The Red Hydrogen One was one of the most highly-anticipated smartphones of 2018 — and unfortunately landed as a dud with bad reviews and underwhelming photography (which should have been its main appeal).
Now, via Red’s Facebook page, we know that not only is the company standing by the Red Hydrogen One, but it’s also releasing a sure-to-be-expensive 3D filmmaking rig for the smartphone. The company refers to the rig as “Lithium,” but it’s not clear if that will be its official release name.
Using Lithium, filmmakers will be able to film cinema-quality 3D stereoscopic images while viewing what they create in real-time on the Hydrogen One. Check out the image of the rig below:
What you’ll do is film your scene with the Lithium camera while your Red Hydrogen One smartphone processes the 3D imagery and displays a rough draft of the scene. Using this method, directors won’t have to film a scene, convert it to 3D, note any changes, and then re-film. Instead, they’ll be able to see what it will look like on the Hydrogen One, make adjustments as necessary, and then film the scene.
Theoretically, this will dramatically cut down on the time it takes to shoot a 3D film scene, which is surely a welcome advancement for filmmakers around the world.
However, there are two major issues. The first is the obvious problem of the Red Hydrogen One being a big disappointment on numerous levels, which likely is preventing filmmakers from buying one in the first place. Additionally, its $1,300 price tag makes it a sizable investment.
The second issue is that 3D films are not doing so hot right now. According to Collider, “box office revenues for 3D films in the U.S. and Canada fell 18% in 2017 to $1.3 billion,” and that decline has continued through 2018.
In other words, Red is introducing a 3D filmmaking tool which attaches to an expensive, poorly-reviewed phone at a time when people aren’t so interested in 3D films. Nice.
Red didn’t announce a release date or price for the Lithium camera attachment.