Filmmaking has arguably never been stronger – fantastic equipment is available to more people at cheaper prices, creativity is high and digital technology has made collaboration easier.
However, this has come with some challenges. Some are worried about AI replacing human roles, perpetuating stereotypes and reducing diversity in filmmaking.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
While the rise of AI has some feared for its potential HAL 9-style malevolence or Terminator-like plans for world domination, it can also be used to enhance creative processes. Filmmakers are using AI to help with a variety of tasks including rotoscoping, motion tracking and compositing, which can help speed up production time and allow humans to focus on more creative decisions.
The use of AI for filmmaking is not without its ethical concerns. For example, the technology may replace some jobs on set and could even cause some jobs to disappear altogether. Yves Berguist, a data scientist and director of the USC Entertainment Technology Center’s AI in Neuroscience and Media project, tells TheWrap that AI is already causing major disruption in a number of areas including script writing, editing, and visual effects.
For example, a new tool called StoryFit is designed to create original movie scripts and synopses by analyzing a given book or multiple movies to understand the plot and characters. It can then build a new screenplay by rearranging and reformulating the elements to create a more compelling narrative. The program also has the ability to identify and recommend a cast and location for the film, saving the filmmakers much of the labor-intensive pre-production process.
Similarly, VFX tools powered by AI are enabling animators to work more efficiently and produce higher-quality animations in less time. This can open up opportunities for smaller-market and independent filmmakers to take bigger creative risks and to push the boundaries of their storytelling capabilities.
3D effects are used to create the illusion of depth in an image. This is done by showing two offset images to the left and right eye of the viewer, which are then combined in their brain to form a single three-dimensional image. This type of effect is often seen in animated films, where it can be used to add a more realistic feel.
While many people think that the release of Avatar in 2009 ushered in the era of 3D movies, this technology actually goes back quite a long way. In fact, stereoscopic cinematography was first used in the 1920s, with movies such as House of Wax and The Creature from the Black Lagoon helping to put it on the map.
The technology behind 3D films has since changed and improved, but it is still based on the same principle as it was in the 1920s. The difference is that instead of using different colors (red and blue) to divide the picture, modern 3D technology uses polarised light. This means that the glasses you wear have lenses with a different orientation and your brain does the rest, creating the illusion of depth.
In addition to enhancing the aesthetics of an animation, 3D can also be used to make it easier for VFX artists to animate particles and other elements. This is because it allows them to quickly and easily move and manipulate thousands of particles, instead of keyframing them by hand one by one.
Drones are transforming filmmaking by allowing directors and cinematographers to capture breathtaking aerial footage from unique angles and perspectives that were previously impossible or extremely dangerous to achieve with traditional camera rigs. In addition to enhancing the quality of aerial shots, drones have opened up a new realm of possibilities for filmmakers, including remote location scouting, aerial 3D mapping and scanning, story development, building shot lists and more.
The use of drones in filmmaking is rapidly growing, especially among independent filmmakers. This is because these small, lightweight flying robots can provide a wide range of benefits to filmmakers, including saving time and money by eliminating the need for bulky and expensive equipment.
Additionally, drones can be used to film rock-solid, steady shots that would have been nearly impossible or cost prohibitive to achieve with traditional camera rigs. For example, a complex crane shot or dolly shot could have taken hours to set up and cost the production thousands of dollars if done with a traditional camera rig, but it can be completed in minutes with a drone.
Moreover, drones are enabling filmmakers to create stunning panoramic and sweeping views of their subjects that can add a sense of grandeur and scale to scenes in their films. In fact, some of the most iconic scenes in movies such as Expendables 3, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Wolf of Wall Street and more were captured using drones. This is because these devices are capable of going into tight spaces and getting very close to the subject, allowing filmmakers to make the most of their scenes.
Virtual Reality (VR)
VR has been making a big impact in the gaming industry in recent years, but it could also transform the way films are made. This immersive technology allows film-makers to create fully simulated worlds that their audiences can explore without ever leaving the comfort of their homes.
VR technology can be used to give actors and production teams advanced tools that can help them visualize the action during pre-production and on-location shoots. For example, VR can be used to help directors and cameramen plan the shot ahead of time or to test out different camera angles. This will save both time and money, as well as make it easier to find the best shots.
Virtual reality can also be used to create lifelike experiences that respond to the physical movements of participants. For instance, a headset supplies the visual and audio information that the participant sees, while sensors and technologies translate their movements into the virtual world they are exploring.
These lifelike experiences are being developed by engineers and programmers who have a strong background in cinema and interactivity. They are creating animation pieces inspired by Miyazaki and Japanese anime that take into account where the viewer is looking without it being obvious. This allows them to create a different experience for every person who watches the piece.