2018 was a big year for the production industry with ever-evolving technology, new shooting techniques, tons of new cameras, lighting and more. It's always interesting to imagine what the next year has in store. We spoke to Gary Adcock about the year in review and his predictions for 2019.
PH: What did you find new and interesting this year in terms of new products and technologies?
Gary Adcock: A couple of things stand out to me, first is the consumer push for 4K television. It’s amazing that over 100 Million of them were sold in North America in 2018 alone is astounding. However, when you consider that over 60% of units sold support some flavor of HDR, it shows that even the consumers are choosing quality over quantity for their new TVs.
PH: What trends in workflow really got adopted this year and what’s in store for 2019?
Gary Adcock: Thunderbolt 3 and 10gE have moved the industry forward this past year and the manufacturers finally see that it’s all about the speed and ease of use. After 2 years of Apple exclusivity, Thunderbolt’s third generation has finally been adopted universally by PC manufacturers, making it a viable method of connectivity and networking for both Mac and Windows users. Apple finally embracing 10gE on the iMacPro means Apple understands that users and their products will have a larger foothold in networking among groups in business and education.
PH: What role do you play in the industry?
Gary Adcock: It varies. Some think of me as just a pundit, even though I regularly Produce and Direct marketing content for tech companies, and DP some of that content too. People don’t realize I was an established commercial still photographer in Chicago long before I ventured into Video and Film. I co-authored and tech edited the “Fletcher” Camera Comparison Chart, a technical resource guide to the most popular cameras used for Commercial, Episodic and Cinema productions in North America.
I also speak and write publicly on the changing industry and advancing technologies quite a bit, but it was tapeless workflows and data handling that most people heard first. I saw the advantages of a fully digital workflow and believed it was the future, coming just as analog HD was making its way into the market, co-authoring and tech editing the original data handling practices guide for Local 600 (Camera Guild).
PH: Where did you learn your trade? What's your background?
Gary Adcock: I am mostly self-taught, I went to college for computers and optics, but it was my love of photography that started me on my way. I was a working tabletop and commercial photographer when a neighbor asked for help out on a video shoot. I've been a grip, a gaffer and a sound guy. I have worked in sports, news, commercial production, episodic television, documentary VR and feature films.
PH: What are some of your favorite tools and technologies launched in 2018?
Gary Adcock: I am really interested in what RED is trying with the Hydrogen. While it’s an average phone, the potential is so much greater. I am also glad that the tools for creating and delivering HDR content have become more readily available. I think HDR has so much more to offer consumers and the industry as it moves forward. Right now, there are more mobile devices that support HDR content than people even realize, with most of the higher end devices from Apple and Google all supporting mobile HDR content, so we are at just the beginning of how that market will grow.
PH: What challenges do you see still impacting the industry — and what solutions might be coming soon?
Gary Adcock: I expect mobile to continue on its upward course. We'll see more and more breaking news shot on phones. Even now, breaking news more often than not shows some cell phone video captured at the moment, and soon with a push from RED, we may see even more. That will also filter into more and more self-produced content online, even with the shrinking use of Facebook and Twitter by people concerned with privacy, YouTube, Vimeo and others will continue to grow at an astounding rate.
The downside is most of that mobile content being created is not worthy (or stable enough) to play on larger than a handheld screen. Mobile content plays horrendously even on a medium-sized TV and is anyone else getting tired of the amateurish gimbal work found on every low budget productions?
PH: What’s all the buzz on 8K? What's real, what’s not — and what will the consumer actually "see"?
Gary Adcock: Oh, it’s real. 8K is not just about RED and NHK. Sony, Panasonic and Canon have all signed on for 8K, with a leaked Sony announced that the next variant of the A7s mirrorless camera will be able to capture 8K video. Pair that with 8K capable display technology from LG, Sharp and Panasonic (TBA) we should expect more companies to follow suit. There are uses for 8K in the 4K world we live in now, but the die was cast when Netflix is making sure that some kids shows are being mastered in 8K right now for release in Japan in 2019.
PH: Can you let us know where our community might see you next (shows like CES, NAB, etc.)?
Gary Adcock: I am always around. I have a number of sessions lined up for NAB 2019 covering a number of the topics we have talked about, 8K and Optics, Workflows and What’s next for RED’s Hydrogen One. I can also be found at the SuperMeet, as one of the founders, to support Michael and Dan as much as I can.
I write regularly for ProVideo Coalition, done a couple of articles for Definition magazine, occasionally host a technical podcast for Zacuto and answer questions for ProductionHUB. I try not to ever miss Cine Gear LA and the new Cine Gear Atlanta was surprisingly popular. I will be at IBC next year — possibly the best big trade show of them all.
PH: Where can we follow you social media?
Gary Adcock: My Twitter and Instagram handle is @garyadcock. I am on Facebook, but I have had to have met you face to face to be accepted on that dwindling platform and I monitor and respond in a number of Online groups there. There is also CML: the Cinematographers Mailing List, run by the irascible DP Geoff Boyle. Be warned that is not a place for noobs or trash talking, it is for those that believe we need to communicate as professionals.
PH: Lastly, we know you’re a “foodie”, can you give us your Top Picks in NYC, LA, Chicago, Boston and Florida?
Gary Adcock: That’s the hardest question! Chicago has got to be one of the top food cities there is right now, places like Fat Rice, Boeufhaus and Momotaro are always great. Don’t miss Olmsted in Brooklyn, Katz Deli or anything with Momofuku in the name in NYC (or Vegas).
The LA scene has 2 Chicago chef’s tearing it up, Jordan Kahn at the painfully expensive Vespertine, but don’t overlook the tiny,18 seat Dialogue Restaurant from Chef Dave Beran, hidden away on the second floor of the Promenade in Santa Monica. Boston has Guilia and Summer Shake some of the best-fried seafood available.
Florida has gotten a bad rap for food, I find great Cuban on every corner in the southern part of the state, terrific blacken grouper at Cindy’s diner in Marathon or the lobster bisque at Boston’s in Pompano Beach. To make sure I have hit all 4 corners of the US, I am also sending props to Eric Rivera at Addo in Seattle re-writing what people think of Puerto Rican food in the Pacific Northwest.