A Knowledge Transfer Fellowship in High Resolution Imaging

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: School of Arts


Digital technology is everywhere, from the cinema to the living room, from the classroom to the shopping precinct. Our children have digital phones with cameras attached, and iPods that can store their school calendars so that they can listen to their music, anywhere, anytime whilst finishing their homework. Shopping precincts and underground stations, airport lounges and urinals all now carry methods of display to bring the digital world home to us - wherever we are. These technologies are now central to how we live our lives.

Large media corporations, whose success depends on introducing new commodities into the world, have begun unveiling a new range of high resolution equipment which is the vanguard of much higher levels of resolution. This current technology has fundamentally four to five times the resolution of preceding broadcast technology which means that a viewer can no longer see the line structure inherent in the video image when projected on a cinema screen. This apparently simple, and apparently inevitable, technological development makes the gold standard of feature film production / 35mm film / far more widely available than ever before. It also brings in its wake image resolution which is finer than the eye can perceive. Thus the context and the nature of moving image making has the potential to change fundamentally.

We are already witnessing the beginnings of a sea change in the nature of film production on one hand but also the beginnings of the change of domestic production in which more and more people are enabled to produce and circulate very high quality images.

The aim of this two year project is to transfer the practices and theories researched by Terry Flaxton, previously a professional cinematographer, in his completing three year Arts and Humanities Research Council Creative Research Fellowship in high resolution imaging at Bristol University, to the image making sectors of the South West of England.

This project will encompass a series of strategies to transfer this knowledge, using conferences, workshops, surgeries, articles and also with visits with young film-makers of the region to centres of excellence of image capture and data processing.

Planned Impact

In my KTF proposal there are elements of activity relevant in terms of impact, value for money and additional value outside of the academy:

1) 12 Bi-Monthly Workshops. Workshops spread information and 'train the trainers'. My intent is the transference of knowledge on a viral base - that those who receive information understand how to propagate those understandings and thus spread information actively.

2) The 20 Monthly surgeries will trouble-shoot problems for both the traditional and blue-sky digital imaging sectors and will keep the sector on track by making information regularly available on a case by case level. I wish to compound the effectiveness of workshops via this strategy

3) The creation of an HD toolkit/ teaching/support materials for producers

4) I have discussed with two sub-partners of SWS taking people primarily from the Young Peoples Film Council to centres of data processing excellence and meeting real-world practitioners of the highest level (i.e. David Stump Senior ASC SFX co-ordinator and Roberto Schaeffer, cinematographer - both on the last Bond Movie - have agreed to make themselves available for the visit). I want to bring active knowledge and experience home with the YPFC.

5) The collaboration with the University of Dundee on a pan Northern European Conference will bring together academics and professionals. I will give papers and workshops as well as co-organising, thus raising UK profile in the EU as a centre of excellence in HD.

6) The National Cinematography Conference at the Watershed will be for industry professionals and involve the British Society of Cinematographers and the CML - Cinematography Mailing List - the principle forum of information exchange for the sector worldwide. This will heighten impact for the research but also go some way to broadening one of the Watersheds goals of opening up the issue of resolution from its low-res focus on Pervasive Media (at the Studio itself) as well as the iShed - both communities will be invited to attend.

7) In the 5 national public exhibitions of HD work I will maintain a strategy of enabling the public to experience the highest resolutions possible.

8) A continuing programme of international exhibitions in various cities will provide audiences and practitioners oriented to art exhibition a case study for research. This achieves the goals mentioned in 6) but also maintains the notion that the UK is ahead of the game internationally

9) A continuous online blog on the subject with the addition of links to relevant information allows a worldwide search of the subject to find the KTF project (which will also be noted on Academia.edu and the MARCEL network)

10) The development of the oral history, the Verbatim History of HD to include KT issues on the subject will keep internet profile high - especially as it will be available at the start of the KTF project on the CML and also on the MARCEL website (as well as various mirrored University websites)

Combined with the outputs for academic beneficiaries, the above will create further impact centered on a proper understanding by the public, the academy and industry, of what digital HD actually is. We are of course within a competitive environment and both America and Korea have a high penetration of HD technologies, so it is self-evident that we must have the public, industry and Academia having no doubt about this technology as soon as possible. My aim is to accelerate this understanding.


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Description Please Refer to my Journal of Media Practice where I look at the purpose and outcomes of my KT Fellowship
Exploitation Route Can be read by industry professionals and Academics - My original Senior Creative Research Fellowship developed into an additional Senior Research Knowledge Exchange Fellowship. I then became a Senior Research Fellow in Engineering (as opposed to humanities and the arts). I was then offered the directorship of a research centre in the subject area and a professorship. We've had many successes and amongst those I count being invited to speak on our Higher Dynamic Range discoveries to the Science and Technology Committee at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as the apogee (so far) of my academic career.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Retail

URL http://www.visualfields.co.uk/KnowledgeExchange.pdf
Description In my scaffolded research from Creative Research Fellowship AH/E005926/1 High Definition Imaging: An Investigation into the actual, the virtual and the Hyper real - this then lead to this award. Both awards then lead to my appointment as a Senior Research Fellow at University of Bristol within Faculty of Engineering for 3 months. This then lead to a Professorship at University of the West of England and also a Directorship of the Centre for Moving Image Research. http://www.cmiresearch.org.uk CMIR now is a leading research centre in the UK and we have affiliations with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science in Los Angeles, the American Society of Cinematographers, the British Society of Cinematographers and IMAGO which is the international federation of cinematographic societies worldwide. We now hold a yearly Bristol Festival of Cinematography which exports UK excellence in the subject area - plus holds research innovation laboratories across related disciplines. http://www.cinefest.co.uk/
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Retail
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic