| WORKSHOP-HIGH DEFINITION DEMYSTIFIED|
WORKSHOP-HIGH DEFINITION DEMYSTIFIED
“Without modern technology, the documentary genre would be history by now”. With these words the Artistic Director of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival welcomed the audience to the “High Definition Demystified” workshop. The workshop took place on Friday, March 23 at the crowded John Cassavetes theater.
In introducing the workshop moderator, Mr. George Papanikolaou, professor at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering department of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Dimitri Eipides said: ”George and I have been friends for a long time. He supported our effort to establish this Festival right from the beginning”, and he continued saying: “Now, with the development of technology anyone can go out on the street with a digital camera and record whatever he sees. But we are here today with an expert on the subject, who will share his valuable knowledge with us”. Mr. George Papanikolaou then took the floor and introduced his two colleagues, Christos Vengiris and Demosthenes Dimoukas, who are doing their PhD theses on high technology issues, stressing how proud he feels to work with Mr. Dimitri Eipides because, as he said, “he is a man who constantly promotes and disseminates new ideas.”
Mr. Papanikolaou spoke about the role technology plays and the needs that it creates, stating that the common view on technology is mistaken. “It is not technology that forces us to move forward. It is we, and our inborn tendency to constantly improve, are what leads to new developments. The human being comes before technology”.
The determining factor of education in combination with the lack of financing was the second factor stressed by Mr. Papanikolaou, who said: “ It is very difficult for a professor to manage to be in direct contact with technology,
since it runs at a very brisk pace. Of course in America, where almost all films are technically excellent, companies have an open communication with educational institutions and not only keep the professors informed about new developments, but also finance them. As you know yourselves, unfortunately this does not happen in Greece.”
The tendency of directors to focus on the image and neglect sound in a fiction or documentary film, is also a common phenomenon, according to Mr. Papanikolaou. “A few years ago we were approached by a director who was preparing a film to compete in the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. The initial agreement was that we, as a laboratory, would process the sound in order to change it to Dolby Surround. When the time came to go into the studio, the money was finished! The director himself finally told us “Now use whatever you can!”
Next, in an effort to stress the importance of knowing how to operate high technology equipment, Mr. Papanikolaou proceeded to make a parallel between the workings of the digital camera and the working of the eye. “Our eyes are like cameras, but much better made”, he said. “Technology takes advantage of whatever our vision and hearing can and cannot do”. Giving a series of examples and explanations, he analyzed the importance of digital technology as well as the way it works, stressing that “All of this is useful if they can be perceived by our brain. Gradually, technology will reach a stage where it will no longer have meaning, as we will be unable to perceive it».