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Which disciplines within the film industry outside of the obvious VFX field are seeing the greatest amount of growth as technology progresses?

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Gregory’s Answer

Virtuality Reality (VR) has been slowly gaining traction with devices like the Oculus Go and HTC Vive, where the user is completely immersed and engaged with the experience. More and more users are falling in love with their virtual environment, but the demand and frequency in purchases of devices are still flat. Even though the technology is vastly improving, the daily users of VR devices is not increasing as expected. The main issue that arises is availability, where the average consumer is not able to afford a device and the average user does not have the time to always set up the experience to its full potential. Regardless, the VR industry has high growth potential, with a huge opportunity for crossover with the film industry. The capabilities of technology will allow for better capturing of a 360 degree environment leading to a more life-like experience within a VR headset. This industry is definitely one to keep an eye one if you are interested in how film is being affected by new technological progresses.
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Ron’s Answer

In post-production (the creative and technical services that happen after shooting is complete), two major trends are High Dynamic Range and immersive audio.

High Dynamic Range refers to a wider range of brightness, contrast, and color that can be applied to the movie/TV content during post production, usually by the colorist after consulting with the cinematographer. In recent years, both cinema screens as well as televisions have the ability to display this enhanced imagery. So to take advantage of that better display capability, the post production industry now has technology and tools to create this new enhanced version of the movies and TV shows. Next time you watch a movie, watch the end credits and look for the person who did the Digital Intermediate. That's just a fancy way of saying colorist, and it is becoming common for that person to acquire skills and knowledge about High Dynamic Range.

Let's talk about audio now. Over the past few decades, movies and TV shows were commonly created with surround sound audio, meaning 5.1. The 5.1 refers to speaker layout, specifically for speaker locations in Left, Center, Right, Left Rear, and Right Rear (that's the 5), along with a subwoofer (that's the .1). And sound mixers would therefore make creative decisions based on which sounds they wanted to send to which speaker. But with the emergence of what's known as immersive audio (e.g., Dolby Atmos), sound mixers now have new creative tools to send sounds literally anywhere in the room, without worrying about which or how many speakers there are. Picture a tennis ball that you can hang anywhere in the room. And now think of a sound (e.g., a helicopter) instead of a tennis ball. Sound mixers now have new creative freedom in mixing movies and TV shows. Of course, on the playback side (cinemas or consumer devices), there must also exist the corresponding technology to receive this new type of audio file and play it back as the mixer intended, no matter what the speaker layout is (or even via sound bars or other consumer devices). Fortunately, this playback capability is becoming very common in cinemas and consumer devices. So for a sound mixer, learning this enhanced mixing technique is going to be critical for the future of sound in movies and TV shows.

For both HDR and immersive audio, there are already thousands of movies and television episodes created in these new formats. It's the next wave of premium experience for content, so aspiring film makers, colorists, cinematographers, and sound mixers should become educated about all this.
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Jordan Scott’s Answer

I'll add that as technology advances, and equipment becomes smaller, lighter, and more affordable, scrappy DIY filmmaking is becoming more and more the norm for even large corporations, and those who can be a jack of all trades - they know enough about camera operation, audio, editing, lighting, etc. - are in high demand. Companies will hire them to come in-house to produce video content. Now that's not everyone's dream when they set out to be a filmmaker, but it's a way to earn a stable living in this industry, to build up a commercial reel, and the demand is increasing.
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