Not every filmmaker I talk to at Sundance has a film in the festival. Jacob Rosenberg is here doing the work he so often does for Adobe, teaching desktop workflow to all kinds of filmmakers, many of them his own peers.
Jacob‘s generation is the first to be able to truly just “make a movie.” Like, make it at home the way you make a painting or a piece of furniture. A bit more expensive, but certainly doable. You may have to spend for film out or a good digital print–that‘s not going desktop anytime soon. You may want to pay for advice, and everyone has to pay for marketing (even Blair Witch). You may need an expensive camera–though less so all the time, and you may dearly want a speedy workstation (also more affordable than before, at least for what you get).
So into this culture, Jacob teaches HD and 2K workflows on a budget. “I show people the power and flexibility of compressed and tape-based HD formats.” He shows SR workflows and HDCAM workflows; he shows HDV workflows and V1 workflows. He gets into Adobe Production Studio workflows and Cineform workflows. Everything he talks about is relatively–or actually–affordable.
“People are curious about alternate ways of working,” he says. “The truth is there is no tried and true HD workflow, so I start just with the simple concept: let‘s understand what HD does that‘s good: It provides a viewing environment that exceeds any other possibility. So don‘t be afraid of getting into that format because of obstacles it may present, because there is a really good upside. Really, really worth it. There‘s an empowerment to getting closer in post to what you really shot.
“There‘s no defined budget for working with HD; there‘s ways of doing it cheap and ways to do it expensive.” Things you should spend money on: paying Sparkle to do your color, the viewing environment and accuracy of the monitoring. Things you can master without spending a fortune: effective scanning, use of codecs, digital intermediate and visual effects.
For Jacob‘s part, he just took an Enterprise Rent-a-Car, a credit card‘s worth of equipment and some buddies out into the middle of nowhere to conjur the production gods and have one of those heady, risky experiences of shooting his own script. That‘s what he really wants to talk about more than raw imaging vs. linear imaging, what 2K is, how to convert it to HD…etc. But he also knows that his confidence comes in part from knowing what the desktop can deliver. And he wants you to know too.