Sunday, 30 September, 2007

But does it look like film

After I described by IBC Red experience to friends and colleagues here, and after I posted a small note on it. One of the commonest questions I get are "But does it look like film?" meaning the Red camera's images.

People ask this of not just the Red camera, but also the Viper, Arri D-20, Dalsa, Si2k, CineAlta even HDV camcorders. I think we're getting close to the point where this will not really matter. I've seen images from all these cameras, not all off film. And I can say that they all have a 'certain look' about them. It is not consistently 'not film' nor consistently 'exactly like film'. But distinctive.

So also the Red camera. It has a 'certain look' about it.

To make this a bit clearer, lets draw a parallel from still photography. For still photography not too many people are using film cameras any more. Even in India. Some years ago, as digital still cameras got better and better, one often heard this question "But does it look like film?" Asked of non-film still cameras.

When was the last time you heard someone ask this of a digital still camera? For holiday pictures, weddings, events, sports, news, even fashion photography. Does a digital still camera's 'looking like film' or not come in the way of its use. For that matter, who remembers exactly what film looked like? For stills, I mean.

So also digital movie making. We will get to the point when people will stop asking "But does it look like film?", simply because not too many will remember. And you will select the Red or any other digital camera because...
it helps you tell your story
it is possible to shoot digital
is convenient to shoot digital
it saves some money to shoot digital against film
the post production is convenient and predictable especially grading
your film will be shown digitally in a digital theatre
your film will be sold as DVD maybe HD-DVD and/or purchased as a download

Some of these reasons are valid today some aren't. especially cost, not yet. Eventually they all will. And then we will make an occasion of watching a weaving and bobbing, centre-hot, scratched and dirty print in a 'period theatre' and probably ask "How did people see this stuff for eighty years?"

As an aside, after my post on the Red, one company in California kindly offered a Red on rent. Link here...

I'm not sure if they will come over to India. But if you are shooting in the US this is a thing to try. Shoot on their Red, bring back the files, and I'll manage the post here in Mumbai.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:30 AM

    Neil, the RDI is ready for that test!

    you just have to pickup the tin can, put the rim on your laser and return the tin back to our lab... that's it;)



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