SNL's Brad Pitt cold open was shot with RED's prototype 6K camera

The Komodo with phase-detection autofocus is expected to cost about $5,000.


Given the janky, improvised look of many TV shows during the COVID-19 lockdown, you may have noticed that SNL’s cold open last week, featuring Brad Pitt as Dr. Anthony Fauci, looked quite professional. As it turns out, that’s because it wasn’t shot on a smartphone or laptop webcam, but with a prototype version of RED’s upcoming 6K Komodo camera.

Furthermore, it was shot by the president of RED himself, Jarred Land. In an Instagram post, Land said that he shot with Pitt as a “one man band,” using “cheese ball TV lighting on a janky green screen,” and having to reach around the lens to do his own slates.

The segment was shot using the Komodo camera and Sigma’s $3,999 high-speed 50-100mm T2.0 cine lens, according to No Film School. The Komodo will also have phase-detect autofocus to better compete with cinema-oriented mirrorless cameras like Panasonic’s S1H and the upcoming Canon EOS R5 8K camera.

Oscar-winner Pitt was Dr. Fauci’s preferred choice to play him, and gained kudos for coming out of character and thanking Fauci and health-care professionals at the end of the segment. Land also shot Pitt earlier using the Komodo 6K prototype for an American Film Institute (AFI) movie clip.