Red Digital Cinema just announced the Hydrogen One: a $1,600 Holographic Android Phone. We've heard plenty from both fanboys and skeptics, while bloggers ruminate on the technical specs. Katie & Pliny have both been outspoken on RED's influence on the industry, so they decided to put their combined nickel into the discussion.
Over recent decades, technological changes in editing have not only affected the work itself, but also the nature of the labor environment. The role of the editor has been both deprofessionalized and at the same time made more complex. Editors are now asked and expected to have a solid grasp on a wider variety of skills and disciplines than ever before. In a new, unstable work environment, they are also expected to incorporate a wider range of tasks into their job, for which they are not additionally compensated. The democratization of technology has created a labor market where professionals who spent many years training in what was previously seen as a specialized craft, compete with those who have learned to operate the tools of the trade as hobbyists.
Digital natives have so much to offer us, as experts. All filmmaking is “digital filmmaking” now, to a large extent, and digital is the mother-tongue of millennials. Every time I see “panels of experts” made up of people my generation and older, I am saddened. Arrogance and ignorance leads to a real loss of opportunity to learn from young professionals with some of the deepest wisdom our industry has to offer in areas of technology and user proficiency.
VR will not be disruptive because it will not replace the current methods of media consumption, and will not bring forth the breakthrough that proves narratives can be told in a non-linear fashion. That’s because the gaming world has already proven that, years ago. It’s been a known truth for gamers and game writers for decades.
Disruption is a term that is commonly overused. Very few things truly disrupt, but everyone wants to be seen as “disruptive”. Similarly, not many things are “innovative”, despite it being a buzzword in our industry. It should be noted that “causing disruption” does not make a thing “disruptive”. Being the first to prove a fact untrue and to then usher in a radical change to an entire industry (and its surrounding economy and ecosystem) is the epitome of disruption. Nothing in our lifetimes has done that for the film industry, quite like the RED Camera.
Immersive media is not new. Emerging technologies, such as VR and AR as we currently know them, are simply part of an evolutionary path making media more immersive. Many commentators and industry professionals became cynical after the short life-cycle of Stereoscopic 3D, and are hesitant to embrace VR, calling it "another fad". I see it differently, these technologies are simply steps within a much wider ecosystem, leading us towards what immersive media is to become.