By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
RED‘s Fire Chief Jarred Land listed 20 Helium WEAPON cameras for sale through Facebook and the REDUser Forums, and even before a quarter hour was up, they had all been sold. Well, that was the quickest way to earn a million dollars!
“FOR THE BRAVE … Thank you to all you crazy mofos that grabbed one of the special Heliums today. You are all insane. And I love you all.” – Jarred Land, RED
With several of the REDheads saying it was the “fastest $60k they had ever spent,” while another stated “let the madness begin.” The madness was that Land only had 20 Helium 8K WEAPONs up for grabs, and they were placed within 10 minutes! All gone. The link that Land had put up had been removed, leaving the rest to wonder just what the heck had happened.
What happened was Land had put what he’s now calling the “Stormtrooper Heliums” out there as a kind of field test, a balloon to see just how hungry his target market was for Helium, and he got his answer.
In case you missed out on the news, RED has been developing a Super 35 version of the 8K Weapon platform. Land delivered a prototype of Weapon to director Michael Bay for Transformers 5 (dubbing it “Bayhem”) and talked about how due to it’s 3.65 micron pixel size, that Helium will be a completely new sensor for a new camera platform.
That size makes it smaller than the 5 micron pixel for the 6K RED DRAGON sensor, meaning that they can fit more pixels onto a smaller amount of real estate, without sacrificing resolution or sharpness. In fact, it means you get more of it, and substantially more than the film aspect ratio it’s designed to surpass.
Land also announced a special deal with Leica, who are giving Helium users a shot at picking up a set of Summicron C’s under their innovation program. The set includes 6 or 9 Leica Summi’s with a discount of between $8600 to $20,000 USD, and are limited to only ‘Stormtrooper Helium’ users. More details are on Land’s Facebook page here.
“Last week I met this guy on Facebook. He is 19 years old. He sent me some incredible things he has been shooting with his Scarlet-W. I really liked him. So much Passion. In it for all the right reasons. So I sent him my personal Helium 8K for 24 hours this week. Just a few days ago.” – Land
That isn’t all. Not only did Land get the camera out to 20 faithful RED users early, he also lent his personal Helium to a 19 year old filmmaker named Jonny Mass for a day, to see what he could do with it. The result is our first taste of Helium’s image quality in a short film called The Underdog, about a fighter looking to make his mark in the ring.
“I’m not sure how he did it,” wrote Land on Facebook, “but somehow… he managed to get an incredible crew together, some talent, some locations and he shot a little thing. Shot in a day and edited, colored and finished it in 8K a day later.”
Of course, the 2160p that YouTube maxes out for their “4K stream” doesn’t do the film justice, but even so, it’s easy to see what Land saw in the young filmmaker and how we was able take full advantage of the opportunity.
“This is why we do what we do,” Land concluded. “For filmmakers like this.” The film will also serve to give all the REDHeads who didn’t get to get in on the ground floor of the Helium sale even more motivation to get one once the camera ships, and you can bet that those twenty shooters will have plenty of footage for us in the meantime.