I’m deep into the preparations of the film — scene planning, location scouting, technical preparations. Filming is scheduled for August and October. And things are slowly getting exciting now.
But there’s an announcement that can’t wait any longer: The Antithesis film is not going to be a 3D film like I broadly advertised from early on.
I researched deep into the stereoscopic filming technology these past months and must conclude that with the very limited budget that is available to me, such a film is impossible to stem in 3D. Not only does one need a second camera, but also a rig that ties them together with a mirror system, and technology that can handle the two separate data streams for the photographer and the recording. Now while all of this is possible — it’s not on the budget that I have. Buying is out of reach, and so is renting.
Observant readers of the crowd funding campaign early this year have noticed that a very low budget was expected to torpedo my 3D aspirations. It’s what happened. While I clung on to that idea for a very long time it’s now the time to bid it farewell.
And since I’ve been open about the issue from the beginning, I hope it’s going to be okay.
Limited 3D viewing facilities at people’s homes on the other hand have never appeared as limitations for me. I was determined to organize screenings in proper theaters or independently organized in galleries around the world with the necessary 3D equipment for an adequate viewing experience. But first the 3D images need to go into the camera before they can come out of a projector.
From an artistic point of view I’m not too sad about this development. 3D film is a very tight corset when it comes to photography. One example: The choice of lenses is pretty much limited to 50mm focal length — more or less the focal length of the human eye. Wide angle or tele lenses will disturb the viewer’s brain’s image processing since it’s not used to seeing wide angle or tele images in three dimensions. The fact that the images seem many times more real to the brain because of its impression of depth introduce many hurdles that should not be ignored.
And then I have already filmed a few sequences on a festival last month that I want to see in the film. Footage that I could only shoot because I have my camera with me all the time — not a 3D camera. And there will be more occasions like it.
And there’s another development going on that is so exciting to me that I completely forget about the 3D thing. People are coding alternative firmware for the Canon camera model that I happen to own. A firmware that can since recently record 1080p HD footage at 25 frames per second in RAW photo quality. That means endlessly more color depth and pretty much the image quality known from RAW photography. The resulting film quality will match that of cinema productions with film cameras that cost 20,000€ or more.
I need to do some more testing, but right now it looks like I can use that technology.
Atop you see my film equipment, a Canon DSLR with a field monitor and a follow focus ring. Maybe you can imagine that we’ll be able to shoot some amazing picture with that.
I just uploaded a small test clip (see below) that I shot and processed today. It’s not in HD resolution, but you can maybe see how this is much more crisp and the colors and light much more even than what normally comes out of a h.264 in-camera encoded film file. Note: For testing I turned the sharpening up way too high, so edges appear unnatural sometimes.