Why shoot in 8K or 12K
Shooting in 8k might seem like madness on first impression. However, there are some good reasons why it is useful to evaluate shooting in 8k and some of these are laid out below:
For many, the idea of recording 8K, or for that matter 12K imagery conjures up thoughts of huge files sizes, long transfer times, piles of hard drives, and slow proxy workflows. There is too a misconception that these high resolutions are vastly more expensive than they actually are.
Even though HDR (high dynamic range) and HFR (high frame rate) are far more valuable than resolution to the consumer’s eye, there are other benefits with high resolution productions which an increasing number of projects are taking advantage of:
Mank, directed by David Fincher was acquired 8K using the RED Monstro in monochrome, while season 2 of Amazon’s Homecoming was also shot in 8K. Money Heist, the Netflix drama is shot in 7K (season 4) to accommodate HDR in a 4K deliverable. Sacred Games is shot in 8k, while Portrait of a Lady is shot in 7k and 8k. Doolittle is shot in 8k. These are but a few of the recent projects that have chosen high resolution cameras and post.
Indeed, one won't be able to sell productions made in less than 4K to Netflix and other streaming services. (see Netflix specs here). One day soon, some may well mandate 8K to begin with.
Even if the final output is only going to be 4K/UHD, shooting in higher resolution gives you many options in post that you do not have when starting in 4K. There is a vastly improved selectivity for grading, VFX tracking, green screens, blue screens, composites, and visual effects.
Before making the decision to capture a project in high resolution, producers and cinematographers need to consider the project’s long-term goals. Arguably, mastering a production in 8K will futureproof it to make it more attractive for sales in the long term.
Importantly, and thanks to the technology of 8k Mobile Digital Lab, working with these high resolution files doesn't need to be any more expensive or time consuming than working in lower resolutions, as the main workstation and high resolution cameras such as the 8k Reds are the same whether they are being used in 2k, 4k, or 8k, and there is no slowdown in speed of operation. There is also no need for more light.
The only additional cost that can be incurred is if the project is archived and backed-up in 8k, as the need to add extra storage disks & LTO 8 tapes for the additional volume of data exists.
However, it is more usual to make a final deliverable to 4k today, and an 8k conform can always be made later using the original camera raw files.
The 8K Mobile Digital Lab can connect up via internet broadband and send files of the original raw shots as they are being shot, while also backing them up to a different location, for example. This remote operation is what La Sartoria dell'immagine has developed to work up to 8k, and which is an on-going technical and operational collaboration between the two companies.
Alessio Focardi, has recently edited and post produced a collective short film directed by 5 directors, produced by DADO Produzioni, shot in 8K RedRaw and entirely managed remotely. The files were uploaded directly to the cloud system and immediately shared with the 5 directors of photography, the 5 directors, the production and Alessio's remote editing room in Florence. See La Sartoria dell'immagine.
See more details, descriptions and acceptable settings of raw digital cameras as evaluated by Netflix in 8k tech notes.