On Sept. 15, Canon sent a short message to the press advising us all to “save the date” for a “historic global announcement,” Nov. 3 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, with no other details – not even a hint what it might be.
Since then, the term “historic global announcement” has fueled the imagination of the blogosphere with speculation ranging from the long-awaited 5D Mark III, to a cinema camera built around 5D technology, or perhaps even a 4K camera for the masses. Obviously, given the venue, it’s unlikely to be some new “whiz bang printer” but as speculation morphs into rumor and theories evolve from the wish lists of die-hard fans, I can’t help but recall the early days of Red Digital Cinema.
Not to be outdone, shortly after Canon coyly asked the press to “save the date,” Jim Jannard, the inimitable founder of Red, announced that “Everything you ever wanted to hear from RED regarding Scarlet will be announced Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.” on the Red User forum, (http://www.reduser.net) – which falls pretty much at the precise moment when the industry press will be sequestered away in a Canon event, leading filmmaker/cinematographer/blogger Philip Bloom to wonder if the planets are converging in an interesting blog post at: http://philipbloom.net/2011/09/21/november-3rd-are-the-planets-converging-also-nikon-bring-out-mirror-less-cameras/
Yesterday, Jannard posted an update claiming that Nov. 3 will be “huge for everyone in this industry.” (http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?64630-Nov.-3rd-take-2…) “Canon will announce it’s very best effort for digital cinema. RED will announce Scarlet. A powerhouse and an upstart going head to head,” writes Jannard. “Anyone in this industry that isn’t paying attention on Nov. 3rd doesn’t have a pulse. It is like Ali vs. Frasier. I can’t wait.” He later clarified that “We have no idea what Canon is going to announce. It is thrilling actually. What a great moment in time for everyone.”
Certainly, Red has more than its share of fans who will tune in at 6:00 p.m. with credit cards in-hand ready to place their orders. At least we have a good idea what to expect from Red – the final specs of Scarlet and the ship date. The big question right now is what might Canon have up its sleeve?
In an article entitled “Possible Specs For New Canon Video Camera?” UK-based Definition Magazine cites an anonymous source who claims to have seen the specs of a new Canon camera. “This could be a killer camera, and one well worth waiting for if any of you guys are thinking of buying a F3/FS100 or AF100…” (http://www.definitionmagazine.com/journal/2011/9/20/possible-specs-for-new-canon-video-camera.html)
Maybe, but maybe not.
John Fauer, editor of Film & Digital Times points out that: “The rumor-phone has been ringing and OMG how the tweeterati are txting. Now hear this: Canon U.S.A., Inc. just announced the opening of the Canon Hollywood Professional Technology and Support Center in the Sunset Gower Studio lot at 6060 Sunset Boulevard in LA… It doesn’t take a Wall Street analyst to figure out that this looks like a major push by Canon into major motion pictures…” (http://www.fdtimes.com/news/canon/canon-in-hollywood)
Some commentators noticed that the invite to the Canon event used the wording “The Story Begins” which is similar to the tagline on Ron Howard‘s Project Imagin8ion, “Where will he take the story?” (http://www.youtube.com/imagination).
Project Imagina8tion is sponsored by Canon, so there are a lot of interesting rumors that Howard is somehow part of this. Others have argued that while Canon’s online contest to inspire Howard to make a video with photographs submitted by Canon users is a wonderful PR campaign, it falls a short of a “historic global announcement.”
Many EOS 5D Mark II users are hoping for a Mark III. Some from the film and video world are hoping for a filmic 4K camera to compete with Red, pointing to the fact that Canon released a set of “4K” PL-mount lenses at NAB, for which the company has no matching camera. (http://usa.canon.com/cusa/about_canon?pageKeyCode=pressreldetail&docId=0901e024802da80a)
For the moment, it’s all speculation. But as a marketing campaign, this is one of the most successful since the launch of Red, generating immense industry buzz.
We’ll have to wait with baited breath to find out what it’s all about, but check back here for more concrete information, as it becomes available.