Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion To Be First Film Shot On RED’s Epic Tattoo Camera

We all know how much Steven Soderbergh loves the RED Cameras. Anyone who has followed his directorial career over the past few years will know that he was one of the first directors to get his hands on the hot new piece of technology that is helping ease the change from film to digital movie making.

RED’s CEO Jim Jannard recently announced that Steven Soderbergh will in fact be using their new, and not yet available, EPIC-X (Codenamed Tattoo) cameras for his upcoming film, Contagion. This will in fact be the first feature film shot on the new camera which is capable of capturing 5K images.

Contagion is set to start filming this September, with a presumed release date of October 2011 (Oscar Season?), starring Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne and Gwyneth Paltrow. From IMDB:

An action-thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.

We’re going to be broadcasting our episode 45, discussing Soderbergh’s Che later tonight, and will inevitably chat about his use of the first RED cameras. The supplemental features on the Criterion release for Che include a fantastic documentary, narrating the early life of the Camera, with all of it’s ups and downs.

Here is a clip from the documentary, if you like what you see, I HIGHLY recommend purchasing the Blu-ray (or DVD), it is one of my most prized Criterion Collection releases from 2010.

Che and the Digital Cinema Revolution from high rez on Vimeo.

Technical Features of the EPIC-X (Courtesy of


RED DSMC (Digital Stills and Motion Camera)

New MYSTERIUM-X 5K sensor
5K (2:1) at 1-100fps
4K (2:1) at 1-125fps
Quad HD at 1-120fps
3K (2:1) at 1-160fps
2K (2:1) at 1-250fps
1080P (scaled from full frame) at 1-60fps
Increased Dynamic Range, reduced noise
Time Lapse, Frame Ramping
ISO 200-8000
New FLUT Color Science

Completely Modular System, each Module individually upgradeable
Independent Stills and Motion Modes (both record full resolution REDCODE RAW)
5 Axis Adjustable Sensor Plate
Multiple Recording Media Options (Compact Flash, 1.8’ SSD, RED Drives, RED RAM)
Wireless REDMOTE control
Touchscreen LCD control option
Bomb-EVF, RED-EVF and RED-LCD compatible
Multiple User Control Buttons
Interchangeable Lens mounts including focus and iris control of electronic RED, Canon and Nikon lenses (along with Zoom data)
‘Touch Focus Tracking’ with electronic lens mounts and RED Touchscreen LCDs
LDS and /i Data enabled PL Mount
Rollover Battery Power
Independent LUTs on Monitor Outputs
Independent Frame Guides and Menu overlays on Monitor Outputs
Monitor Ports support both LCD and EVF
True Shutter Sync In/Out and Strobe Sync Out
720P, 1080P and 2K monitoring support
Gigagbit Network interface and 802.11 Wireless interface
3 Axis internal motion sensor, built in GPS receiver
Enhanced Metadata
Full size connectors on Pro I/O Module. AES Digital Audio input, single and dual link HD-SDI
Support for RED, most Arri 19mm, Studio 15mm, 15mm Lite, Panavision and NATO accessories

Dimensions- Approx. 4’x4’x5.5’
Weight (Brain only)- Approx. 6 lbs (2.72kg)

What do you think about this shift from Film to Digital? Are you all for it? Or “kids today!”?

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