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AJA KONA Makes the Grade at Red Jet Films

SEATTLE—Red Jet Films lives, breathes and eats storytelling. Since 1996, we’ve transformed brand visions into narratives for clients like NASA, Microsoft, Nike and NBC, among others. Working out of Seattle and Amsterdam, our team collaborates on content shot around the world and specializes in corporate videos, NGO and global health initiative productions. Whatever the project, we depend on AJA KONA cards for simple, accurate capture and playback in post.

Although our post tool preferences have fluctuated throughout the years, KONA cards have remained a constant in our workflow. Our first experience with KONA started in 2004, when our reseller built us a suite with one included. After retiring that system, I later built three of my own suites but needed three capture and playback cards for confidence monitoring. Having had such a great experience with AJA support the first go-around, I wasn’t inclined to try another brand and added KONA cards to the new suites, which we’ve continued to upgrade since.

Red Jet Films has relied on the AJA KONA and Io boxes for its boutique productions.

Our Seattle office houses two suites that include Adobe Premiere Pro and KONA LHe Plus cards and breakout boxes, a legacy system with Final Cut Pro, a KONA LHe and breakout box, and an AJA Io HD. We shoot on Sony F55 cameras in S-Gamut SLog3, so every image has to be color graded. As soon as I put those images on my timeline, I want to see them as a movie on a screen, not just a small box in the edit software interface, which is where KONA comes in.

When grading and making graphic changes, KONA allows me to see images and color accurately on a calibrated confidence monitor by ensuring the image coming out of the computer is accurately processed and sent to the display. I never have any question about how the final grade will look to clients.

We also tap KONA with Final Cut Pro and recently used it to digitize historical footage shot on Beta SP for a promotional video for the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. We set up a system where the Beta deck is patched to an AJA breakout box, so the box can accept component or SDI, and then ribbon cables coming out of the box go to the back of the card. If I want to digitize or fire up the deck and monitor, I insert the tape, go to easy setups and premark, and the digitized tool opens in the final deck wherein I can choose the format I want, like ProRes 422.

Our team has an impressive lineup of projects planned for the future for which we’ll likely tap our AJA gear. I also love how helpful AJA tech support is when we inquire about problems unrelated to an AJA product. No matter who I speak with from support, they care and are knowledgeable across the total post pipeline.

Jeff Erwin is owner of Red Jet Films, a production studio specializing in corporate video and content for NGOs and global health initiatives. He can be contacted

For more information, please visitwww.aja.comor call 530-274-2048.