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Having researched and examined how open source has reached out into many areas of current working environments, Daniel Mulligan was struck by how little open source seems to be used within the film production community. It appearing that little has been developed for an entire production workflow and backbone, from the sensor and how it is used and manipulated, the colour science and workflow.
Examples do exist, such as ACES (Academy Color Encoding System), providing a free, open source colour and look management architecture. This has been taken forward through the educational department of the Oscars and by established Industry practitioners, but being such a new subject has as yet to completely encompass the entire workflow.
Thus seeking to further the understanding and appreciation of production processes we can create a diverse array of programs and hardware for filmmakers (and institutions) to provide unique opportunities for engagement with the principles of open source relating to film production, and by approaching the subject now and introducing hardware research with an ethical ethos and approach, the belief is that we can further educate those who would like to see open source become a stronger and more realistic proposition as it continues to thrive and develop. Learning, teaching and research are all encompassed in the entire pipeline for a production. Open content, open practice, open data, open access are all elements that can be attributed to open source for film and education.
On this basis contact was established with Apertusº for their open source 4K camera hardware. This has allowed us to tackle the subject fully by developing not only sensor technology but also the processing involved. We have currently had delivered the very first shipped Open Source 4K hardware camera and testing fully its capabilities.
The aim is to create free and open technology and hardware, and make all the generated knowledge freely available to everyone, encouraging participation along the way. By developing this approach we can create a production pathway that includes subjects such as open data, open collaboration and open hardware and software.
Open source film production is an emerging environment effecting production tremendously, and is a perfect example of collaboration and education developing in multiple areas for the future, and can all be developed with an extremely strong emphasis on hardware development with software support.
Daniel Mulligan started in cameras (assisting and focus pulling), before then graduating up the ranks to Camara Operating for F1, BBC Dramas then 2nd Unit Cinematography for Feature Theatrical Productions.
Daniel also started and privately ran a rental house supplying digital cameras, plus an onset/location company providing location post and digital camera workflows. This culminated just recently with a 2-3 year stint at Technicolor as their locations digital dailies supervisor, looking after projects such as Jupiter Ascending, Mortdecai and The Man from UNCLE.
During this time Daniel has seen a few changes and re-iterations of the current digital workflows and it has struck him over time how much we do rely on proprietary systems for most delivery. And perhaps quite rightly so, as the delivery requirements for VFX to DI, to onset LUTs and more need that service. But applying an Open Source ethos to the entire production pipeline, from colour science to sensors to processing to the backbone and workflows, we can allow more control and achieving results that improve costs, delivery times and the quality of the images captured and how they are processed.
Open Source Film Production
Open Source Hardware
Open Source Software