Friday, June 13, 2014

University of Ottawa Feature Story on Randall P. Dark

High Definition Visionary

Years before TV went digital, theatre grad Randall Dark was well ahead of the curve when it came to exploiting the revolutionary potential of HD.

The University of Ottawa's online magazine, Tabaret, is a digital publication highlighting the stories that have shaped and continue to shape the university's history. The June 2014 issue features an in-depth story on alum Randall P. Dark.

"Because high definition was so real and so vivid, I believed that if you watched a documentary about starving children, it would touch your heart in a way that you would have to react." ~ Randall P. Dark

Randall Dark using a 3D camera to film penguins for the film 3 Cities in 3D, which featured images from Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, all in Tennessee.
Randall P. Dark (BA ΚΌ79, Honours), one of the pioneers of high definition television, says he embraced the technology because he believed sharper images had the power to change the world. But it wasn't easy convincing film industry bigwigs of the merits of HD.

"I was laughed at many, many times," says Dark. "After one demonstration of HD to some of the top cinematographers, directors and producers in New York City, I was viciously attacked. They were saying it looked like video, it was horrible, it was never going to happen. I remember one of my staff asking me, 'Randall, how do you feel? They tore you apart.' But I was elated. I said, 'Did you see how passionately vicious they were, how much they hated it? If it touched them that much, we're on to something.'"

Today, Dark is a producer, director, cinematographer, writer and media consultant who has shot some of the most famous personalities in high definition, including Julie Andrews, Willie Nelson, Harry Connick Jr., Lyle Lovett, Sting, Bill Clinton, Leonard Nimoy and Stephen Hawking. He is considered by the television industry to be a visionary guru who has played a key role in advancing the HD medium.

Dark compares the moment he first saw HD in Toronto in 1986 to someone seeing a Model T Ford during the days of horses and carriages.

"My brain fired and I thought this was going to be the future of so many things. I wanted to help bring it to the world and I was blessed enough to be involved in so much of the roll-out," says Dark.

"Because high definition was so real and so vivid — the colors were perfect, you could see the tiniest detail — I believed that if you had a 65-inch TV in your home and you watched a documentary about starving children, it would touch your heart in a way that you would have to react," says Dark. "I believed it was a technology that would have an impact on people and change their hearts. I honestly believed it would change humanity."

Read the full story by Mike Foster online here

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

XiN Magazine Profile

XiN Magazine painted a vivid word portrait of Randall Paris Dark in China Stories. Read the article in Chinese and English here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Documentary Team Used Everything But the Kitchen Sink

REVIEW: "Seadrift vs. The Big Guy"

Director/Cinematographer Randall P. Dark

Randall P. Dark filming "Seadrift vs. The Big Guy"
"Seadrift vs. The Big Guy" presents the viewer not only with an involving look at a group of very determined sports enthusiasts taking on a daunting physical challenge, but also a technological tour de force of digital filmmaking. The combination of video formats from cell phone to eyewear to 4K is impressively successful, demonstrating that source material can come from any perspective both subjectively from the participants and objectively from observers.

This allows the point of view of those directly experiencing the event to become as important as the cinematography of the filmmaker.

Participants in the Texas Water Safari, the subject
of the documentary

The result is that only the editorial selection of the shots the documentarian chooses to include sets the parameters of the ultimate communication, rather than the limitations of his or her production capabilities. In my opinion, by demonstrating the unlimited potential of multiple video formats, this "Seadrift vs. The Big Guy" is a landmark in the future of potential filmmaking.

Jay Ankeney

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Behind the Camera: Randall Dark

Randall P. Dark was interviewed for Randi Altman's postPerspective about choosing the right tools for the right job. Read the article in its entirety at postPerspective.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

HD: Past, Present, Future

Randall P. Dark tells his story as an early adopter of HD to Post Magazine.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Random Thoughts from CES

Post Magazine caught up with Randall Dark at CES, which included a little fun with singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett. Read all about it here: Post Magazine

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Celebrating Randall Dark's 25 Years In HDTV

There are HDTV pioneers, and then there is Randall Dark. Now President and CEO of Randall Dark Productions ( in Austin, Texas - as well as the Artistic Director of the Macao China International Digital Cinema Festival - Dark can legitimately claim to be a quarter-century HDTV veteran.

Read James Careless' profile story on Dark's long and fascinating HDTV career in the December 2011/January 2012 issue of TV Technology Asia-Pacific by downloading here.

The mobile HD unit that Dark used to shoot Super Bowl XXX in HDTV for NHK (1996.)