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‘Let’s fix, sorry…let’s make it in post!'

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

I was scrolling through the ‘No Film School’ website having a leisurely read until I came across an article titled: This Tool From Unreal Engine is the Future of Cinematography.

The tech giants Unreal Engine have created an incredible bit of software that creates an ultra realistic virtual background that can be manipulated in a whole plethora of ways, it fools the camera into seeing a realistic background. Oh and it can be controlled fully from an iPad.

You can watch the impressive video here

I do truly marvel at these advances but unfortunately there is an equal part of me that sighs when discovering news like above, I truly ask myself; is it needed?

James DeRuvo the writer of the No Film School article states,

‘What used to take an hour to change lighting conditions for a new shot, can now be done in milliseconds from a computer or tablet’.

Milliseconds may be an exaggeration but doesn’t that just strike you as unnecessary. It doesn’t lend it self creatively per-say just to saving time and in turn, and apparently most importantly, saving money.

The obsession with consumer high res camera releases throw me into this mindset and path of questioning instantly. 6k and even 8k, more and more! Do we really need this resolution, and do we really need to keep getting people to buy it. Hardly anyone has 6k let alone 8k TVs or monitors and that resolution in most cases is unneeded, and in my humble opinion it removes from the filmmaking process in some ways. I know progress is inevitable but let’s just slow it down somewhat. If not we are in real risk of the dreaded phrase ‘let’s fix it in post!’ transforming into ‘Let’s make our whole film in post!’

I am not saying Unreal Engine or 8K cameras are going to melt an iceberg but stepping back and considering a change of mind set is needed. We should be looking at less want and more need in every industry. Filmmakers are people, and this is a worldwide people problem. Equally as important I worry that we are growing ever closer to that day where we focus more on the tools using to create rather than the human stories every audience loves to relate too.

Let's not battery farm our visual media like we try to do everything else.