How Will We Archive and Preserve the Movies of Tomorrow ?
Date & Time
Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location Name
Sacramento Room
In this new age of computational imaging, Volumetric Video, Performance Capture, Visual Effects and a myriad of other technologies are creating images that were never captured in the conventional sense.

These new technologies offer an almost infinite range of creative options once a production is over: camera angles can be modified; virtual lenses can deepen or tighten the depth of field, expand or compress perspective and even mimic the distortion of vintage lenses; actors can be replaced, or even brought back to life decades after they passed.

On top of this imaging revolution, the rapidly evolving field of image display means that a final version for today may not be optimal or even adequate for the screens of tomorrow, whether due to increased color gamut, dynamic range, spatial resolution, size, aspect ratio or frame rate.

These issues bring up technical, financial and ethical considerations about what to conserve, in which form, and for how long, with sometimes conflicting priorities between the preservation of the original artistic intent and content owners' desire to maximize the revenue and/or lifespan of a particular asset.

For example, if a character is a computer-generated avatar of a performance given through motion capture, should we archive, on top of the on-screen performance, all the motion capture files, from the initial video capture to the computerized animation to the character models to the final render before it was composited into the shot? Could we, and should we, leave that door open for future generations to change characters in the finished product, eventually without the original creator's consent? On the other hand, if we do not preserve the original animation, do we hamper a creator's freedom to upgrade and refresh an asset when new technologies arise in the coming years? At what cost do all these decisions come?

In this paper, the author proposes a new definition for "image sequence based works of art", to replace the traditional definition of "film", and details workflow options that strike the right balance between the protection of creative intent and future proofing of assets, combining technical, ethical and philosophical considerations.

With all the advances we have witnessed in the last 10 years, and what's to come in the following decade, the author believes there is an urgency to answering those questions and standardizing workflows before what we do today has an unalterable impact for future generations.
Technical Depth of Presentation
Intermediate. The concepts of computational imaging are explored in an accessible way while the workflows are more technical and detailed.

Overall, someone with a functional understanding of modern film-making will get value out the presentation
What Attendees will Benefit Most from this Presentation
- Producers and content owners (studios, production houses) - Production and post-production technologists - Artists (directors, DoPs, VFX supervisors, etc...)
Take-Aways from this Presentation
- Future-proofing workflows - New definitions and concepts to update the notion of "film" - Ethical and philosophical considerations for the future of our assets