Peter Jackson Does WWI
October 22, 2007 10:19 AM   Subscribe

Crossing the Line a trailer for a short film by Peter Jackson.

Unfortunately, this isn't a trailer for a full-length movie. Jackson did it as a test of the RED Digital Cinema camera. The camera has a relatively low price ($17,500) and apparently this is an exciting thing for independent filmmakers. I don't understand any of the technical stuff about it. I just like WWI films and Peter Jackson. Some stills and a link to Quicktime version here. Previous Mefi thread about the camera.
posted by marxchivist (60 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Red One looks awesome, if they can get it delivered. They've been plagued by delays and technical glitches (apparently smalller stuff, but big enough to delay delivery) for months. It was supposed to start delivery this summer, but now it's been pushed back to November, I think.

I hope they can deliver what they say they can, because if they do, they'll change a lot of things in a big way. But I'm reserving judgment until they actually deliver.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:31 AM on October 22, 2007

People are already taking delivery of their Red Ones. See
posted by mrbill at 10:39 AM on October 22, 2007

Whoa, just an hour ago I was wonder what Jackson was up to.
posted by DU at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2007

That's an impressive trailer, weather it's a full length movie or not.

I always wanted to see either a remake of The Blue Max or a well done WW I flying movie.

From the YouTube of Crossing The Line, it lead to a trailer for a new Red Baron movie, it would seem.
posted by Relay at 11:00 AM on October 22, 2007

Yes, people are starting to take delivery now, some friends of mine have two coming supposedly within a week or two, but the functionality is limited, there'll be software updated over the next few months to enable the rest of the functionality. Right now it can only shoot 24 fps, 180 degree shutter, and some limitations on resolution and formats, I think, I forget the details.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:12 AM on October 22, 2007

It must be noted that the "price" of $17,500 is only the body of the camera, meaning it is main housing which contains the processing and light-capturing components, but nothing else. This means no lens, no hard drive for recording the captured footage, not even a viewfinder so you can see what you are capturing. All that, and the myriad other accessories one would need to use the camera in a professional setting are sold separately. It's been awhile since I've looked a the numbers, but a friend and associate of mine (I work in the film industry) is set to get one of these in April, and he is taking a $100,000 business loan. He's factoring in other costs of course, but on the conservative side you'd still need $50,000 to $60,000.

Regarding the revolutionary aspect of the Red One:

The camera will be upgradeable in the same way a basic personal computer is. Meaning, if you buy the body (for $17,500), as the technology progresses you can upgrade the internal components or hardware for a price, while software and firmware updates will be given free.

This is a vastly different production model than those of traditional video and HD cameras, which until recently have only recorded to tape. If you buy a professional Sony camcorder, you get the camera body which contains the processing elements, a light-sensitive chip, and the VTR, which is a deck that records to tape. All this is housed in one "body" which can easily cost up to $90,000.

With the Red One, you don't have to buy whole new body every time there is an upgrade. This is mainly made possible by the fact that it records straight to hard-drive, so that VTR element is out of the picture. On top of this, the camera boasts a raw uncompressed 4K format (for now, like I said it would supposedly be upgradeable). I myself don't know enough to talk about it in detail, but it's a much bigger resolution than even 35mm film, not to mention HD.
posted by ChestnutMonkey at 11:18 AM on October 22, 2007

WANT. If that was shot with a digital camera, I'd say that the film industry is about to change in the same way the record industry has.
posted by chuckdarwin at 11:19 AM on October 22, 2007

Reinforces my certainty that being shot for cowardice in a filthy trench in Belgium by an angry Brit with a funny mustache isn't the worst thing that could happen to a fellow.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:20 AM on October 22, 2007

Damn, what a tease. I'd love to see Peter Jackson do a WWI movie. Other than the original "All quiet on the Western Front", there haven't been too many good movies made about that war.
posted by octothorpe at 11:24 AM on October 22, 2007

Actually, if you look at the RED store, as it's an incredibly modular system, I'd say you could put together a body, lens, batteries, a few RAID hard drives, viewfinder, etc. for more like $40,000. But if you wanted the whole thing, yeah, it can start adding up pretty quick. Plus, you can rent lenses, etc.

But it's revolutionary. It shoots 4.5K (which nothing else does, frankly), but the models they've been shipping can't record sound yet.

It's still in its infancy, but, ultimately, this spells the end of film.
posted by MythMaker at 11:28 AM on October 22, 2007

I wonder how this will play a part in future documentaries, if at all? Granted I don't know a damn thing about documentary filmmaking (yet), but this just seems like something that'd be pretty useful in that area... am I completely misguided for thinking so?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:32 AM on October 22, 2007

I should have clarified; I meant nature documentaries, something like Planet Earth, rather than a Michael Moore flick.

It just seems to me that since the camera is relatively compact and records wonderfully detailed footage, that it'd be great for recording outdoors and traveling and all that.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:34 AM on October 22, 2007

WANT. If that was shot with a digital camera, I'd say that the film industry is about to change in the same way the record industry has.

Ummm, no.

1) Digital looks like shit compared to film. Always has, always will. Well maybe not always, but for the forseeable future. The exception is the video cameras George Lucas uses, which cost in the 6 or seven figures. There are already high quality HD cameras, but at the end of the day it's still not film.

2) There's no way to judge what a piece of a movie looks like in a tiny little window on the internet. Even stuff I have shot (shittily) on a mini-DV XL2 looks pretty damn good when shrunk down to Youtube size.

3) 99% of movies will continue to suck because the scripts will continue to suck.

4) what a semi-deservedly famous director can do with professional lighting, production, and crew is in no way indicative of what the average person can do.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:36 AM on October 22, 2007

Octothorpe: are you kidding?

Wings, Paths of Glory, The Red Baron, Grand Illusion, lawrence of Arabia and a lot of others.

There is also the big red one, one of my favourite war movies and one of the few to show a connection between the two world wars.
posted by darkripper at 11:37 AM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I wonder how this will play a part in future documentaries, if at all? Granted I don't know a damn thing about documentary filmmaking (yet), but this just seems like something that'd be pretty useful in that area... am I completely misguided for thinking so?

Most docs already shoot on video. People are used to seeing the news on video, so it makes sense for a documentary. it doesn't scream "cheap and shitty!!!!" like narrative films made on video do.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:37 AM on October 22, 2007

It's still in its infancy, but, ultimately, this spells the end of film.

The same way the Ultrahigh megapixel DSLRs have spelled the end of film? Come on. I love the RED as much as the next guy, but nothing will ever spell the end of film. If there are still people doing frescoes, and they are, then film will last forever.

on another note, am I the only one that feels like Jackson's cinematographer's are either really really amazing, or really really shoddy, but never in between?
posted by shmegegge at 11:50 AM on October 22, 2007

darkripper: "Octothorpe: are you kidding?

Wings, Paths of Glory, The Red Baron, Grand Illusion, lawrence of Arabia and a lot of others.

There is also the big red one, one of my favourite war movies and one of the few to show a connection between the two world wars.

Sorry, I didn't phrase that very well. I meant, in comparison to WWII, there haven't been very many movies made about WWI. I've seen three of the five you've mentioned and yes they are great but there is room for more whereas there's been so many filmed about the second world war that there are not too many stories left to tell.
posted by octothorpe at 11:52 AM on October 22, 2007

my inappropriate use of apostrophes, however, is always shoddy.
posted by shmegegge at 11:54 AM on October 22, 2007

drjimmy11, I can't help but see parallels between your points and digital music:

1) MP3s sound like shit compared to vinyl records, according to audiophiles. But it's good enough to the average consumer that the added flexibility and reduced cost win out.

2) This isn't really an argument, just a (correct) assertion that a YouTube link doesn't have much to tell us one way or the other.

3) 99% of music will continue to suck because the recording industry has built a profitable business out of generic music. But digital media and the internet have made that 1% more accessible than ever before.

4) What Radiohead can do with professional audio production is in no way indicative of what the average garage band can do, but you should look at the big shots as the early adopters: they're the ones who can afford to bring these technologies to the mainstream and work out the kinks. The end result will be that the average joe will be able to make near-professional product on an average joe budget.
posted by Riki tiki at 12:00 PM on October 22, 2007

If you're not convinced about the picture quality, RED has an excerpts from several things (including this one) at much higher resolution, on their website.

In fact, here's a direct link to a piece of Peter Jackson's short, in 1K.
posted by MythMaker at 12:04 PM on October 22, 2007

I think film will become a tiny, specialized thing that's hard to get your hands on, like Super8. It won't go away, but it won't be mainstream, either.
posted by MythMaker at 12:05 PM on October 22, 2007

Yeah, modern (American) filmmakers like to make The World War II Movie, or The Vietnam Movie, and occasionally the Civil/Revolutionary War Epic. But very, very few WWI movies. Surprising, because with the noise Saving Private Ryan got you'd think someone would be all over showing off the horrors of trench warfare. I would love to see it--something that traced the early parts of the war to the later parts, especially emphasizing how dramatically different warfare was at WWI and how ordinary soldiers and officers had to adjust to that.
posted by schroedinger at 12:12 PM on October 22, 2007

But very, very few [modern (American) filmmakers like to make] WWI movies. Surprising...

Not really.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:31 PM on October 22, 2007

While it is a tad simplistic, I always refer to a speech William Gibson gave at a DGA event back in 2003. link

My favorite bit:
We call film “film” today in much the same way we “dial” phones, the actual dials being long gone. The fact that we do still employ actual film, in the traditional sense, seems an artifact of platform-transition and industrial economics. I tend to take arguments for the innate esthetic superiority of “film”, with the same grain of salt I reserve for arguments for the innate esthetic superiority of vinyl. Whatever the current shortcomings of the digital image, I imagine there will be digital ways around them.
35mm Film still has a huge resolution difference versus Digital acquisition. But the difference will continue to dwindle...

posted by cavalier at 12:35 PM on October 22, 2007

A comparison of huge instrument-crammed metal jets and the WWI era bi-planes and tri-planes with fabric-covered wings is almost laughable except that lots of men dared to leave the earth in little more than a kite.
posted by Cranberry at 12:38 PM on October 22, 2007

The big WWII or the big Vietnam Movie have very clear stories. Their characters have goals and you can usually understand who the enemy is. Most of the time, you can even understand how the battle is going on, thanks to higher officials or other narrative tricks.

The battle of the somme lasted five months. With millions people dying, good luck finding a main character for your story. Or a goal.

The unfilmability of WWI has been a major theme in WWI movies. Especially in Paths of Glory you see the difference between the way the war it's experienced by soldiers and their commanders opposed to the way the generals see it.
posted by darkripper at 12:45 PM on October 22, 2007

The best WWI movie I've seen recently is A Very Long Engagement, and stars the wonderful Audrey Tautou (see Amelie). Sure it's fictional, but what a story, and superbly shot.
posted by furtive at 12:59 PM on October 22, 2007

Steve Soderberg is currently filming the Argentine and Guerrilla--two movies about Che Guevara--using this camera. Apparently he's very happy with it.
posted by mert at 1:17 PM on October 22, 2007

The exception is the video cameras George Lucas uses, which cost in the 6 or seven figures.

This camera blows those Cine Altas out of the water.
posted by zsazsa at 1:29 PM on October 22, 2007

Other World War I movies: Gallipoli, Johnny Got His Gun, Sergeant York, The Dawn Patrol, La Grand Illusion, Doctor Zhivago.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:18 PM on October 22, 2007


I actually saw the full length film at NAB, in all of its 4k glory (projected from a Christie 4k projector), and let me assure you, this is simply the most amazing digital "video" you will ever see. What they showed at NAB was the film cut from footage that came straight off the original prototype cameras (cameras that only had a "start" and "stop" button on other controls) with no color correction, and pretty much everyone that came out of the theatre came out with jaws dropped. Considering that it was from prototype units, with no post processing, it pretty much looked like film. Granted, it looked like film with no grain, and it wasn't necessarily "better" than film...just "different".

As soon as I was able to get my hands on the 1k downloadable version of the trailer, I loaded it up on my HD system here at work, and played it on a reference grade production HD monitor for several of the top DPs in my town, all of whom have been very skeptical and critical of the RED hype. To a tee, they were flabbergasted at how good the footage looked, even as a downloadable 1k Quicktime.

The time for doubting the RED and all the hype surrounding it is over. The cameras are in peoples hands, and the verdict is unanimous that the camera IS real, and was well worth the wait, even despite having feature-incomplete units.

I do have to agree with people dissing the hype (the latter of which I include myself a year ago) regarding the camera itself "changing the industry" and replacing film. It will to a great extent, but not necessarily because the visual quality of the camera alone. There are many other cameras on the market now that look as good as the RED (i.e. Genesis, Viper, Sony F950), albeit much more expensive.

Where RED will change the industry is in workflow. RED One was not just designed as some uber-camera, and left at that. They designed an entire production workflow infrastructure around the camera, both hardware and software, that was really designed by actual USERS of said workflows, and not geeky engineers in a lab somewhere, spooging on thier keyboards because of the great technical specs of the camera sensor. This is where I feel RED is doing things right, as opposed to the established camera monoliths like Sony, et al.

The truth is, RED is one of the last steps that will indeed "kill" film as a standard production format. But it will be the workflow that kills it, NOT the quality of the camera per se. There's absolutely no debate that film looks better than digital. For many of the same reasons why guitarists still use tube amps, there's that organic, analog aspect of film that digital will never match. But what rules a lot of filmmaking, as well as commercial production, is time and money. It matters less and less to people nowadays that film looks incredible, if they can get "close enough" with digital technology.

I'm seeing this quite noticeably, as someone who works in high-end commercial post-production. In the last year and a half, the number of agencies who are choosing to shoot thier projects on HD has gone through the roof, whereas before, the workflow of choice was to shoot on film, send the film back to the lab for a one-light, then transferred to tape for offline editorial, then a cutlist made and sent back to the film transfer house for online color correction in a $500-1000/hour Da Vinci suite, then transferred to DigiBeta tape and sent back to our facility for SD online and delivery.

That costs a shitload of money and time. The end product looks stunning, but more and more, people are seeing that HD is good enough, and are shifting thier production budgets accordingly. This is great for us, because we can keep the color correction and finishing in house, instead of sending it to the mainland, but many of the film cameras in our town are seeing less and less work as digital is quickly becoming the defacto shooting standard.

It's no use arguing this, because it's true. Film will die soon. It's not a reflection on the quality of film, it's just that digital is more convenient (ala Vinyl LPs vs. CDs). And as companies are feeling more and more pressure to get more films out on shorter time schedules and on cheaper budgets, film becomes less and less of a practical option....even if everyone WANTS to do it on film, it doesn't make sense to do it on film.
posted by melorama at 2:22 PM on October 22, 2007 [6 favorites]

This is more related to HD in general than RED, but I'm the only one thinking high definition will revolutionize the way we see the actors, considering we are going to notice more of their small physical imperfections, in the future?
posted by darkripper at 4:24 PM on October 22, 2007

I want to have wild, unprotected sex with a Red camera. Just because I know that our babies would be beautiful.
posted by quin at 4:55 PM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is more related to HD in general than RED, but I'm the only one thinking high definition will revolutionize the way we see the actors, considering we are going to notice more of their small physical imperfections, in the future?

I don't know it it's feasible, but I can see Hollywood responding to those situations with some post-production airbrushing.
posted by aldurtregi at 5:05 PM on October 22, 2007

Excellent. My friend is getting red #275, and his friend with red #50 (I think) has already paid it off since he got it a month ago - rentals right now will go for several thousand a day. And drjimmy, while I respect your skepticism, that was the old generation of digital. Bad cameras, bad workflow, bad projectors.... we're now talking about shooting at the resolution at which they scan the film to do effects. It's a whole new world. And it's relatively cheap.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 5:28 PM on October 22, 2007

I don't know why folks think film is going to last forever. Sure, as a kind of niche--like vinyl records--but if the digital is cheaper and faster and easier and looks just as good, then film's going the way of the dodo. The latter, italicized point is key, and this camera seems a good start for everyone to get into the game, and in the future the quality will only get better and the price will only decrease. Production companies can save money (in theory) and the industry as a whole will be better off. Losers? Well, Kodak for one, but they've been pushed off the stage for quite a while already.

In 10 years we'll look back on this as the beginning of the current film industry paradigm (among other things).
posted by zardoz at 5:38 PM on October 22, 2007

It doesn't look just as good. It doesn't necessarily look worse. It has as good or better the resolution of a digital 4k film telecine, but the look is different, and there will always be people who'll want to see things as they are represented on film. This isn't an either/or proposition. Just as 3d hasn't killed cell animation, neither will the RED camera kill film.
posted by shmegegge at 5:45 PM on October 22, 2007

Having a camera that can shoot 4K is one thing. Having the post-production pipeline (and the chops) to efficiently finish a show at 4K is quite another. I'd be very curious to know what resolution Red owners/users are actually shooting and finishing at these days.

Aldurtregi, "Post-production airbrushing" is already taking place. Well, it's been happening in MTV music videos for some time. But try watching a digital-cinema copy of The Island on a really big screen some time and you'll notice all kinds of digital pancake makeup on Scarlett Johansson's face. (Not sure if you can see this on a 35mm release print, but if you know what a Photoshop "blur" effect looks like, this is really obvious in the digital versions.) I've heard this was done to a great extent on The Invasion as well, though I didn't notice it on the prints.

Zardoz, the issue isn't whether digital looks as good as film. (I think it still doesn't, but reasonable people disagree.) The issue is whether it looks fundamentally different. As long as it looks different, directors and cinematographers with clout may well insist on keeping it around as long as studio economics permit.

Hell, Steven Spielberg won't even edit digitally, let alone shoot digitally. The only thing that will kill film is a concerted, multi-studio decision to mandate digital shooting, or the aging and death of the current generation of celluloid stalwarts -- whichever comes first!
posted by Joey Bagels at 5:48 PM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

Everything melorama said is dead on. It really doesn't matter so much what the images look like; it's the workflow that the camera allows.

I'm finding the notable aspect to be that the production advances (cameras and capture methods) are now developing as fast as or faster than the post-production ones.
posted by dogwalker at 5:51 PM on October 22, 2007

Also: Everything Joey Bagels said is also dead on.
posted by dogwalker at 5:56 PM on October 22, 2007

And: That trailer is, indeed, a total tease.
posted by dogwalker at 5:58 PM on October 22, 2007

In times like these I find myself asking:

Would I kill for a Peter Jackson World War One film?

Well... kill is such an ugly word...
posted by Kattullus at 6:12 PM on October 22, 2007

If that was shot with a digital camera, I'd say that the film industry is about to change in the same way the record industry has.

Screw that... the photography industry as you and I know it will be dead in ten years.

You read it here first.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:26 PM on October 22, 2007

Not to change the subject, but for people with prosumer DV cameras (like Canon XL1/XL2)- the main thing that makes your video look less "professional" is your super depth-of-field (everything in focus). Dan Schweinert makes/sells DOF adapters and puts instructions online for those wishing to make their own. Another guy also has a three part YouTube video explaining how it works.
posted by spock at 6:54 PM on October 22, 2007

I too have seen the short film (from which this is taken) in the full-res 4K. I saw in on the Sony 4K projector at Calit2 during SIGGRAPH. Yep 4K digital cinema really is impressive. But the overwhelming feeling I personally took away from the experience was "FORGET the FUCKING BEAR already". When you see it, I bet you'll agree with me.
posted by rlk at 7:23 PM on October 22, 2007

posted by melorama at 7:26 PM on October 22, 2007

Da bear is da metaphor, ja?
posted by spock at 7:30 PM on October 22, 2007

Also, my wasnʻt a Christie 4k they used to project at NAB. It was the horrifically expensive Sony SXRD 4k. Beautiful, regardless.

That reminds me of one of the things that sorta went unheralded in all the press and hype surrounding RED. The boys at RED have announced that they are not only developing a "pocket" version of the RED camera, but also RED 4k Projectors and 4k displays.

The latter two items are particularly exciting, because at this point the biggest expense in digital cinema is in playback and projection. AFAIK, the number of available Sony 4k projectors in the US can be counted on 2 hands. Prohibitively expensive. And high quality high definition displays are still very expensive. If RED can "complete the chain", from acquisition to post production to distribution and playback...and do it at prices astronomically lower than companies like Sony, Christie, Panasonic, Panavision, etc etc...well then holy crap, the game may in fact be one giant leap towards being over.
posted by melorama at 7:36 PM on October 22, 2007

Speaking of Depth of Field, one of the things that's cool about RED is that the CCD is the size of Super35, so you get 35mm depth of field. Plus, you can color correct the fuck out of it in post. I'm super excited about this camera.
posted by MythMaker at 8:40 PM on October 22, 2007

darkripper: "This is more related to HD in general than RED, but I'm the only one thinking high definition will revolutionize the way we see the actors, considering we are going to notice more of their small physical imperfections, in the future?"

No, youʻre not the only one. This is probably one of the biggest paradigm shifts (god I cant believe i used that term!) that DPs new to shooting on HD are facing. It also affects set designers, visual effects supervisors and even motion graphics designers. Things that we used to be able to say "ahh, youʻll never see that on your NTSC/PAL TV set at home" to are no longer the case. Many actors have HD performance clauses in thier contracts because of the insane level of detail that HD cameras capture.
posted by melorama at 8:46 PM on October 22, 2007

I posted this mostly for the Peter Jackson / WWI movie aspect of it, but the discussion about digital vs. film has been very interesting. Although there have been some good WWI films, Paths of Glory probably being my favorite, there hasn't been a recent film that really captured the public imagination. In the U.S. there seems to be a huge lack of interest in that war, I think mostly because our involvement was relatively brief and the casualties not as astronomical as the other participants.

Even if a Spielberg or Jackson was to do a big-budget epic, I don't see it being a big hit. Of course there are always possibilities for a good independent or relatively low budget film to be made. I think it would have to be based on a small unit, "lost patrol" or "take that hill" kind of film. I don't how you could make a movie about the Somme and encompass the magnitude of that disaster. Maybe just ten hours of footage of guys walking into machine guns and getting mowed down.

One decent WWI film that doesn't get much mention is Regeneration, telling the story of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Although I haven't seen it, Joyeux Noel has possibilities.

Hell, I'm enough of a dweeb I'd like to see a decent Enemy Ace movie.
posted by marxchivist at 8:53 PM on October 22, 2007

Anecdotal evidence: David Lynch moved to digital -- cheap digital at that -- with INLAND EMPIRE and has vowed never to work with film again. I also recently heard Sidney Lumet say that "all directors hate film" because it's clumsy and difficult to work with.
posted by muckster at 9:30 PM on October 22, 2007

The biggest workflow changes I can see happening is that you don't have to wait for dailies and you can start cutting as soon as you stop shooting. Depending on your gear and location, you can be cutting AS YOU SHOOT, seeing how the scenes and takes will work in the overall project.

I remember hearing about the imax guys doing this with DV back in the day, using a low res dv camera tapped into the lens, so they could a general idea of what they were shooting. Since they were in the middle of nowhere, the couldn't develop their film, so would just dump the DV to a powerbook and get a general idea of what they shot, what they may need to do next, etc.

Now they just replace the cheap DV camera with a RED (or similar) and drop the film system entirely.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:51 PM on October 22, 2007

It's super high-res, and you can pull fantastic keys with it, so it'll be perfect for opening up more and better cheap visual effects for lower budget projects. You get essentially grain-free 4.5K shots at up to 60 frames a second. Plus, Final Cut Pro supports it. You can finish it, upresed and all, on a Final Cut Pro system.

Output your 4K master out of the machine that cut the film. Finishing full resolution digital films will be as easy as outputting DV is now, it's just bigger bandwidth.

To be able to do the same effects while shooting film, you'd have to develop it, telecine it, cut it, choose the takes you're going to use, film scan it at 4K, do your effects, then do a film out using what amounts to a high resolution printer that prints on film, which then gets shipped off in big reels to get strung up on a film projector, ripped and worn down, shipped around to different theaters...

If you shoot 4K RAW, you can either offline edit with an offline resolution, OR if you really have enough hard drive space (and drives are getting CHEAP), you could just offline with the 4K files. You just need a big raid of 1T drives, but it's not all that expensive, really. And then you could easily pass along shots to the effects people, just output a Quicktime. When you're all done, make some kind of output file, and upload it somewhere - the distributer, the theaters...

You get to skip a lot of expensive, time consuming steps. And with a good colorist, you're in a high bit depth color space, so you can make it look like whatever you like.

This is a shift. It's a path that we were already going down, but this camera is better than the HD cameras. And a lot cheaper than the Viper , et al.
posted by MythMaker at 11:31 PM on October 22, 2007

...thinking high definition will revolutionize the way we see the actors...

The manicurists are the ones who will benefit most.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:32 PM on October 22, 2007

Doctor Zhivago

As far as I recall, the only WWI scene in that is a shot of Russian soldiers leaving the trenches and the first days of the February revolution. All the other military references are of the Russian civil war.
posted by vbfg at 3:18 AM on October 23, 2007

It's interesting the parallels here with what people were saying when the first digital SLRs where coming out.

Screw that... the photography industry as you and I know it will be dead in ten years.
You read it here first.

I remember reading something by Philip Greenspun, who started, 7 or 8 years ago, where he said that the future of photography was selecting frames from high res digital video.

The same way the Ultrahigh megapixel DSLRs have spelled the end of film?

Well... yes. Exactly like that. Film in photography is dead except for a few tiny niches, and I suspect that ten or twenty years from now the same will be said of film in movies.
posted by markr at 3:55 AM on October 23, 2007

Film in photography is not dead. It may not be widely used in advertising or journalism, but it's just not dead. Any pro photog, be it high art, sports photography or what have you, who is in demand and wants to shoot film will be able to, provided people are willing to put up with the downside of developing delays. The only places where you could legitimately make a claim to film being dead are the front pages of newspapers.

Hell, Steven Spielberg won't even edit digitally

I find this incredibly difficult to believe, but I don't know anything about his post workflow so I'll admit it's entirely possible. But for someone who works with so much digital effects stuff in his latest films to cut on a flatbed is almost criminally insane. although having just checked imdb, it says that Michael Kahn still edits on an upright moviola, so I guess that's that. jesus shit.
posted by shmegegge at 9:31 AM on October 23, 2007

Yes, Steven Spielberg is shooting and editing Indiana Jones 4 on film, not digital. Hard to believe, but true. There will always be holdouts. (It was always interesting to me that Robert Altman embraced HD with The Company back in 2003 since I would have expected him to be a staunch traditionalist. Of course, on that film there was the practical matter of letting the cameras run long enough to catch uninterrupted dance performances.)

Markr, I think cinematographers are starting to become concerned about exactly that issue (selected frames from high-res digital video as still photographs). They're worried that they'll start to see footage they've shot not just used in a specific project, but repurposed as high-quality stills for posters, billboards, etc, all without further compensation to them.
posted by Joey Bagels at 11:16 AM on October 23, 2007

the future of photography was selecting frames from high res digital video

Kinda-sorta. The reason cameras (and film in general) will not die for a long time as an art is the same reason you can still buy tubes of oil paint and charcoal pencils. There's a certain degree of control in the process that you give up when you switch to digital. You can change sensitivity, but it's not the same as dealing with real chemistry. Most people are happy with the trade-off: the extra control they get over the pixels themselves. Not to mention it's an assload cheaper.

The worst effect of the digital conversion in photography has been the additional strain it places on editing pictures. Instead of a couple of rolls of film--72 shots, max--now you're dealing with memory storage that allows you to take hundreds of shots. That means more hours spent in front of a computer screen going through slightly different versions of the same picture. "Is this one where he's looking down better than this other one where he's looking slightly away?" ad infinitum (et nauseum).

These suckers are like strapping four Canon 1D Mark2's to your body and walking around with the shutter tripped for minutes instead of seconds. That's a lot of crap to sort through just to find that "perfect" shot. DO NOT WANT.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:58 AM on October 31, 2007

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