Jump to content


Photo

Film as Reality


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19765 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 January 2007 - 02:14 AM

As I was being driven around in a van today, scouting, I started to wonder how the world looks to another animal, or even an alien visiting the Earth. Imagine if your eyes saw more infrared and ultravoilet more than the visible wavelength, or only part of the visible wavelength but could also "see" radio waves, heat radiation, and whatnot.

So if you made a film of that reality and showed it to the person or alien, could they even "understand" the image? Since film is designed to capture color and light as our eyes seem them more or less, thus filtering out all the things we don't see (not to mention usually being 2D, not 3D). So to this animal or alien, the film image would seem very unrealistic. An alien looking at our movies might wonder why we chose to stylize reality to such an abstract degree, while we're thinking it looks like an accurate representation. So imagine if an alien transmitted to us what they thought of as realistic document of their home world, a realistic snapshot, and what we saw made no sense because it wasn't replicating the response of human vision to that reality.
  • 0

#2 Giles Sherwood

Giles Sherwood
  • Guests

Posted 11 January 2007 - 02:32 AM

It's neat to see a post like this amongst all of the technical stuff. Never thought about this sort of thing in the context of cinema. I guess the next thing to wonder about is if an alien race used some sort of heat radiation based imaging to create "movies," would they spend their time arguing whether chemically or electrically generated heat is a better medium? ;)

Edited by Giles Sherwood, 11 January 2007 - 02:34 AM.

  • 0

#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 11 January 2007 - 03:13 AM

Whoa dude
  • 0

#4 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 11 January 2007 - 03:39 AM

http://voyager.jpl.n.../goldenrec.html

very interesting stuff yes
  • 0

#5 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 11 January 2007 - 04:51 AM

Imagine if your eyes saw more infrared and ultravoilet more than the visible wavelength, or only part of the visible wavelength but could also "see" radio waves, heat radiation, and whatnot.


You mean like Preditor? He didn't seem to give a F#ck about our art, he seemed to mainly just wanted to KILL us. John Waters did a movie with Smell O Vision scratch and sniff cards, does that count? B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 11 January 2007 - 04:55 AM.

  • 0

#6 steve hyde

steve hyde
  • Sustaining Members
  • 446 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 11 January 2007 - 09:43 AM

David!!

This is an outstanding experimental film idea!! I've never seen anyone seriously try to communicate radio waves on film. I've seen some attempts in animation (although I can't think of any examples).

I just watched Werner Herzog's "Fata Morgana", 1970... He records heat waves on film. A "Fata Morgana" is the mirage that can be seen in the desert on really hot days ...

How about radio waves? Hand scratched emulsion with surgical tools?


Steve
  • 0

#7 Frank Barrera

Frank Barrera
  • Sustaining Members
  • 464 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:10 AM

I started to wonder how the world looks to another animal, or even an alien visiting the Earth.

color, texture, contrast and focus would be interesting... but what about field of view? wide? narrow? both? singular view? multiple? or all of the above in some random shifting pattern?
  • 0

#8 Greg Gross

Greg Gross
  • Sustaining Members
  • 869 posts
  • Harrisburg,PA

Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:32 AM

I'm presently viewing "A Very Long Engagement" . In the beginning a french woman is
narrating the execution of several men. We get to see them on their march to the firing
squad for various so called atrocities. One of the men is only 20 years old. I found myself
trying to imagine what the world looked like through this man's eyes. I enjoyed your post
David and it has sort of started me to do a reality check.

Greg Gross
  • 0

#9 Sam Wells

Sam Wells
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1751 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:47 AM

Well research indicates cats can see the scanning on a TV / CRT. Whic seems amazing to me.

What we don't know yet is if they prefer interlaced or progressive :D

Cat owners here - please get back to us on this !

-Sam Wells
  • 0

#10 Anatole Sloan

Anatole Sloan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Director

Posted 11 January 2007 - 12:06 PM

Well research indicates cats can see the scanning on a TV / CRT. Whic seems amazing to me.

What we don't know yet is if they prefer interlaced or progressive :D

Cat owners here - please get back to us on this !

-Sam Wells


There are in total around five animals which can watch TV, including dolphins and chimps.

To everybody else;
It is an intresting concept to use a different electromagnet source in a film; this is essentially similar to the concept of infrared cameras, where a different wavelength of electromagnetic wave is used other than light. However, the difficulty comes when you project the image - with film, you will still be projecting the exact same spectrum recorded, i.e. x-rays instead of light, and therefore humans won't be able to see it. That is why digital cameras are used to capture infrared light or any other electromagnetic source; the image is then converted into something visible (for night vision, black and white or green and white, for heat imaging, a range of colours according to the amount of infrared emmitted). Once the source is converted into light visible to human beings, it would use the same colours as we see now, just different colours to different things according to how computer decides to give a certain [infrared wavelength] a certain [visual wavelength] in place. Therefore, we won't actually see what other creatures see (or aliens), because they do not go through the process of converting the spectrum into what we know as visible light.

David's point, I believe is that it is interesting to wonder what they would see, but unless we somehow plugged in their visual receptors into our brains and change round the visual parts of our brains, we shall never know.
  • 0

#11 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 11 January 2007 - 12:53 PM

Hello David,

May I ask, are you pondering an alien's perspective to represent this in a future project? Are you making a movie for an alien audience? Or are you engaged in brain training to see the world translated into different forms of energy? These are serious questions even if they don't, at first, appear to be. :)
  • 0

#12 Tim Tyler

Tim Tyler

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Olympia, WA (US)

Posted 11 January 2007 - 01:22 PM

Was there, by any chance, LSD on this scouting van? :)

This would be a great over-dinner discussion at NAB 2007.
  • 0

#13 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 11 January 2007 - 05:20 PM

Hello again, David,

My pop was a Parapsychologist and Ufologist at the University of Mississippi (Sociology of Parapsychology was how the couses were listed). Your question is quite valid. Human sensory capabilities are tied to our environment. Any species will likely develop their sensory capabilities in direct relation to their environment. The chances of any alien species seeing (perceiving any form of light frequency) in the precise way we do is actually a little on the unlikely side. As has already been stated in this thread, inconsistencies exist between species originating on this planet. Of course, all of this is speculation since humans have failed to gather sufficient evidence to make conclusions about non-earth species. Still, it is not unreasonable to wonder what other methods of sensory perception might translate in our own imaginations. Given that stars (principle source of light found everywhere) are similar and that light is fairly consistent everywhere, it may be sensible to assume that most intellegent species would process that light as a sensory event. What does this mean? Intellegent aliens will probabl;y have something like eyes and see some amount of what we can see.

Golly gee. Didn't that sound smart?
  • 0

#14 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19765 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 January 2007 - 05:30 PM

I guess I was thinking about how movies reduce the details of reality into the few essentials that we feel we need to represent that image: light/colors in the visible spectrum, sound (if a sound movie), etc. Beyond 3D, we lop off so much more information (like smell, taste, temperature) not to mention all the things that we can't sense as humans, which is fine because what's left -- a 2D image with sound -- tells us enough to recognize it as a picture of reality.

But I was just wondering if a movie image would look like abstract art to some creature with a totally different sensibility, so much that they wouldn't even recognize a shot of a mountain and sky, etc. when it seems so obvious to us. Perhaps this explains the lack of response to decades of TV transmissions floating out into space -- if some alien culture was receiving them, they still might be trying to make sense of them just as images, sort of like the way we have to add false colors to pictures from some distant space probe to make them seem more like human vision.

No, Phil, there's no practical use for what I've been wondering.

Truth is, I've often wondered if I could see the world through some other human's eyes (forget aliens or other animals) would I be surprised to see certain differences in color, depth, sharpness, etc. I guess it can't be too different on average because we can agree, to some extent, when the color of sky represented on film looks correct or not, or certain skintones. If there is too much green in a photo of blue sky, most of us will notice it.
  • 0

#15 ryan_bennett

ryan_bennett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Student

Posted 11 January 2007 - 05:49 PM

This is really interesting, in fact I recently made a short film for class about a spaceman who crashed landed on earth and wanders around and experiences the wonders of Earth life (playgrounds, geese, soda machines). Ideas I thought up but never got to use includes animating radio waves (coincedence stemming from the fact that the aliens radio plays an important role to the plot) either by drawing or scratching, using a sharpie or something to add color animation to his suit (it was shot on plus-x) and because we didn't have any sync dialogue, I was going to garble anything spoken so it was vaguely familiar, or possibly not at all just because I just kept thinking of how it would like to be in a completely foriegn land. Would love to see this idea developed further, even more timely about this post is James Cameron talking about his next movie Avatar and how that's going to be revolutionary...
  • 0


The Slider

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Glidecam

Abel Cine

CineLab

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Technodolly