Friday, 27 May 2011

Far Horizons, now behind us

The National Association of Broadcasters event in Las Vegas has just occurred - a very typically American title in that it assumes that all of us, all 6 billion are of that nation and persuasion. The main news here is the innovation of a robust set of Digital Cinematographic pieces of equipment with Sony's F65 as the biggest piece of kit in that as it uses an 8K chip it actually for the first time delivers 4k real resolution (with regard to various theorems and rules of mathematics). F23 means 'two thirds', F35 means a 35 mm sized chip, F65 means a 65mm film sized gate as the size of the chip.

Regardless of the paraphernalia and excitement around an event such as this, in the end NAB simply announced that whereas several years ago high resolution data on a par with photo-chemical film was almost impossible to achieve on many different levels (light response and rendition in a filmic way, the ability to record the signal without massively compressing the data - all of that stuff) right now we can surpass the level of quality of film. By that I mean that the resolution is higher in both capture and display and with the advent of High Dynamic Range Capture and Display we can surpass the rendition of what the eye sees with Digital Cinematography in a way that is higher on all counts than with Film. It has helped that finally CMOS chips have caught up with CCD's in development.

Forget the arguments about whether film does a different thing (which of course it does): on a technical level the argument is over.

That is a big statement - When I came upon HD around the early nineties, that was an impossible thing to imagine.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Invisible when appropriate

I try not to be so on the nose in the title of these posts but last night whilst watching 'Pina' by Wim Wenders (bless his cotton socks) apart from being ecstatic at the content and especially Pina Bausch's choreography for Stravinsky's Right of Spring - the 3D was invisible.

And in that it became invisible because the content was appropriate, so 3D came into its own. It took a ‘Wenders’ and a non-commercial subject to use space in a way that was worth doing and hence part of the film-makers palette. Of course Tim Burton et al can use the medium (because their gaze within whatever medium is skilled and talented) but the craggy old German had the simple sense to ask himself what the aesthetics of the medium were capable of then not only use these, but to use them in a way that did not - excuse the pun - stick out.

Rather Wenders simply used 'depth' like colour, light, camera movement etc as if it were simply one of the elements of the palette that the film maker has access to.

It’s still a pain in the backside to have to wear glasses, but holographic 3D is already being tested in the research labs so we won’t have to wear these 60’s Jetson styled objects for much longer.