Sunday, November 6, 2011

Doing the Digital Charleston…

The decision on Digital (in this case Red Epic) and Film remains in limbo on our show. The key issues are the ability to monitor focus during action scenes and the potential for practical light elements to induce flicker in a majority of the shots. The latter problem is not a camera problem, it's a problem of electrical stability and not having the budget for the devices which can stabilize it. We're not too happy at the prospect of pushing over what we all see as the finer image quality of digital because of bad voltage regulators or because the resolution of the camera shows off even the smallest variances in focus, but this may be what happens. The DoP isn't happy about it either but he knows that the best looking shot ever is still NG if it's not in focus. Without a through-the-lens viewing system it's hard to be as confident as you want to be when you are shooting once and shooting fast as will be the case here in India.

Our VFX team is devastated by the prospect of shooting on film after all. They have worked hard to develop a working pipeline for Red while all around were failing and now it looks to be all for naught because of non-technical issues beyond our control. It's hard to accept that this is an unworkable system when many action films around the world, including Hollywood have been successfully made with this camera. Everyone says they don't want to be the last to learn digital, but it seems that ultimately there will be a big dash for the chairs when the music stops.