But apparently none of this matters because I didn't realize this was a tech forum as stated above.
Nick, that's not the point. Prometheus would've looked just as good shot on an Alexa or a F65 [ it was finished to 2k you know]. I also wouldn't keep comparing your Epic to a DSLR, it diminishes the camera that costs 30 times more, always been surprised at this line of argument.
Prometheus was science fiction with lots of effects so of course Scott would've chosen a higher end camera, right camera blah, blah, blah... but if it had been the finale to the biggest network show in the world that had very few effects and needed a small footprint, then a DSLR was perfect.
We get it you have invested many thousands in RED tech and you need to keep convincing yourself it was a good decision. This is simple human nature... but again and again and again?
My point is that there are REASONS Ridley chose to shoot on EPIC. The TECH does matter, and has consequences on the story.
1) Its tiny. He's shooting in 3D with large camera moves. I know for fact that the larger R1 cameras on Pirates where a huge inconvenience. I have to imagine the size of the Alexa and especially the F65 are considerations for film-makers like Ridley, especially for shooting in 3D
2) The 5K files. Yes it was delivered in 2K, but only because it's too expensive to do VFX in 4K. Otherwise they would have mastered in 4K.They go into this in American Cinematographer. Also, Ridley likes using 5K to REFRAME his shoots if needed, so that's an advantage over the Alexa.
So it's not just about PICTURE QUALITY alone. It's form factor, resolution, there are so many variables that are important. But they all get swept under the rug when the Epic is compared to Alexa and F65. Its like all three cameras are lumped together as "the same", but they are not. The Alexa can't even shoot RAW out of the box.
I'm not diminishing DSLRS, I love them. But I'm also tired of everone saying "I have a 7D, I can be a star". Yes you can. Its just going to be much more difficult.
I know we are in an age when everyone can be famous, but tech does matter. Talent always overcomes tech, but I get irritated when tech is completely swept under the rug, as if it's a minor detail. People spend ENTIRE LIVES learning tech, for a reason. Cuz to do it REALLY WELL IS HARD. And great tools make it EASIER.
The arguments are getting rather circular...
This isn't an either or situation, either the technical quality matters or it doesn't. It matters more for some projects than others. It mattered for "Lawrence of Arabia" more than it did for "Clerks", in fact, grainy 16mm was fine for a movie like "Clerks" and IMAX or 5K would have been a bit of a waste, there's a point where two guys talking at the counter of a convenience store isn't going to be more compelling or funnier just because it's being shot in IMAX. Saying that super high levels of detail always matter is like saying that a landscape painting by Albert Bierstadt or Frederic Edwin Church is always going to be better than one by Monet, Pissaro, JMW Turner because it's sharper.
Your tools matter but that doesn't mean an artist must always reach for the highest-quality tools to achieve an artistic vision, it depends on the vision. And there are other factors that come into play in the real world of filmmaking, few people get to work without making compromises. What if compromising on one element bought you some other element? And you have to be a master of your tools if only to know what you can live without, where you can compromise and get away with it.
I don't agree with the premise that it doesn't matter what tools you use if you are talented, but I also don't agree with the premise that there is one tool for every job, or that the ultimate worth of a work of art will mainly be determined by the tools used.
As I said before, the arguments about what an audience cares about are somewhat misleading, they don't have to care about the finer details of filmmaking, they just want to enjoy the final product -- and sometimes part of that enjoyment is visceral and visual, sometimes it comes from the images, the setting and the costumes, the locations, but sometimes what draws you in is a well-lit face of an attractive actor delivering great dialogue against a blank background. Sometimes all of those things appear in the same movie, sometimes a movie is more one than the other.
What's nice about the newer technologies getting technically better but at an affordable price is that a grungy, gritty, low-tech image becomes a matter of choice rather than the result of a budgetary compromise. It levels the playing field somewhat, but on that more level field, it becomes even more important to now deliver something artistically better or something more entertaining. In one sense, the better the tools get, the less they matter in the grand scheme of things, but you still need that base to work from, just like a great work of architecture isn't usually enjoyed or appreciated for the foundation that the building was constructed on, but that doesn't diminish the importance of that element.
No Shit, LOL! And you quoted my first draft to boot!!! Some of us are just born to be Charlie Brown.
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