Thursday, February 25, 2016

Price vs. Complexity

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There is a line graph that comes into play when creating movies. On the X-axis you have price, and on the Y-axis you have complication. As you move towards the right on the X-axis, and your cost to produce the movie goes up, the amount of complication that you have increases as well. This is easy to see when purchasing a camera to use for your project. At the bottom-left corner of this chart, you have very cheap, and easy to use. This is where something along the lines of an iPhone or any other smartphone lands. The camera on these devices is dead simple to use, and there’s essentially no work involving configuring and using the camera. It’s also one of the cheapest options right now. Since the vast majority of us already have one of these smartphones, we already have a decent camera sitting in our pocket at all times. So being the smartphone is the easiest and if not the cheapest, extremely cheap options to all of us. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have camera configurations like the Arri Alexa and Red Dragon. These camera bodies alone cost tens of thousands of dollars, and require specialized crew members just to operate them. In addition to being extremely complicated and expensive, the files that they produce aren’t any ordinary QuickTime files like you’d find recording on an iPhone. These formats require a special workflow in post-production that requires oodles of processing power and storage space to work with. So clearly, this camera is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to price vs. usability. Though, some people may care very greatly about what camera is used for a production for the aesthetic quality, no matter what the project, whether it’s a documentary, short film, feature film, or anything else, the story trumps all. This is why many documentary films that are shot on much older, lower-quality cameras, are still extremely powerful to this day.

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