Technicolor | PostWorks
New York City
The tailing-out of motion picture film production provokes the question "What is the sine qua non of cinematic quality? Is it still film?” We left something behind when we transitioned from black-and-white to color, and some would say that nitrate was superior to safety film in lucidity. Old lenses and old emulsions lend some pleasing qualities that even the most sophisticated digital imaging systems and modern optics have lacked: can these qualities be fully emulated or enhanced by digital techniques? What would digital nitrate look like?
Cinematographic imaging systems have started to borrow from medical and scientific imaging techniques and from the broad language of still photography to invent a post-celluloid filmmaking: high-resolution and high-dynamic range acquisition and display technologies place fewer and fewer constraints on this mixture of languages, allowing both wholly new motion picture imagery and better fidelity to our full cinematic heritage.
The democratization of high-performance image processing and imaging software tools has allowed more flexible placement of creative techniques in the production/post production/distribution cycle: this very much mirrors the effects of "post-modern" process management and automation in the manufacture of other goods.
We see the opportunity for greater transparency and greater thermodynamic efficiency in these techniques. 2015 will bring sophisticated imaging techniques both closer to the camera and closer to the viewer, while still permitting authorial control, and the filmmaker will be even less constrained by when and where these decisions may be made.