The Future of Film: How technology is shaping video experiences

by Niels Stevens

Posted on 06-01-2018

This week all eyes are on London as some of the industry’s most talented filmmakers come together for Sundance Film Festival: London, which recognises bold, independent filmmaking and the teams that have helped bring these stories to life.

As an Audio and Video Specialist for Creative Cloud, I’m particularly interested in seeing how editors are using Premiere Pro CC and our other Creative Cloud video tools in their work. From films showing at Sundance such as _Never Goin’ Back _and _Half the Picture, _to Hollywood hits like Deadpool and Bladerunner 2049, to award-winning TV series like Netflix’s _Mindhunter _and _Atlanta, _an increasing number of editors and filmmakers are turning to our tools to create epic content that keeps viewers gripped to the edge of their seats.

I also love seeing how editors are pushing the boundaries and experimenting with new mediums to create amazing content. Consumer demand for entertainment has reached fever pitch; platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime now serve up 24/7 access to films, TV shows and documentaries for your viewing pleasure. And with box office takings amounting to a record £1.3 billion in the UK alone last year, how are content creators making use of the latest technology to meet this demand, creating incredible works of art?

VR and beyond

Back in the day, it was all about 3D, with movies like Avatar arguably changing the face of modern-day cinema. In the future, we’ll see more virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree storytelling emerge; making the audience feel fully immersed in the world where story takes place. This isn’t just happening in the cinema – it can also be in the comfort of your own home or on the high street. A number of brands are cottoning on to this trend and creating immersive experiences for a number of different things. One of my favourite examples of cinematics and technology was from a couple of years ago, when Jaguar joined forces with HTC and Dell to create an immersive VR experience. The cool factor didn’t just come from being transported into a virtual world, but you also got to experience a concept car being built around you so it felt as though you were sitting in the driver’s seat, and then you were driven through Venice Beach.

At Adobe, we’re working closely with a studio in Shoreditch called Visualise to take VR to the next level by combining storytelling and filmmaking with 360 content production. Our products have helped to deliver impressive VR experiences for the likes of the BBC, Adidas by Stella McCarney and the Financial Times to name a few.

Breakthroughs in AI

Artificial intelligence is also playing an important role in filmmaking. Adobe Sensei already runs behind the scenes in Premiere Pro and After Effects making clever adjustments to help speed up your workflow and add value to the post-production process. For instance, the new Colour Match feature uses Adobe Sensei to automatically apply the colour grade of one shot to another. This feature comes complete with Face Detection so Premiere Pro can match skin tones where necessary, and a new split-view allows you to see the results of your colour grade as you go.

In addition to this, Adobe Sensei also allows editors and sound technicians to make audio improvements. Autoducking will automatically turn down your music when dialog or sound effects are present, generating key frames right on the audio track so you can easily override the automatic ducking or adjust individual frames as needed. As machine learning continues to develop, who knows where this technology will take us? There have already been attempts to design an AI system smart enough to write a screenplay, so the possibilities are endless.

Next-level filmmaking

We continue to be committed to the editorial community and in helping filmmakers to create content that inspires, entertains and engages. This is not just by supporting events such as Sundance, for instance our recently opened office in Los Angeles has an engineering team dedicated to providing professional-level support for Hollywood.

By connecting with the community and gathering valuable feedback, we continue to enhance Premiere Pro for aspiring and professional editors. With every release, I can’t wait to see how editors push the limits with Premiere Pro and use the latest technologies to achieve amazing results.

I have no doubt that new technologies and innovative techniques will continue to emerge in filmmaking over the years, enhancing the overall audience experience. After all technology has the power to help create experiences that move people and make a real impact. Ultimately, that’s what the film industry is all about.

Topics: Creativity, Creative Business, Digital Imaging, Editing, Film, Sundance, UK, UK Exclusive, Creative EMEA