The brand new, shiny Sony Handycam I held in my hand in 2005 is still in mint condition today – but it’s useless in this RAW, 1080p HD world. Not only is it bulky and heavy (just kidding), it shoots on tape (??) at 480i – a mobile phones shoot at a higher resolution nowadays. But these are cameras for mortals, surely the high-end film cameras made for ‘real’ filmmakers are above all this, aren’t they? 35MM will be around forever, right?
Well, no. Since the inception of the RED things have been changing in film circles too. The RED was originally described to me by a film cinematographer as an” Ugly camera…And of course it’s digital, so it doesn’t have the feel of a good film camera.” But RED started a revolution that I believe reaches right from the heights of Hollywood down to the more humble offerings on YouTube. RED allowed everyone, including cinema-goers and (begrudgingly) DP’s, to believe that digital did have something RAW to offer, and in doing so the wheel began to turn.
You see, once you embrace the digital universe you know in your heart it’s only a matter of time before the item you hold in your hand, will be half the size and twice the quality. Combine that with Canon’s idea of ‘Let’s use our still’s camera to shoot HD video, so we can utilize our fantastic lenses...” and you cannot escape a creative revolution. The feature film cameras of tomorrow are here today: the RED Scarlet and Canon 5D already have production credits and I’m sure the new Black Magic 2.5K Cinema Camera, (at the amazing price of $3K) will ruffle a few DSLR feathers.
This is my point: Big WAS better, but not any more. The way people experience the world has changed and ‘small’ allows us to get right in there with the action. 1080p action cams put us in the middle of the action, in the air, underwater, wherever. Big can do that, but it will cost ya!
Heed my words -now is a golden time for film makers. With the ‘quality field’ being leveled. the challenge is to be creative with the small tech we have. Lets face it unless I’m shooting a 3D effects loaded blockbuster, my 1080p pixels can tells as good a story as anyone elses. Chasing big cameras, big studios and big budgets is a waste of your time. All the things you need to shoot, edit and distribute your projects are all available to you now. I’ll talk more about those in future posts.
In Mi Experience creativity always beats budget, so watch out Hollywood. When more people begin creating quality film and TV shows with small tech (at a fraction of the price) bubbles will be burst.
Now you may agree, you may disagree – either is good. Remember this blog is all about me and Mi experiences, so I leave the door open for you to prove me wrong.
Mark A. Todd is a writer/director working under his own companies Guvnor Films and Guvnor Media