The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for August 18th, 2010

The Future of Picture Editing http://bit.ly/aNRLVA

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Zak Ray when I travelled to Boston. I like people who have an original take on things and Zak’s approach to picture editing – and his tying it to existing technologies (that may ned improvement) – is an interesting one.

And yet, despite such modern wonders as Avid Media Access and the Mercury Playback Engine, modern NLEs remain fundamentally unchanged from their decades-old origins. You find your clip in a browser, trim it to the desired length, and edit it into a timeline, all with a combination of keys and mouse (or, if you prefer, a pen tablet). But is this process really as physically intuitive as it could be? Is it really an integrable body part in the mind’s eye, allowing the editor to work the way he thinks? Though I can only speak for myself, with my limited years of editing experience, I believe the answer is a resounding “no”. In his now famous lecture-turned-essay In the Blink of an Eye, Walter Murch postulates that in a far-flung future, filmmakers might have the ability to “think” their movies into existence: a “black box” that reads one’s brainwaves and generates the resulting photo-realistic film. I think the science community agrees that such a technology is a long way off. But what untilthen? What I intend to outline here is my thoughts on just that; a delineation of my own ideal picture-editing tools, based on technologies that either currently exist, or are on the drawing board, and which could be implemented in the manner I’d like them to be. Of course, the industry didn’t get from the one-task, one-purpose Moviola to the 2,000 page user manual for Final Cut Pro for no reason. What I’m proposing is not a replacement for these applications as a whole, just the basic cutting process; a chance for the editor to work with the simplicity and natural intuitiveness that film editors once knew, and with the efficiency and potential that modern technology offers.

It’s a good article and a good read. Raises the question though – if Apple (or Adobe/Avid) really innovated the interface would people “hate it” because it was “different”?

Aug/10

18

Copyright – what’s it really for?

Copyright – what’s it really for? http://bit.ly/dAKuzl

The primary purpose of copyright is not, as many people believe, to protect authors against those who would steal the fruits of their labor. However, this misconception, repeated so often that it has become accepted among the public as true, poses serious dangers to the core purpose that copyright law is designed to serve.

If you think you know copyright and what it’s for, you’re probably wrong.

Aug/10

18

3-D filmmaking’s radical, revolutionary potential

3-D filmmaking’s radical, revolutionary potential http://bit.ly/bxJb5S

I’m not a huge fan of 3D – I don’t mind it but I don’t generally seek out 3D versions of a film because:

  • The glasses keep me aware that there’s a frame around my movie;
  • 3D is darker than 2D; and
  • Every time there’s a cut – and a jump in 3D space – I have to take a moment out of the story to work out where I am in space.

This Salon article considers what we could do with 3D other than what people are doing with 3D.

For the sake of argument, though, let’s think about what might happen if 3-D movies embraced only the first or the second parts of that description — if they became more intimate and character driven, or if they went in the other direction and became more structurally and stylistically abstract, even trippy.

The result could be genuinely revolutionary. It could let us experience movie storytelling — and movies, period — in a new way. It might even give rise to a new art form, one that’s related to its ancestor, cinema, but that takes off in new directions and does things we can’t even imagine yet because so few people in the entertainment industry have been willing to look beyond entertainment as they’ve always known it.

 

August 2010
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