Monday, June 25, 2007

CineForm projecting to Sony 4K went very well.

With less than three weeks until the 48 Hour Film Project competition, we carried out tests today with a portable Wafian recorder acting as a digital cinema playback server to the Sony 4K projector. The results were stunning. The Wafian HR-F1 is a very convenient way to do HD presentation, using this tiny form-factor to deliver 1080 24PsF over HDSDI to the Sony 4K projector. We played a range of scanned film and SI-2K source material, all looked great. But as we are effectively renting the theater for these tests, I was able to do things that may not be very acceptable at $10 per movie ticket, like standing 2' from the 34'+ screen looking at the pixel structure of the image -- something I always want to do with digital projection (with film I don't need to see the grain that close.) At 4K, even the first row can't see the pixels -- this is a nice projection format. I'm hoping we have many HD+ submissions for this competition, as we want to help SD projection come to an end ASAP.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A CineForm first : driving the 48 Hour Film Project to HD and beyond

For each year the 48 Hour Film Project has come to San Diego, CineForm has entered a team; we even won a prize last year (see the full story for 2006.) After each event, we can't help thinking that CineForm needs to sponsor this competition, as these cutting edge indie filmmakers are our target market. But as we lack the funding of past heavy weight sponsors Avid and Panasonic, we had to be inventive.

This year, we are making the San Diego division of the 48 Hour Film Project the coolest of the 60+ international city circuit, by being the first city to present HD by providing services in exchange for CineForm sponsorship. CineForm is providing all the back-end format conversion and mastering of all 40 to 50 films to 1080p HD, all within 2-3 days of the competition's completion. Then CineForm, with the help of Wafian, is providing the projection server and staffing to present all the submissions on a Sony 4K projector at the Hillcrest Landmark theatres. To upconvert 50 short films from a huge range of formats to 1080p for projection is a marathon project in itself, plus we'll be entering our own team two days before, so we'll be flat out for few days.

Why are we doing this? Because we can. With our tools now being cross platform and CineForm being an ideal project format (yes, we have a digital theatre group adopting CineForm over the more pricey JPEG2000) we have all the tools to pull this off. Plus, it's going to be a lot of fun, particularly to see our work on a 4K screen.

If you are an HD indie filmmaker and you're in or near the San Diego area, you should consider joining this competition to see your work in its full resolution on the big screen. Sign up while you can.

Friday, June 01, 2007

CineForm RAW interview at NAB '07

Digital Production BuZZ has posted an interview between Jim Mathers and myself that occurred at this past NAB. While I never feel completely comfortable when someone points a camera and mike at me and says "Tell us about all this," I think it came out okay. My monologue covers the beginnings of CineForm RAW for digital cinema acquisition to today's integrated 3D look system within the SI-2K cameras. My section is only 9 minutes and it can be found at the 20m:20s mark of the podcast.

Here is the direct link to the mp3 of the interview. Also, check out the complete show notes for the entire podcast.