What will the next technology trend be in the film industry? If anyone knew the answer, they would become filthy rich!
Hopefully I can strike it big!
Dual Native ISO's. Started by Panasonic, now embraced by Sony and Red. Will ARRI and Canon follow suit?
New standard lens mount. ARRI introduced the LPL which has a wider diameter (64mm) and shorter focal flange distance (44mm). However, I don't think this mount does enough. A focal flange of 20mm would be more ideal for the ability to mount focal reducers (Metabones for example) and will open up the ability to mount any lens from history. The L-Mount from Leica is being adopted by Panasonic and has that short focal flange (20mm), but it's diameter is 51.6mm. Judging by these two mounts, someone is going to make a mount that is a happy medium.
Sharp LED's. Right now, people gush about RGB LED's and units with larger and larger panels. But what happened to the single source light? Seldom do DP's light everything with soft light and there is a severe lack in quality Fresnel/Ellipsoidal/PAR LED's that match the versatility and color fidelity of Sky Panel/Quasar/DS/etc.
Punchy LED's. By punchy, I mean bright. An LED light that has the same output and size of a Joker 1600 with the same color fidelity as a Sky Panel? Ooooo boy, sign me up.
ACES. It's chugging along and people are adopting this wonderful way to standardize the color grade. The sooner DP's and colorists embrace this, the better the technology will grow and our industry will largely benefit from it.
Archival Replacement. Currently, the only sure fire way to guarantee archival of a movie for at least 100 years is printing it to 4 perf 35mm film. However, film prints take up a lot of space, are bad for the environment, and are still prone to being the only copy of something if god forbid the building burns down. (See Universal Studios fire destroying recordings). If anyone can figure out a way for digital archival that has continuous back-up and backwards compatibility with the numerous ways a film can be recorded all while making it viewable decades and centuries from now, then they'll be doing a service to humanity.
Side note: ACES is attempting to do this via color science. Its the physical storage that's tripping everyone up
HDR Camera. I dabbled with this in college, but couldn't get through the R&D phase. Anyone who can create an HDR process on production and in post will introduce the world to a camera with the quality of the human eye.
What do I mean? Take the 3D rigs we saw in the late 2000's and early 2010's. They mount two cameras and use a beam splitter to project the image onto two "eyes". One could utilize this method to record the same exact image onto two camera's, but one is over exposed by 5 stops and the other underexposed by 5. In post, you then use a program that combines the two images into an HDR image (the overlap in exposures combine together, filling in the gaps from the over/under exposure) and voila! You've got an image with 10 more stops of dynamic range.
The above process is crude, so if a camera company simplifies the process into the camera body, with only one lens, and minimal software, then they'll have THE most desirable camera.
What about other industry trends? Here I go!
Fewer Studio Films. Already taking place, but the studios are going to put out less and less movies and focus more on blockbuster budget films. Don't believe me? Compare the amount of movies released by all studios this year (2019) to ten years ago (2009).
AMC is already trying to combat this by introducing the AMC Artisan Films program to encourage lesser known movies.
Movie Theatre Subscription. Started by Movie Pass and carried on by AMC. Where MP failed, AMC succeeded and continues to run their program to this date. Now Regal is getting in on the action while Cinemark has already been doing it.
It's actually a viable option for theatres to introduce a subscription model. Those who do use the programs are MORE likely to watch a movie than before and are MORE likely to buy concessions. Holy poop, it worked!
Industry Wide Strike. The WGA is currently making the news, but the growing anger over the working conditions in the film industry will reach a tipping point. Soon? Not sure, but movements like WDMV (https://www.wedirectmusicvideos.com/) and the shouldn't-be-forgotten beef between Haskell Wexler and 600 should be indicators that something is on the horizon.
Gig Economy Rules. For those who work in the US, most early gigs and non-union jobs don't use a payroll company and instead pay via check and classify their cast/crew as contractors. We've gotten used to saving money from our checks for taxes later in the year, but a bill working through California to address Uber/Lyft drivers will actually directly affect non-union cast/crew. (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/5/30/18642535/california-ab5-misclassify-employees-contractors)
But I don't live in California! You better keep an eye on this, because Uber/Lyft will fight this bill up to the Supreme Court and the decision WILL affect you
Vertical Video Will Live. Instagram TV and Snapchat are already releasing content shot in 9:16. Think it sucks? Cool, that means more work for others.
What do I think SHOULD be a trend?
Animation DP's should get recognition. Sharon Calahan, ASC is a great start, but there are so many more people who do amazing cinematography in animated films.
Stunts Oscar Category. WHAT A GREAT WAY TO IMPROVE RATINGS ON THE OSCARS BY HONORING STUNTS IN FILMS.
Just my thoughts! I'll check this post in 10 years to see if I got anything right. 🙂