REDucation X may sound like a political punk band, but it’s music to the ears of the next wave of digital filmmakers.
As the RED camera increasingly dominates digital filmmaking, industry professionals and students who have gone through the company’s weeklong course had begun asking for a longer program that was cheaper and shorter than a traditional graduate school program.
So REDucation X, which is already accepting applications, will launch its first 16-week session October 1 with 21 students and four or five teachers chosen for their expertise in different parts of the RED workflow, from pre-production to post.
The $15,000 price tag makes it more expensive than comparable programs at New York Film Academy and NYU — their 8-week film and digital programs average $6,000 per session — but Schilowitz promises that the “hyper-intensive” RED coursework will involve “not a lot of theory, but a lot of practice.”
“We are teaching a very specific course structure, so you learn every step of what the industry expects you to know to use these tools,” says Schilowitz. “We’re looking for students who are passionate, that have a strong grasp of technology and that are really interested in learning this tool in a very robust way. It could be someone re-crafting their career, or a student coming right out of a four-year college looking for a focus point.”
RED ONE, EPIC and Scarlet cameras are used in other film programs, as well, but REDucation students will have the benefit of being exposed to a roster of board members, guest lecturers and teachers drawn from the most cutting-edge filmmakers in the business.
While Schilowitz declines to confirm any specific industry names that have committed to participating in the new program, it’s no secret that A-list directors David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh, Peter Jackson and Ridley Scott are among the champions of the RED toolkit. (Schilowitz says they’re working out schedules with potential participants and will be able to announce the actual contributors over the summer.)
It remains to be seen how popular or effective the new REDucation X program will be. But given the prevalence of RED equipment at all levels of the industry, the hefty price tag could be a down payment on a sustainable career for both big-budget crew and DIY indie filmmakers alike.