Technology and films

In the New York Times, Kevin Kelly writes about the advance of technology with regard to films. From the days of special effects in Star Wars, we’ve moved on to the kind of effects in Speed Racer, where, as Kelly says, “the spectacle of an alternative suburbia was created by borrowing from a database of existing visual items and assembling them into background, midground and foreground”. So now, not only can we create our own movies with iMovie, we can find three-dimensional set models on Google’s 3D Sketch-Up Warehouse and we can recognise objects in still images as Viewdle does with celebrity images. Then of course there are the mash-ups: TimeTube in fact tracks all videos linked to the most popular YouTube videos, including mash-ups. In conclusion, Kelly foresees a time in the near future where we can just drag images from films and transpose them into our own cinematic creations. 

Technology and the internet are also affecting TV – William at Made By Many recently wrote about why it pays to be young in TV, for example. All this set me thinking about citizen film-making, like citizen journalism. Citizen filmmakers already exist – as technology makes it easier for them, I predict that we will see a rise in their number, but, as with the internet, we will also see a lot of babble, which will need to be weeded out. And that will be a difficult task, begging questions of freedom of expression, to start with.