I don’t know about you, but I'm not personally acquainted with anybody who could afford, or even want, to buy a RED Scarlet before their twenties. That’s a serious commitment to your career, and it’s exactly what Kansas teenager Thad Swift did.
According to his vlog regarding his new camera, he wasn’t shooting professionally just two years ago. This appears to be a bump up from his Sony a6300 — quite the leap in spec! He was originally gunning for the RED Raven, a cheaper option.
Imagine graduating high school with this much determination, with no real fear of losing. “It’s a lot easier to achieve something if it’s been done before” admits Swift. While I don’t think many high schoolers will be picking up cinema cameras any time soon, there’s nothing wrong with trying to get ahead of the curve. Personally, I was creating broadcast graphics and filming for YouTubers before I was 18. Recently I interviewed Christian Tierney who’s been filming with major label artists when we was just leaving high school. There's nothing wrong with starting as early as you can.
But for Swift’s endeavors, there was a lot of money behind it. When an unsettling number of Americans don’t have serious savings in place for emergencies, it’s astonishing to think that a freelancing teen could accumulate this kind of wealth. Not only that, but Swift was saving that money during his final year of high school! Most teens can barely save up for a nicer car.
Should buying a RED constitute as a goal? Last week we posted an article claiming that it was, for director Jakob Owens who would normally hire DPs to take care of the camera. Now though? It’s easy to hate on Swift because of an obvious lack of experience. Like a “Super Sweet Sixteen” kid getting an open top Mercedes. I mean, would an URSA Mini Pro have been just as effective for him? At least that way he could have afforded more media storage, and lenses.
In saying that, his content doesn’t look too shabby, and who are we to judge? If it’s music video directing he’s after, I can only hope that the Scarlet-W delivers what he needs and more. He’s been throwing it on to a glidecam and DJI Ronin-MX, so he can’t be that inexperienced. If anything, he’ll be a dab hand at coloring raw footage before he even hits college (assuming he wants to go). I wish Swift the best in the future and can’t wait to see what he shoots on his new setup.