SOURCE: Verity Peet

RED                           Production Notes as at 06.04.98                                         


8.00 am          All except extras meet at location. Set up

9.00 am          Shoot CUs Woman: drinking wine (Sc.1) and smug (Sc.7); CU lips; lips surprised; BCU Int. glass wine swirling; CU glass knocked over, somersaulting to floor, and smashing; BCU wine seeping across tablecloth.

                        Okay to add hubbub from extras later?

11.00 am        CUs Man: MCU with dark background(Sc.3); sweater later (Sc.7); Man bent over glass swirling, inhales bouquet, head up; examines “legs” of wine (diff. Wine); looks to left.

                        All dialogue from Sc.1, 3, 5.

                        Important to get all dialogue as to be used over other shots.

12.30 pm        (Packed!) Lunch break

1.30 pm          Extras arrive. Set up for WS.

2.00 pm          WS Man speaking (beg Sc.2) to whole room (I’ve yet to add this bit!) WS: early evening with few bottles on tables, one glass each, gentle hubbub; later – more wine, more hubbub; late – more wine bottles but empty, extras leaving; WS Man and Woman leaving.

                        Wide shots from position at back of room?

3.15 pm          M2S Man and Woman standing up talking (Sc.10); and leaving, walking toward camera / exit walking into CU.

4.00 pm          Tea Break

4.30 pm          Tracking (OK hand held side stepping!) round table (Sc.5)

5.15 pm          Pans and whip pan (Sc.3)

6.00 pm          WS tables (Sc.7)

7.00 pm          Actors finished. De-rig

7.30 pm          PUB!


At a wine tasting class MAN dominates the conversation, pompously and exaggeratedly describing the textures, tastes and smells of the wine, and making chauvinistic comparisons to women. Of his four companions at the table the three men choose to ignore his conceited disinterest in anyone else’s opinion. WOMAN becomes increasingly more irritated, confronts him, but is ignored. She changes tack, flirts with him and at the end of the class asks him to go home with her to taste a particular wine. In the car she lets him believe she in inviting him in for sex. Once he is tied to her bed she stabs him. She drags his body down the stairs.

The narrative structure of RED uses parallel action which cuts between events at the beginning of the evening and actions later in the evening. So the story is told from the chronological ending moving backward in time. When she invites him to go home with her in the final scene the parallel action meets in time.


The roots of this film are in the thriller and noir genres. The storyline is clearly thriller style but the directorial style is too. For example it is the sound of something being dragged down the stairs from scene 2 which is the motivation for the camera to move down the stairs. The domination of red and dark colours, the sexual innuendoes in the descriptions of the wine (rather than naturalistic dialogue), and the power of the female character all derive from film noir. However, the vivid use of the colour red and the continuing use of big close ups add a new dimension, creating a more dramatic impact. This heightened realism effect makes use of natural distortion in close pans and motivated whip pans, enjoys vivid colour mixes between similar shades (eg spilt red wine pool mixing to bloodstained dark wooden stairs, sc.1-2), permits the subtle use of slo-mo (wine glass somersaulting to floor, sc. 1), and encourages unusual camera positions which make use of movement within the frame (eg aerial MS of MAN lying tied to bed, WOMAN sits astride him, she raises knife above her head into CU). There is no “gore” or sex, but there is the suggestion of both in the juxtapositioning of shots, for example just as blade touches flesh in sc 4, we cut to the first shot of sc 5: BCU of red wine swirling in glass.

MAN and WOMAN are types rather than characters with histories. He is pompous, chauvinistic and assumes authority. She is the mouse that roars.

The 1950’s soundtrack provides both a melodic atmosphere of innocence and an ironic comment on the action.

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