Jackson Shooting 'The Hobbit' in 3D with 30 RED EPIC Cameras

November 29, 2010
Source: Engadget

Peter Jackson - Red Camera

Hobbits on Red Epics. It was announced over the weekend (via Engadget) that Peter Jackson will shoot the two-part adaptation of The Hobbit in 3D next year using state-of-the-art RED EPIC cameras which have an "epic" 5K resolution. The RED EPIC was announced this year and can shoot up to 120 frames per second and has a new HDRx mode for the highest dynamic range of any digital cinema camera ever made. Remember, Jackson and his cast/crew will be shooting for around 380 days next year, so they really need the best equipment, and they'll be working with "at least thirty cameras." This is going to look amazing!

The Hobbit will be amongst the first productions in the world to use the EPIC. The camera's small size and relatively low weight makes it perfect for 3D, where two cameras have to be mounted on each 3D rig. RED cameras are modular and can be customized any way they want. The photo above is of Jackson holding one of the RED EPIC cameras they'll be shooting with. Jackson has a long history (relatively, since they started in 2006) with RED, dating back to when he directed a short film called Crossing the Line (watch a trailer) as an early test of prototype RED cameras. "I have always liked the look of Red footage." Jackson continues:

"I'm not a scientist or mathematician, but the image Red produces has a much more filmic feel than most of the other digital formats. I find the picture quality appealing and attractive, and with the Epic, Jim and his team have gone even further. It is a fantastic tool, the Epic not only has cutting edge technology, incredible resolution and visual quality, but it is also a very practical tool for film makers. Many competing digital systems require the cameras to be tethered to large cumbersome VTR machines. The Epic gives us back the ability to be totally cable free, even when working in stereo."

Impressive. There's always been a lot of debate about RED and digital camera systems in Hollywood. Every different cinematographer I've spoke to has his/her own opinion on if the cameras are good or not or what the drawbacks are. Seeing Jackson choose RED almost exclusively for an extremely high profile project like The Hobbit will only give them more credibility and I'm sure we'll start to see these cameras used more and more. I've got no problem with RED cameras, I think used properly they're just as good as film, and I'm sure the set design and lighting on The Hobbit will be incredible enough that this will still look phenomenal no matter what. Shooting starts next year on both parts of The Hobbit, so we'll continue to keep you updated!

Find more posts: 3D News, Hobbit, Movie News, Opinions



Yay, this is going to rock!

green_gizmo on Nov 29, 2010


I just hope I can watch the 2d version . 3D sucks.

filmfan111 on Nov 29, 2010


Alright... I'm ready to watch some super wrinkly hobbits with very visible skin pores! ^^

LW on Nov 29, 2010


Either way, I just want to watch it. Get the product plugs in if you need to Mr Jackson, but get on with the fecking filming.

Crapola on Nov 29, 2010


There's 380 days in a year? Holy Shit when did they change that?

Alex T. on Nov 29, 2010


#5 That reference was to the 383 day shooting schedule Sir Ian McKellen first mentioned last year:

Alex Billington on Nov 29, 2010


Sounds like the cameras could be great to the production of this film. They sound like the ease up things by being compact and lightweight. I'd like to look into them more. I think Peter Jackson knows what he wants and what works best for him. On the other hand, not feeling The Hobbit as a 3D film. I imagine a lot of forced action aimed at the camera to bring out the effects or the 3D not being that involved to explain the extra cost.

SapphireD910 on Nov 29, 2010


I'm not a fan of 3D at all, the 3D TV's and the glasses for them are actually kind of impressive except the price tag that comes with them, the TV's are bad enough but 2-300$ per set of glasses is insane, I feel sorry for any large families, they'd have to take turns watching the movie! get a loan to watch 3D lol. But I'm really looking forward to this movie! its a long wait but should well be worth it.

Jimmy Love on Nov 29, 2010


Well... I guess you could say... *takes off sunglasses* this movie will be EPIC! YEEAAAAAHHH!

Chris W on Nov 29, 2010


It'll all end in tears...

moif on Nov 29, 2010


Well my respect for him has dropped to practically nothing.

DiR3cT on Nov 29, 2010


Want a great "filmic" feel? How about (gasp) just using film? 5K is a joke compared to what film gives you.

Josh H. on Nov 29, 2010


so many ppl go on how digital is easier and saves time...its all bullshit. film still has better latitude and for now is still the better choice.

Nocsyn on Jan 15, 2011


you haters are nuts. RED EPIC is the shit and I can't wait for this.

crumb on Nov 29, 2010


Should have been shot on 35mm.

ryderup on Nov 30, 2010


And hopefully he would be smart enough not to digital grade it to shit like TTT and ROTK. FOTR looks the best out of the three LOTR-films and that was the only one not going fully digital.

ryderup on Nov 30, 2010


After following your links I see that you have of course made a mistake. He did not say they would shoot for 383 days in a year. It was you who wrote that and then cited Ian but it was actually you. "McKellen said they're supposed to shoot for 383 days, but that is for two complete films (and the second one isn't supposed to hit until 2012 anyway)." "'We're going to film for 383 days.' " There is no mention of ... in a year. He wouldn't say that anyway, as it's just ridiculous.

JC on Nov 30, 2010


Long as it is shown in true cinema I'll be fine. Let the children have their 3-D because God knows, their attention span is short enough as it is.

Hattori Hanzo on Nov 30, 2010


@12 @14 RED EPIC - 5K (5120 × 2700) Fusion 3D Camera System (Avatar) - 2K (2048 × 1080) 6,25 times bigger resolution... Imax Digital - 2K Best digital cinemas - 4K. 5K is more than enough! @Josh H. 35mm is similar to 3-4K and 70mm (IMAX) has 6120 × 4500 discernible pixels (12000 × 8700 theoretically) but I agree about "filmic" feel...

polmantor on Nov 30, 2010


while i disagree with the majority of movies going 3d just to go 3d as a gimmick, the hobbit would be an amazing 3d experience, if done right the audience can feel like their actually in middle earth im all for it

harrison on Nov 30, 2010



A5J4DX on Dec 1, 2010


Peter Jackson is not making decisions without understanding. You don't have to worry about 2d or 3d. The movie will be made in both formats and should satisfy even the most prolific movie goer. It's all about making a product that fits as many niches as possible. Red makes a superior product that's efficient and cost effective. Stop worrying so much and watch the movie.

Esee on Jan 8, 2011

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