Fincher's Social Network To Be First Movie Shot & Shown in 4K

April 15, 2010
Source: SlashFilm

David Fincher's The Social Network

While the rest of the world is caught up in the 3D craze, I'm glad to see that David Fincher is still sticking with his guns and thinking about how to make 2D projection look better and better. A reader on SlashFilm sent in a little scoop from the RED camera presentation at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week. For those unfamiliar, the RED camera system (created by the founder of Oakley) is the world's leading high resolution digital video camera that the entertainment industry has been slowly using more often. The RED is one of the few cameras that actually shoots in 4K, but most films aren't even projected in 4K at movie theaters.

There's a lot of technical info here, so I'm going to try and get through as much of it as I can. 4K resolution (4096×2160) is quadruple that of 2K which is what most films are rendered and projected in at nowadays. Despite that there are 4K projectors in movie theaters, most movies aren't shot at or even distributed by the studios at that resolution. I've seen some movies projected in 4K at conventions like ShoWest and it looks incredible, but it could be even better if they were using 4K res footage. Apparently Fincher's new film The Social Network was shot with RED cameras and may be the first film projected in theaters at that quality.

At the RED presentation this week, they showed some footage from The Social Network as well as Steven Soderbergh's Knockout (he likes to use the RED camera as well, last used on Che). Apparently a few movie theater chains (AMC, Regal) have bought 12,000 new digital 4K projectors that will be installed this year. RED also announced that The Social Network will be the first feature film to be shot in 4K resolution and projected in 4K resolution. Obviously you'll have to make sure your local theater is running 4K projectors, but this will look absolutely gorgeous, better than anything you've seen. It's no coincidence that Sony is one of the top manufacturers of 4K projectors and is also the studio that is distributing The Social Network.

As a moviegoer, I'm actually more excited at the prospect of seeing 4K resolution films than I am seeing 3D. I wish that the industry would put a little more focus on the projection quality in movie theaters more than whether or not they can make an extra buck with 3D, but that's a story for another day. It would be better to see an action movie for your first time in 4K, but I guess Fincher's Facebook movie will have to do. Despite what you may think, not many people have actually seen 4K resolution footage shown in 4K resolution, and I'm sure you will have a jaw-dropping experience when you see how crystal clear and incredible 4K looks.

Sony / Columbia will be releasing David Fincher's The Social Network in theaters on October 1st this fall.

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News, Opinions



This is what I like to hear..... finally.

Chazzy O on Apr 15, 2010


wow...Didn't even know this existed...well I did cuz of the 1800 by whatever other digit you want to use...but 4K? coolio...

zeldaprimed on Apr 15, 2010


RED gives very noisy image in low-light shots witch will be very visible in 4K. Also there is a problem with fps - in 4K you can shot only at 24fps. But if you want slow-motion (up to 75fps) you have only 2K resoution availble. There is also problem with "quick-lights" (camera flashes, strobo-lights) - the exposition is always wrong (only part of frame is covered with light)... RED sucks. Kodak celuloids are still number one (and they can be scanned in 4K).

Sandro on Apr 15, 2010


What ancient build are you using that is noisy in low light... and why not just light properly like any decent cinematographer would?

Daniel Beahm on Aug 17, 2011


#3 - I don't think the RED camera "sucks" or people like Steven Soderbergh and David Fincher (who's movies have always looked amazing) wouldn't be using it. That said, I have heard that there are limitations, but that goes for any camera system. Like with IMAX, it can only shoot for 2 minutes before a reel change, but it still looks better than anything and that's why Chris Nolan used it in The Dark Knight.

Alex Billington on Apr 15, 2010


WRONG! Soderbergh last used the RedOne Camera on The Girlfriend Experience.

DiR3cT on Apr 15, 2010


#5 - Did you even read the article? This was not about The Social Network being the first movie to use RED cameras. A lot of movies have been shot on them (Gamer is another). If you read the article, you would know it's the first time any movie has actually been PROJECTED in 4K quality.

Alex Billington on Apr 15, 2010


btw. 4K is not twice the resolution of 2K, but four times 2K

pjs on Apr 15, 2010


... Lol. In any case, this seems like a really great experience. But I still don't see how a "social networking" movie is supposed to work. Is there a storyline and such? Ha, sorry, but I could use a bit of information.

Cracky on Apr 15, 2010


So Fincher has moved away from the Thomson Viper camera that he used on his last couple of films? I guess his mate Soderbergh recommended it. Incidentally, the reason Fincher shoots in digital now is not for the image quality, it's for the workflow. It's much easier, quicker and cheaper to use than film. But whenever he needs to shoot in slow-motion (see one of the killings in Zodiac, a sequence or two in Benjamin Button, I think) he reverts to celluloid. Because it's better. Digital cinematography isn't quite there yet, in my opinion. I'm much more in line with Christopher Nolan's philosophy. He shuns video, which is why he doesn't want to shoot in 3D, and sticks with 65mm or IMAX. Good lad!

Mathieu on Apr 15, 2010


Maybe...just MAYBE...we should focus ON THE CONTENT!!! The selling point shouldn't be IT'S FREAKING RESOLUTION!!!

Angry Chief on Apr 15, 2010


I've actually seen a movie projected with 4K and it was mind-blowing, I would say it's actually more impressive than seeing Avatar projected in 3D at an IMAX. I saw the BLADE RUNNER FINAL CUT projected in 4K on the Warner Bros lot and it was actually visually overwhelming the amount of extremely high resolution detail you could see in the image, it was actually a bit hard to take it all in. Seriously, 4K really is the next step, it's leaps beyond blu-ray video quality, which still sometimes justs looks like a really great DVD. 4K I would say, is nearly lossless in quality. Once you guys see something in 4K you'll be a convert, too. I'm buying a RED camera next year, I can't wait to shoot with it.

LINKFX on Apr 15, 2010


I was skeptical of digital until I saw Zodiac. That movie looked fantastic, although I know Fincher shot some of it on film, in addition to spending a ton of money in post.

Shane on Apr 15, 2010


#3 - you are talking about problems that are apparent in all rolling-shutter systems, not just RED. RED do not suck if you can use it (like with any camera), but Soderbergh is one who suck at it. Fincher has neved disspointed visually.

ryderup on Apr 15, 2010


#7 - Thanks for the note, made the correction. #10 - Fincher is obviously focusing on the content, we're just mentioning this as a news item. Just because this is the first film being projected in 4K doesn't mean that Fincher just gave up on caring about the story! Not only will it be a great movie, but it'll look better than ever, too.

Alex Billington on Apr 15, 2010


I'm much more interested in this kind of progress. not quite sure this is the right movie to use as a show off though. But i love Fincher's work and this should end up being a very good movie. And I have no idea if we have this kind of projectors in Portugal (Alex, do you know anything about them being already available outside the states? Europe?)

Ricardo on Apr 16, 2010


I was lucky enough to catch Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End in 4K a few years ago when I was in Tokyo. They were still testing and developing 4K at the time but I can remember just being stunned from how crisp and clear the image was. It took a few minutes for me to initially get over it but it was still mind-blowing enough to say the least. Kudos to Sony for helping get the infrastructure going for it over here finally!

Mike on Apr 16, 2010


#4 - I'm glad you have heard that there are limitations, and I can asure you - there ARE some major limitations, because I made two movies using RED already (both in mixed mode - 2K & 4K, also three movies with Eastman Kodak) and until the release of RED-TWO I won't use it again (there was also the SCARLET camera from RED Company but it's not for cinematical usage). I know that Hollywood postproduction can fix most of the RED issues but the point of all those corrections (color grading, bleach-bypass simulating etc.) is to make the RED shots look like the shots from reel camera! Isn't that twisted? 🙂 So there is comfort in having smaller camera and making more shots quicker and for lower price. But it's only a half way to go.

Sandro on Apr 16, 2010


I am sorry but "The Scientist" a film by Zach Labeau Was SHOT in 4k and shown in 4k at its World release Friday. Look it up on IMDb if you don't believe me, So I hope your article is referring to "Hollywood movie"

Chrisoliver on Apr 17, 2010


Too bad the movie's going to suck.

1-7 on Apr 29, 2010


Man, Fincher's a total wash-up. The guy who used to make Se7en and Fight Club now makes purposeless junk like Zodiac and pap like Benjamin Button. Now he's pushing inferior crap like digital over real film. Nolan's pretty much raping this guy in his philosohy right now.

SlashBeast on Apr 29, 2010


Wow, I can't believe what I am listening to. "Nolan's pretty much raping this guy in his philosohy right now" What does that actually mean??? Okay so Se7en and zodiac were good films, but I am sure The Social Network will be equally as stunning and interesting. Just because it isn't in an "action" type genre doesnt mean it wont be any good. I am sure it will be deep, moody, funny, inspiring, comical, dramatic, dark.....etc. David Fincher is a great story teller and I think we can all agree has become VERY successful! ANYWAY...Can't wait to see this film expecially in 4K. I look forward to the actual story also, think it will be an interesting watch.

Jo on Oct 11, 2010


Just saw the Social Network in 4k. The words can't describe; it's as if you're looking at a stream of 14,000$ camera lens snapshots. Every scene shot outside is breathtaking, particularly the campus scenes at night. I had high expectations for this film; script, flow, soundtrack gave permanent shivers from start to finish. That being said, I was unaware of the film's pristine imaging credentials. Well, quite honestly I don't know how I managed to keep my eyes in their sockets. The crisp clarity went clearly beyond sensory reality for us humans, as I was either gasping or gitty one scene after another. A truly astounding experience, and seemingly free of SFX I might add. I regret ever calling any other film a visual masterpiece now. MUST SEE TO BELIEVE

Oli on Oct 26, 2010


It's pretty hilarious that this article states that The Social Network was the first film shot in 4k.  First major studio release PROJECTED perhaps (MANY nature/sports documentaries have been shot and projected in 4k).  However, even super-low budget indie features are *shot* in 4K these days.

Daniel Beahm on Aug 17, 2011

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