So what's it all about? This High Definition?
It's amused me for a year or two now that TV companies have been advertising High Definition programmes and hardware on regular televisions! They make the picture look pretty by using slow motion photography. Sky are particularly prone to it because of their HD channels. My dad emailed a few days ago asking me whether I thought they should subscribe. I don't myself yet, but advised him to get himself down to a local showroom and ask to see an HD picture next to a regular one. He called today to say that they've taken the plunge and the results are amazing. In his words 'it makes you want to put your glasses on to watch any analogue picture'. The sound is loads better too.
Running a film festival I've had to tread a cautious line for the past 5 years: film-makers inevitably use the latest kit and produce their films in HD. However, DVD is still the default medium that we use to view the said films at home, and DVD is seriously compressed compared to HD. Film-makers are obviously keen to move away from DVD so that viewers can see their stuff in its full glory. Of course it's been possible for many years to play these films in HD - you can simply hook up the camera on which the film was filmed to a projector or TV that is capable of accepting an HD signal, and hey presto. Such practices have been used for important screenings at festivals, premieres and the like, but it'd never been viable to run a whole festival like this.
We've just purchased a couple of magic little Media Players which seem to play pretty much whatever you throw at them: video, music and picture-wise, so we're pretty excited that at last we've caught up with the film makers and can actually show their stuff, with relative ease, in HD. ShAFF is unfortunately just one week after the Llanberis Mountain Film Festival which is going down a similar route which means we can't make the claim to be the first of the adventure festivals to 'go digital'. Still, they are only showing HD films in one of their venues and we'll be doing it in all of ours :-)