How is technology changing the film industry?

Posted on May 11th, 2016 by Leonard Alsfeld

Technology is an ever-evolving concept in our history, and we live in a time where it has grown radically within the past few decades. This is especially true for the film industry, where we have witnessed rapid changes over the past 50 years. We can see the advances made in technology simply by watching an original release of a film, and then seeing the details and quality advance greater with each later release or remake. Luckily for the industry, these rapid changes are incredibly beneficial to those involved, as it makes the entire production process more cost-effective, easier and quicker to produce and also provides added security for long-term storage.

How is technology changing the film industry

Lower Costs

Film production originally relied on film; today, almost everything is shot digitally. Film provided a unique quality to the end product but was also costly, as a single reel of film can only be used once. This meant that a single angle, a single shot, and a single take would all lie in that single piece of the film. Shooting various angles and multiple takes can quickly inflate the cost without actually producing anything more for the overall project. When production is completed digitally, however, there is more opportunity to complete the same tasks in less time and in an essentially limitless digital space.

Efficient Shooting

As with the reduced costs mentioned above, shooting digitally helps reduce the time required to complete a project as well. Traditionally, shooting a scene with multiple angles would require multiple takes, each with a new reel of film. Each reel would have to be processed and edited through a time-consuming process. When completed digitally, however, the crew can have multiple cameras running simultaneously to capture every angle needed in the same take. The director can review the “dailies” digitally on set if needed and can store the footage in a safe, digital location. This reduces the amount of time and headache spent capturing, reviewing and storing the desired material.

Easier Editing

Digital editing can be a speedy process compared to film because advanced computer technology provides more precise and efficient editing than the standard human-hand-to-film process. Additionally, if mistakes are made in the filming or editing process, it is easier to correct the mistake immediately rather than work with the delicate film in order to correct something unwanted.

CGI Integration

When working digitally, post-production talent is better able to incorporate CGI technology in even the most mundane of scenes in order to enhance the overall film. Surely CGI is helpful in big, explosive scenes, but it is also necessary for less exciting scenes that maybe have a story-changing dialogue. CGI also helps bring characters to life, where costumes and makeup can only go so far. Enhancing the overall quality of the film through technology is easier now than ever and as a result, is now used to enhance virtually any scene.

3D Film

One of the sexier aspects of the latest advent of technology is the access to 3D technology. Films that are shot in 3D require an entirely new set of equipment that is often times cumbersome, expensive and requires unique expertise. However, post-production on 3D is not similarly more challenging to 2D filming. This makes the 3D film an exciting addition to traditional filming that helps bring in additional box office revenue.

Digital Distribution

Traditional film is incredibly delicate and virtually impossible to share in a quick and cheap way. Moving film to the digital world allows for it to be distributed quickly and easily, and often times at essentially no cost.  The advertising and marketing worlds have tapped into this new realm as well, recognizing the benefits of technology through utilizing sites like YouTube or Facebook to do the marketing for the film. Though the film quality may be lower than the original, the benefits are tenfold as millions of viewers can be reached as users “like” the released trailers at no cost to the production team.

Digital Storage

What is arguably the greatest advantage of our latest advances in technology is the ability to store film more easily and securely. Traditional film is notoriously flammable and the quality can quickly degrade. It must be kept in special storage conditions and the physical space that it takes up costs money to those who own the footage. With digital film, however, unlimited backups can be made in virtually limitless locations whether on a cloud or other wireless storage spaces, making digital film the obvious choice in this regard.

Film has changed massively over the past 50 years and it seems to be changing for the better. Peter Santoro of FotoKem remembers when his company started as a film-processing lab that began with 16mm film. This was when everything was filmed with sprocket holes– “even your editing you got back film [or] cassette”– whereas today everything is easily and seamlessly on a digital file. The changes in technology have only helped the film industry expand at an equally exponential rate. Louisiana film industry has also kept pace with these changes. For instance, FotoKem has a Louisiana office, helping filmmakers keep up with the ever-changing technological advantages on location and while earning an incentive for the in-state expenses!

To learn more about filming in Louisiana, contact us today!