Video futures | 未来视频

Peter Jackson has been shooting a really interesting video diary for the forthcoming Hobbit two-part film. Whilst all the Tolkien geeks are pouring over it salivating at what they are going to spend their next ten year’s disposable income on, I was curious to know what it was likely to tell us about the future of video.

  • Technology still hasn’t addressed the need to shoot 3D in an elegant way. Much of this is down to the fact that the economics and scale that has driven semiconductor innovation hasn’t been replicated in other aspects of technology such as camera optics, so they use Heath Robinson-esque mirrored set ups to get around the interocular (replicate the distance between your eyes) distance issue
  • The amount of dedicated cameras that Jackson is having to use suggests that 3D product isn’t likely to come down in cost anytime soon; so we are still likely to have shoddy post-production versions plied on cinema audiences for a good while yet
  • Higher frame rates make a difference. I hadn’t realised that the human eye can distinguish at up to the equivalent of 60 frames per second. Shooting at this speed makes imagery more believable. So we are more likely to go to 60fps 4K video than 24fps 8K
  • Digital doesn’t mean perfect reproduction. If you’ve listened to an iPod versus a decent CD player; or a decent CD player versus a decent record player – it would be easy to understand this point; despite the historic branding as digital having a higher fidelity to the original. However it was still interesting to hear how the high quality digital cameras de-saturate the video and the make-up artists and set designers have to work hard to compensate for the colour loss on screen