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Thread: Digital shooting and projection

  1. #11
    One of the Regulars Captain Lex's Avatar
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    There's no Carl Laemmle yet. I seriously doubt the more insidious elements are going to become industry standard without a serious fight. I don't think bloggers are the only people aware of the challenges, and I'm confident those challenges will be met as soon as they have to be. The conditions described in these nightmare scenarios simply aren't sustainable. There'll be casualties, but it will work itself out.

    There'll be a tremendous effort to work out those kinks because few if any of those problems are inherent with digital distribution. The inherent advantages will be the motivation to work out the incidental (but no less substantial) problems.

    This post was rather italics-heavy, now, wasn't it?
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  2. #12
    Bartender Feraud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Lex View Post
    As far as filming digitally goes...well, I'm definitely in favor of the democratization of the medium.
    The feeling of dread people are expressing is experiencing how undemocratic this forced change is. Directors should have the choice to shoot on film or digital but when film is no longer being produced where exactly is that choice? The same lack of choice holds true for theaters being strong-armed into converting to digital lest they have little to show on their screens.

    What is scary is the rush to convert while certain drawbacks and apprehensions are being expressed.
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  3. #13
    Bartender LizzieMaine's Avatar
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    It's not about art, democratization, convenience, quality, or necessity. It's about dollars, and nothing else. If they could eliminate all directors, writers, and actors, and replace them with a series of automated digital algorithms, they would. And probably they will.
    The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. -- William Jennings Bryan

  4. #14
    One of the Regulars Captain Lex's Avatar
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    Well, when film stops being produced, yes, they don't have the choice. Market factors will always limit freedom, and that is unavoidable. They don't have the 'choice' to use 8mm film either, because it's outdated--even if it does have a specific look and feel. Framing the medium choice as a dichotomy between digital and 35mm film tends to overlook that 35mm film isn't the only way either. There are plenty of alternative techniques and media that don't have any traction because they aren't practical. A standard had to be adapted for medium; for a long time--almost all of film's history--35mm stock was the most practical solution, so it was adapted, at the exclusion of other media with their own characteristics. Now, digital is the most practical solution. We're moving from one marriage of convenience to another, and a bunch of people who've remembered the benefits of the first are claiming it's objectively better.

    The problems with digital distribution, archiving, etc. are real. The problems with shooting digitally are essentially trivial--no different (in magnitude) from the problems with shooting on 35mm for someone who knows digital as well as current cinematographers know 35mm. Hard drives can get wiped? Negatives can be exposed. Data corrupted? Prints spoiled.

    I think as long as big-earners like Christopher Nolan continue to push for it, it will remain an option. That said, I imagine we're seeing the last such generation of filmmakers now. Not only will new filmmakers be more open to shooting digitally (not having started on 35), but digital camera technology will be able to seamlessly emulate 35mm shooting--which it nearly can now.

    The bottom line is demand will never go unfulfilled. If the need for 35 is real--even only artistically--then it simply won't go away. If it does go away and they start to miss it, it'll come back. I doubt the movie industry will find itself in need of 35 cameras and manufacturers will simply respond "Sorry, boys, S.O.L." If there's a need, it'll be filled.

    Most of the problems brought up with digital (shooting and distribution/preservation) are real problems (of varying degree), but none of them can't be fixed. As such, I guarantee they will be fixed.

    Aside: Does anyone know about Lumière and Company? 41 directors from around the world were invited to use the Lumière brothers' original camera. If this camera still works, and film stock can be made for it, after what was then 100 years, I think directors who truly wish to use 35 will be able to for some time.
    "In other words, we are either Englishmen or nothing whatever." — H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #15
    Call Me a Cab Doctor Strange's Avatar
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    Another fascinating piece on this stuff from David Bordwell, this time focusing on the controversial 48 frames-per-second format Peter Jackson is using for his upcoming Hobbit films:

    http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/20...the-gearheads/

  6. #16
    Vendor DamianM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Lex View Post
    Well, when film stops being produced, yes, they don't have the choice. Market factors will always limit freedom, and that is unavoidable. They don't have the 'choice' to use 8mm film either, because it's outdated--even if it does have a specific look and feel. Framing the medium choice as a dichotomy between digital and 35mm film tends to overlook that 35mm film isn't the only way either. There are plenty of alternative techniques and media that don't have any traction because they aren't practical. A standard had to be adapted for medium; for a long time--almost all of film's history--35mm stock was the most practical solution, so it was adapted, at the exclusion of other media with their own characteristics. Now, digital is the most practical solution. We're moving from one marriage of convenience to another, and a bunch of people who've remembered the benefits of the first are claiming it's objectively better.

    The problems with digital distribution, archiving, etc. are real. The problems with shooting digitally are essentially trivial--no different (in magnitude) from the problems with shooting on 35mm for someone who knows digital as well as current cinematographers know 35mm. Hard drives can get wiped? Negatives can be exposed. Data corrupted? Prints spoiled.

    I think as long as big-earners like Christopher Nolan continue to push for it, it will remain an option. That said, I imagine we're seeing the last such generation of filmmakers now. Not only will new filmmakers be more open to shooting digitally (not having started on 35), but digital camera technology will be able to seamlessly emulate 35mm shooting--which it nearly can now.

    The bottom line is demand will never go unfulfilled. If the need for 35 is real--even only artistically--then it simply won't go away. If it does go away and they start to miss it, it'll come back. I doubt the movie industry will find itself in need of 35 cameras and manufacturers will simply respond "Sorry, boys, S.O.L." If there's a need, it'll be filled.

    Most of the problems brought up with digital (shooting and distribution/preservation) are real problems (of varying degree), but none of them can't be fixed. As such, I guarantee they will be fixed.

    Aside: Does anyone know about Lumière and Company? 41 directors from around the world were invited to use the Lumière brothers' original camera. If this camera still works, and film stock can be made for it, after what was then 100 years, I think directors who truly wish to use 35 will be able to for some time.
    Wow Sarah Moon, David Lynch, Spike Lee

    3 takes? Bela Tarr would have had a field day with this. Surprised he wasn't on the list.

    Film will live on. Its confusing they want digital to look like film when they already have film.

    I'm a strict film photographer as long as its around I will use it.

  7. #17
    Call Me a Cab Doctor Strange's Avatar
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    Interesting piece from Leonard Maltin's blog on this issue:

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/leonardma...-for-35mm-film

  8. #18
    Bartender LizzieMaine's Avatar
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    Hear, hear.

    And here it is 2013, the "end of 2012" deadline has come and gone, and Fox is still distributing 35mm prints.
    The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. -- William Jennings Bryan

  9. #19
    I'll Lock Up herringbonekid's Avatar
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    not sure if it's been mentioned in another thread, but the documentary 'Side by Side' is all about the film to digital debate and hears arguments from both sides:

    http://sidebysidethemovie.com/

    ...if you haven't seen it don't let the fact that it has Keanu Reeves as 'host' put you off.

  10. #20
    One of the Regulars MikeKardec's Avatar
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    I love the smell of film, real film. Hell, I love the smell and the sound and the feel of working on mechanical equipment. I love the look of film and, though you can approach that look on digital, the hoops you have to jump through and the finicky aspects of making it look that way require a lot of effort. How many TV series have you seen that look fine until there is one shot that just screams VIDEO? In those cases they almost had control of the medium. A bit more time, a bit better lighting and that shot might have been okay. It's been ten years since I worked on a real film set and when I did we were still using real film, Kodak Vision, a truly beautiful stock.

    Today my friends complain about how hard it is to hide flaws from HD cameras. Set construction must be flawless, make up ... sheesh, it's best to wax all the tiny hairs off of you actor's faces so the build up of make up on the HAIRS doesn't show! Make up errors show up on extras at a fair distance. Film looked great, had the appearance of extremely high definition yet side stepped many true HD issues.

    On the other hand it was noisy, dirty, expensive and ran out in ten minutes ... and, worst of all, the back end, processing post and duplication was overwhelmingly expensive and slow.

    I still work in the recording industry doing Audio Dramas. If I was in music I might love analog tape. But digital equipment has saved our lives and reduced our costs so that we can still do it even though it's mostly sort of a "paying" hobby. Film and analog tape, mediums you can not manipulate in a computer, locked you into having to work with big, professional, expensive plants. Photo labs, recording studios and the like. When that is a requirement big business takes over your life. I'm not really sure if cameras like the Canon 5D (the bottom end of "professional" video capture) are any cheaper to buy today than a Bolex or Beaulieu or Eclair 16mm camera was when I was in film school ... but everything down stream is cheaper, meaning post production and the potential for distribution.

    I believe Argo was shot on film. It will probably be the case that movies use chemical film for quite a few more years in the cameras. Then it will be scanned (as it has been for quite awhile) into a digital format for post. What is definitely dying is the projection of film.

    ... and, gosh, I love projectors too!

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