Yesterday in the Panasonic booth, 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 technology influenced Hollywood, where we go from here and how it could impact movies that have already been made.
The directors first illustrated just how the addition of extra space via the Blu Ray medium has allowed them to add even more extras and features on the final disc. While Luhrmann debunked the suspicion that directors filmed scenes specifically to be included on the deleted scenes portion of the Blu Ray/DVD, he did say that his team now includes full timers who just focus on what's going to be on the final disc with their work focused on getting directors' commentaries and coming up with other new exciting extras to be featured. This wasn't possible before the arrival of the DVD format and can now be taken to new heights with Blu Ray.
Luhrmann was clearly the most excited by the new format as he talked about how colors have long influenced his movie makiing dating all the way back to watching musicals as a child and young artist. He claims that he couldn't make Moulin Rouge the exact way he imagined simply because the technology wasn't there to include all the colors that he wanted. But after showing a clip from the newly released Moulin Rouge Blu Ray, you can see a new kind of color that's more vivid and could not be seen in the original motion picture. The same thing happened when he showed the fish tank scene of Romeo and Juliet. Luhrmann is embracing the colors available in this new format as well as extras and whatever else he can cram on the disk.
Michael Mann seems willing to use the technology, as the Last of the Mohicans has just been released on Blu Ray, but is not nearly as enthusiastic about it as Luhrmann. But he does use the new HD available to show off the background in the film that become even more alive and seem to influence the movie even more though it doesn't seem possible. You just have to see it to believe it. It's so much more vivid and alive. It really does enhance the movie.
Stone seems a little more skeptical but still is willing to use the new tools that were just thrown in his toolbox. He's afraid of devaluing movies of the past but trying to upgrade them to this new format. Bastardization would be the operable term here. He realizes that we've seen the last of the movies that were just made to be seen as movies with no enhancement and is afraid that the art form will be changed in the future by the technology.
There is clearly some truth to Stone's words but it would be foolish for Hollywood to turn its back on new technology that would enhance the viewing of the movie. Like the panel said, if people like a movie, they're going to want to have as intimate relationship as possible with it and will embrace the technology. It's Hollywood's job to hold itself back and make sure the art isn't compromised.