Dreams of Freedom
- SIDEBAR: THE "ACOUSTICS" OF FILM
When discussing the differences between source materials mastered on film or from a digital/electronic formats, I find that the reasons given for preference of one over the other varies depending on who is participating in the discussion.
If you ask most producers, they will say, "It doesn't matter, since the average audience member can't tell the difference," referring to whether a movie, series, etc., is shot on film or some digital format. It's all in the story or the actors or the explosions or nowadays, the vampires or zombies.
Of course, our industry is based on budgets, and in every producing arena, the bottom line is cost. If there is a way to save money when it comes to creating a product, the choices matter.
From my own perspective, there are physical characteristics of how film reacts to light that has been brought to life through a chemical process that has been tested to the extremes of its potential, time and again. Even as amazing as its digital companions have become, and will become in the future, will they ever capture the visual "acoustic" quality of film itself? Once we received the film dailies from Cinefilm to compare to the RED footage we had been working with in post, everyone in the edit room could see the difference between the digital source and that of film negative.
Beyond the limits of what the casual observer can recognize, my subjective opinion is that the way that light reacts to an effectively exposed negative, without the myriad of post effects or colorized versions, has that organic nuance that might someday only exist in yarns they call "a cinematographer's memoirs." Let's hope not.
If music can tame the wild beast, can music and coffee change the world? That improbable concept is what lies behind a unique musical and visual event that is coming soon, not only to your neighborhood, but perhaps to your home.
I was called in the early planning stages of "Storyville Live," to be the Director of Photography for "Flyboy," part of a multi-sensory production that would span the country from filming in Seattle, to the Oregon Coast, to editing in Orlando, and final color mastering in Atlanta.
Our production also spanned formats from 35mm film, RED, Canon 5D Mark II, Sony EX3, to the HD MC1 lipstick camera, all mastered to 2K. The imagery is stunning, but our goal was not simply entertainment. It is to raise awareness of the human slavery that still affects over 20 million people worldwide.
More on the cause later. Let's explore the concept.
The visual and musical ideas came from Jon Phelps, founder of Full Sail University, whom I had worked with on several occasions, as their location in Orlando is my home base. As he stood in front of his DC-3, the same one immortalized in the Full Sail logo, he explained to the production team that the storyline is somewhat autobiographical, with the character of "Flyboy" sharing Phelps's boyhood dreams of becoming a pilot.
People yearn to be free, and in one sense, flight embodies that physically. In a similar way, music can be an incredible expression of freedom to a person's spirit. Our concept was to combine those two expressions in the film and the series of concerts that it would be shown at. Jon not only directed the film sequences, he also composed the music for the 90 minute program.
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