Now that Peter Jackson is the official helmer of The Hobbit, production is ready to begin. Jackson and the creative team have decided to opt for the RED EPIC digital camera to shoot the Lord of the Rings prequel in 3D. The EPIC is the successor to the RED ONE camera, and it boasts 5K resolution, the highest dynamic range of any digital cinema camera ever made, and can shoot up to 120 frames per second. According to RED founder Jim Jannard, Jackson will have “at least” 30 EPIC cameras on hand during production. Jannard says, “The EPIC’s small size and relatively low weight makes it perfect for 3-D – where two cameras have to be mounted on each 3D rig.” Jackson happens to be a big fan of RED cameras, and you can bet he’s stoked to have 30 EPICs when production on The Hobbit starts in New Zealand early next year.
Have an itch to shoot your own footage using the EPIC? A whopping $58,000 will get you an EPIC rig consisting of an EPIC-M body, titanium PL mount, Bomb EVF and 5-inch touchscreen LCD, a REDmote, a four-pack of batteries, a charger, and a solid state storage module with a four-pack of 128GB SSDs. A limited run of EPICs will be made available in December or January for the early adopter filmmakers. Everyone else who’s interested (and miraculously not affected by the economy) will have to wait until at least April to nab a rig.