I finally pulled the trigger, completing my rig. But I had to improvise due to the chip shortage. Instead of a 24” 4.5K iMac, I went with a 16 GB RAM, 1 TB MBA. Thirteen inches is too small for these aging eyes, so I went in the opposite direction. I purchased a 32” 4K Samsung M8. Granted, it doesn’t meet my minimalist philosophy, but it’ll be great for consumption.
Backstory: I want to prove that you can create a quality 4K video using low-priced devices, like the iPhone 13 mini and iPad Mini 6. Both have flagship guts. Granted, I had to swap the iMac for an MBA, but I only have to wait three weeks for the MBA. The iMac would have taken two months for delivery, and I’m not certain that my current computer will hold out for that long.
I honestly have no rational explanation for the Samsung M8 apart from several of my podcasting buds swore by it, and it would land here in less than three weeks. Sue me.
I already have a gimbal, some Sandmarc glass and filters (trying desperately to justify a 1.33 anamorphic lens), and various LED cards and white foam core for bounce boards.
I maintain that physically you still have to follow the rules of filmmaking: gaze space, rule of thirds, etc. And your audio must be above par. Viewers will tolerate visual mistakes, but not aural. Strange as it’s a visual medium, eh?
But what has me excited is not that many filmmakers won’t know the above-mentioned rules or how you can use them to your advantage in storytelling.
What has me generally enthralled is content becomes king. You can be a whiz bang at framing, lighting, CGI and the rest. Yet, unless you have a compelling story to tell or characters that the audience can relate to, you’re going to lose their attention.
Let me use two AppleTV+ shows as an example. I certainly don’t have to say anything about ‘Ted Lasso’. But I’ve watched in wonderment how people have been magnetically drawn into ‘Severance’.
Sure, people spend lots of time dissecting the computer terminals and whether they’ll be able to purchase a keyboard like the characters use. The set-up looks simultaneously futuristic and retro.
Nevertheless, the story keeps them glued. First, the overall concept of the imbedded chip is stupid OG to begin with. But each week, there is a small revelation that leads the viewer deeper down the rabbit hole. I imagine David Lynch, ‘Twin Peaks’ creator, is loving this!
Nonetheless, that’s a grandiose scale of what I’m trying to prove. Everyone knows someone who is aesthetically gifted. Be it music, graphics… they’re gifted and should be afforded the opportunity to showcase their gift to the world.
As I have a degree in film, I am naturally biased towards storytelling and filmmaking. My premise is this: If you have an idea that you believe is either a twist of an existing storyline or something completely out of deep left field, you should be able to take a shot at it without having to have deep pockets.
Granted, the smartphone will separate you from some cash. And perhaps the audio. But the rest you can gerry-rig. And if you make sure your script and dialogue are tight plus your choice of shots are intriguing, you could be fulfilling what was once an unascertainable dream for many talented people.
Technology today has made this possible. If you have the inclination, please don’t pass up the opportunity. There is no reason any longer for ’what if’.
©2022 Frank Petrie