Dan Hume's Blog


Future Cinema
October 7, 2010, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Future Cinema

Yesterday was the unit launch for Future Cinema/Designing for Interactivity. Since I’ve decided to go down the Digital Media Pathway, I’ll be doing more of the Future Cinema work, which is closely looking at exploring and expanding the cinematic experience. This involves planning, writing, directing and producing content that is solidly based on narrative.

What is Cinema?

Today, we got into small groups to discuss what a cinematic experience is to us. Personally, a cinematic experience is about being immersed in a good narrative, escaping from reality. We are continually being fed negative news all the time, because that’s what a lot of people in society buy into. Bad news sells newspapers and makes headlines and we’re surrounded by which is why I’ve said going to the cinema is a way of escaping reality. I’ve been so absorbed in the films when I’m at the cinema that I’m not aware of time. Time seems to drastically fly by without any acknowledgement. The way I can justify this statement is when you first arrive at the cinema, it’s still light, then when the film finishes, and it tends to be night. This always surprises people as they are leaving, because they haven’t been aware of the time going by.

A cinema is an enclosed environment with dark surroundings to avoid being distracted from watching a film. This Again, as I’ve already mentioned about the audience disconnecting from the real world and escaping into a fantasy world.

Going to the cinema is often a social event, whether it’s with families or friends, people go in groups. Although cinema is considered a social experience, each individual has there own experience when going to watch a film. It all depends on the narrative, and realism of film that can depict different emotions towards individuals in an audience. The social aspect of going to the cinema is before and after a film, where you able to discuss preconceptions and criticisms. The duration of a film is considered an individual experience where you’re taken on a journey through the narrative.

The Future Of Cinema

I’m not sure cinema will change that much over the next few years, or even longer in fact, as I think people are still comfortable with the way the cinematic experience is.  My instinct is telling me that there will be an extension of cinema, rather than traditional cinema evolving into something new. I think Traditional cinema will probably integrate more sensory technology such as Smell sensors. I’m not sure what the correct term would be, but the idea of a smell sensor would be for the audience to smell a particular scene from a film; therefore making it more realistic.

One of the newest attempts to push cinema forward is an event called Secret Cinema. Secret Cinema is a growing community of all who love cinema, experience and the unknown. Each month, a film is screened in an undisclosed location, transporting people into what some suggest is a ‘surreal reality’.The founder of Secret Cinema Fabien Riggall says he feels it is important that the audience becomes part of the event. Below is a BBC report on the Secret Cinema event in London, June 2010.

Now that DSLR’s have become more advanced, they are more than just professional stills camera. Since the integration of HD video on SLR’s, the cameras are now used to make full HD videos, which look incredibly cinematic. A lot of professional and amateur photographers are now indulging themselves in a bit filmmaking. The thing with DLSR cameras is that they are easier to obtain because they are cheaper than traditional 35M cameras. Soon the iPhone 4 users will be able to attach DSLR lenses to their phone through a custom rig by a joint project between Owle and Vid Atlantic. Owle produce a video cradle for the iPhone called the Bubo which allows it to be held stably whilst shooting. Vid Atlantic supply a small adaptor which allows traditional SLR lenses to be added. This will allow iPhone users to shoot with a very narrow depth of field. The whole point I’m trying to make is that a lot of people today have access to all these cameras, which they can use to produce really high standard cinematic films and upload it to share on the internet on sites, such as youtube or vimeo. I think professionally shot videos by ametuer photographers and filmmakers will become more popular.

For this unit, I want to explore video and photography as my median. I’m currently working on an idea that will combine both video and photography that integrated into an interactive piece. Below is a video of a comedic super hero storyline, where the user gets to decide what happens next after each scene.

This technique of allowing the audience to decide what happens has been used quite a bit for some time now. It is a new experience, because the audience is in control of what they want to happen in the narrative. However, I’m not really keen on this interactivity for cinema, as it just wouldn’t work because cinema involves a large group of people. In my opinion, this type of interactivity would be more suitable for an individual user watching a television programme.

The video below is the Phillips advert ‘Carousel’ to promote Phillips cinema LCD televisions. The video is a continous tracking shot of a frozen moment after an armored van heist gone wrong, with robbers dressed in clown masks holding a pitched battle with police officers inside a hospital.

I like this piece because it’s a very unique technique they’ve used. However, this isn’t considered an interactive video as you’re taken on a pathway through the building, without having any input yourselves.

Brief Idea

I haven’t got a clear defined narrative yet, but I’ve got a rough idea of the sort of direction I want to go in. I’ll be using video and photography combined together. I’m going to be looking at using a software called Processing, which will allow me to be really experimental. I haven’t used it before, so I’m not sure how the final outcome will look. I’ll post back tomorrow, with a an idea… hopefully.

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