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Kodak Announces Revolutionary 3D Digital Movie Projection Tech


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#1 Tim Tyler

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 01:20 PM

Demonstrations of KODAK Laser Projection Technology will take place September 30, October 7, and October 15. Request an invite at http://motion.kodak....nology/Contact/

Eastman Kodak Company announced today that it has developed revolutionary laser projection technology that delivers both 2D and bright 3D images within today's stringent technical standards for digital motion picture presentation. Kodak is currently demonstrating a prototype projector incorporating the KODAK Laser Projection Technology to key industry leaders.

"So far, reaction has been tremendous," said Les Moore, Kodak's chief operating officer for Digital Cinema. "In addition to producing a wide range of colors, the KODAK Laser Projection Technology offers wide dynamic range, deep blacks, and a bright 3D image display. I think people see this technology as a potential game-changer for digital projection."

According to Moore, the KODAK Laser Projection Technology is a key ingredient to potential improvements in digital cinema picture quality for future movie-goers. This technology offers the potential for a reduction in total cost of ownership through a cost-conscious design, combined with the efficiencies gained through using laser illumination systems including, lower energy consumption and the anticipated long lifetime of lasers.

Kodak is currently in discussions with potential licensing partners to commercialize a projector product using the KODAK Laser Projection Technology.

Kodak has invited industry participants to a series of demonstrations of the projector at the company's in-house theater, Theater on the Ridge, located in Rochester, NY. For more information about Kodak's 3D laser projector and technology demonstrations, please visit http://www.kodak.com...aserprojection.

"Kodak continues to be a leader in the entertainment industry," said Kim Snyder, president, Entertainment Imaging, Kodak. "We're driving revolutionary improvements in digital cinema projection technology that can significantly improve the theatrical experience for the moviegoer - especially in 3D - the range of available tones and colors for the creative community, and the cost of ownership for the exhibitor."
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#2 Terry Mester

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:20 AM

It's nice to see how Kodak Executives confiscate their profits from Film sales in order to squander it on Digital technology which will drastically undermine Film sales. These Executives (appointed by the Mutual Fund masters) are guilty of treachery against Kodak. It makes you just shake your head. Then they have the gall to claim that they couldn't afford to keep Kodachrome alive!
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:53 AM

That or it could be that Kodak realizes that it's loosing it's print sales anyway as the world goes digital; and hence wants to make sure it still has a place in that marketplace.

Sounds kinda intriguing. Wish I could get a demo of it.. oh well, perhaps I'll get lucky and it'll show up in Phila.
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#4 Terry Mester

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 05:02 AM

Any business that acts as its own competitor will go broke, and that's what Kodak is doing with Digital. They don't make any money off Digital, but they squandered their Film profits to develop Digital.
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#5 John Holland

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 05:15 AM

I think its about time everyone stopped using any Kodak film products, they arnt interested in film , give all our support to Fuji who still are interested .
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 05:23 AM

Much as I appreciate the sentiment, it has never been more obvious that the writing is very imminently on the wall for film. I can't say I'm tremendously surprised and I suspect nobody at Kodak is either.

They have two choices: die like dogs as they cling to a roll of 35 neg stock, or try and rebuild the company into something else. I suspect they'll fail anyway, but it's deeply unfair to characterise this sort of thing as any sort of betrayal. If anyone who works at Kodak wants any chance of having a job in a few years, this is absolutely necessary and exactly what you'd expect them to do.

As to the technology itself - yikes, laser projection has always been tricky. I wonder if they've managed to get kilowatts out of solid state emitters?

P
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#7 Terry Mester

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:03 AM

I think its about time everyone stopped using any Kodak film products, they arnt interested in film , give all our support to Fuji who still are interested .

I truly hope that Fujifilm buys out Kodak's film production facilities in Rochester. This would be the best thing. Those scummy Mutual Funds which control Kodak have been ruining it for over a decade. They sold off Kodak's healthcare business three years ago for next to nothing in order to provide the Mutual Funds with a one year boost in profits. That healthcare unit was a buttress for Kodak which provided guaranteed revenues. Instead they waste their profits on developing Digital which then erodes Film sales.

A disgusting addendum to the matter of Kodachrome. When they announced in June of last year that they would no longer sell Kodachrome, I immediately began contacting the company to special order an entire Master Roll of the K64 Stock which would be cut up into 8&16mm movie and 135, 120 and Sheet photographic formats. I told them I will pay them in advance for the entire Roll including spoilage. Nobody in the history of Kodak would have bought spoiled Film, and about 10% to 20% of a Master Roll could be spoiled. They categorically refused, and wouldn't even give me a price quote! I went right up to the President (Philip Faraci) and the Chairman (Antonio Perez), but they turned me down flat! It became clear that they didn't cancel Kodachrome because it was a money-loser -- since my offer was guaranteed profit for them. They just want to kill off the Film because it wasn't a big enough seller, and they want to force Kodachrome users to switch to Ektachrome. They probably planned this going back fifteen years. The current Executives have no regard for their customers.

Much as I appreciate the sentiment, it has never been more obvious that the writing is very imminently on the wall for film. ...

Phil, movies will always be shot on Film -- irrespective of whether or not Theatres use Digital Projectors. They will always have Film customers.
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#8 Oliver Christoph Kochs

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 01:21 PM

movies will always be shot on Film


Nope, wouldn't bet on that (anymore).
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#9 John Holland

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 01:53 PM

Ok if movies do go digital [ which as you say they will ] no harm in giving Kodak a great big kick in the balls ! they have with their crap Vision stocks done so much damage to the that "look" of film , unlike Fuji which you can still get that wonderful image .
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#10 Elliot Rudmann

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 04:13 PM

Ok if movies do go digital [ which as you say they will ] no harm in giving Kodak a great big kick in the balls ! they have with their crap Vision stocks done so much damage to the that "look" of film , unlike Fuji which you can still get that wonderful image .


John you seem to have a deep resentment of all things Kodak that goes beyond personal hatred..care to share? Ex-wife a Kodak rep or something? ;)

If anything, I think the vision stocks (in their sharpness and latitude) have been more effective in helping film fight against digital mediums, which are still trying to obtain such advantages. You could say the exact same statement about digital intermediates, in how scanning in 2k/4k "ruins" the inherent look of film, when in fact, it keeps film alive longer by giving it a place in more modern digital workflows. Kodak AND Fuji both followed these routes by creating film stocks that were more suited to the digital intermediate workflow because they had to evolve to such standards to keep film even more competitive. You just think Fuji has a better "film look" (subjective by all means) because Kodak's new Vision stocks cater to the DI workflow a lot better than current Fuji stocks because Kodak's are sharper, cleaner, and have less grain in the blacks than Fuji's. To each his own I say. The aesthetic look of film may have changed, but I think it's for the better. It's only unfortunate that the options for "creative-looking" film stocks are dwindling.
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#11 Jim Carlile

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 10:01 PM

Historically, when Kodak announces a major product discontinuation, it means that they have already stopped production and scrapped the equipment for good-- sometimes two years ahead of time.

So Lord knows when they last coated Kodachrome-- but by the time they announced the end it had stopped long before. So even if they wanted to make a new roll for someone they couldn't.

BTW, when Kodak announced the end of sound film they had already scrapped their striping machines, and had even told a few select people in the industry, who were tipped off about it ahead of everyone else. Same with their 200' S8 cartridges.
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#12 John Sprung

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 02:20 AM

Any business that acts as its own competitor will go broke, ....


And so will any business that clings to an obsolete technology. Baldwin locomotive was a huge company that made steam locomotives for 125 years. Their diesels were too little too late. There's no guarantee that Kodak will survive the transition, but not trying is a guarantee of failure. In business, there are many ways to fail, and few to succeed.




-- J.S.
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 03:10 AM

I would hardly liken photographic film to "steam locomotive" technology. It may be apt to liken it to a train, but I would think it would be a modern freight locomotive that can pull God knows how many cars for a fraction of the diesel it takes truck cabs :P


Seriously, I have heard film likened to a buggy whip, a dinosaur, a toxic waste-generator, a slow dustry, scratchy, grainy inferior product that people will be glad to be rid of, "horse and carriage" technology, and countless other bullsh!t analogies over the seven years, and it still pisses me off.

The *fact* remains that film still handily out-resolves digital imaging in many applications, even still photography. Film is always underexposed, scanned on poop equipment, shot at box speed on the highest speed stock available, usually 500T, and output at 2K resolution.

A well educated population of professionals would see right through this, instead of droping out of high school and sleeping through science classes following a night of heavy drinking.


The digital market right now, has found a clever way to get the public to PAY MORE to see what is, in almost every case 1.4K (I think this is sub-HD!), sometimes interlaced material because it is DIGITAL (always better to Joe Q. Public).

I don't know how this line of conversation can then degrade into asinine statements about film being obsolete. Clearly, digital cinema is competing with color film technology from the 1950s with garbage like this.


I dearly hope that Kodak hasn't invested precious capital into this technology. I'm sure they've produced produced similarly shoddy technology for what is a fad that will peter off very soon



One thing I can agree with is that Kodak in its current state is doomed. The digital business they are after is doomed no matter what, and the film business needs to stabilize and quit losing customers. It is their only profitable segment, and I do think it is reasonable for that part to become a niche market and survive, maybe not in a form recognizable compared to what existed at its heyday 22 years ago, or even today, but in a very compact, efficient form with small-scale production equipment.

I wish I lived in a society that was more concerned about long-term excellence in craft and manufacturing instead of WTF is easiest for them to plug into their smart phones and twitter about. It is AMAZING that this takes precedent to simple observation of the technologies that exist today, side by side.

People go around just spouting hyperbole about new toys and gadgetry without any comparison, testing, or striving for technical excellence.

If this field strove for top-notch work, it would have REJECTED 2K DI for everything but S35 blowups, digital compression that CRUSHES anything I watch on my TV, that wasn't this bad 15 years ago, and low-dynamic range, poor-color imaging devices that are still a hallmark of digital imaging and digital SCANNING of film images.

I am ashamed that this generation is choosing to put cost at the expense of our recorded history. People are going to look back, I'm sure, through the same mist of time that people look at surviving B&W imagery from the early 1900s with, and not be able to relate with it as "real" because it will look so poor, so unreal.


I'm not going to rant anymore. Charlton Heston said it best: "He had plenty of vices, but he was here before you and he was BETTER than you are."

I want to see a digital camera some day that is technically better in every way, than 65mm 15-perf.; then I will hang my head and cry and stop shooting film.
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#14 K Borowski

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 03:19 AM

EDIT: Typo corrections and clarification.

I would hardly liken photographic film to "steam locomotive" technology. It may be apt to liken it to a train, but I would think it would be a modern freight locomotive that can pull God knows how many cars for a fraction of the diesel it takes truck cabs :P


Seriously, I have heard film likened to a buggy whip, a dinosaur, a toxic waste-generator, a slow dustry, scratchy, grainy inferior product that people will be glad to be rid of, "horse and carriage" technology, and countless other bullsh!t analogies over the seven years, and it still pisses me off.

The *fact* remains that film still handily out-resolves digital imaging in many applications, even still photography. Film is always underexposed, scanned on sh!% equipment, shot at box speed on the highest speed stock available, usually 500T, and output at 2K resolution. Chip companies then laud the results as proof their new pricey systems should be in every filmaker's living room.

A well educated population of professionals would see right through this, instead of droping out of high school and sleeping through science classes following a night of heavy drinking. The tests I have seen, in still, motion, AERIAL, MEDICAL photography all use bad scans of high-speed, ISO-rated film compared to equipment costing tens of thousands of US dollars.


The digital market right now, has found a clever way to get the public to PAY MORE to see what is, in almost every case 1.4K (I think this is sub-HD!), sometimes interlaced material because it is DIGITAL (always better to Joe Q. Public) and its 3D (well, not always really, kind of like colorized movies aren't really color unless you like cartoon hues).

I don't know how this line of conversation can then degrade into asinine statements about film being obsolete. Clearly, digital cinema is competing with color film technology from the 1950s with garbage like this.


I dearly hope that Kodak hasn't invested precious capital into this technology. I'm sure they've produced produced similarly shoddy technology for what is a fad that will peter off very soon.



One thing I can agree with is that Kodak in its current state is doomed. The digital business they are after is doomed no matter what, and the film business needs to stabilize and quit losing customers. Not surprising: Their executive team is heavily staffed with Hewlett Packard inkjet pushers! Speaking of obsolete technology, that is right up there with VHS and APS film!

Film is their only profitable segment, and I do think it is reasonable for that part to become a niche market and survive, maybe not in a form recognizable compared to what existed at its heyday 22 years ago, or even today, but in a very compact, efficient form with small-scale production equipment.

I wish I lived in a society that was more concerned about long-term excellence in craft and manufacturing instead of WTF is easiest for them to plug into their smart phones and twitter about. It is AMAZING that this takes precedent to simple observation of the technologies that exist today, side by side.

People go around just spouting hyperbole about new toys and gadgetry without any comparison, testing, or striving for technical excellence.

If this field strove for top-notch work, it would have REJECTED 2K DI for everything but S35 blowups, digital compression that CRUSHES anything I watch on my TV, that wasn't this bad 15 years ago, and low-dynamic range, poor-color imaging devices that are still a hallmark of digital imaging and digital SCANNING of film images. It wouldn't let the infrastructure CRUMBLE that provides the definitive standard in high-quality results.

I am ashamed that this generation is choosing to put cost at the expense of our recorded history. People are going to look back, I'm sure, through the same mist of time that people look at surviving B&W imagery from the early 1900s with, and not be able to relate with it as "real" because it will look so poor, so unreal. Then again, this isn't new in history either. The Roman empire crumbled. Ancient Egyptian Mummy quality took a nosedive towards the end of their reign. Maybe we can liken film to a mummy now too :rolleyes:


I'm not going to rant anymore. Charlton Heston said it best: "He had plenty of vices, but he was here before you and he was BETTER than you are."

I want to see a digital camera some day that is technically better in every way, than 65mm 15-perf.; then I will hang my head and cry and stop shooting film.

Edited by Karl Borowski, 19 September 2010 - 03:21 AM.

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#15 Terry Mester

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 08:11 PM

Historically, when Kodak announces a major product discontinuation, it means that they have already stopped production and scrapped the equipment for good-- sometimes two years ahead of time.
So Lord knows when they last coated Kodachrome-- but by the time they announced the end it had stopped long before. So even if they wanted to make a new roll for someone they couldn't. ...

While it's true that they only announce the discontinuation of a Film after their last production of the Stock, you're incorrect about the equipment being scrapped. All of Kodak's Films are made on their coating machine in what is called "Building 38" in Rochester. It would be no problem for them to run off a Master Roll of K64 -- especially considering they would be paid in full in advance. What they're trying to do is force Kodachrome users to switch to Ektachrome, but I don't think this is going to succeed with most Kodachrome users.

And so will any business that clings to an obsolete technology. ... There's no guarantee that Kodak will survive the transition, but not trying is a guarantee of failure. In business, there are many ways to fail, and few to succeed.

Film is not an "obsolete technology". Below is a quote from my Cinematography Article briefly explaining how Film and Digital differ.
Successful businesses need to "diversify" to survive in the long-term. Kodak was diversified when it had its healthcare business. Wasting its profits on Digital and selling its healthcare division were utterly stupid decisions. The mismanagement of this company makes me sick.

----------- Article Quote -----------
"When people hear the term "Digital" they automatically assume that it denotes superior quality. Digital refers to the Binary Digital Code used by Computers. In the vast majority of circumstances technology provides an improvement over what preceded it, and people therefore now assume that "Digital" is superior to "Film" in the same way that Digital Sound / Video is most definitely superior to Analogue Sound / Video. However, these are not comparable. Digital Sound / Video is an electronic recording method which is of higher quality than the Analogue electronic recording method. Digital Cinematography is simply a higher resolution computerized electronic Video Recording. All electronic recordings are nothing more than an indirect analogous electric record of the original Light or Sound which has been artificially converted into Electricity. Film Cinematography however is NOT Analogue, but is a direct real Optical (Light) Record formed by the original Rays of Light. Film is an entirely unique recording medium that captures the original proportions of the very Light Rays which your Eyes can capture for only a brief 1/10 of a Second. In many ways Film is miraculous because it both captures the original proportions of Light of the original scene, and then in Projection it filters out the excess portions of Light to reproduce the original proportions."
-----------------------------------------

If Studios and Theatres actually cared about quality, they would have never discontinued 70mm Movies. Digital -- including 3D -- is only about the Studios making more money, and nothing else. Kodak is way too late in the Digital Projector game to make a profit on this new Projector. If Kodak Executives were smart, which of course they're not, they would have developed a new improved and reliable Digital Sound Track for Film. Digital Sound is the one quality advantage that Digital Projectors currently have over Film, but this can be rectified.
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#16 John Sprung

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 12:38 AM

... Film Cinematography however is NOT Analogue, but is a direct real Optical (Light) Record formed by the original Rays of Light. Film is an entirely unique recording medium that captures the original proportions of the very Light Rays which your Eyes can capture for only a brief 1/10 of a Second. In many ways Film is miraculous because it both captures the original proportions of Light of the original scene, and then in Projection it filters out the excess portions of Light to reproduce the original proportions."


This is incorrect. Film gives you back a different distribution of wavelengths that could look to our eyes pretty much like the original scene, if that's the way the DP timed it. But it's done by mixing three broad primaries. The classic example where this breaks down is the mercury spike of flourescent lights. You don't get a spike at 546.1 nanometers back from the screen, you get a broad hump somewhere in the 500 - 600 region. There's a lot of crosstalk between the primaries, which is why film color degrades as you print down through generations.

Both film and digital have their pros and cons. They're numerous and complex, and how they should be weighted is certainly subjective and application specific. So, what we need to do is integrate the opinions of all the stakeholders. We have a mechanism to do that, the market. And the answer we're getting is that film has almost completely disappeared from television origination, and is shrinking in theatrical features. Will it completely disappear or linger as a niche product? I don't know. It's kinda like making a car engine idle slower and slower. Eventually you reach a point where it dies. Obsolete doesn't mean gone, it means largely replaced by a newer technology.

I used to love film, and still do. But this is a business. We have to be realistic about price/performance points. With the performance I'm seeing from the Arri Alexa, especially the dynamic range, my regrets are melting away.



-- J.S.
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#17 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 02:52 AM

I think calling film obsolete is premature, to say the least. Nothing is obsolete until there are no practical reasons to keep using it, and clearly there are still advantages to shooting film. My hope is that in the future film will remain a niche market for those wishing to capture images using the more direct method. Exposing film is a completely different process to digital acquisition and the effect just cannot be properly replicated digitally, no matter how clever the algorithms. Adding grain in post just ain't the same. B) Unfortunately we need the film stock manufacturers to agree, and continue supporting that niche.

It seems madness to me to throw out a technology that has served exceedingly well for 100+ years at the urgings of bean counters and a money hungry PR machine when the technology has yet to be matched, and the replacement is years away from being a stable and future-proof standard. In 100 years no one will be digging up old Red drives and recovering lost masterworks. Hell they won't be doing it in 10 years. By all means use digital alternatives if it suits the budget or the look, but don't cry film is dead just because digital is cheaper. And I must say, relying on the wisdom of the 'market' after recent global financial events doesn't sound so great - by that reckoning the US car industry (among many others) is also obsolete.

As an aside, I was wondering if anyone had done a study on the different carbon footprints of image capture technologies. While the hard-copy nature of film and all the associated processing chemicals would seem to favour digital, the increased power requirements and incredibly short-term redundancies in the digital world must surely tip the balance back to film. Might not seem an issue now, but if ever a true carbon price gets added to the film industry's tools... B)
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#18 georg lamshöft

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 01:02 PM

Film isn't obsolete IMHO, because it's still technical superior for cinematography as an aquisition medium. Even when superior digital technology might be available within the next decade, film will still offer a distinctive "look" - that's why I agree that Kodachrome despite it's technical inferiority compared to modern stocks should have been kept alive.
I also agree on the huge management mistakes that destroyed most of the once impeccable Kodak-company and destroyed know-how, technology and high-quality jobs. Building 38 is doing a great job - don't let them suffer for the mistakes of some stupid managers.

But at least theoretical (we don't know yet how well Kodak executed this technology) Laser projection is THE projection technology, way superior to LCOS, LCD, DLP, 2k, 4k, 35mm, 65mm, IMAX - it's capable of impeccable resolution and the laser light sources can create an unique colour spectrum. When something should replace film projectors in our beloved cinemas that offers an unique experience (something that HDTV can't) than it's laser projection - from the technical perspective.

@Karl Borowski
Bravo!
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#19 Terry Mester

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:37 PM

This is incorrect. Film gives you back a different distribution of wavelengths that could look to our eyes pretty much like the original scene, if that's the way the DP timed it. But it's done by mixing three broad primaries. The classic example where this breaks down is the mercury spike of flourescent lights. You don't get a spike at 546.1 nanometers back from the screen, you get a broad hump somewhere in the 500 - 600 region. There's a lot of crosstalk between the primaries, which is why film color degrades as you print down through generations.

The quote from my Article is not incorrect -- it's just a brief general description. You get into the technical details of wavelength which is addressed elsewhere in my Article. What you fail to note is that Film captures all THREE Primary Colours -- while Digital only captures ONE! I don't know how many other cinematographers here share your view that Digital is now comparable to Film. Are you talking about high speed Film in the 500 ISO range, or are you also including 100 ISO as well?

... So, what we need to do is integrate the opinions of all the stakeholders. We have a mechanism to do that, the market. And the answer we're getting is that film has almost completely disappeared from television origination, and is shrinking in theatrical features. ...

I agree completely with what Dom Jaeger said regarding the stupidity of "the market". The march towards Digital is for costs savings -- not for quality improvements.

... As an aside, I was wondering if anyone had done a study on the different carbon footprints of image capture technologies. While the hard-copy nature of film and all the associated processing chemicals would seem to favour digital, the increased power requirements and incredibly short-term redundancies in the digital world must surely tip the balance back to film. ...

The circuit boards in Digital Cameras contain arsenic, gallium, lead and a host of other toxic heavy metals that have been eliminated from Film photo products long ago. Film developing chemicals were made much more environmentally friendly back in the 70s.
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#20 Jim Carlile

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 02:58 AM

It seems madness to me to throw out a technology that has served exceedingly well for 100+ years at the urgings of bean counters and a money hungry PR machine when the technology has yet to be matched, and the replacement is years away from being a stable and future-proof standard. In 100 years no one will be digging up old Red drives and recovering lost masterworks. Hell they won't be doing it in 10 years.


Good point, and true, too. What will be much more interesting in the future will be the artifact of film in the hand, so much so that today's digital movies won't even exist for them in any real fashion. It's down-the-drain technology.

Plus, because the quality difference alone between 20th and 21st Century films is so obviously overwhelming, that's another strike against digital. There will be nothing more "obsolete" than today's technology, and less worthy for people to try to figure out, K-I-S-S wise. So those pictures on a ribbon will be where it's at, intellectually.

Historically this has always been the case. The simple gizmos are the ones that last, and whose products are the most valuable and worthy of study. Just watch and wait. It's inevitable what's going to happen.
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