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Is film archaic and about to die?


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#1 sonickel

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 03:55 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm camera assisting on a student Super 16 shoot at the moment. A professional cinematographer who is supervising the shoot said that instead of learning about film, we should be embracing digital, as it is the future, and that only "dinosaurs" like himself still care about film. That film will be dead in the water very soon.

Do you agree?
I'm rather depressed at the moment. :(
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#2 Nick Mulder

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 06:15 AM

I'm rather depressed at the moment. :(


If you like film then get excited about it and use it
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#3 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 07:14 AM

Yawn.... depends on the project......paint brushes....yawn.....latitude........still viable....yawn....
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 08:56 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm camera assisting on a student Super 16 shoot at the moment. A professional cinematographer who is supervising the shoot said that instead of learning about film, we should be embracing digital, as it is the future, and that only "dinosaurs" like himself still care about film. That film will be dead in the water very soon.

Do you agree?
I'm rather depressed at the moment. :(


Are you in England by any chance??

love

Freya
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#5 Phil Thompson

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:36 AM

digital is rubbish... 16mm is loads better
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#6 Michael Carter

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:49 AM

I just bought a Regular 8mm camera on ebay but it came to me as a dud. It didn't work at all. However, my brother in law likes to take things apart and fix them so he got it running in a few minutes. It runs smoothly now for over 45 seconds then stops on a dime never slowing down. John Schwind sells film for it and Dwayne's processes the Kodachrome. Mr. Nowill in England perfs other stocks. I make the cameras and technology available to students and teachers. It is great for animation. So, send me your old cameras if you are 'upgrading' to digital and we'll make use of the stuff to keep kids in school with neat things to do.
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#7 Rod Otaviano

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:59 AM

A professional cinematographer who is supervising the shoot said that instead of learning about film, we should be embracing digital, as it is the future


I think it's a bit irresponsible for a professional to say to a young student he/she shouldn't bother studying film anymore and jump straight to the digital format.

During the learning process one complements the other. Film is important to teach you discipline, photography, composition and digital is better if you are studying camera/actor blocking, for example.

Besides if you want to work in this area, you really need to have experience with both of them so ...
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#8 Marco Leavitt

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 10:41 AM

Digital is getting more and more attractive -- go Silicon Imaging! -- but I don't know anyone who wouldn't rather shoot on film if they could afford it. I also don't know anyone who can afford it, at least for features.
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#9 Robert Hughes

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 10:45 AM

Didn't I just read this thread on filmshooting.com?

16mm is rubbish...digital is loads better :rolleyes: except when film is better. :blink:

Edited by Robert Hughes, 22 May 2006 - 10:46 AM.

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#10 Dan Goulder

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 11:00 AM

Video and film have coexisted for many years, and will probably continue to do so. While some people seem preoccupied with the great strides that have been made in video over the last couple of decades, it shouldn't be overlooked that the quality of film is also in constant evolution. Neither medium is standing still.

A good used film camera is still a better investment, as it will retain its value. Can the same be said for video, in which even the latest and greatest manage to become obsolete in a few years' time?
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#11 Nick Mulder

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 04:44 PM

I think B&W will be around for a very long time - if it stops it will probably be a time when a fair amount of other things stop also (cars for example)

http://money.canoe.c...09/1571592.html
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#12 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 06:31 PM

Hello everyone,

I'm camera assisting on a student Super 16 shoot at the moment. A professional cinematographer who is supervising the shoot said that instead of learning about film, we should be embracing digital, as it is the future, and that only "dinosaurs" like himself still care about film. That film will be dead in the water very soon.

Do you agree?
I'm rather depressed at the moment. :(

What sort of "Professional"? You won't be taken very seriously in the industry if you go around saying things like that.

You certainly need to learn all you can about both technologies, but film has apparently been on life support for about 50 years now! My first boss (now deceased) always liked to tell us about the training course he attended in 1958 when his TV station was about to take delivery of its first Ampex "Two inch" VTRs.

The Ampex guys were confidently telling everybody that "by 1965" movie film will be an extinct technology, superseded by their cumbersome refrigerator-sized video recorders! Every time some new video technology comes out, they seem to recycle the same old BS.

Videotape is cheaper than film, no argument, but that cheapness comes with a price. If you're making a prime-time US TV series with a budget of $1,000,000 or so per episode, it's going to be shot on film, most likely using the most expensive Panavision camera and lens package available. Origination costs there are mere petty cash.

Obviously if you have a smaller budget, the lower cost of videotape is going to be more and more of a factor, but one problem is that origination on videotape tends to emphasize the fact that you are on a restricted budget. A better approach is to try to find ways to reduce the cost of using film. All else being equal, the film-originated job is going to have more chance of at least being looked at
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#13 Sandy Thomson

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:53 PM

Hello everyone,

I'm camera assisting on a student Super 16 shoot at the moment. A professional cinematographer who is supervising the shoot said that instead of learning about film, we should be embracing digital, as it is the future, and that only "dinosaurs" like himself still care about film. That film will be dead in the water very soon.

Do you agree?
I'm rather depressed at the moment. :(


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#14 Sandy Thomson

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 08:07 PM

Life just isn't that simple. You have to look at film as a distinct medium. It has and likely will always have a different look to Video. Personally, I think both can fit in the same production. I will shoot HDV if I need extreme portability, shooting internationally, or for interviews that could have very high shooting ratios. I have invested more money in my Super-16 film gear than in video but much of the equipment for example lighting and sound can be used for either. I prefer the look of film, frankly but I don't find myself struggling with the question of which is better. Both have 16X9 aspect ratios and they cut together well in a documentary. I have no doubt that the Arri SR2 gear I own will outlast the brand new video kit.
Everything about film is more robust... there are so many analogies possible with cars, bikes, musical instuments, airplanes, you name it. But I won't go there. You want to go from point A to point B. You can drive or you can fly. They both get you there. Which is better? Depends. But no-one can ever say absolutely.

Sandy
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#15 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 09:03 PM

The only thing you have to be depressed about is that there are "professionals" out there trying to brainwash you with this sort of thinking. In fact, I'M depressed just reading about it. Nothing will EVER put film in the ground and I will stand by that statement for as long as I live. It would basically be like saying, "You know, nobody listens to classical music anymore so let's just get rid of it". Whatever. I'm listening to Bach right now and tomorrow I'm going out on an HD shoot with the D-20. There is room in this world for both, so learn it all and by learning about HD and digital cameras instead of hating them, you will gain a considerable edge in this industry. Similarly, by keeping an open mind and continuing to become well-versed with film cameras, you will then learn ALL of the available technology and be completely unstoppable. Then you can tell this "dinosaur" to stuff it because he is closed-minded and you are not.
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#16 beanpat

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 01:49 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm camera assisting on a student Super 16 shoot at the moment. A professional cinematographer who is supervising the shoot said that instead of learning about film, we should be embracing digital, as it is the future, and that only "dinosaurs" like himself still care about film. That film will be dead in the water very soon.

Do you agree?
I'm rather depressed at the moment. :(


I'm just moving from hobby to pro. but IMHO film is not going away anytime soon. I love film, it is not a matter of video getting to the point where it can replace film. you always hear stuff lilke: well with the new high resolution of "video camera XXXXX" film is dead. it is not about quality. film just a diferent look. in my opinion film just provides a look that is vital for drama/storytelling. take the movie "Collateral" for instance, it is mostly shot digitally, and even though the picture is crisp and clean, in my opinion it just doesnt look right. I felt like I was watching a documentary of the movie. It's like your just watching the characters act instead of getting into the story. very strange. does anyone else feel this way or am I alone in this. anyway for what it's worth I encourage you to get as much experience with film as you can. It's a little more costly, you have to wait to see what you shot, and you have to transfer it before you can work with it. but it just looks so beautifull, it's worth the effort in my opinion. (my 4 cents)
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#17 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 12:49 PM

I felt like I was watching a documentary of the movie. It's like your just watching the characters act instead of getting into the story. very strange. does anyone else feel this way or am I alone in this.


I'm glad you mentioned that.We did a thread on that film when it came out.The general consensus was, was that "it worked".I didn't think so.I ran the movie as a projectionist, so I got to see it a few times.I had the same impression as you.It looked "wrong" to me.
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#18 beanpat

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 04:28 PM

I'm glad you mentioned that.We did a thread on that film when it came out.The general consensus was, was that "it worked".I didn't think so.I ran the movie as a projectionist, so I got to see it a few times.I had the same impression as you.It looked "wrong" to me.


check out the movie "pieces of april" it was shot on SD video. it's a pretty cool movie (I like katie Holmes) but it looks hopelessly amatuerish because of the video look. I believe that movie would have really been different had it been shot on film. super16 would have been fine since it went straight to DVD I believe.
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#19 Brian Wells

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 06:16 PM

So many of these discussions are fueled by economy. Independent tests have shown that video from a $6k camcorder looks insanely good for the price. When compared to film, it's hard to justify the difference in cost. Especially at a time when budgets are sinking lower and lower and lower. So, from an economic point of view, there are alternatives to film that offer a much greater price/quality performance. Artistically, film offers some real competitive advantage, sure. But, if you're given a budget for a TV ad that is 1/4th of what it was 10 years ago, you're probably not going to be shooting 35mm anymore if you hope to see a profit at the end of the day. That's a good enough reason to shoot on something like HD. That's where the market has been for quite some time and it's not gonna turn around because some students "prefer" one over the other for "artistic" reasons. In other words, I agree with the veteran. Embrace digital if you want to make a living taking pictures in your lifetime.
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#20 Jason Debus

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 06:34 PM

So, from an economic point of view, there are alternatives to film that offer a much greater price/quality performance.


I was under the impression HD productions really aren't that much cheaper than doing it film. Somewhere in the 5% range of savings. If that's the case then why not pay 5% more and shoot with film?
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