These days, I find myself longing for all things analog more and more. I don’t think it’s just me. It feels like the world in general is headed in this direction, don’t you think? This summer, I saw Cirque du Soleil’s “KÀ” in Las Vegas. This show has been going for 15 years, since 2004. I love “KÀ” and look forward to seeing it whenever I go to Las Vegas for work. In fact, I’ve seen it no less than six times. The show’s spectacle is the performance that occurs on impressive stage equipment –16 billion yen in production costs. Cirque du Soleil’s circus tent visits Japan from time to time, and it’s epic scale is like nothing else. I was fortunate enough to see what goes on behind the scenes. I was shocked that we were allowed to take pictures and video of what we saw backstage. We asked if there was anything we weren’t allowed to photograph, and the cavalier answer was: “No, nothing.” Fair enough. It wasn’t the kind of cheap setup where someone could easily copy the creative staging just from looking at superficial photos of the equipment. What makes “KÀ” an awe-inspiring spectacle is the combination of the elite cast of 70 chosen from around the world who practice day in and day out, the specialized staff of 200 who support them, and the best theater stage in the world. The continued success of the staging is thanks to all those hours of work – in other words, the power of analog effort. The bottom line is that no matter how many cutting-edge digital techniques we acquire, if we don’t hone the skills of the people using them, it won’t lead to anything new creatively speaking. We are witnessing a revolution in the motion picture industry.
This summer, SIGMA unveiled a new camera called the SIGMA fp. Sadly, the level of excitement that this announcement stirred up among the journalists in the industry has all but disappeared. This is because most of the time, much of the new equipment or techniques are merely updated specs or new products created in response to recent trends. However, this fp is not about mere numbers; it is a specialized product resulting from the crystallization of hours of creative work. There was a standing ovation at the venue where it was presented on July 11. For more about SIGMA’s mission and approach to product development, you can take a look at our previous issue. In all honesty, the SIGMA fp’s full potential is still a mystery. But I have great confidence in Japan’s innovation and technology, and I felt like I was witnessing something that no one has ever seen before, and this made me incredibly happy. There is that quote from Steve Jobs: “When you’re trying to win a woman’s heart and you see your rival offering her a 10 roses, what will you do? Give her 15 roses? The moment you think that way, you’ve lost. It doesn’t matter what your rival does. You need to understand what *she* really wants.” That’s it exactly. When you’re trying to create something, are you just going to focus on the number of roses? What’s essential is for you to pay attention to what people want.