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Cine Gear 2012: “Hyper Reality” Could Be “Most Interesting Ride We Have Taken”

ICG president Steven Poster warns to pay extra attention to close-ups using 4K resolution and high frame rates.

“Hyper reality”—which might include factors such as high resolution and high frame rates—likely could become one of “the most interesting rides we have taken” as it will give filmmakers an expanded palette of tools and aesthetic choices, said International Cinematographers Guild president and director of photography Steven Poster, while moderating a panel at this weekend’s Cine Gear Expo.

But when it comes to 4K resolution—four times the picture information found in an HD image—he added that the “elephant in the room” is the close up.

This is an area that is just beginning to be explored by filmmakers. Sony’s F65 4K camera, for instance, began shipping in January of this year and the first features to use the camera—including Columbia’s After Earth, Unversal’s Oblivion, and Screen Gems’ No Good Deed—are now in production.

The camera has received widespread positive feedback for the images it creates.

But in a close up, filmmakers point out that any camera that supports 4K and higher resolution could additional mean that you might see more than you want to, such as the pores in an actor’s skin.

Panelist Michael Barrett, director of photography on No Good Deed, admitted “we could see makeup on occasions.”

“I have become more reliant on a Digital Imaging Technician and my monitor,” he said of working at a higher resolution. “I light more spontaneously; that is not a bad thing.”

Rob Legato, who won Oscars as the visual effects supervisor on Hugo and Titanic, advised, “It’s not all or nothing. … If it is close up, shoot in 2K [resolution]. It is a form of filtering.

“You don’t have to do one thing anymore,” he said. “You can change resolution or frame rates [during production of a movie].”

Legato will soon be continuing his collaboration with Martin Scorsese on The Wolf on Wall Street, for which Legato will be serving as VFX supervisor and second unit director. He also recently directed Reawakening, a short that debuted on BlackBoxTV.

Poster is set to begin shooting Eli Roth’s Netflix series Hemlock Grove. He plans to use the Canon EOS C300 cinema camera, which was announced in November and began shipping to customers in January.