Investigates the history, process and workflow of both digital and photochemical film creation. It shows what artists and filmmakers have been able to accomplish with both film and digital and how their needs and innovations have helped push filmmaking in new directions. Interviews with directors, cinematographers, colorists, scientists, engineers and artists reveal their experiences and feelings about working with film and digital. Where we are now, how we got here and what the future may bring. Written by
Identifies District 9 as being shot on the Sony F23. It was actually shot on Red One cameras. See more »
Since the late 1880s, visual artists and storytellers have used moving images to create amazing works. Movies have inspired us, thrilled us, and captured our imaginations. Film has helped us share our experiences and dreams. Photochemical film has been the exclusive format used to capture, project, and store moving images for over 100 years. It is only recently that new technology has emerged that is challenging film's place as the gold standard for quality and workflow. Digital ...
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Digital and Analog Should be Complimentary, Not Mutually Exclusive
Imo, film should always be kept available, not completely phased out, because the more tools, the more options, the better. There is no reason analog and digital technology should be mutually exclusive, instead of complementary, as in the making of Samsara.
The visually arresting Samsara was shot on 65 mm Kodak film, which was developed but not printed, due to budgetary constraints. Instead, an 8k digital copy was made from the negative, which was then used for post-production coloring, editing, soundtrack, etc. A 4k copy was made of the final cut, for digital exhibition. This combination of analog and digital technology recalls the ADD musical format, music initially recorded in analog, then digitized, in order to both preserve the advantages of analog and optimize those of digital.
There's no DP alive today, it must be said, that can replicate the great B&W work of masters like Joe MacDonald, James Wong Howe, Josef Von Sternberg or Gregg Toland. Truly, the art of B&W film is dead. Movies that resurrect B&W, like A White Ribbon, Raging Bull, The Man Who Wasn't There, The Turin Horse or The Artist, look sterile and too analytical, flat and dull. The luminescent magic of movies like The Lady from Shanghai, Shanghai Express, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) or Gilda is gone, never to be seen again. Thus one should worry that DPs will retreat from the creative challenge of film cinematography into the safety of technical "perfection" with digital. One has to worry that digital will limit the imagination, as it has in music.
Point of reference: There isn't one film in the world which compares to the perfection of the use of only ambient and natural light by Kubrick in Barry Lyndon (1975). Kubrick customized the already near obsolete, bulky Mitchell cameras with his own lenses in order to shoot the entire film by daylight or candlelight. There isn't one, not one, movie set in the past before the advent of electric light that looks as good or as right. And this, of course, without any computers (and with obsolete cameras).
Another point of reference: It pays to remember how much Ridley Scott accomplished with hardly, if any computers in 1982 in Blade Runner. Most of the people interviewed in this movie, e.g., Lucas, Nolan, Cameron or Soderbergh, couldn't accomplish a tenth as much with all the computers in the world -- their imaginations are simply not rich enough. In the end, celluloid is just a means to an end. It's the filmmaker who makes the movie, not the cameras.
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