Storytelling in 8K?

Pierre RouthierCinematographer, Pierre H Routhier gave a presentation on storytelling in 8K. He wondered, for example, if there is more value from the filmmaker’s point of view in having more spatial resolution as opposed to “better” pixels. Not surprisingly, he concluded that with 24 fps capture, only a few shots offer more value with 8K resolution and to really appreciate the benefit, camera motion would have to be reduced to near zero, limiting storytelling options. This is because any slight motion with 24 frame capture quickly blurs out any resolution advantage.

He then talked about cinematic techniques like shot framing, motion and motion blur, visual acuity and the viewing environment including how far viewers typical sit from a TV. To resolve all the pixels in a 65” HDTV one would ideally sit 1.1 feet away (0.33m) – which no one will do, of course.

He then considered the benefit of 8K in a movie theater. For a mainstream 40’ wide screen, viewers will see no visible improvement over a 4K screen beyond a distance of 30’ from the screen. That suggests the best seats in the house are really close to the screen, which most people would think is not true.

However, if the 8K is implemented on a 70’ wide screen, the difference between a 4K version is visible up to 52 feet (15.9m) away, offering some value to theater goers.

And, from a cinematic point of view, he concluded that shots need to be much wider than conventional framing to avoid discomfort with extreme close up shots. He also recommends filmmakers go to higher frame rates, like 120 Hz and beyond, when capturing 8K content. – CC