Everything’s Coming Up Digital
Most any consumer of photographic or electronic products in the modern world can tell you that they have “gone digital”. Some have upgraded by choice, others have been dragged into the new era kicking and screaming, but nearly all of us have had to adjust to the revolution of digital technology. It has changed the way we communicate, watch movies, listen to music, read books, take pictures and video, and has improved the quality and reliability of most of those activities.
With regard to all this change, we find ourselves in the midst of a remarkable time in the history of our business. No doubt, there are countless hours and untold pages of discussion on this subject with no end in sight. My observations are brief for the purposes of this blog. Digital technology is changing the way we bring stories to the screen. With the exception of the way we think and produce ideas, nearly every aspect of our creative process is now digital. For those of us that are old enough to remember the way things were done in the not too distant past, this revolution is strikes us as something just shy of a miracle, even though the beginnings were nothing short of dubious. After a period of trial, error, missteps, and generally underwhelming results, the digital gods finally figured out how to make video and film into digital images that actually looked good. Now, the speed with which things improve is frightening. Just choosing a format can be a risk because progress is so rapid. An investment can become outdated more quickly than we can blink!
However, the upside to all this change is astounding. The quality of digital imagery is so good, we forget the gremlins of the past. We are able to photograph subjects in nearly any level of light, easily take cameras into environments previously avoided or impossible with older technology, and manipulate images in the post-production editing process to dramatically improve the impact of the finished product. Digital technology has virtually eliminated issues of the past like oxide dropouts on videotape, color shifts and phasing errors, tracking problems, low resolution, and others. It has also radically changed distribution, closed captioning, archiving, and other issues. Some for better, some not. It is a developing story at best, and we are striving to stay up-to-date with the latest. It is our job to filter out the noise and focus on what we do best. The digital revolution can help us do that.