Words of wisdom

DPC II experts commented November 30 during the 2018 Athens event on the need for producers, filmmakers and technicians to address workflow management requirements at source, stressing how post-production begins during prep.

“I would say it is an opportunity to come and ask questions that you never ask because you are scared to ask – this a free environment,” commented Tommaso Vergallo, CEO of Paris-based Noir Lumiere, underlining once again the DPC II offer. “You come to understand the major game-play between the different participants within the chain and to understand the ecomonic, artistic and technical ingredients necessary for the success of your film. You need to have curiosity, to understand the current trends and how the future may develop because the transition towards the wholesale digital set-up is now a done deal.”

“But of course nothing is really settled because it is constantly being disrupted, so I encourage people to come to this seminar, which is quite unique in assembling the different stages of the workflow in one place. [At other workshops] you have just one part of it, you have specialists for shooting, or specialists in camera, or material providers who are just telling you what type of technical material you can rent or offering training around the camera etc. But this is really the big picture.”

Digital Image Supervisor Florian Rettich (ARRI) defined the evolving context in which creatives and techies are currently operating. “The changes we are facing now are driven by industry, for example manufacturers of TV sets who are really pushing to sell new equipment, and on the other hand we have new players on the distribution side like Netflix and Amazon. And whether we want it or not, they are influencing what is being done on the production side. I never thought that a new kid on the block such as Netflix can decide which is a supported or a recommended camera or not, so they are kind of telling cinematographers what they should do or what they shouldn’t do, which is very controversial.”

“That said, they are pushing the film industry to move on. Maybe we are too slow in some ways, and therefore we must reach a certain complexity because things are getting faster, and changes are requested or demanded more quickly than in the past. This complexity will not go away. Everybody hopes that it is getting easier (and if you look at the details of some of the sophisticated production steps, this is true) but the overall complexity of production and workflow has increased by having more options, more delivery of formats, more choices, and especially for youngsters there is a huge flood of options and decisions that they have to make, so there is a need therefore to put a structure on this, such as at DPC II.”

Cinematographer Philippe Ros agrees, arguing for a bespoke and expert plan for each project, given the plethora of bewildering options and choices that a producer, who may not be so technically-oriented, must wade through. He also, he said, sets out to clarify ‘semantic’ inconsistencies in the use of technical terminology across international borders. “It is a real goal of the seminar not only to deliver expertise on participants’ projects but, through the case studies, to analyse all the different solutions. Often these solution come from meetings in pre-pre-production, even before pre-production has started.”

“Of course high-end productions don’t need this kind of seminar expertise because they already have the people and the tools to find the solution, but for medium range and low budget I think DPCII is very, very important … In these cases, you must meet people who have a strong understanding of certain parts of the workflow (camera, post) before making any kind of decisions. Nobody can be an expert on everything. Only a group of people can deliver an expertise. One of the general proposals is to create the ‘workflow team’ before starting anything.”