During CES 2011, Fox Home Entertainment had their inaugural Directors’ Panel to discuss the technological trends that were enveloping Hollywood and could potentially change the art of movie making as we all know it. Oliver Stone, Michael Mann and Baz Luhrmann gathered to discuss the ways Blu-ray technology influenced Hollywood, where we go from here and how it could impact movies that have already been made.
Some of the highlights of the panel included:
- On Blu-Ray, Mann says he likes the higher bit rate; it does a better job by a factor of 12 or 13 than older media, he says. He thinks it will be the best format for the next 6-8 years. Stone says Blu-Ray is like having a print at home. He says it is actually usually better than the original print. He says it’s like having a movie theater in your own home.
- Luhrmann says he’d like to have had Orson Welles on Blu-Ray talking about his films. He says Blu-Ray is just better. He says Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge in Blu-Ray look the way he wanted to see them. (They then showed a scene from Romeo and Juliet.)
- Luhrmann notes that he has always been a Blu-Ray nut – he says great movies are like people, you want to have a deeper connection with them, more and more layers. He says he has a full unit that works along side of him. He says he loves so much himself from going behind the current, from the extras on DVDs.
- Stone says you really get perspective when you do a sequel 23 years later. Stone says in the Blu-Ray on the newer Wall Street movie you can see the water, the detail that you don’t get with anything other than Blu-Ray. He says color for him matter; the greens and red are beautiful; he says even browns and tans in the 1987 movie, you see the walls….”Color makes the movie,” he says.
- Stone says he puts his heart into the director’s commentary’s that appear on Blu-Ray discs.
- Next clip is from Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans. He says the capability of Blu-Ray affected every decision they made in the movie. The stands are vibrating. I’m hope they’re sturdy. Mann discussed how much detail you can see in the wardrobe and colors and fibers; he says your brain is perceiving more than your consciously realize. He says he talked to Stanley Kubrick before 2001 came out and asked him where to sit, and he says there were four seats in the theater to sit in where it was an immersive experience and worth watching.
- Boucher notes that what the directors do is a combination of art and technology. He asks if they feel a sense of optimism – or if the technology takes them away from telling a story. Mann says “I love it, I love it.” He likes the resolution, the colors, and 3D. He says he’d shoot a pure dialogue drama in 3D.
- Stone alternatively says he fines it depressing, literally sad, when people watch movies on computers and phones. He says this is a moment in time about film preservation. He says this is the last of the best hardware. People won’t hold physical media – books, comic books, baseball cards – in their hands. He says collecting hundreds of Blu-Rays will be a valuable collection in 2050.
- Luhrmann says he’s “fantastically excited,” and that preservation is a very interesting thing. He says the power of the instrument of Blu-Ray is such that you have to be careful of misusing it, like a friend who has surgery and you don’t recognize who they are anymore. He says some preservation work on The Wizard of Oz reveals the strings that held up the flying monkeys…but he says in the end, it is about story telling, with a whole bunch of new toys.
You can watch the panel in full below: