PGA President Lori McCreary Urges Producers to Finish in 4K and HDR

Lori McCreary  - S 2015
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Producers Guild of America president Lori McCreary is calling for filmmakers to finish their movies and TV series in 4K and high dynamic range (HDR).

“If we can future-proof our productions, they will be around a lot longer,” she said Sunday at the PGA Produced By Conference, held on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City. “We should be looking out 10-15 years. It’s up to us to start pushing the envelope and talking about the future.”

The session on new technologies for production and postproduction (Disclosure: The panel was moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s Carolyn Giardina) underscored the fact that entertainment technology is currently in a state of rapid change.

On 4K — four times the resolution of HD — McCreary contended that the difference is noticeable even when down-converted to today’s HDTVs. When asked about the costs, McCreary reported that a recent six hours of programming resulted in an additional $300,000 for 4K finishing, and she asserted that it doesn't have to be a big difference if you plan ahead.

Panelists also offered an overview of HDR — which offers a wider range between the whitest whites and blackest blacks in an image — including a look at several current flavors of HDR and how this feature is being presented to consumers.

On all of these tools and capabilities, ARRI president and CEO Glenn Kennel commented, “This is an art form — let the cinematographer make decisions.”

With 4K, HDR, 2D, different light levels of 3D and other variables, Technicolor’s head of worldwide postproduction services Sherri Potter related that finishing one tentpole can now “take over our facility .. with as many as five colorists [on a single production].” She admitted that as they throw extra manpower into meeting delivery dates, schedules have not changed.

ARRI Rental’s international marketing executive Dana Ross reported that in the roughly 18 months since the company's 6K Alexa 65 large-format camera was introduced, ARRI started with 30 cameras and is now building 40 more to meet demand. He admitted that ARRI expected it would have specialized uses, but it is being requested as a main unit camera.

Upcoming productions using the Alexa 65 for main unit include the Tom Hanks starrer Sully, which is being finished for Imax as part an an ARRI/Imax collaboration.