Since the inception of the very first motion picture more than a century ago, the film and television industry continues to be at the forefront of innovation. It’s hard to imagine a time when the sight of a silent moving train on a movie screen could send audience members diving for cover– but that’s only further proof that cinema has championed some of the most awe-inspiring technologies in visual arts. From 3D and green screens to iMax and CGI, the steadicam and digital film, the world of cinema has remained ceaselessly dedicated to technological advances throughout time. With the proliferation of digital platforms, tech solutions, and computer-based discoveries in the fields of special effects and filming, the innovations that lie ahead are certainly no less thrilling than those of the last 100+ years.
Filming the Future
Once upon a time, 24 frames per second was an industry standard. But thanks to major advances in filming technologies, movies like The Hobbit boast 48 frames per second – making it the first movie in Hollywood history to surpass the standard fps rate. The result? A more immersive, visually stunning rendition of J.R. Tolkien’s universally cherished tale.
On movie sets across the world, Red One Digital cameras are transforming the filming process by replacing the standard 35 mm camera with a smaller, lighter, and thus more portable camera solution – without lessening image quality. Now filmmakers everywhere can exercise their craft without being anchored down by heavy equipment.
Virtual backlots now allow actors to appear in far flung destinations, thanks to digital backgrounds, which have helped bolster domestic economies. Now directors can incorporate scenes from their wildest imaginations without breaking the bank or rewriting their scripts.
Multiple screens now offer entertainment lovers endless ways to enjoy their favorite content on a slew of various sized screens. From tablet apps, to streaming services optimized for the mobile screen, fans can gain even deeper access to the films and television shows of their choosing.
Recent apps like the Star Trek smartphone app and the Men in Black III tablet app allowed users to interact with the marketing campaigns, gain access to exclusive content, and connect with other fans before – and after – the credits even rolled.
Cinema exhibitors cooperate closely with film studios to create the best viewing experience. Cinemas are cultural and creative meeting points, where movie-goers share an unparalleled experience that cannot be compared to watching a film alone or on a small device.
Across Europe, cinemas and their partners have in the last five years invested more than €1.25 billion in cutting-edge digital technology and services. Today film projection is faced with a fundamental change: the transition to digital cinema technology. Traditionally 35mm films are inserted into the film projectors and sometimes two projectors are necessary to show an entire movie. This technology is now being replaced by digital projectors, which are easier to manipulate and give more flexibility to film programmers to showcase a greater variety of films. Around 80% of all cinemas across Europe have been converted to digital films so far.
Ongoing innovations are transforming movie-going into an ever more exceptional experience: some cinemas are being equipped with immersive sound systems and new types of screens are being developed for 3D but also to be able to show the best 2D quality images.
Ultraviolet and Disney Digital Copy are revolutionising where and when fans can watch film and television content. Purchased Blu-rays can be stored and accessed online and in the cloud, allowing audiences to engage with their entertainment when and where they want it.
Environmentally Sustainable Practices
One of the biggest innovations in the film and TV industry has been in the realm of sustainable practices. Film studios have begun swapping high energy-consuming filming practices for more environmentally-friendly options. The film Think Like A Man revamped its entire set to cut down on energy usage by implementing LED lights and low energy-emission filming.
Studios are now investing in low-energy alternatives in filmmaking on set, whether through natural gas micro-turbines, solar power installations, or cutting back on the use of resources like electricity, fuel, and water.
Science Fiction To Reality
The film industry is driving change in the digital age, on and offscreen. Some of our films have sparked innovations that have brought about real change for society. The once–imaginary gesture technology found in films like Minority Report and Johnny Mnemonic, have transcended their fictional roots to become real-world technological advancements. And movies like Inception, Prometheus, and Iron Man continue to inspire futuristic gadgets and technological novelties
Whether it’s flying cams, Red cameras, faster frames per second or content in the cloud; innovations in the film and television industry – like the films they’re featured in – continue to push the boundaries of today’s possibilities and bring audiences around the world the very best in cutting-edge entertainment.
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