Sunday, February 6, 2011

Welcome to the Revolution

Until now, it cost many thousands of dollars to get "film like" quality on the screen. When I was in film school 30+ years ago, "budget" indie narratives and docs were shot on 16mm cameras that cost $1000s (which was real money in the '70s). Renting a 35mm Arri BL or Panaflex was out of the question for the ordinary person. Clean sound? Forget it, unless you could afford a Nagra and a good sound person. Lights? Lenses? The story was the same. Unless you wanted to go into the film or TV businesses (and most likely starve), there was no way to tell motion picture stories to large numbers of people without mortgaging your house. I'm not going to go into the whole boring history of how it happened, but many people are now realizing that today, they can put high definition, shallow depth of field images and clean 24-bit sound out to millions of people for less than one month's rent.

So -- millions of people can now tell their stories with high-def video. So what? Some will say that this just means increasing the resolution of the hours of unwatchable garbage already on the screen.

But, many others believe that it also the dawn of a revolutionary new era in which millions of new voices with something worthwhile to say are empowered to tell stories that the world would otherwise not have heard.

I choose to believe the latter -- and the purpose of this blog is to share ideas on how new technology can help to make that revolution happen.

With apologies to Gil-Scott Heron -- this revolution will be televised.

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