‘Revolutionary’ is one of the most-overused clichés in reporting and so are ‘game-changing’ and ‘breakthrough’ but those words seem inadequate when applied to Redrock Micro’s wireless Hālo focus-pulling system. Redrock showed off part of this system-in-development, Hālo Explorer, at NAB 2015.
The Hālo system impressed show-goers so much that Redrock received three ‘Best of Show’ awards and may well earn a great many more such plaudits when the system itself launches later in the year.
Manual focus-pulling has often been described as a rare art and great focus-pullers are highly sought after on movie sets the world over. But few of us are or might ever become these in-demand combination artists and craftspeople, especially when we must work as one-person bands or “slashies” – writer/producer/director/cinematographer/editor.
A number of movie production equipment companies have tackled the question of automating focus-pulling and to date none of their solutions have looked like the most fully-rounded answer.
Redrock Micro’s Hālo system might just be the very first focus control and focus-pulling system that meets the needs of all us focus-pulling non-artists. The projected cost – estimated at from USD 2,000 to USD5,000 – is not outside the bounds of affordability either, even for us indie moviemakers, especially if it works as well as the NAB demo seems to indicate.
At the very least Hālo might replace one vital crew member we may not be able to find or afford anyway and it could also boost the quality of our work and its popularity enough to completely pay for it.
The focus of the demo model at Redrock Micro’s NAB booth was the Hālo Explorer, a two-part screen-plus-scanner/transmitter set-up that displays the people or objects on which you need to pull focus on the Explorer’s handheld interactive screen. At least that is the deduction from what we have seen so far.
There other components are also required for the Hālo system to do its thing. From the Hālo product page and the video by No Film School, Hālo also requires all or part of Redrock Micro’s microRemote System to be installed on your camera.
The exact list of what that USD2,000 to USD5,000 will get buyers has not been set out yet, but if you are even just remotely interested in this amazing new system then you can sign up to receive Hālo news updates from Redrock Micro. I have, and I am looking forward to learning more. [bctt tweet=”NAB 2015: Redrock Micro Shows Off Revolutionary (Sorry!) Hālo Wireless Focus-Pulling System”]
Redrock Micro's HĀLO May Just Change the Way We Think About Pulling Focus
Via No Film School:
Joe Marine caught up with Redrock Micro's Brian Valente to chat about HĀLO, the company's exciting new take on focus pulling.
Red Redrock Micro Hālo System
Via Red Redrock Micro:
Incorporating cutting-edge technology (the same technology that powers autonomous cars and delivers precision aerospace measurements), the Hālo Explorer gives you a real-time map of your entire scene, combining pinpoint accuracy with up to 180 degrees of view. Artificial intelligence precisely identifies all your subjects (people and objects) and tracks their distance and location in real-time. The modern user experience delivers full scene information, and you can tap-to-focus with visual, audible, and haptic feedback. Hālo becomes your technician, handling the practical details so you can concentrate on your creative performance
Hālo is completely new technology with a new approach to solving dynamic focus control. Hālo will scan your scene, identify subjects, and track them in real time. With a stunning and intuitive user interface, you can use Hālo information to assist your manual focusing, have Hālo adjust the focus at your command, or have Hālo handle all the focusing for you. Unlike anything else, Hālo enables you to seamlessly add any amount of assistance at any time. You are in control to decide how Hālo works for you, even within a single shot.
Redrock Micro Solves Focus Control with New Hālo system
Via Redrock Micro Press:
Hollywood, CA and Dallas, TX – Redrock Micro, the recognized leader in affordable professional cinema accessories, today announced Hālo, a system for video production that solves the challenge of accurate focus control by dynamically mapping and tracking subjects, and providing an easy to use interface for manually selecting or automatically tracking subjects for focus.
Introduced at NAB 2015, Hālo was quickly recognized for its potential to shift the industry, creating intense buzz and earning three Best of Show awards.
Focus re-designed from the ground up
Incorporating the same technology cars use for collision detection and avoidance, the Hālo Explorer creates a real-time scene map, combining pinpoint accuracy with up to 180 degrees of view. Artificial intelligence precisely identifies all your subjects (people and objects) and tracks their distance and location in real-time. The beautifully crafted user interface shows birds-eye view of all subjects, and enables anyone to tap-to-focus, or drag to follow focus with visual audible and haptic feedback. Hālo becomes the technician, handling the intricacies of focus so operators can concentrate on the creative performance.
“We often refer to this as our Avatar product,” says James Hurd, Chief Revolutionary at Redrock Micro. “We had to wait five years for technology to catch up so we could deliver a something that solves focus and does it cost-effectively.” This quote references Director James Cameron’s famous quip that he waited 10 years for technology to evolve before he was able to shoot the groundbreaking feature film Avatar.
Designed for today’s production environments and creative shots
Production never has time for long setups, extra gear, or constant tweaking. The Hālo Explorer is small and lightweight, and lives on your camera. There is virtually no setup or configuration, just power on, and you’re ready to go. Hālo also performs brilliantly in a wide range of situations: total darkness or bright light (even heavy backlight), with or without human faces. Hālo components can be moved between the camera and your remote AC, wherever it makes the most sense. A light footprint and wide range of usability use make Hālo intensely practical.
A valuable tool for a crew of one or a crew of one hundred
Productions at any level can benefit from Hālo. High-end productions can use Hālo for precise reference and focus assist. Solo operators can use Hālo for completely autonomous focus tracking. Any amount of assistance or automation is your choice. Whatever your camera and lens, and whatever your level of expertise for focus control, Hālo is incredibly effective, easy to use and understand, and profoundly affordable.
For More Information
Additional details on Hālo can be found: www.redrockmicro.com/halo
Pricing and Availability
Hālo is expected to be released later in 2015. Pricing has not been finalized but is targeted for in the $2000-$5,000 range depending on options..
About Redrock Micro
Redrock Micro revolutionized independent film production in the early 2000s with the M2 cinema lens adapter, and reinvented digital filmmaking in 2008 with HDSLR cinema rigs and accessories. Today, Redrock Micro continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning digital cinema rigs and accessories, DSLR rigs, depth-of-field adapters, stabilization and support gear, sophisticated focus controllers, and advanced cinema accessories. More information is available at redrockmicro.com.
(cover photo credit: snap from Redrock Micro)