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Professional-grade camera to be demonstrated at UWRF

November 7, 2014

UW-River Falls has been put on the list for the RED Cinema EDU Tour. RED Cinema Camera Company is an American company that produces professional quality digital cinematography and photography equipment.

Last year Erik Johnson, an assistant professor of digital film and television, helped form a relationship with RED, which allowed the university to obtain a RED Mysterium X camera for 90 days. This gave students majoring in digital film and television the chance to have hands on experience with expensive professional grade equipment.

“They are top of the line cameras,” Johnson said.

RED cameras have been used to shoot many major film and television productions such as: “The Hobbit,” “RoboCop,” “True Blood,” “Neighbors” and many more. According to RED’s website, its products are listed separately, but generally bought in packages because certain parts are necessary for use. They start around $45,000 and increasingly go up in price from there.

The Mysterium X that the university was able to use last semester was insured for around $70,000.

“When RED first launched, it was so exclusive that you had to be on a special list even to buy one,” Johnson said. “It’s not something that the average person could afford.”

The RED EDU Tour means that an expert will come out to the university to demonstrate how to assemble and use the RED camera. Nick Watkins is a “road warrior” for RED. He will be leading the demonstration.

Johnson said a selling point to get Watkins to come out was the fact that he has family ties in this area and he loves the cheese and beer.

The demonstration will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, in 112 Kleinpell Fine Arts. The demonstration is open to anyone that wants to attend.

Johnson thinks that this new relationship can be very valuable to not only the digital film and television department but the university as a whole.

“This relationship could be a potentially valuable recruitment and retention tool,” Johnson said. “It can also transcend into other areas. I talked to a faculty member of the biology department who works with honey bees. One of the things the RED can do is record at a very high frame rate. So you could see in great detail and slow motion the bee’s wings flapping and how many times they flap. So, It could really benefit other areas on campus as well.”

Last year, senior seminar students for digital film and television participated in at least one of three projects that the students created to get some experience with the camera. One of the projects was the “Pick One Campaign” that was partnered with Student Life.

Students made a short video to help promote the campaign. It allowed the students to get some hands on involvement with the equipment and gave something back to another organization with campus affiliations.

“It was cool having hands on experience with state of the art technology,” said Senior Ben Porter about his experience with being able to use the RED camera last semester.

This demonstration will hopefully help strengthen the relationship that the university is building with the RED Camera Company. The hopeful outcome is that in the spring of 2015 the digital film and television department will receive another opportunity to use a RED camera.