RED Cameras has released a short speculative fiction film, written and directed by Luke Scott, on the Internet for free consumption.
Loom was produced by the electronics company to showcase new camera and projection technology which utilizes the relatively new ultra-high definition 4k format standard.
For the uninitiated, that’s a 16:9 image at 8.3 megapixels per frame, or a little less than 4,000 pixels across (a 1080p television is just shy of 2,000 px across).
The purpose of the format is to be able to fit enough information on the screen at once, that left and right channels to not have to alternate to produce a 3D image, they can project simultaneously, resulting in reduced eyestrain and a more natural 3D image.
Super high-speed projection is supposed to do roughly the same thing (it alternates much faster instead of being simultaneous, but your eye might not be able to tell) and has a bit of a headstart on 4K3D – Peter Jackson is doing the Hobbit films in super hi-speed 3D- so it’ll be interesting to see which format gains more favor among filmmakers and theaters. I haven’t had a chance to see it, but early reports are positive for both.
Loom was designed with some shots that are very challengingly lit and composed in order to showcase just what these projectors can do. I haven’t seen a 4k projector personally, but I realize that trying to show this film with even a high-end 1080p projector wouldn’t make for an optimal viewing experience.
Ridley Scott produced the short film, which was written and directed by his son, Luke Scott, and owes some clear inspiration to the elder Scott’s works in genre filmmaking, particularly Blade Runner. It’s a striking film visually and emotionally, though it is a bit pretensions, much like Ridley Scott’s own early work. You don’t have to take my word for it though. You can watch the whole thing right now.
RED Cameras has put up the full resolution version of the video on their forums for free download, or you can watch it in 720p right here, since you’re likely not using a 4k screen. Note that there is some nudity in the film. It’s not gratuitous, but I still wouldn’t watch at work.
Unlike many of the high-quality short films we’ve seen crop up on the Internet lately, this one is not an attempt to sell the concept to a film studio for a feature-length production. This is the whole thing in its complete form, and it was made with the sole purpose of showing off those projectors.
If you’d like to see Loom in the full 4K 3D, you’ll have to catch up with the RED Camera PR crew as they tour around with their equipment giving demonstrations at theaters and conventions.