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What is Digital Cinema?

What is Digital Cinema?

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What is Digital Cinema?

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  1. What is Digital Cinema? By Lee Manovich Presented by Tyler Chatz

  2. Cinema, the Art of the Index • Digital Media: • Something that lets cinema tell its stories in a new way • Has redefined identity of cinema • Movies = “flatties” • Human actors = “organics” and “soft fuzzies” • Digital Cinema: • Represents a return to 19th Century cinematic practices • Images were hand painted and hand animated • New digital cinema uses these practices

  3. History of Moving Pictures • Cinema = art of motion • 19th century pro-cinematic devices: • Thaumatrope • Zootrope • Praxinoscope • Choreutoscope • Robertson’s Phantasmagoria • Magic lantern operators moved behind the screen in order to make projected images appear to advance and withdraw

  4. History of Moving Pictures (cont.) • How cinema was born: • In the last decade of the 19th century, automatic generation of images and their automatic projection were combined • Photography met the motor • Pro Cinematic Devices became more popular • Devices that were based on loops (Kinetoscope) • Loops: Sequences of images featuring complete actions which can be played repeatedly • Edison’s Kinetoscope: • 1st modern cinematic machine to employ film • 50 feet of film = 20 second long presentation

  5. Animation to Cinema • Animation = Cinema’s bastard relative • Animation and cinema had complete opposite styles • 20th Century animation was a holdover from 19th century moving images techniques left behind by cinema • Animation: Openly admits its images are mere representations, can see development • Cinema: Works hard to erase any traces of its own production process, wants you to believe what you see is actually happening

  6. What is Digital Cinema • Principles of Digital Filmmaking • With the help of the computer, it is now possible to generate film scenes without acting filming • Once digitized, live action footage is reduced to be just another graphic • Live action footage, left intact for traditional filmmaking, is now more prone to be edited, animated and morphed • Example: Forrest Gump https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ2SWXwoYwQ • (Start at :50) • Combination of editing and special effects

  7. What is Digital Cinema (cont.) • With the help of the 4 principles… • Live action material + painting + image processing + compositing + 2-D computer Animation + 3-D computer animation = DIGITAL FILM • Now lets us answer… • What is Digital Cinema? • A particular case of animation which uses live action footage as one of its many elements

  8. Re-arranging Reality to Re-arranging its Images • Shot footage is not the final point of production • The production (shot footage), now, becomes the first stage of post-production • Analog Example: Zabriskie Point • Trying to achieve a saturated color, the director ordered a field of grass to be painted • Digital Example: Apollo 13 • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgHYGw9OL7c • (Start at 1:55)

  9. Digital Cinema’s Return to the 19th Century • New status of cinema = Hand painted digitized film frames made possible by a computer • 19th Century Status of Cinema = Hand crafted images of magic lantern slides (The Phenakistiscope, the Zootrope) • Today, the most visually sophisticated digital effects are made the same way as the 19th Century • Altering by hand, thousands of frames • Frames are painted over to either create mattes or… • To directly change the images • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSEdBNslGOk

  10. Multimedia as “Primitive” Digital Cinema • Beginning in the 1980’s new cinematic forms have emerged as non-linear narratives, which are shown on the television or a computer screen, not in a movie theater • The Music Video • Non linear narratives from start to finish, rely on film or video images • CD-ROM Games • Rely on the computer for storage and distribution from the very beginning

  11. Multimedia as “Primitive” Digital Cinema (cont.) • CD-ROM Games and Apple QuickTime • Late 1980’s Apple released QuickTime Software to enable computers to play movies • Next few years software did not perform successfully • CD-ROMs could not hold the length of a standard theatrical film • Computer could not smoothly play the movie • Movies had to be compressed, affecting the visual appearance

  12. A New Cinematic Language • Because of the limitations of the QuickTime software, the designers of CD-ROMs had to invent a new kind of cinematic language • Language was a range of strategies such as discrete motion, loops, and superimposition, all used previously in the 19th Century • When cinema and animation divided, the photographic and the graphic met again on the computer screen • Ultimately, the techniques of modern cinema and 19th Century moving images have merged into this new language

  13. A New Cinematic Language (cont.) • Development of the new cinematic language is evident in well known CD-ROM games • Myst • Relies on the techniques of 20th Century Cinema • Uses film editing to speed up or slow down time, simulated camera turns • 7th Guest • Uses similar camera techniques • Johnny Mnemonic • Made to complement the film • Not marketed as a game but as a “interactive movie” • All action shot against a green screen • Connection between QuickTime/CD-ROMs and 19th century • Invention of QuickTime is often compared to the invention of the Kinetoscope • Lumieres’ First film (1895) and CD-ROMs • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nj0vEO4Q6s

  14. The Loop • All 19th century pro-cinematic devices up to Edison’s Kinetoscope were based on short loops • As cinema progressed the loop began to appear less and less • Was used in instructional films, pornographic peep shows and animated cartoons • A Man with a Movie Camera highlights the loop in its origin • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh3y5czjx1U • Start at (19:15) • The Loop in film sense and in telling a story has been reinvigorated with Vine • 19th Century Techniques are being used across all types of media, this time with digitalization being added.