I’m back

Sorry about being busy, I’ve been a bad blogger.  We’ve grown in popularity, so my ability to take pictures that I can post publicly is limited.  Unrelated, here are some thoughts to contemplate from Michael Cioni.

We’re abut halfway through the DI of The Social Network and dialing in the look for this film is going great. What Jeff Cronenweth was able to photograph and give to Li colorist Ian Vertovec is a testament to the beauty of the MX and the results on the big screen should be great for the filmmaking community to experience and evaluate.
Speaking of big screens, I wanted to discuss how we are doing the DI of the film. Working with David and his team as well as the team at RED, The Social Network DI is actually taking place on what is quite possibly the largest color correction screen in the world.
At the February RED DAY event, Light Iron brought one of our Pablo 4K systems to use as a test for the TSN DI on RED’s new 40′ x 20′ screen and their new Sony T420 4K projector in a 5,000 square foot space. Proposing a DI to be done in this manner presented a stark contrast to how traditional DI’s are done – even for us. The immediate result was letting these images “breathe” on a larger screen -which better represents theatrical distribution exhibition characteristics for everyone participating in the DI.

But the purpose of the DI was not to do it on a big screen just for the sake of it…

One of the most popular concerns for many filmmakers is the ability maintain as much creative control of a project throughout the creation process. This goes for the studio as well. While there are many contributing factors in various feature films that inevitably can dilute creative control (ie: farming out of dailies, visual effects, title design, conforming, test screenings, and of course, DI, etc.), democratization is offering up some new opportunities for progressive filmmakers and at its core is neither film nor tape: file-based workflows and file-based tools are the key to the next-gen of of creative control.

Consider this:
The Social Network is a film that is being done without traditional reliance on large post laboratory infrastructures. To many RED users, this is a fairly normal practice, but for studio feature releases (TSN is Columbia), reliance on post hoses is almost a constant need (often for good reason). Li is doing similar workflows on 4 other studio productions right now, but in the case of TSN and RED MX, David’s team and his editor, Angus, were able to do all the backup, dailies, editing, temp conforms for test screenings, and even prepare it for DI all in-house. And with the DI, the DCDM, and the DCP being done on the RED Studios lot, nearly all of the digital components of this film will have been achieved without reliance on a traditional laboratory infrastructure. The “post house” we brought to RED Studios is merely a 3′ tall road case with a Pablo 4K in it, some SDI cable running to a scope and a projector, and a Mac Mini for iTunes.
Let me be clear that none of the above comments are meant to imply executing this does not require powerful equipment, a proper setup, and talented individuals. This concept is new and will only improve the ability to mobilize, internalize, and literally help “fuze” together all areas of the production process together. But we’re not through the woods yet, the film-print releases for TSN will still make up about 85% of the movie’s release and does require significant reliance on traditional film recording laboratory support.
However, what it does mean is the potential mobility of end-to-end services has reached a new level – and by merely controlling the mobility of your content and keeping it closer to you within a smaller team inevitably increases creative control of the process…which helps make a better movie, which is our job 🙂


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