Miami Vice shot straight in HD video, not film


The Sydney Morning Herald has a very interesting article on the new Miami Vice film being shot entirely in High Definition video, focusing on new challenges and advantages.

Talking to director Michael Mann and Australian director of photography Dion Beebe, they explain the reasoning behind choosing to shoot in HD video rather than traditional film.

Their conclusion is that it's not the easy choice for filmmakers, but it definitely has its advantages, too, like being able to edit the look and feel of the video output on set, much as you could on a TV set.

The downside? HD cameras are generally more temperamental than film cameras, and are currently designed for the studio rather than on location where heat and damp can get to them.

Lighting is also tricky, but when it's done right is impressive. They spent 4.5 months testing the cameras in Miami - at night, on helicopters and boats - before actual filming began.

My hunch is it also makes the whole thing easier to release on high-def DVD. This is probably the way things will go eventually, though I hope film will be with us for quite some time to come yet.

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