”I have said before… I’m tired. I really am.”
I started Oakley with $300 and then proceeded to put over 5,000 people to work in California. Against all odds, we passed RayBan in worldwide sales in 1996. I am so proud of what we accomplished at Oakley. Inventions wrapped in art. Thermonuclear Protection. I actually had an impeccable reputation every day from start to finish.
In 2005, I could see that the powers that be (Sony, Arri, Panavision) were going to attempt to persuade the film industry that 1080P was going to be the digital replacement for film. The F900, F23, Genesis, D20. I did not agree. As a film fanatic, I knew that digital would replace film, but I wanted that replacement to be respectful to film. 1080P or 2K was not respectful.
So at the end of 2005, I made the decision to start RED. The idea was to make a 4K digital camera. My thought was to create a film alternative that actually was the equal or better to film in every aspect. Send film to the retirement home proud of what we had done.
Now… replacing film properly is no easy task. It is about resolution, dynamic range, color, ease of use, cost to shoot, post options… quite a lot of stuff. We accepted the challenge.
In 2006, we announced the RED ONE. 4K for under $20K. That was quite shocking. Sony’s digital cinema cameras were $200k+. Apparently shocking enough that I almost got into a fist fight with Geoff Boyle in the aisle of NAB where he questioned why we would “scam” people into giving us $1000 deposits for a product that could never happen. Scam? This is the 1st time anyone had ever questioned my integrity. Ever. In hindsight, I wish I would have pulled the trigger. Maybe I’ll get the chance one day. Actually… I look forward to it. (furrowed eyes here)
At that NAB in 2006… we also declared Obsolescence Obsolete. We talked about upgrades instead of having to buy a new camera every time there was some new technology advancement. This concept was new. I had never seen a company do what we were talking about. I still haven’t. The question is… could we really do this?
We released the RED ONE with Mysterium sensor… 4K for $17,500 in 2007. It recorded 4K REDCODE to a Compact Flash card! The only way we could do that was through incredible compression technology. “Ché” and “Knowing” were shot on this camera.
Our color science improved on a continual basis. We upgraded firmware for free… as we should have.
Then… we developed the next generation sensor, the Mysterium-X. We offered this sensor as an upgrade. You didn’t have to buy a new camera, just send your camera in and pay for the upgrade. As far as I know, this was a first in the entire camera world. Obsolescence Obsolete was alive. Several more features were shot on the RED ONE MX, including “The Social Network”, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Informant” and many others.
I should mention here that there were many color science and feature upgrades… for free. Again, what company ever offered that?
Enter the EPIC. As promised, Obsolescence Obsolete continued. Trade in your RED ONE for FULL price value towards an EPIC. I defy anyone to find a program on any electronics product in any industry like this one. Your “old camera” just became a “new one”.
EPIC is legendary. The amount of projects shot on EPIC will go down in history. “The Amazing Spiderman”, “The Hobbit”, “Prometheus”, “The Great Gatsby”… the list is too long to type.
So what next? The Dragon.
The Dragon is an Obsolescence Obsolete upgrade. More resolution. More dynamic range. More color depth. And it is an upgrade.
Somehow… I read on CML and other idiotic forums, that I an a hypester, a scam artist. I just have to wonder what these guys are smoking. But I have to say… they have gotten to me. I don’t need this. I don’t deserve this. Life is short and I am tired.
I can only hope that the incredibly stupid posts from people like Geoff Boyle and Art Adams (many other CML posters) do not in any way taint the work we have actually done.
With the release of the Dragon sensor… I have finished my mission. I am done posting. I will no longer be the face of RED. Mercifully, Jarred will take my place and he is worthy times forever. Jarred is me… only 30 years younger.
My final thoughts…
I have done my best. I saw a fatal flaw in the camera industry. We did our best to address it.
I will now sink into the background, I hope with my reputation intact. I will work on the future of digital cinema… behind the scenes.
God love us all.
“The camera is arguably one of the most important of all inventions… it is the single tool that has the ability to stop time, record history, generate art, tell stories, and communicate messages that transcend language like nothing else ever conceived.”
“Everything in life changes… including our camera specs and delivery dates…”
We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone with a bad attitude.