Hi Mr. Palla, just a 2 cents.
2. ''Netflix pays pennies on the dollar for some good films and pays a huge amount for some crappy films.'', really? Is it that they quantify the payment by the level of attraction of a film or its budget/quality (like say they would pay a lot of money to a film that is 'blockbuster-like' quality but may be bad to some, but they won't pay much to an innovating small indie film - simply because not many will watch it (art film, not popular film; thus low appeal)? I think this is what is going on, it's all down to pennies now (because of oversaturation - too many films/too little money/too little time - they become extremely Selective and ask for the cream of crop or nothing else); if they think your film is not 'marketable/low budget art film' you will not be paid much (I could be wrong and very clueless on subject) - no matter if your film is a chef d'oeuvre - if, it still does not 'sell'. That is the prob I believe today, too many indie films, too many art films, too many Blockbuster films, Too many films...not enough cash/time/resources to distribute..hence, only the best of the best of the best get anything, the rest, crumbs. Millions of films do not end up on theater screen - they end up on Netflix..mostly ignored...thus, we cannot put all films in theaters, simply too many (again, too lil cash/too lil time). And, there are like not much more than 500 or so films that end up in theaters...that is Small Fraction of the total films made each yes (upwards douzen thousands (like at Sundance festival/Cannes/some 5000+ subsmissions and they reduce that down to like 100 films or less..what about these other 4900s films...long forgotten), all of them 'gone' never shown...but Netflix gives them a voice/a public; finally a place to show very low budget films, to all). With that said, if Netflix pays pitance for your film, we are forced to find alternative because that does not pay/equal the work put in the film/budget (like an indie film made for 250,000$ and they pay you a 2000$ reward to be on their platform, that's it). Does Netflix also pay 'by views' number of views/say your film has 1 million views worldwide online Netflix x 50c a view = 500,000$
3. True, I agree and it is to be fair to all; but I think netflix/streaming services 'have had enough of being the 3rd tier/2nd class citizen' and that 'cinema's should be first'..they don'T want anymore; they want to take The Throne off of cinema. They are tired of being relinquished as 'straight-to-DVD' cr*p, well here 'straight-to-streaming', in the old days 'Straight-to-VHS'...this was very bad and spelled 'your film is bad/low quality/'not worth it in theaters'); it was almost like 'being dejected' on these 'low home video' 'late' platforms. Always late, later...and Netflix tired of that. NEtflix wants In Right Away, same time as film comes out in theaters, that is fairer to them; not 'Cinema Theaters Always First' unfair to them (that, I believe, is how they may see some of that); and to say ''but cinema theater screenings should always come first (because better quality/Big Screen/sound/experience) because they Need It /they Need The Cash....'to survive/exist' hence Must Be First....', they Must Make the Most Money, First....
On that I would say Netflix is seeing differently, I think, and other streaming services too. So, it's not just about co-existence now (Streaming and Theaters), it's about claiming the First position, I would not be surprised if we soon see this:
1. Netflix -> 2.Theater -> 3.DVD/Blu-Ray
1. Netflix -> 2. DVD/Blu-Ray -> 3. Theater
Yes brace yourself it could be a possibility, that theater ends up Down the line.
Because $$$/time, and I think Netflix is trying to 'Take the Audience' 'online' 'away' from theaters...adn into their computers/TVs 'online'...and such, in evolution of things.
4. It'S true it seems they are not playing fair...but 'in love & war' what is, this is capitalistic business (being director/producer yourself, you know that), business live (by the sword) and die (by same sword). Theaters Most Offer More/Value for the same...tickets too expensive, beverage/junk too expensive...movie goesr tired of paying for films...now streaming subscription lot more affordable, hence theaters coming empty. Theaters must offer more to compete, right now 'per dollar' they may offer less, no matter how grand/big/sound/image the epxerience, many people don'T care - they watch a film on their iPad or tiny cell phone (awful...but Convenience (and at cheap price) is the word of the day, because there is Surabundance of films...people choose what they want - best bang for cheapest buck; theaters not offering that anymore. Some people are now creating 'Home Theaters' at home with a 3meter tall screen + projector...right in their homes making 'mini theater' and more than suffice/replicates big theaters).
6.''6. Netflix and other Streaming sites will be solely responsible for destruction of Theatrical Business in USA.... while rest of the world enjoys movies in big movie Theatres where they follow proper release window while folks in US have to watch on iphones/laptops/TVs. A Netflix or Amazon can never do the same for example in a country like India where Theatrical Release is the most important part of a movie release.''
I agree that they will/caused destruction of certain theaters...but I think the Netflix effect is starting to be more 'planetary' than just USA; they intend of export this all over. But, for now, like you said, it'S mostly in North America; only they go international, then all bets are off; the sweeping effect could be tremendous because Online/Streaming - 'has no country' - online is country agnostic...in the sense yes it'S 'USA Online'...but anyone in the world can watch a film From nearly anywhere so long as they can go to that website Whereever in the entire world. Thus, the 'Reach' of streaming is far bigger than any thing theaters could do (although they are very established in the world since the entire last 100 years (of cinema building) allowed them this very long head start). But, as we see, many theaters close all over the globe - albeit in certain places, like India and China, there is a big boom of Cinema Theater going (as if they 30 years late over North America, while here, we are 30 years later/done). It's why you see films/blockbusters ahving big success in India/China but sometimes much weaker in North America (for us here it's 'old news', but over 'it's much newer/recent').
Absoltuely, if film theaters can innovate, they will survive, if not, they won't; it's a capitalistic hard business, and why such a big worry/many jobs on the line/investors in theater distribution (theatrical distributors).
Just a 2 cents.
Hi there ! Just a 2 cents. (first, question, second, my thoughts).
Question: Does anyone know if it is true that Netflix would only pay a dismal amount of money for an indie filmmaker's film to show on it (and let's say a Bigger budget film, like in 100-500,000$ budget), that they pay something like 2000-5000$ compensation tops 'to be on their platform' no matter the size/work/budget of your film?
I think, if it is the case, and don't want to pay more than that; then, I don't see any reason to put your film there (unless you have a wish 'to starve'), because, if true, that is probably the biggest joke ever. I understand they may not be 'that rich' to pay 'all the indie filmmakers whom Also Want to be on their platform'; hence, can only give so much (and if they were to give such small amount - then, it can mean they are cheap (dirt, to the extreme), they don't have the funds to pay huge money, they receive a Ton of indies whom want Their film on their platfrom Too. So what are they suppose to do...they can only offer what they can (from their finances). And, it 'seems' that they have Plenty of indies going for/to them..as such..why would they give more money..no need...the indies come 'from themselves'..It's not Netflix running after indies; it's the inverse. Thus, most likely, 'too much demand' and 'too little money to offer'. Reasonably speaking, I thought Netflix would pay something like 500,000$ or something to have the priviledge of having the movie, a least a few hundred thousands; not sub-10,000$ (a joke). Me thinks, it's the inverse, the indie 'gets the priviledge on being on our platform'..no matter if their film costed them 150,000$ to make; they will give you a 'consolation prize'.
If Netflix is like that, then I am really saddened (thinking I was going there..later for my film..like most indies, but if it's crumbs we get..why then?...might as well try in theater...which apparently, is even worse now, since Netflix as eroded the cinema'hold' of viewers...now people which convenience and speed/don'T wanna bother 'going to movies' (and so many crazies out there..prefer watching safely at home), I, like many here, am from the old days ando ld tradition of going to the theater..but lately my mind has 'warmed' to the idea of Netflix being our future (and it is); so what can we do to make a better co-existence of both..because that is what matters I think. Cinema's should no dissapear..but in business, most business die if they do not Offer Something More/Value than the other 'new one' (Netflix). That is the way 'to compete' still, and remain in the game against online streaming movie viewing. I am super happy about this streaming technology, though I understand it hurt the cinema theaters' bottom. But, things change, thus cinema must adapt (or perish, I'm not for that..and like many here, being a cinema is an experience like no other...something to cherish and to show to new generations...but it seems the interest is dwindling and streaming 'is taking over'.)
If Netflix pay chumpchange for indie/blockbuster film makers they will skip them...I'm saddedn now because I was pumped for both theatrical realease And Netflix release (but now I think Netflix buys 'total exclusivity right' so you don't show your film in theater...although I could be wrong, we would have to make a contract that allows both, not just Netflix exclusivity).
I want to end by asking I heard that Netflix pays a certain amount depending on how many times the streamers views your film, like that 'advance (upfront payment of 2000$ (weep)) + the money's from number of times film seen). So if no one watches your film on their platform you make no money (just like in theaters, you must seel those tickets; here you would need 'views = cash'; Netflix would recognize that your film is popular/recommend it and so you would earn on 'those millions of online views' of your film (say 99cents a view? or something.. x 1milllion views).
I can imagine Mr.Spielberg's worry and he has a point, I sympathis with him but he is going all-out on this/too much a bit, but Netflix is going to survive/stay and I don't have a problem withe their films winnings Oscars/Academy Awards..the more the merrier, Academy is adapting to new reality that's good, cinema theaters have difficulty adapting it seems/stuck in old traditions (because it'S 'a (cinema) tradition' (aka unadaptable it seems))...as some said, they are different 'mean'/'media' and just as valuable/important (yes, despite the whole 'you reduce cinema theater money and destroy cinema theaters/their livelihoods/their very existence....debacle'.)
Just a 2 cent,
Today, there are around 10 film labs left in the United States, but the risks and expenses associated with shipping film stock
outweigh the benefits for many filmmakers
This. This is the single reason why film has become the 2nd medium (and nearly extinct). That Kodak wished to
give to possibility for filmmakers to make their films physically on 35mm pellicule is incredible and gives
them choice - But, there is a but :
''but the risks and expenses associated with shipping film stock
outweigh the benefits for many filmmakers''.
So, I think this initiave is why it will stay, as said, a niche thing; but, still a good thing (choice), and
these films made on 35mm will have a special 'cachet' to them (that cachet is called Cash(Cachet$$$)) and
look like 'how films used to look' back in the old days; soft, deep, rich colors and constrats; just like
regular analog processed photos of old times. I think it will remain a special thing : only blockbusters
will capable of getting this film treatment. The Walking Dead is getting it because they are massively
blockbuster series (rich). Indie filmmakers can forget about that, unless they team with people
who have these huge budgets or rack-up money on crowdfunding campaigns (kickstarters/don't hold your breath).
Digital Filmmaking is a revolution : because it is cheap, fast, efficient for *much less/much much more affordable - unlike 35mm which is expensive
and money makes the film industry go round or die of it (as 35 mm suffered by its own price problem, could never change that...).
Without digital, I could never make my film - as it all made in a computer (Computer Imagery) thank goodness, I know that sounds really off-sounding;
but some people make films Other ways than shooting on 35mm pellicule; this is old gold standard, still stands, but is changing;
it's not so important anymore)). I think it's because there is also a grievance (of it being gone) and a reluctance (of it being gone), and
another reluctance (of accepting digital as good (not good enough - too 'digital/fake'; I think we can emulate anykind of 'real' 35mm
camera - it will happen; emulation can emulate anything; even a negative light-chemical process - it's all numbers and we can code that.
Light laws can be coded and emulated. Same for pellicule properties and infinitely small frame distortions made by this pellicule (and that
make it 'authentic and unique/genuine 35mm')). I thought that digital filmmaking at 'Reached The Max' and couldn't be better - I was wrong
and it keeps on getting better, and better and better; as it adds more and more fidelity and infinitely small details (that are near-invisible
but that our brain picks-up and 'knows' it's a 35mm).
Fooled. That's what movie magic is about, digital movie magic is now about, fooling you into thinking it's all made on 35mm and 'in a real world';
when in fact, it's all made in some studios with green screens and empty air; and all 'made in a computre'. So, now do you believe ?
35mm is thus a good and bad thing, good because it's 35mm and gives that beautiful image, give that film option;
bad because no one uses it because it died from it's price and unaffordability at large. Could not market it to mass market indie filmmakers on shoestring budget = bankruptcy.
Digital (0$ price) solved that.
If it ever does come affordable, people might come back to it; until then, I think the next 100 years are digital
made, as the last 100 ones were made analog 35mm. Still, certain rich filmmakers or Series Filmmakers (like TWD) who get the big budgets
can make 35mm films, that's great for them (the rest will not be able to afford this, it makes no sense when digital filiming is micro-fraction price
and thus, mostly useless for them/does not apply (does not apply 'to budget')); one more option for them.
Just a 2 cent (2 cents it's good price, very low and it applies to digital price; physical media (pellicule) 2 cents per frame = pricey).
Nice article ! Just a 2 cent.
I think some nailed it quite right :
''A sculpted image that doesn't stick to reality at all, with deep blacks and high contrast, with a big gap between warm light and cool light''
That's very true, it's a because it's a 'Code' per say, in the sense that cinema has a 'language' and codes that you can abide
by and makes it look 'cinematic' (cinema-ish/something you would see at a cinema theater - if we Never had seen that in a theater
then it would mean that 'what we 'think' as 'cinematic' is in fact something else...that's because it's our 'tradition' (Cinematic traditions)
and our 'code' we immediately recognize from viewing thousand of movies in our lifetimes). All these movies follow that code...
Truth is you can a make movie that is 'less cinematic' and it still be quite cinematic enough.
THere are cartoones (drawn in 2D) that are very cinematic because they follow the codes, such as having a cinematography that
is very 'real' (like a slow moving camera, dolly, zooms, up down etc...angles...you know all that stuff with the camera is emulated
in 'drawing'...) - other 'same' cartoons - who don't follow these cinematographic codes - fail at creating the 'cinematic' effect.
What's more it's also following the old cinematic story acts : 1-2-3 (Start - Middle - End). So the story too is important
for the 'cinematic' effect because movies have a first -middle - end part/acts. So, people immediately 'know' it's 'cinematic'
for it tells the story in a very orderly fashion - a very 'cinematic language/code' fashion A-B-C.
Stil... you can even 'tell a full story' ...in a TV movie or like a 'series'...but if you don't work on certain elements
it won't feel cinematic at all (like 'lacking cinematography' at the Largest Culprit why your film is not cinematic per say...
Real shot Film's (being cinematic) emulate what they call an altered reality or 'in the past' reality...what you want to show
is not 'in the moment'...that is if you shoot a film - with a cheap digital video camera running at 30-60 fps...people will
'know' immediately this was shot 'recently'..thus, you destroy the 'dream' effect
(dream sequence attained at 24 fps (frames per second)), the surreal effect of being capable
to see in 'between' frames is called 'dream-like effect' and makes our brain think 'it's in the Past/it happend already'
(like a dream we had long ago). While shooting in very high frames - kills the dream effect and creates the 'soap opera' effect.
Which is that it feels 'Live' as if someone is 'currently/as of this moment ...somewhere' shooting 'live' the film you see on screen.
This Live effect removes the dream effect because we know - in the Reality - it's also why we call it 'Reality TV', which means
Live TV ('in' Reality - TV)...same thing with films that have the 'Live' feel by going upwards to double fps. EX: The Lords of The Rings Hobbit film
was shot at 48fps (48 frames per second)...the first thing people complained about that film : 'soap opera' effect... the 'dreamy' effect
was gone...now we felt as if these 'elfs and orcs' in the film...were 'fighting' Right Now/Live... whereas the Lord of The Rings 1/2, these
films emplyed the old standard of 24 fps...it was huge difference, it felt far more 'dreamy-like' and just like the standard of all films are.
This 48fps litterally made the movie 'feel' like a live sitcom with elfves and dwarves... it destroyed the mood. In reverse, it did
make the film 'more live'..so you felt as if you were 'there' with them - right now...and it did not happen a 1000 years ago in some Middle-Earth..
it's Happening Now...and 'you're 'Living it/Experiencing it' 'LIVE'. A good thing and bad - i think it's a question of preference,
it's not necessarily 'more cinematic' at 24 fps - it can more cinematic at 48 fps : It's a Code/Language we are Used to...and 'we think'
that 24 fps is the 'cinematic' one..but really...when done long enough..people will think...''Well No. 24 fps looks awfull...give me
the 'Live 48fps'..that's Cinematic...''.
See...it's all 'traditions/codes/languages'..in one culture...red or green means something...in another culture/country...red or green
means something else...
I think the closest we get to 'cinematic' (in the 'traditional' code/sense that is to the Western world) is a combination of things :
- 24 frames per second.
- 2K resolution or higher (1920x1080 HD minimum), below that it can start to look 'low cheapcamcorder home video-look' rather than 'film-look/35mmm look', this
associated with amateurism and not with film (since film avoids 'visual' amateurism by going full-pin in resolution; the higher the resolution
the sharper your image and more contrast/vivid/coloring..we start To See Something (clearly)...that helps a lot, instead of seeing pixel garbage at low res).
- As some said, deep constrat is crucial to make those details come out..like 'deep blacks' matter greatly (unless you want to crush your blacks
on purpose as a stylistic choice) because they reveal the 'details'/Constrats in the dark pixel areas which help to 'define' the shapes/silhouettes
of the actors/assets...it creates a 'popping' effect; like the image 'pops' to your eyes 'In 3D'' (it's a 2D HD video image..but it feels
'3Dissh' by the 'depth' you get from the contrats/blacks and the 'DOF' (Depth-Of-Field') by your lens (the blurring of the background to
make objects be selectively in the 'foreground' or 'background'..the camera lens work exactly like a human eye len..what it sees closely
is sharp...the rest in the backgroudn is blurred out (Ex: put your finger very close to your eye and focus on it...you will notice that the
background is blurred...if you focus at the background.. your close finger (to your eye) will become blurred (because you switched focus to the background).
This 'in=and=out' of focus / Blur...is the DOF and creates this deep 'Depth 3Dish effect' that is greatly used in films, especially. It Helps
to make a more 'Visually Cinematic' image.
- Sound is Crucial, SFX sound effects, foley...extreme foley makes a film far more Cinematic.. same thing for Atmospheric Music..this
elevates dramatically the 'Cinematicness' of the film
- And then there's the whole 'moving' the camera thing that creates the 'Cinematography'...how you use your camera can make or break
the 'cinematic' effect (EX: in certain films like Avengers or Pixar movies, sometimes the camera does things that 'Abnormal' because
it's a virtual camera..though it does look cool and sort of' cbecomes a 'code' in itself/ a 'cinematic code'...it doesn't 'Gel' with
the 'OLD' code...of the traditional cinema code cinematography : Real Cameras (constraied by laws of physics in reality)
can't fit in a tin can nor can they fly a 1000 miles an hour...
like in some virtual camera shots in these films that employ VFX (myself I have to be careful since my film is enterily VFXCG and I don't
want people to think that the camera moves 'are fake'....Fake camera moves (or let's put an another way: 'non-traditional/non-traditional cinematic code' camera moves
destroy the film and make it 'Anti-cinematic/Fake/Cartoonish/amateur'.
- Lighting, also vvvvery important, lighting helps to tell the 'mood/visual atmosphere' and play on people's emotions (bounced lighting helps to 'bring out the details/3-point studio lighting (key/fill/rim)').
It's another element like sound that is needed
to boost 'cinematic effect'. Awful lighting makes a dull film or just 'flat' (Flat Lighting). The story - sadly - becomes stale('er)...when
I mean it could Be The Exact SAme Story but with Good or Bad Lighting..now ask yourself which story you prefer...it's same story just 'visually'
presented in a more 'Likeable-way'...it's a visual stimulus to 'engage' in the story, when it's 'pretty' looking - it helps.
Still.. as I said : it's only a Code..we could make Very bad Lighting Films...people would 'Dig Them' and they would become 'Cinematic/Tradition'.
- Budget, if look like crap TV non-movie..it's hard to 'save it'..and 'make it look cinematic'. Cinematic Code rhymes with (more than less) Budget (traditionnaly).
- you can create the 'cinematic look' by adding elements in the picture - like emulating 35mm pellicule 'film' look, by adding '35mm noise' emulation overlapped in a 2D post-prod software,
you can add these 'imperfections' (noise, chroma bleeding, lens distortions, dust, hot spots, bokeh DOF, blur rack effect, black crushing or not, overexposed/underexposed look, using LUT files (special 3d color files that emulate 35mmfilm negatives in 2d software), Lens Flares, enhancing motion blur, blurring elements on purpose, softening the image harsh aliased pixels (anti-aliasing), of a celluloid negative pellicule, you simulate it so it 'looks' like 35mm even if it isn't. (That's exactly
what I'm doing with my cg film, it's all fake but if it 'looks like cinematic 35 mm' pellicule. who cares, that's 'Cinema Magic/Wizardy/Tricks'.
- The rest like 'emotions'...the feel you get it from the story, actors, etc...still All Of This you can See It in a Non-Film..like TV series
and it could look VERY Non-cinematic...
I think the visual look, the auditive presentation, the traditional story linear fashion, the 2K-8K 35mm/HD look, the High budget, the cinematography, the 'dream-effect 24 fps', the contrast/deep blacks,
the DOF (lens depth of field), the lighting....this is the (western cinema tradition-constructed) 'Cinematic' Effect'.
Just a 2 cent.
Hi, great article ! This is an inspiration for all filmmakers ! (WoW).
No matter if you're alone in this - don't fret it; some things are possible (not everything of course, within the scope of your production budget
and your time/resources)...
but this filmmaker proved that it's possible. Believe in yourself, don't give up (it cannot be 'an option', just tell yourself that you will
go through it all the way, abandonning will almost seem as if it was all in vain (especially, if so far in the process). You learn a lot
through the process and the years; but one thing you learn is to never give up and making sure you reach the end).
I suggest also that first-time filmmakers spend a - great - deal of efforts on these elements :
- Story/Characters/Uniqueness/Originality/Your own thing (not a reproduction of someone else's ideas)
- Your distribution plan (what happens after you're done.. figure it out, the sooner, the better (your PLAN B/C later if it doesn't go as well as planned with distribution/no one
watches your film..sh*ttt......etc). Inform yourself of how to maximize outreach for 'audience viewing' of your profile, Nobody (really) spends years to have their film be shown
to their family and friends...and that'S it. All filmmakers (mostly) wish to 'make it Big' (for the first film at least) and hope for the best in terms of distribution. It's
such a crucial step, tThere is 'making the film' and then another thing, 'making the film play somewhere with people'.
- Cinematography (the better it is,
- Find ways to get money (That's very obvious though), crowdfunding or such (I haven't ventured there but I may need to; I hope not). You're going to need some at some point (buying 'unforeseen' things, 'unforesen expenses'; like you will need a E&O special insurance
'that protects teh distributor of copyright infringement' if you wish to distribute your film).
The choice/genre of that film is something that I've noticed
for many indie no-budget starters; the documentary. I think that's a great avenue for anyone contemplating
making their own film - by themselves - alone (or nearly alone). I will share some of my feelings (
as I am currently making (alone on my own) my first full feature adult-R fiction thriller film (I started many years ago...still not done (gaawhhh..lol)...
the reason for that is because I am doing a 3D CGI Animation Film that has the quality of a Pixar film less the childish PG content (Rather than 'filmed film' 'live' in reality).
I have 0 experience with 'live filming - I don't even have a camera lol! (Except an old cruddy NTSC cam that I never use(d))' (althoug I very much 'get' the camera
language and transpose in digital cinematography (as best as I can, it's not 1:1 thing, in digital, you cheat
and you try to 'make it look' like the real thing. It's hard, but with these years and improvements, softwares
have become so powerful they replicate anything you do in real life with almost 100% accuracy (like there was an article about real-time renderers that is demonstration that fully 3DCG or 2D animation film made
Entirely in the
computer will dramatically appear in the next 15 years); and it will get
Even Better/Faster/more Automated..etc; it only improves, that that's the benefit of computer automatization
and exponential 'manpower' available by the computer/automatization; that huge crew, some of their tasks
get automated; as such it becomes feasible to do it own your own in the 'virtual (imaginary) world, either 2D (hand drawn); or 3D (full CGI)' (as I am doing)).
Sometimes, I feel like creating a No3DAnimationFilmSchool like website, there are absolutely none.
There is very little content regardings to non-real film. In fact, it's always assumed
that 'film' is real and with a camera, when film has taken form in animation hand drawn and later
on in computer imagery (CGI animation). That's why I love this medium of film, it's not about
picking up a camera/point and shoot real things (which is great too). It's about making a world from your own thoughts
of reality - rather than filming reality itself (with a cam). Of course, that entails lots of
work (you may need a whole team (and very little people 'venture' alone in animation it'S too much work), or you must 'get creative'/solve lack of manpower/no-budget problems) and that is why people shoot film 'in real life' (you can't beat reality - it's free/there for you,
plus if you're alone/on your own it gets more feasible), it's easier to shoot live than making/creating it all by yourself in a animation or CG film (like I'm doing). This requires
most creative capabilities and demands on you, because you must replicate reality/basing yourself on
reality. With that said, I counted the animation/CG texts on this website on one hand (sigh). Clearly,
very few people are doing that (going the 'animation' route for first film). I could ask how many people have made a full-length feature film (not a short) in animation
or CGI here or even on ImbDB - alone, by their own self; I would get silence/(silent) crickets.
A nice article, thank you.
Just a 2 cents,
I will share some of my feelings. For my film (which is nowhere finished) I am using CG and I had internal battles as to how go about doing that. This technology is truly incredible and would save me a ton of time and money (btw I love Unreal games, UE4 (Unreal Engine 4) is breathtaking))... but then not.
This technology is not free for commercial purposes (same thing with other Realtime video game rendering engines of today like Frostbite, Fox, Unity, Cry engines)), the company that created the engine asks for a cut of the commercial profits of the TV ad with CG, integrated VFX CG to live film, full CGI animation film or PS4/XBX1/PC videogame all made with their realtime video game engine. That is they grant you a commercial license to use their rendering engine for commercial purposes (making money from selling your TV ad, film or video game made with their engine). The commercial purposes costs vary, but all are prohibitive for indie filmmaker on a shoestring budget below 5000 bucks (the commercial costs can be 3000$ for one of these engines, and some ask a % from the profits you made from your creation instead/or both (which can amount to far more than 3000$ paid to them to use their engine). It's all a question of money, yet, again, and again.
I wanted to use GPU Accelerated Realtime Rendering Videogame engines, like Unreal Engine 4, since it is photorealistic depiction of Reality, same quality as ultra dogslow long rendering CG with CPUs (non-realtime rendering engines used in CG for VFX and fully CGI animation films like Pixar's Renderman Engine rendered CGI animation films) . I ended up using Pixar's Renderman technology in 3delight Renderman homologue (DNA Research company, 3delight was used to render for Jurassic World film's CG dinosaurs like the raptors and the Indominus Rex dino, and most likely, in the next Jurassic World 2, they will use it again for the CG dinos because of its stellar rendering quality (as it use Pixar's Renderman technology algorithms). It's slow, very slow, but the result is Hollywood like big buget Movie quality CG, not cruddy CG by a crap 3d rendering engine that makes the renders look as if they were rendered in 1983 ('crap Retro CGI', think Lawnmower man or original Tron films CGI : CGI at its very infancy and not photorealistic at all).
It is still incredible and opens doors for uncomplex shots. For detailed shots the video game rendering engines cannot accomplish what you need, although as somehave said, it's only a question of computational power: add more GPU graphic cards or higher transistor count per GPU card and you can render ultra intensive and memory consuming tasks such as billion-polys mesh surface micro-tesselation Displacement, camera bokeh depth of field, photographic global illumination and spectral based lighting, high sampling motion blur, and so on and so on, and you realize quick why engines fall apart when you throw them the entire kitchen (the kind of visual quality and fidelity needed for a motion picture): they are not Film Production Tested and Ready.
But only Video game Ready and Tested. That's why they are seldomly used in the cinema industry, but that is slowly changing with GPU card prices dropping; hopefully the Realtime Video game rendering engines, like UE4, will drop their commercial license costs; right now, it's just unaffordable for indies but only bigger budget productions plus there are limitations to these engines depending on your rendering hardware ($$$$)..
Just a two cents.