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Hi beautiful sound men and women !

I'll try to be as quick as possible . I'm about to start a documentary involving LONG EMOTIONAL interviews in small spaces and a pretty big crew .

DOP and Director insist on using a Red Dragon , my last experience with long takes and a Red wasn't that  pleasurable. I'm aware that Adaptive Preview Quiet Record is the most "sound friendly" mode but still  I'm not sure that the fan won't kick in after 20 minutes or so and the camera technician at the rental house has been quite vague about it . Honestly I've never had to deal with a Red on this kind of documentaries, I wouldn't be so worried if we were talking about a feature . Anyone has some experience to share ? Suggestions ? Should I just insist more on getting another camera ? Thank you so much   

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I did a documentary end of last year on the dragon, for some reason they couldn't get it in the completely quit mode so indeed on the more quit interior interviews it was noticeable. But hey, who am I to insist on a different camera? If they want to shoot on it, even after I raise the issue, I can't care less about it. I just make sure I document it in every sound report ( even say in it the microphone ) so post production knows what the issue is too ( and to cover myself for any backslash afterwards...). 

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I haven't been on a shoot like that with that particular camera body, but I was on  shoot like that with a Red a couple generations ago and the fan would absolutely come on after about 10 or 15 minutes, because it just gets too hot. I hate Reds for this reason, and would definitely recommend pushing for an alexa, but past experience tells me you won't have much luck convincing both the director and DP to use a different camera. Perhaps there is some kind of blimp or sound blanket you could try to use, but in the end, I agree with what Vincent said, as long as you have made the situation known to them, you can sleep at night knowing you did everything you could.

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Set temperature high, because even with Adaptive Mode the fan will kick in. That's the most common mistake with AC's. There will no problem chipsets run hot. Also make sure, fans will work properly.

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Not much you can do, I've been in this same position.  When you can, record room tone with the fan off, then if it kicks in take tone after the interview is over also.  If the subjects are mic'd up, let them leave after the emotional interviews, then grab a PA or whoever and have them sit through the RTs with the same lav mic.  Good luck

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Much of the time the DP OWNS the camera as opposed to grabbing a camera from rental... He or she would like to of course use their camera and get their rental for it...  Much of the time this drives the camera choice...

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They’re going to have to find out for themselves that Reds are not the right camera for this job. When your subject is in the middle of their heartfelt story and the fan starts blowing like a leaf blower and kills the mood as well as the take, they’ll make sure to replace the camera by day two. Just make sure that you politely warn them of your experience with these cameras and put it in your sound report when it happens. 

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On "it has the Red" shoots I try to get the camera folks to find a fan setting the camera can live with thru the whole interview, so the sound is consistent, and thus easier to grab and deal with in post.  As a sound editor changing BG, even if there are quiet bits, is a bigger prob than a constant one.

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never used one of the newer Red cameras, but one thing that might be worth a try (if the director actually cares about sound) is to add additional cooling using a couple of peltier elements. they are rather cheap and the extra bulk shouldn't be too problematic on locked down shots.

 

just a wild idea I had for a while ; )

chris

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Peltier coolers are woefully inefficient and unless bonded right to the heat creating sensor and processing chips, wouldn’t do much.  Your more apt to find success with remote AC units and ducting.  The suggestion to forget adaptive fan speed and just go with a constant happy medium speed is a good one.  Also using longer lenses where the camera can set back from the subject will help, as would some sound treatments - pads / carpet between and portable gobos.  Ultimately this sounds like a job for Alexa or Amira but really too many variables as to why RED is being requested to know for sure.  As sound recordist we face many challenges and RED fans are just one more of those things that cause us headaches - but with a little planning and cooperation can be salvaged.

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On 1/31/2019 at 9:37 AM, afewmoreyears said:

Much of the time the DP OWNS the camera as opposed to grabbing a camera from rental... He or she would like to of course use their camera and get their rental for it...  Much of the time this drives the camera choice...

 

At this point, the only time I run into a Red on set is because the DP owns the package. Thankfully most of the DP's I work with have ditched their Red's and bought an Alexa Mini.

 

One thing you can do is have them calibrate the sensor (black shade) to run at a higher average temp. This may help a little, but if you're running longer than a half hour per take then this may be all for naught.

 

 

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Beware the noisy accessories...  I ran into some “tilta” modules that were so much worse than the actual red cameras they were attached to.  No fan control at all.  

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There is a constant fan setting that will work for you- but in a quiet room the camera will definitely become your noise floor.

I just finished a doc using 3 Reds in a tight configuration for interviews.  We never had a fan come full on and ruin a take, but I could always hear the cameras breathing.  On the plus side, the distant highway was masked somewhat...

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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Thank you so much for the suggestions and the support ! At the end I convinced the DOP to make some adjustments to the black shade mapping and we used a relatively low image compression . I also  suggest the director to try to have a break every 35 minutes or so (not always possible tho) and  during the pauses I asked the AC to put fan on full power (manual 100%) . So far so good !

Now a new "issue" has popped up : they asked for simultaneous translation via Skype , the translator will need to be listening  to the interview and his translation to be sent to the director. I was thinking to just use a minijack splitter (in-out) from the laptop ,feed the Pc with the interview from my mixer and sending  the translation to one IEM out . It looks like the  most straightforward approach. Are there better ways to to this ? Will I have massive delay problems?  Has anyone being in the same situation and has some advice to share? Thank you in advance !!!

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