July 9th saw the Society Education and Training Group take over NFT3 at BFI Southbank for an afternoon entitled ‘Hot Topics and Work in Progress’. This, the eighth such event, provided an interesting combination of talks from leading industry experts, screenings of films made by students from colleges at Farnham, Brighton, Bournemouth, Staffordshire and Sheffield Hallam, and some fascinating discussions about topics of particular relevance to film and media courses.
The afternoon consisted of screenings of work from the students, introduced by their tutors, who were encouraged to highlight ‘hot topics’ that are particularly affecting their courses, interspersed with technical talks. BKSTS CTC member Chris Connett from Christie brought the audience up to date with the latest happenings in cinema exhibition. Chris introduced us to the Premium Large Format cinemas that are currently ‘on trend’, explaining about immersive sound systems and the potential for better images that higher dynamic range and higher frame rates make possible.
Arri’s Milan Krsljanin gave an in-depth presentation entitled “Big Pictures: Spectacular Quality Images”, in which he ranged widely giving details of higher resolution, higher dynamic range and higher frame rate images, telling the students that there is far more to spectacular images than numbers of pixels - we also need the better pixels that the new technologies make possible. Without any commercial ‘push’ he explained the capabilities of Arri’s latest range of cameras, including the Alexa 65 and its smaller siblings, and left us in doubt that the new generations of large sensor cameras will be able to more than cope with the increasing demands of the industry for ever better pictures.
Martin Uren, Chair of the Society Education and Training Group, has long practical experience of 3D production at the lower-cost end of the market, which has gained him a deserved reputation as a ‘guru’ in this field. He took us through the basics of 3D production and showed examples of different types of 3D cameras and ‘rigs’. It was fascinating to see some of the experimental work which he and his students have produced, including a piece where dancers filmed against a green-screen were superimposed on some interesting 3D material shot in a forest.
A key part of the day was the opportunity for students to talk with experienced members of the industry, and a drinks reception in the BFI Atrium at the end of the afternoon saw many enthusiastic conversations between students and practitioners from many different areas of our business.
Thanks to Christie for their generous sponsorship of the event, and to the excellent BFI technical team for making it all possible.