Zig Zag Productions has carried out one of the first undercover factual shoots with a Red Epic.
Scam City is a 10-part National Geographic series that investigates tourist scams in cities including Marrakech, Buenos Aires, Las Vegas and Bangkok.
“I don’t think anybody would have suggested using the Epic for guerrilla documentary filming, but it turned out to be perfect because it is so compact and flexible,” said series director Ian Bremner.
“The camera exceeds the parameters of HD but the quality can be used in post - all the technical information you need is there.
“For this type of filming, when you are working with dubious people who don’t know they are being filmed, you aren’t always able to control the crafting of an image. But if you shoot the image raw with a good lens, you can crop it, so it gives you a lot more flexibility.”
The production used Canon Pro SLR lenses, with six needed to match the focal range of a standard ENG lens. That meant regular lens changes, but Bremner said the advantage was a smaller unit that helped the crew stay undercover.
Red UK operations director Alan Piper said: “The camera is crossing boundaries; it’s been used to shoot Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, for Vogue cover shoots, for commercials and high-speed work, and it’s clearly small enough for guerrilla work.”
The series, a co-production with Canada’s Handel Productions, is due to air in the fourth quarter.