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#1 Nathan Porter

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:44 AM

I hope you all don't mind if I leave this list of questions here...!

Basically, my self chosen subject of research is the affect digital cinema cameras are / will have on cinematography. I would very much appreciate it if any of you could provide answers to some or all questions written below.

It doesn't matter much whether you give one word answers or lengthy replies, but I would love it if you could give some sort of answers.

Thanks in advance!

1. In your opinion, what are the biggest advantages of using digital cinema cameras and techniques over film?

2. In your opinion, what are the biggest advantages of using film cinema cameras and techniques over digital?

3. In what areas do you think digital will take a long time to replace film?

4. Have lighting techniques changed since the increase in use of digital cameras? If so, in what way?

5. How has the digital cinema revolution affected the learning curve of people trying to get in to the profession? Do you think people still need to learn about different film sensitivities and grain etc?

6. Do you think there will be a time when there are digital only cinematographers, and where film cinematographers will be specialists? Or will a cinematographer have to know both formats?

7. How do you feel about the ever increasing need for computer-based skills in cinematography? (e.g. understanding video compression technology and data rates, compared to knowledge of film stocks and lab processes)

8. How would you like to see the role of the cinematographer develop?
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#2 Nathan Porter

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 06:31 AM

Bump.. I've got about a week left before I have to draw conclusions and gather all the research. So this is a last ditch plea for some responses! Please guys, just a few minutes of your time.

Cheers.
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#3 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:07 PM

Nathan,

I suggest you spend some time nosing around the archives here, you'll find volumes of passionate discussion addressing the questions you have posed. Also take a look at www.cinematography.net. Then draw your own conclusions.
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#4 Brandon Del Nero

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 03:41 PM

Hell, I'll take the bate. I considered writing a dissertation on a similar subject (although not nearly as broad), so I have a few minutes to give my two cents.

1. Using digital cameras over film cameras has obvious advantages: cost, quick turn-around, more integratabtle post workflow, and a greater degree of on-set adjustments

2. I feel the biggest advantage of using film over digital is picture quality. Film looks better, hands down. It also has more latitude in your highlights exposure, and color. I also strongly feel film is far superior in roto and compositing. Digital tends to acquire a bit more motion blur on the movements

3. I don't think that a timeline of digital replacing film can be fairly predicted, if it ever happens

4. When I light digital, I don't need my light meter as frequently haha. Also, I'm watch just a little more closely for clipping in the highlights. I don't feel the aethstitics(sp?) change for the most part

5. Digital has definitely changed the learning curve of the younger generation trying to get in. I've felt the effects personally. But this question is really an entire essay on digital cinematography and the direct economical effects on the existing industry. And if an aspiring DP wants to work in the studio and commercial world, he/she should have moderate knowledge of film

6. Again, this is a question that can't be fairly predicted. There will be a demand for film at the professional level for the foreseeable future since digital still has a way to go

7. I think computer-based cinematography skills are completely fair. Cinematography is traditionally technology-based, so its only natural that we evolve with the rest of the world and use these programs to our advantage. Successful cinematographers of the future will know data and delivery formats, complexities of resolutions and compressions, and have the skills to develop their workflow to appease the next step of the process

8. I don't think i'd like to see it "develop" as much as I'd like to conserve our roll in the creative control of the picture, which digital has definitely transformed somewhat

Sorry the answers cant be longer.

Hope it helps

b
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#5 Oron Cohen

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:16 PM

I did answer very fast on each one, but I hope it helps anyway :)

1. Low light capabilities, seeing the end result on set.

2. better in highlights rendering, better color rendering, more robust equipment, more of a natural organic look that is very hard to imitate in digital, the fact that you can't see the end result...

3. creating real grain in a digital sensor is one, archiving capabilities, projectors in cinemas.

4. Generally there are no real change in lighting techniques from my perspective.
You do fight with the low dynamic range of the cheaper range cameras. Only thing that has changed is that you can use the low light capabilities in a way you couldn't do on film.

5. I've started with a DV camera when I was 15 years old, when I went to film school at 19 and started to shoot on film I suddenly understood that I know nothing about light because I was occupying myself by looking at the image on the monitor instead of looking at light itself.

6. Similar to the stills world, I think a pro DOP will need to know about film as well, even if he's not going to use it that often as in the past.

7. Personally it sometimes drive me crazy that there is no unity in video formats like in film, but some of the computer work is similar to lab work, it just made on computers.

8. Cinematographers like painters need to develop in the restrictions of there own art, without restrictions real art can't be made.
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#6 Nathan Porter

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 07:13 PM

Guys those responses are perfect, I appreciate it greatly. :)
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#7 Nathan Porter

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 04:50 AM

I know I've got nothing to offer to return the favour, but if anyone else has a few minutes, it would be great. I've got to get as many people's opinions as possible...

Cheers
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:45 AM

1. In your opinion, what are the biggest advantages of using digital cinema cameras and techniques over film?


Cost of consumables and associated services, fairly obviously. Some services for digital cinematography devices are probably as expensive, but that's due more to newness than actual cost of implementation.

2. In your opinion, what are the biggest advantages of using film cinema cameras and techniques over digital?


World standardisation of format and workflow, increased dynamic range.

3. In what areas do you think digital will take a long time to replace film?


Michael Bay movies. Enthusiasts. Anyone who's a die-hard. Until recently there was a valid technical argument that digital cinematography systems were simply less good; if that argument is not already won, I suspect it soon will be.

4. Have lighting techniques changed since the increase in use of digital cameras? If so, in what way?


Slightly modified technique is sometimes necessary with digital cameras; the desired result has not changed in any way that's discernible from the constant background evolution of photographic fashion.

5. How has the digital cinema revolution affected the learning curve of people trying to get in to the profession? Do you think people still need to learn about different film sensitivities and grain etc?


Yes, because film is still in use, but also because film and knowledge of it is treated with an exaggerated degree of respect.

6. Do you think there will be a time when there are digital only cinematographers, and where film cinematographers will be specialists? Or will a cinematographer have to know both formats?


It seems likely that while camera negative film stock is actually available, there will be people who have shot it; I suspect it will die out fairly abruptly when it does go, so a lack of competent people is unlikely.

7. How do you feel about the ever increasing need for computer-based skills in cinematography? (e.g. understanding video compression technology and data rates, compared to knowledge of film stocks and lab processes)


This is a legitimate evolution of technique. Large proportions of the cinematographer's role are management of people and creative interpretation, which do not change; a change of focus in some areas doesn't seem too much to ask.

8. How would you like to see the role of the cinematographer develop?


I'd like to see film people learning the digital trade. There has for some time been a disparity in the expected level of competence of film people on digital systems, as opposed to digital people on film systems. Simply put, film people may not be expected to be competent on digital systems, and may have gaps in their competence plugged by the provision of technical support staff (DITs or similar). To some extent this is legitimate, since as I said above, a large proportion of the cinematographer's role is not technical. On the other hand, the opposite doesn't happen: we don't find video people shooting film projects supported by a "photochemical imaging technician". This lack of reciprocity inevitably causes problems where, for whatever reason, the DoP's lack of experience or knowledge is missed or inadequately compensated-for.

P
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Glidecam

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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Metropolis Post

Technodolly

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio