March 14, 2014

Watch: Blackmagic, Adobe, Vimeo & More Predict the Future of Filmmaking at SXSW

Keeping up to date with what's currently happening in the cinematic world is certainly an important part of being a filmmaker, as is being able to recognize and anticipate changes. We've heard many thoughts on where the future of cinema and filmmaking is headed, from the transmediatic, multi-celled film to the end of TV as we know it. Adding to the discourse through their new series of (very) short SXSW video interviews is Wipster, who asked industry professionals, like reps from Blackmagic, Adobe, and Vimeo, what they saw in the future of video. Continue on to find out what they said.

The major themes we've heard in the past several years is that film and video are going to become democratized, and indeed they have. Digital cameras and editing software has made it possible for those without large budgets or formal training to jump in and start making films, but that was just the beginning. Now that making films and videos is something any can do, the numbers of not only no-budget filmmakers have increased, but the needs of these filmmakers as well. And other than the technological advances we've come to expect in a tech-driven industry, that is where the future of film and video seems to be headed -- addressing these needs and dealing with the incredible saturation of the market.

Wipster caught up with a bunch of creatives/professionals at SXSW and asked them where they thought the future of video was headed. We've shared a selection of the videos below, but Wipster will be adding to the list in the coming days, so be sure to check back so as to not miss one! So, what do these creatives think the future of video will hold?

Better visual quality for less $$$

The hesitation to go digital many filmmakers felt at the beginning of the digital revolution was in part rooted in fear of a subpar image. However, once creatives realized how efficient a digital workflow could be, and as the technology continued to produce better images, the fear changed from an ugly, video-y picture, to something reminiscent of indie film's past -- "I can't afford it." In this first video, Bob Caniglia of Blackmagic Design talks about how he believes the future of video will include filmmakers having access to powerful cameras at affordable prices.

https://vimeo.com/88909007

More filmmaker/audience interaction

Filmmakers have more access to their audience than ever before thanks to the internet and social media. However, this access is only the tip of the iceberg. According to Justin Cone of Motionographer and Psyop, it's not just about having access to and having interactions with your audience. It's about collaboration. It's about allowing those who consume your work to have a chance to help you become a better filmmaker with their suggestions. Cone says that he thinks the future contains platforms that make that possible.

https://vimeo.com/88912244

Editing will go mobile

Digital NLE's have made editing a possibility to a whole new generation of filmmakers and editors. Not only that, but applications are insanely powerful and allow creatives to complete amazing works of complicated art in the comfort of their own homes -- or in a café -- or in their car as they're stuck in traffic. Jason Levine and Dave Helmly of Adobe (in what sounds like a bit of a plug -- though the concept is very relevant) discuss how they see editing changing in the future.

https://vimeo.com/88912444

Distribution will become a whole new animal

Probably the most his is already beginning to happen. We're seeing a pretty good number of VOD platforms popping up, staying, and thriving -- and not just Netflix and Hulu. There are distribution platforms that give more power to the filmmaker by allowing them to distribute their films directly to their audiences. Jeremy Boxer of Vimeo, which has its own answer to direct-distribution with Vimeo on Demand, discusses the future of direct distribution.

https://vimeo.com/88912611

Real-time VFX

After watching Gravity and then seeing how it was made, I'm sure that many people, and not just filmmakers, saw a bright future in the world of post-production and visual effects. Creating great VFX is usually a long and tedious process, but Mathias Omotola of Maxon C4D believes the future of video lies in post with exciting new developments, like real-time VFX.

https://vimeo.com/89140639

Again, Wipster will be adding to their SXSW interview series, so be sure to check out the page here.

What do you think the future of video/film is? How will each phase of production change in the coming years, from capture to exhibition? Let us know in the comments below.

Link: The Future of Video at SXSW -- Wipster

Your Comment

34 Comments

A note in the last one: There will NEVER be real-time VFX, the proper term might be real-time render, since you'll always have to build models, textures, setup materials, animate or perform motion capture, etc etc.

March 14, 2014 at 10:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marcus

I think you are a little short-sighted in that assessment. Never EVER say never with technology. Microsoft's Kinect has been doing low resolution, real-time scans of you and the room you are in for years. Furthermore, with the current incarnation that uses current time-of-flight technology, it will only evolve further.
Why do you think that this won't happen? It already has and is. It's only going evolve to get faster and imperceptible from reality. Do yourself a favor and google the term, "Arri Alexa RGBZ". It is coming. Stop arguiing and prepare yourself, Marcus.

March 14, 2014 at 10:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Harry Pray IV

I've been saying for a while that "lighting" will eventually be done in post production with depth-capture cameras like this. They'll just capture all the light information with 20-stops of dynamic range and you'll be able to place the lights afterwards in a virtual-lighting room. Sounds awesome to me...

March 15, 2014 at 12:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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bwhitz

I think, in terms of VFX for the low budget/independent films, you might have a pre-render and a superimpose. In other words, the location - whether real life, digital or combination thereof - will be created and then the real actors will be dropped into it. So, if one takes those "tiger in a boat" sequences from the "Life of Pi", instead of shooting an actor on a boat in a pool, then adding a real/digital tiger in post, the scene will be created prior to having an actor, who will then perform with the digital set in mind in real time. Of course, the high budget flicks will be more elaborate in both the pre-render and the post but it will be possible to create an essentially endless combination of these digital sets much like what is being done currently via stock footage. "You want to have London during the Henry VIII reign or Kremlin during Ivan the Terrible?" - "No, problem. Here's a free preview but it'll cost you $600 to download the 3D 2,000 shot model". Then you shoot your period piece against the chroma screen in your basement for $25 + sandwiches for the crew.

March 15, 2014 at 1:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

@Harry. i think it wont happen because most of the vfx you have to design and create, think Avatar world, how can you scan anything there? Stylized forest and fake creatures, although many clients think theres a button you can press and everything is created the fact is to create assetts to populate a fake world takes time and a lot of skilled artists, real-time lighting is a reality, but real-time vfx is pure propaganda and everyone who thinks this will be a reality dont have an idea how it works.

March 15, 2014 at 10:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marcus

It means going from unionized studio craftspeople to build a set to nonunionized VFX people to do it in a fraction of the time.

March 15, 2014 at 11:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tzedekh

There are also algorithms that get better and better at generating "organic" imagery. Look up Lindenmeyer systems. They are literally, the rules behind branches and certain species of plants can be perfectly simulated. Flocking algorithms are another one that seems real when a CG program of sufficient procedural abilities is involved.

WITH EVERYTHING JOB. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME.

March 18, 2014 at 5:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Harry Pray IV

There are also algorithms that get better and better at generating "organic" imagery. Look up Lindenmeyer systems. They are literally, the rules behind branches and certain species of plants can be perfectly simulated. Flocking algorithms are another one that seems real when a CG program of sufficient procedural abilities is involved.

WITH EVERYTHING, IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME.

March 18, 2014 at 6:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Harry Pray IV

Then you don't know what Jim Cameron is planning for Avatar 2 and beyond. He doesn't want to render in post. He wants to direct the digital characters in the digital environment as if he's directing them on location. No rendering after the fact. So real time VFX is being worked on, just so you know.

March 15, 2014 at 4:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Masaan

You still need to create the characters dude, texture them, design the world and all, theres no such a button you press and the world is created, only then you prepare the scene for realtime render and still it wont happen for avatar 2. Full disclosure, i worked on Avatar.

March 15, 2014 at 9:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marcus

I'm pretty sure he's referring to the compositing part which combines the actors with the CG world. Obviously the models would have to be created beforehand, just as sets, costumes & SPFX have to be created for real-world shooting environments.

March 15, 2014 at 10:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Agreed, maybe people also misunderstood what i said in my first post, one thing is real-time render and lighting the other thing is real-time VFX, the term is just miss leading and take away all the credit from hard working and talented artists.

March 15, 2014 at 11:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marcus

Right on Marcus! Also, to the "believers", compositing is about subtle nuances, it isn't just blending colours to match one another. It's adding all the imperfections that marry the two images together with an infinite amount of variables from shot to shot. Sure they can do realtime previz stuff that looks pretty decent to work with, they have been doing it for a while. Stargate are the king of this realm and do it excellently well, also, take a look at this which has been featured here before https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdsFEMDceNg. BUT, if you think that those shots won't end up in a post house to be done "properly" I think that's a little unrealistic. Sure you COULD do it but then that's like saying you COULD just leave footage as shot in camera when you have the option of making better in the DI. Anyway, it's all speculative and opinion and if I'm wrong I'll GLADLY eat my hat :)

March 15, 2014 at 2:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kraig

That's right Kraig. This video miss lead a lot of uneducated people. There are so much happening under the hood for that to play, I can't even list here.
tech can still go a long way but people will never be able to automate creativity, design. I wonder how they would use the "real-time vfx" thing to film a dragon flying.

March 15, 2014 at 3:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marcus

Once you have a huge library of all the virtual pieces, the workflow... Never say never.

March 15, 2014 at 2:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Natt

We already have this huge library, nonetheless we keep creating new things, even in Avatar 2 the whole world will be reworked again, every project must have it's own uniqueness. Don't mix up "real-time", with "press a button all is done" mentality.
The real advantage of real-time previs or real-time lighting is mostly for the filmmaker to interact in a deeper level with the process and feel more in charge again and it's not really to save money, as you still need an army to create and setup this whole thing together plus a renderfarm cloud to render all "in real-time" under the hood.

March 15, 2014 at 3:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marcus

@Natt - Never.

March 16, 2014 at 10:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Razor

@Marcus - You exactly correct. There is a tremendous amount of work, and artists involved in every single VFX shot. Mathias Omotola's real-time VFX comment was a really naive thing to say.

March 16, 2014 at 10:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Razor

Interesting takes on the videos posted above. I think all of them are spot on except the last one were he talk's about post and it being in instant and that's not in an instant thing in post. Post and VFX had played a big roll in the past few years but if you look back at the Life of Pie Movie, there entire VFX crew was laid off and let go and yet they won an Oscar. You still need a crew no matter what as post is just one cut of the pie and now people are wanting more for less and that plays into the safety of the crew now as we all heard of what happened to Sarah Jones on set in GA. They where shooting a lo budget movie so they decided to cut cost and it cost a crew member there life. Jut because you are working on a low/no budget does not mean that you can forget about your cast/crew and there safety.

March 14, 2014 at 10:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Just to clarify, the film Sara Jones died on was not at all a low budget/no budget indie film. They asked for permission, were denied, and did it anyways. Its not just indies with this problem.

March 15, 2014 at 8:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nick

Yup. I may get blasted for my opinion on this, but I call it "John Landis Syndrome."

March 15, 2014 at 3:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Coty

I was really digging what Justin Cone had to say, I thought that had some real though and philosophy behind it. I kinda felt like everyone else was just after a cheap plug though haha! I mean, I can't blame them I guess and I do respect and admire their own personal manifestos but it would have been sweet to hear what they as big market players really thought the future of film making in general could be as opposed to the future use of their products. Still interested to check out the rest as they come through though :)

March 14, 2014 at 11:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kraig

It's not clear above, but Justin Cone talked about creating content separately from the video stream, so that the video stream can be updated over time with new content. As a former game designer, I'm familiar with this concept. Creating content that can be plugged in and rendered by a realtime engine. Anyone know who is working on this functionality for video production and distribution?

March 14, 2014 at 11:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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To everyone saying VFX will or will not render in real time- it isn't GOING to happen. It's already HAPPENED. We just haven't gotten it down to our level yet. Studios have been working on it for years, and it's getting closer to seamless every day. Case in point-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbyH3lhd17I

March 15, 2014 at 5:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

Bob Caniglia of Blackmagic Design was the only person that had anything useful to say, "Now anyone can shoot a good-looking film, but it's all up to them to tell a good story."

March 16, 2014 at 10:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Razor

@Daniel - Well not exactly, because that's still low poly game engine technology, and actors must remain in a very confined motion tracking space.

March 16, 2014 at 10:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Razor

"It’s about allowing those who consume your work to have a chance to help you become a better filmmaker with their suggestions."

I have favourite films and TV shows, but surely my ideas as a consumer would just have been interference. I have seen situations where fans have a say, and generally quality takes a dive, so I don't really agree with that notion.

March 15, 2014 at 7:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Saied

+1

March 15, 2014 at 11:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jeff

Note to Bob at BMD - Sort out your appalling quality control and support before you make any more cameras, I've not had a properly working BMD camera yet : 1 BMCC with 'Rolling Noise' and 4 BMPCC's with hundreds of hot pixels. All of the BMD cameras have had serious quality issues any many people have been through several replacements like myself.

The process for getting replacements is PAINFUL and is no good to professionals.

Buying BMD cameras is like playing a kind of Russian roulette - hoping that one day, you'll eventually get one that works.

March 15, 2014 at 10:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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We've uploaded another 10 videos to the series. See here: sxsw.wipster.io

March 17, 2014 at 11:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Hey guys I'm making my first short documentary and trying to figure out what to pay for a quality editor without getting jipped. I'm shooting on a Canon C300 to get a cinematic look and feel. The film itself will only be about 7 to 8 minutes in length. What's reasonable?

March 17, 2014 at 4:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Devin

How long do you think the edit will go on for? (hours)

March 20, 2014 at 6:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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That's the only variable that I don't have a clear estimate on.

March 22, 2014 at 2:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Devin

the autor director is not commodity media, learning film will sharpen the vision, but having something to say is not the audience problem, it is the artist and their undersanding all else is gray

March 23, 2014 at 11:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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emilio murillo