Begin in the Film Industry?
“I started in 1997 as an editor. I learned how to edit doing linear editing. Tape-to-tape. Old school style. I came up through television production… I was very lucky because my high school had a really good program. Our teacher had worked for Turner. To be sixteen-years old, having the ability to be taught something that college students are being taught, that’s a big head start.”
What do you do now primarily?
“In 2007 I started Reelmind Studios, and now I primarily do post-production and direct a lot of music videos and personal projects. That’s where most of my income comes from and, quite frankly, it’s what I’m really good at. That post production goes all across the board from editing all the way up to final DI color. I mostly do visual effects and animation but I think if I had to hone in on this one thing that sets me apart, it’s this one technique called “projection mapping”… Most of my work is highly technical and it’s something most people don't even see.”
Can you describe what projection mapping is?
“We [Integrated Visions Production] projection mapped on “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”… It’s mostly used in advertising. That’s where most people see it commercially used these days. It goes all the way back to DJ’s and nightclubs, so the whole skill or the whole art form was created by people using projectors all the way since the 60’s and 70’s and it just sort of progressed over the 90’s and 2000’s to be something very highly technical where you’re stitching together multiple projectors. It’s been around in its infant form for almost three decades.”
So it’s like a modern version of rear projection?
“Basically, yeah, the thing that sets it apart from rear projection is with rear projection the whole point is you’re getting an image to hit a screen. With projection mapping we actually map the imagery to architecture or to forms or structures or shapes. So we can take a projector or a series of projectors and map a building and map the actual architecture of the building and make animation match up with the perspective of viewing so it looks like there’s animation happening on that building.”
Let’s get into this new camera you bought. The RED Epic Helium is crazy, with this 8k sensor among other things. Have you gotten to play with it yet?
“I went and shot with it last night. I only got about six hours of run time on my camera, so I don’t have a lot of experience with it right now but I don’t think anyone does. I know that it’s so much different already than any other RED camera that I’ve had… Everything works the same, but it’s a totally new image sensor. The only way I can describe it is going from, say, the Mysterium X sensor to the Dragon sensor. The jolt was so big, so ginormous. It took a minute to figure out how to get the most out of the image sensor. I think that since this sensor just hit the market yesterday, it’s gonna take months if not years for people to squeeze the most out of the it… Hopefully with this camera hitting the market with this good image sensor here, I think its about to change things. I think RED knows they’re about to change things and I think that’s why they’re putting them in people’s hands, who wouldn’t be able to get them. People like me… It’s not something you would think I would have access to day one.”
When did you realize you were gonna make this huge purchase? What made you want to take the leap?
“I have been a pretty adamant RED user for the past six years, but I never started an account… I actually never had a RED user account, I just went on the website to read and learn. But I never really was part of the community. And then when I bought my camera, I quickly became part of the community because it’s something that I felt like, ‘Okay, well now that I own one, it gives me the right to be here and talk about it.’ When I was renting them I felt kind of awkward. So, now that I’ve owned it, I’ve been a pretty heavy user on the REDuser forums and, basically, that’s the only reason I own the camera… The people at RED are really some of the best customer-service driven people I‘ve ever seen in any business. I’ve never seen a company that is so transparent and is supportive of helping their customers. This is something where I should not have this camera in my hands, but because I ordered the Scarlet W and had to wait months and months and months for it, there was an opportunity that I could get this camera… I had to go through a little bit of a loophole, and so that loophole was only possible because I am a user on the RED forums. And there’s this one thread that’s like 600 pages now, and I’ve been part of that one thread for a few months now, and that’s the only reason I was able to get this camera.”
Wow. So, you have it in your hands today based on loyalty.
“Based on customer loyalty. Yup.”
Being able to stay loyal to a brand is really a luxury in this market.
“Yeah, and I want to point out that I was loyal to Sony for over a decade. For a little over a decade. I owned about four or five Sony cameras, and when the 5D came out was the first time I think had ever switched to a Canon camera since maybe the XL1 in the early 2000’s. Once I abandoned that it was all Sony FX1, EX1, those were my cameras for years. I remember I bought the EX1 and the EX3, which would be very comparable to the C100 and the C300 nowadays. The workhorses are a different type of cameras, but when the 5D (Mk II) came out, that was like the first time the whole industry had seen a DSLR shoot film-like video… Honestly I would have been a Sony guy all the way to switching to Red if it hadn’t been for the 5D.”
It’s interesting to talk about these universal, game-changer, cameras like the 5D Mk II. Cameras we’ll probably always remember for how they altered the landscape. Do you feel like RED is onto something like that here?
“To be honest I feel like they got there already with the first REDs. The RED One MX, that in itself changed a lot about the industry. When they first introduced the RED One, it was pretty skeptical that people would just run away from Panavision and start shooting movies with this. Five years later they were pretty much taking up a huge market share…. I feel like in most production situations, we’re talking mid-level production sizes, I feel like RED is the go-to choice. Do I think RED has made a model that is going to define a generation? I think that’s the Raven and the Scarlet W. For the first time, they were able to make a camera that was affordable… When the Raven came out, I think that was their attempt to really take market share away form the DSLR.”
For more information on Tim, check out his ShareGrid page.