Ah, Superbowl Sunday. If
you’re one of the millions who watched the most watched football game in recent history you probably enjoyed it just
a little better in HD (High Def) than those who watched in SD (Standard Def) (regular TV). And I’m
certain you enjoyed those outlandish commercials that the superbowl game for some same outlandish reason
seems to demand for its annual telecast.
One of the more fascinating commercials that I myself took a particular interest in was the Coming Soon major
motion picture previews or trailers that were shown. The three trailers I remember viewing were Pirates
of the Caribbean IV (are you kidding me, but this isn’t a movie critique) Transformers 3 (do we really need to-stop)
and Battlefield LA (what, Skyline didn’t give us our fill of mediocre story, action and special FX?)
As I watched the trailers something hit
me as the trailer images projected off the TV screen into my eye pupils prompting my brain, which wasn’t very active
being that I’m only watching a football game, to process the images and send the images to, uh, well wherever that stuff
goes to (another part of the brain) to dissect whether what I saw is actually happening and whether I believe it is happening
or not. Without going into a long definition of Disavow or Suspension of Disbelief; whereas one subconsciously, suspends in
their minds, the reality or unreality of what they are seeing on the screen, let’s just say I am disavowed when watching
what hit me? Well, anyone sitting near me could hear me exclaim after each trailer, “was that video?
What I meant was although we’re watching HD which is video, the movie trailers are supposedly film.
Although very, crisp and beautifully looking, the “movie” trailers looked just like the football game and
other presentations on the TV screen. Now before you jump to a conclusion and say, “well it’s
on TV,” film is not video and vice versus. When the two mediums are transferred onto each other there
is a decidedly different “look” on the projected medium. If you ever watched the sitcom “Cheers”
you could see a difference, than the sitcom that preceded it. “Cheers” was one of the first
sitcoms shot in a studio on film. Most sitcoms were shot in broadcast (TV) quality video. Also,
checkout your non HD DVD movies and you will see the difference from a televised program and the filmed movie.
I don’t know if the above mentioned films were filmed in HD but the TV ads made them look that way.
Don’t get me wrong HD is wonderful. I have to admit I’m old school and came through the film way and consider
video, including HD, substandard to film. Not substandard in the creative use or users but in the direct
comparison of film and video as a media only. Here’s wisdom, video has for years been trying to match
film and even seems successful with the advent of HD, but you have and never will hear talk of film trying to be like video.
So what’s the point? My point is why, if you have a big screen motion picture (film) coming
out and you advertised for it, would you than show that motion picture in a medium or “look” that only compares
to the small screen (video) that you are showing it on? What I mean is movies are big, Transformers, big.
A movie has depth, contrast and chemical reaction of light on celluloid that creates fantasy. Video
is realism, the news, a vehicle accident, several people hurt, the ambulance on scene, no contrast or depth needed, it is
real. So how do you take your motion picture and reduce it to looking like video. The
trailer of Battlefield LA and the space ships looked so real that it becomes unbelievable. The viewer will
eventually start looking at the images as fake and than the suspension of disbelief fails. I’m sure
when the movies play in a theatre near you; they will have converted the frames to a filmic look. The next
time you are at the theatre check out a big summer movie trailer than wait to see the same trailer on home TV.
No, once again, it’s not supposed to look like video even though it’s on TV. It’s
supposed to look like film on TV. There is a difference. I believe the average viewer
will figure this out, perhaps subconsciously, and Hollywood will have a problem in their marketing departments.
Although HD, and other higher quality video, will be the medium to replace film, it’s only a matter of time,
digital cinema is the future, Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers alike will be challenged to create work of art
that is worthy to be called a film or movie.