Bleeding Edge Technology…

Player One of the things I have always taught on my courses is that when it comes to technology, you can’t believe anyone. Especially when it comes to new technology. This is not because experts are mistaken or wrong, it’s because everything is so untested. There simply hasn’t been enough instances of it working out in the real world to offer a definitive rock solid recommendation or pathway. Software is often in Alpha or Beta phases (in fact most software in cutting edge facilities seems to be at the permanent ‘Stable Beta’ stage and never ever goes beyond that – it’s always in development.)

And now hardware also needs software to work! My BluRay player is more computer than simple player in the classic sense of a CD player for instance.

This problem has just cropped up with the guys doing the BluRay master. Even though they were assured that their HDCamSR player could play back the max definition tape we have of Gone Fishing, that’s in SR 4:4:4 – it turns out it couldn’t, or perhaps, their player didn’t like my tape? Who knows. The point is, once you are at the cutting edge of technology, problems through no fault of yours or theirs, seem to manifest. The lesson is of course, don’t be the guinea pig! This doesn’t bode well for anyone embarking on a feature film shot on the Red camera for instance. I would love to hear from anyone who has done it so we can nail down a work flow.

So now we are dropping down to HDCam 4:2:2 and making the BluRay from that. And don’t even get me started about the 24fps thing – or is that 23.97fps? Or 25fps?

I thought HD was supposed to make everything easier and cheaper. It’s a shame we now seem to have a gazillion format permutations to choose from, making it really hard, even for experts, to navigate the murky waters of final mastering.

On another exciting note, the film (DPX files) was scanned to negative last weekend at Cinesiste by superstar Mitch Mitchell, and is now at the labs being processed. The audio is also being shot now, by Warwick sound I believe, and within a few days we should see out first Com / Opt 35mm print. And that means a print will definitely be under my arm on that flight to Cannes!

Onward and upward!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author
www.livingspirit.com
mail@livingspirit.com

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