Now Nikon and Canon have added high resolution motion capture to their D90 and 5D Mark II respectively. While there are some technical oddities, such as frame rate problems and limited recording time, DSLRs represent the poor-man’s solution to all things movie-like. They have an amazing variety of lenses from which to choose, are much smaller, and in many cases much cheaper than professional video cameras. And they do stills, of course. So a single body may be used for both functions, further saving money and increasing capability of small studios.
Naturally, a new industry for equipment related to this budding field has cropped up. Here is one such company:
I am no cinematographer, so I don’t know exactly how useful or well made this stuff is. However, I can tell you that if I were setting out to become an indie movie maker, I’d probably start here.
What I like about this trend in gear is that it is now more possible than ever for smaller organizations to get serious with film production. That means Hollywood will have to start making decisions about whether they want to compete with actual stories, or if they are going to simply abandon all hope and just pour more money into visual effects. Certainly, the playing field is leveling out in the first respect, and if folks get creative with the visuals (and I think they will), even the big players may start running for cover.
In fact, I bet we start seeing a surge in historical film techniques – think ‘Metropolis’ – to capture great visuals and story telling with whatever’s on hand, rather than building an entire movie around a visual theme or technical effect. And given the fact that the Adobe Master Collection can be had for a few grand, you can imagine entire studio productions spending less than $20k for a not-so-basic setup. Documentaries and story-based films without complex visuals could easily use such gear, and have stunning results.
With any luck, we’ll see smaller operations take this trend to the edge of the envelope and really give big studios a run for their money.