Jim Jannard, erstwhile Red Leader and billionaire founder of the RED digital camera company, has stepped down from his public duties with RED with immediate effect, citing personal attacks on his integrity. And an almighty row has ensued.
“I have said before... I'm tired. I really am,” Jannard states in his valedictory blog posting My Final Post on the RED site, before going on to list all the achievements his company has notched up since he set it up in 2005, from the RED ONE through EPIC and now onto The Dragon.
He also lists all the abuse too. “Somehow... I read on CML [the Cinematography Mailing List] and other idiotic forums, that I am a hypester, a scam artist. I just have to wonder what these guys are smoking. But I have to say... they have gotten to me. I don't need this. I don't deserve this. Life is short and I am tired.”
He then names names, who have named names back (“JJ seems to expect unconditional love at all times, not going to happen. Nor is it for any other camera company,” says one respondent) and lo! a lot of angry posts have been written by some of the top names in the business.
Jannard plans to still be involved with the company, but is very much sinking to a behind the scenes role while Jarred Land, the company’s president, will become the new public face of RED. How will that affect the company? Difficult to tell. There has always been the slight cult of personality effect surrounding RED that you’re bound to get when your founder is a billionaire showman, but ultimately it will sink or swim on the quality of its kit, the productions filmed with it, and the future it maps out for its users.
And arguably that is more down to its 6K Dragon sensor than the odd blog post now and then.
UPDATE: Red has contacted us to say that nowhere have they said that Jim Jannard has resigned as CEO. We have asked RED for an official statement explaining the exact position and will print it when we get it.