What are the New Technologies Helping to Make Movies Today?
(Photo : Hannah Madison)

Most of us like to watch a movie or a series, comfortably sitting in our couch at home. That said, watching a film in a cinema is a unique experience that can't be beat. The new technology being used to capture these images is helping to make this industry even more magical than it used to be. Here are some of them, that we can be thankful for, next time we catch a flick.

Time-lapse Cameras

Cinematographers did not wait for the invention of time-lapse cameras to shoot spectacular scenes, where time moves on rapidly, providing us with a unique view of what would normally take days, weeks or months, in only a few minutes. But today, time-lapse cameras enable them to create a timelapse photography that is perfect and without having to worry about it, since it is all pre-programmed and can be adapted from afar, if need be.

They can now use these cameras to create unique scenes in movies, in order to indicate time passing by. But that is not the only great way they can maximize these tools. Leaving a time-lapse camera on a set, can create a short movie of its own. It is the best way to help document how a movie was shot, in just a few minutes. It is fair to assume that time-lapse photography will be more common in movies, in years to come, thanks to the advent of time-lapse cameras.

Autonomous Drones

What this is really about is AI (Artificial Intelligence). Drones have been part of the cinema industry for a while now, but the arrival of autonomous ones, will simply change the way movies are being shot. Said simply, a director will be able to input what he is looking for the drone to catch, in terms of images and put it work on its own. Then, once in flight, the drone will adjust itself thanks to these data, but also because it has been "taught" what to look for, and how to capture the images. We are looking at algorithms and built-in knowledge that include information on filmmaking techniques, but also on how to avoid obstacles, while in flight. There is no doubt that autonomous drones will capture shots that could have only been possible before, by using software creation technology.

4K

Anyone that has seen what a 4K image looks like, cannot forget it. When it comes to details, this technology is unbeatable. However, this is a technology that will ask directors a certain amount of adaptation. Shooting a movie before, left behind a certain magical element that cannot be found when using 4K. It brings such a level of realism, that sometimes it almost feels fake... because it is too real. Right now, it is also a very expensive way to shoot a movie, so not all cinematographers can actually use it. But it will definitely play an important part on how the cinema industry will evolve in the few years to come.

3D and VR

The 3D technology, for those over 40 years old, often bring back memories of wearing cardboard glasses, only to see something come at you, as if it was real, once or twice in 90 minutes. Of course, it has changed a lot over the last two decades and continues to evolve. 3D today is not for the faint of heart, as it can cause nausea, if you are not use to such type of movements. But it certainly creates great effects that are worth the cost of the technology. As for VR (Virtual Reality), it is now being used as Dual Camera VR. It means that both eyes can actually see different things, just as in real life. It definitely modifies the previous VR that has come to become so popular and should also change the way scenes are shot in films and series, in the near future.

Filming with a Smartphone

Today's most advanced smartphones have cameras that are professional grade. There is no point buying a camera, if you own the top of the line iPhone or Samsung smartphone. Many cinematographers have adapted this new technology as a mean to shoot their movies. Of course, it certainly helps in terms of economics, but it also provides a certain style to the films, as well. Some production companies have even made this their main tool to film, centering their business around it. It is no surprise that a bunch of cool and innovative gears are coming out to help these cinematographers and their creativity.

3D Printing

When you shoot movies, you often have to take planes to change locations. The cost of shipping gears can become an enormous part of the budget, reducing the capacities to make a great film. Not anymore. That is because you can now print a brand-new tripod or clapboards with a 3D printer, at a lesser cost than to ship the one you own. Although it may sound crazy, it is still true. Hopefully, those that will use this technology will be intelligent enough to give out their new items to someone locally, afterwards. Otherwise, the environment will pay a great price because of this new technology.

Algorithm Editing

This sends us back, again, to the AI technology. No matter where you look, AI is taking over. In the cinema industry, there are many ways to use it, and editing is one of them. Imagine that you want to create the best film possible with all the scenes that you shot, but you are unsure which should be kept or left out. You don't even know where some of them should be inserted. Thanks to algorithm editing, the machine can actually do all this for you. It uses facial recognition, automatic labeling and idiom appliance to do so. If you weren't scared before, now is the time to start wondering how useful, us humans, really are...

Technology will keep evolving at a rapid pace, over the next years. What you are reading will be old news in a couple of years, replaced by new technologies. But there is no doubt that for now, the ones above are going to change the way cinematographers and directors make movies.

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