We had a fantastic time Thursday night our Convergence party at MECHANISM DIGITAL’S rooftop lounge in Chelsea.
The BBQ & beer bash was a great opportunity to hook up with some old friends, meet some new friends, and discuss the opportunities and challenges involved at the intersection of video and still photography.
The post production folks meshed with the photography crowd nicely. At the end of the night I was hanging out with some of the crew from Mechanism Digital and they were amazed at how hungry the photo crowd were to learn about video production and post production.
Some of the interesting surprises that came out of the evening was the amount of buzz in the photography community about the Red Camera vs. the Canon 5d MkII. The consensus was that both are great tools. The Canon 5d MkII provides a great file straight out of the camera, but that file comes with a few drawbacks in the form of limitations on post processing and corrections. This can create difficulties in post production with noise and color shifts when making deep modifications. The Red on the other hand gets you a file that out of the camera might not look as good as the Canon, but the data in the res file is much more complete and rich. So post processing on the Red is much more flexible and forgiving. But that flexibility comes at a price because the Red codec takes some serious processing horsepower and needs a pro to assemble the final product.
The other interesting thing I heard going on was talk about the ever increasing use of CGI and rendering in still photo. Mechanism has got a team of post processing guys. Each has a specialty, there’s a frame worker, a lighting guy, and a particle and physics processor. Each member of the team works on a specific process. The big difference between what Mechanism does and what a still photo CGI shop does is that for a still photo you are working up lighting for a single frame. The Mechanism guys will put it together for anything from a 15 second TV spot to a full length feature film. When asked how hard it is for them to do a single frame the Mechanism physicist said, “Man, once we get the physics and the lighting done you have got your single frame…that’s easy and that’s just the beginning of our work to make a complete segment.” You only need to check out MSNBC this Sunday July 12, 2009 “Why Planes Crash” show that Mechanism produced to see what they mean.
The last major takeaway from the evening was that the video crew’s feeling that the photographers were going to end up running the show. Photographers have a reputation for being artists and creative geniuses. So the overwhelming consensus was that the photographers would have more success shooting video and bringing in and directing video crews then the other way around. I think the jury may still be out on this one.
We hope everyone had as much fun as we did, and we hope to see you around at our future events. If you would like to join our mailing list for upcoming events, please register here.
Many thanks to Lucien of Mechanism for co-hosting with us, and many thanks to our interns Jessica and Katie for putting the wheels on this party.