Peter Jackson’s upcoming 3D movie, The Hobbit, will be filmed with the revolutionary new $58,000 RED EPIC camera — 30 of them to be exact.

The RED EPIC cameras are the latest product from RED DIGITAL CINEMA, the company who shot to the top of the film production world with the release of the RED ONE camera back in 2007.  Their latest product, the RED EPIC, is able to shoot at 5K resolution (equivalent to a 261 megapixel digital camera), 120 frames per second and, of course, is 3D-ready.  The RED EPIC also has onboard SSD (with 225mb/s write times) and HDMI output.

The prequel to the enormously popular Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, will be one of the first films to be shot with the RED EPIC.  The camera’s 3D features will be convenient with its size and light weight.  Peter Jackson has a history with RED cameras, shooting the short film ‘Crossing The Line.’  Peter Jackson prefers RED cameras because “the image Red produces has a much more filmic feel than most of the other digital formats.”

Shooting for The Hobbit is expected to begin in early 2011.


Full Press Release:

Hobbits on Red Epics.

Peter Jackson’s two film adaptation of The Hobbit will be shot in 3D using RED DIGITAL CINEMA’S soon to be released EPIC Digital Cameras.

The successor to RED’s industry changing RED ONE, the EPIC has 5K resolution, 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. Taking everything they had learned from building their first camera, RED designed the EPIC from scratch and have produced a smaller, lighter camera that is an order of magnitude more powerful.

The Hobbit will be amongst the first productions in the world to use the EPIC and at least thirty cameras will be required by the 3-D production. 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 has a long history with RED, dating back to when he directed the short film ‘Crossing the Line’ as a very early test of prototype RED ONE cameras. “I have always liked the look of Red footage.” he says, “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.”

Jim Jannard the owner and founder of RED flew to New Zealand earlier this year with members of his team so that Jackson could test the EPIC and assess its suitability. “Everybody at RED is incredibly proud that Peter has chosen the Epic” says Jannard, “The Hobbit is a major production, and could have chosen any camera system that they wanted. The fact that they went with us is extremely gratifying.”

The Hobbit will start shooting in New Zealand early next year.


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