Jump to content


Photo

Very sad news for 35mm film.


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:19 PM

Very sad. People don't know what they are losing...

http://www.theatlant...e-again/265184/
  • 0

#2 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:26 PM

If Film still looks good digitally projected, and still looks like film, then why not focus on what digital format retains the look of film best?
  • 0

#3 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:05 PM

If Film still looks good digitally projected, and still looks like film, then why not focus on what digital format retains the look of film best?


That's the problem. If you read the article closely you will see that many industry professionals feel that it doesn't look anywhere near as good as a projected print. Not to mention all of the more abstract films that won't even be digitized.
  • 0

#4 Nate Opgenorth

Nate Opgenorth
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 41 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Syracuse, NY

Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:31 PM

If Film still looks good digitally projected, and still looks like film, then why not focus on what digital format retains the look of film best?

There's a variety of formats that "retain the best look", I'd say a format like Apple ProRes 4444 which has I believe a 3:1 compression ratio would be a pretty good alternative to storing a movie as a massive 16bit RGB Uncompressed file..or better yet make a new archival standard that can effectively compress the right stuff while retaining the good stuff! That said Celluloid can never be 100% replicated, its very sad indeed. We still need to be able to understand formats so that when we transfer over to digital the gamma, contrast, exposure, is not pardon my french raped..we've all seen some pretty bad transfers.

The problem I see mainly is that the hard drive doesn't hold stuff for extended times like film reliably. I was looking for the original master to one of my videos I shot because I wanted to color grade it (it was just a short video I made like 3 or 4 years ago), well sure enough the hard drive bellied over and no dice...even high end hard drives won't last...we need to focus energy on finding a format that will hold data for a long time...even if its just 1s and 0s so long as in 100 years those 1s and 0s are in the exact same order as they were encoded onto the format originally or pretty close without corruption.

Edited by Nate Opgenorth, 23 November 2012 - 06:33 PM.

  • 0

#5 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7115 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:11 AM

We already have a format that will hold a full image for a long time-- that format is called film. What is saddest in all of this isn't Gamma or Bit Depth or the like. What is saddest is all of the images soon to be forgotten.
  • 0

#6 Pavan Deep

Pavan Deep
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 317 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • UK

Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:54 AM

More and more people are saying that film is dead and are talking about the rise of digital technology. There have been many such articles recently. I believe such titles are somewhat sensational, mostly misleading and as a designed to provoke. I had to write this, maybe I am wrong, but when we say something is dead I think it means it is the absolute end, it is no more and has finally gone.

Despite this film is still being manufactured and people are using it in still photography, though mainly professionals, students and artists. Film is used on television, though less and many recent releases are shot with this technology, using film is still a viable choice. With the rise of digital these days people have more choices and possibilities and as a result the role of film as we know it is changing, but it’s not dead yet despite what we hear and read.
  • 0

#7 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:45 AM

More and more people are saying that film is dead and are talking about the rise of digital technology. There have been many such articles recently. I believe such titles are somewhat sensational, mostly misleading and as a designed to provoke. I had to write this, maybe I am wrong, but when we say something is dead I think it means it is the absolute end, it is no more and has finally gone.

Despite this film is still being manufactured and people are using it in still photography, though mainly professionals, students and artists. Film is used on television, though less and many recent releases are shot with this technology, using film is still a viable choice. With the rise of digital these days people have more choices and possibilities and as a result the role of film as we know it is changing, but it’s not dead yet despite what we hear and read.


I think the point of the article is that film projection is dead or so near to death that there is now a difficulty economically striking prints. As a result of this more and more films are being made only available via video projection, assuming they are made available at all.

As to film still being used on television etc, well, I think here in the UK that is now largely finally coming to an end as Fuji is shutting down film production here.

I do think it is a very different situation in the states, at least in terms of originating on film. Kodak is still around and I suspect that as long as Kodak is still around Hollywood will continue.

love

Freya
  • 0

#8 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2248 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:51 AM

I think you will find that the only money Fuji made on motion picture products was from the release print business. That really has gone now in the states and here and the rest of Europe . So i suppose we should be happy that at the moment Kodak are still making colour neg.
  • 0

#9 Paul Bartok

Paul Bartok
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 223 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

I still remember the day I realized the only reason were being forced out of film is because of inpatient and greedy people and I think that's what it comes down to, I can't believe Technicolor can't even make a print anymore. Film has such latitude, its sad that so many people still want to shoot film who haven't can't and probably never will and people who have are being kicked out.
  • 0

#10 Simon Wyss

Simon Wyss
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1404 posts
  • Other
  • Basel, Switzerland

Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:11 AM

Film is only kept alive by living it. It is not a format! There are several film formats, there are image aspect ratios and picture formats, but film is an opto-chemo-mechanical invention. A cluster of such.

Video is an opto-electrical invention, binary-numerical electronic in its youngest form. It’s never been film versus video but to drop one in favor of the other.

One cannot preserve film with digital data. That is a misrepresentation. From the moment on when a film’s pictures are converted to electric signals one deals with something different. The film is still there, most of the times put back into cans, but the spectators are given something else. We must be honest in the discussion. No false tears, please.

My appeal is straining, I know. Most people choose the easy way. More white bread is eaten than brown bread.
  • 0

#11 rob spence

rob spence
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 409 posts
  • Other
  • Beaconsfield

Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:23 AM

An excerpt from the article:

Digital archiving is also more expensive than film. One study found that a 2K scan of a feature film would require just under two terabytes to store. In fact, digital archiving is so difficult and costly that Kodak has just announced film specifically designed for archiving digital formats.

...as long as film is still going to be manufactured for archiving in the future then the technology and manufacturing processes will remain... for negative stock too.
  • 0

#12 Christopher Sheneman

Christopher Sheneman
  • Guests

Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:48 PM

What's with all this "archiving" nonsense. Most films aren't even worth watching a 2nd time (or 1st), let alone worth "preserving for future generations". The majority of feature films, TV shows, web products should be immediately toilet flushed to "preserve" future culture from our mental illness we desperately need to film on 35mm or HD. Progressing cultural is more important that any specific products ie. legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington is more important that movie Up In Smoke .

And film isn't a great archival format. That would be stone. The Pyramids (Egyptian, Aztecan, etc.), statues of antiquity, cliff reliefs. These are all great examples and they can still be damaged, weathered and lost - blown up by fanatics- a select few retain their original "aspect ratios" . Even metal- steel's a horrible archival medium, don't think for a second the Eiffel Tower wouldn't rust out and crash to the ground in a hundred years if it wasn't constantly being mantained, oiled, painted, security for religious fanatic, etc.
  • 0

#13 Paul Bartok

Paul Bartok
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 223 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

What's with all this "archiving" nonsense. Most films aren't even worth watching a 2nd time (or 1st), let alone worth "preserving for future generations". The majority of feature films, TV shows, web products should be immediately toilet flushed to "preserve" future culture from our mental illness we desperately need to film on 35mm or HD. Progressing cultural is more important that any specific products ie. legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington is more important that movie Up In Smoke .

And film isn't a great archival format. That would be stone. The Pyramids (Egyptian, Aztecan, etc.), statues of antiquity, cliff reliefs. These are all great examples and they can still be damaged, weathered and lost - blown up by fanatics- a select few retain their original "aspect ratios" . Even metal- steel's a horrible archival medium, don't think for a second the Eiffel Tower wouldn't rust out and crash to the ground in a hundred years if it wasn't constantly being mantained, oiled, painted, security for religious fanatic, etc.


Okay first of whats wrong with you

1.) Archiving is the most important thing, in incenses its preserving our cultural heritage. Back when studios didn't take it seriously we all lost allot o great films, we almost lost the "Godfather" because of it. It is extremely important so that other generations can see films, because films are a window in to time, to see how people acted what they wore, what they aspired to etc.

2.) Just because you don't like a film, doesn't mean someone else doesn't. the National film archival registry, registered "lets all go to the lobby" its not the most amazing film in the world in fact its a commercial BUT because it has culture heritage.

3.) How can you say "Film isn't a great archival format"? Theres been 80 formats of digital since its invention and the bulk of those can't be played anymore, all you need is a lens and light and you can watch a movie from a hundred years ago.

Saying stone is the best format is like saying whats the best paint brush? and saying a camera; has nothing todo with painting wtf?
What does a stone have todo with archiving movies!
  • 0

#14 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:42 PM

What's with all this "archiving" nonsense. Most films aren't even worth watching a 2nd time (or 1st), let alone worth "preserving for future generations". The majority of feature films, TV shows, web products should be immediately toilet flushed to "preserve" future culture from our mental illness we desperately need to film on 35mm or HD. Progressing cultural is more important that any specific products ie. legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington is more important that movie Up In Smoke .

And film isn't a great archival format. That would be stone. The Pyramids (Egyptian, Aztecan, etc.), statues of antiquity, cliff reliefs. These are all great examples and they can still be damaged, weathered and lost - blown up by fanatics- a select few retain their original "aspect ratios" . Even metal- steel's a horrible archival medium, don't think for a second the Eiffel Tower wouldn't rust out and crash to the ground in a hundred years if it wasn't constantly being mantained, oiled, painted, security for religious fanatic, etc.


Christopher,

You are entitled to whatever inane opinions you might have on film, but you've been shooting your mouth off on a lot of different topics lately in a less-than-intelligent manner. You might want to do a little more listening...ya' know...that thing students who really want to learn do...and less posting of what you think you know but clearly do not.
  • 0

#15 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1049 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Australia/Wherever The Wind Takes Me

Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

It's the march of technology, try as you might you'll never stop it. At the current rate of progress we're seeing, in just another 2 years digital imaging will surpass film capture in every regard, resolution, dynamic range, sensitivity, clarity, colour - the lot.

I thought I would be sadder when the time came, but now that it's upon us - I've really just accepted film's demise for what it is, inevitable.

And really, once image quality reaches parity between the two mediums (film & digital), is it such a big deal? The change-over from film to digital capture hasn't 1/10 of the impact or significance that the introduction of sound to moving pictures did, or the change from black and white to colour film stocks.

The vast majority of films captured on film in the past decade or so have been digitally scanned and run through a digital intermediate post-process anyway. Digital has simply become standard now.

The real impact of the digital age lies in the issues of distribution, illegal downloading and dwindling market share for non-blockbuster films. These are the real areas we need to concern ourselves with.

It's sad to lose such a lovely, tactile medium as film. But really, the advantages of digital capture offer more opportunities than they strip away. So let's focus on the positives.
  • 0

#16 Pat Murray

Pat Murray
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 129 posts
  • Other

Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

It's the march of technology, try as you might you'll never stop it. At the current rate of progress we're seeing, in just another 2 years digital imaging will surpass film capture in every regard, resolution, dynamic range, sensitivity, clarity, colour - the lot.

I thought I would be sadder when the time came, but now that it's upon us - I've really just accepted film's demise for what it is, inevitable.

And really, once image quality reaches parity between the two mediums (film & digital), is it such a big deal? The change-over from film to digital capture hasn't 1/10 of the impact or significance that the introduction of sound to moving pictures did, or the change from black and white to colour film stocks.

The vast majority of films captured on film in the past decade or so have been digitally scanned and run through a digital intermediate post-process anyway. Digital has simply become standard now.

The real impact of the digital age lies in the issues of distribution, illegal downloading and dwindling market share for non-blockbuster films. These are the real areas we need to concern ourselves with.

It's sad to lose such a lovely, tactile medium as film. But really, the advantages of digital capture offer more opportunities than they strip away. So let's focus on the positives.


1) What you're suggesting is akin to saying that changes in watercolor manufacture will eventually make it indistinguishable from oil paints. Film is film and digital is digital. Digital should not be trying to be film, another medium, it should be trying to be as good as it can be within its own medium. Like film has been doing for the last 100 years. The only reason they are compared is due to greed because the perception is it saves money and to sell the changes to the market. Joe and Jane average who don't care about format Hollywood just tells them it's same same and they'll feel all better and continue going to the cinema. Like good little consumers.

2) Interesting that you should mention color and sound. Both of which could have been part of film, in primitive form, from pretty much the beginning, but silent B&W was a lot cheaper to produce and the audiences were happy and buying tickets.

The march of technology has nothing to do with it. This isn't a better way to build a wiget, it's art and entertainment. For the producers it's all about money. Color and sound comes in when it's profitable to do so. Digital comes in at the right time for the same reason. When it's profitable. In this case, good enough to fool the average viewer plus years of propaganda about digital and HD.

We should be enjoying both formats, but greed says otherwise. Technological advance is irrelevant to the demise of film. It is totally unnecessary.
  • 0

#17 Christopher Sheneman

Christopher Sheneman
  • Guests

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:45 AM

Okay first of whats wrong with you

1.) Archiving is the most important thing, in incenses its preserving our cultural heritage. Back when studios didn't take it seriously we all lost allot o great films, we almost lost the "Godfather" because of it. It is extremely important so that other generations can see films, because films are a window in to time, to see how people acted what they wore, what they aspired to etc.

2.) Just because you don't like a film, doesn't mean someone else doesn't. the National film archival registry, registered "lets all go to the lobby" its not the most amazing film in the world in fact its a commercial BUT because it has culture heritage.

3.) How can you say "Film isn't a great archival format"? Theres been 80 formats of digital since its invention and the bulk of those can't be played anymore, all you need is a lens and light and you can watch a movie from a hundred years ago.

Saying stone is the best format is like saying whats the best paint brush? and saying a camera; has nothing to do with painting wtf?
What does a stone have to do with archiving movies!


Film have been transferred to paper and then back to film. Film doesn't necessarily have to remand on film. You could make a etched transfer to a stone plate (lithography) of a black-and-white project.
It would require many thousands of plates to complete the project but it would last hundreds of thousands of years, perhaps millions. Heck, if you kept the plates sealed in a stone sarcophagus it could even weather direct contact with molten lava or even the earth's destruction- these plates could be found floating in space like a cinematic Rosetta Stone to be re-assembled and prints made back into easy order and motion.

Stone requires no electricity, no projectors, etc..
  • 0

#18 Simon Wyss

Simon Wyss
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1404 posts
  • Other
  • Basel, Switzerland

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:11 AM

Film have been transferred to paper and then back to film. Film doesn't necessarily have to remand on film. You could make a etched transfer to a stone plate (lithography) of a black-and-white project.
It would require many thousands of plates to complete the project but it would last hundreds of thousands of years, perhaps millions. Heck, if you kept the plates sealed in a stone sarcophagus it could even weather direct contact with molten lava or even the earth's destruction- these plates could be found floating in space like a cinematic Rosetta Stone to be re-assembled and prints made back into easy order and motion.


Glass instead of stone

I’d put content on glass pieces that have the form of the red blood cells. Protection by the rim, most stable, transparent, relatively cheap, exactly positionable. The image could even be contained within the glass. These entities stacked in tubes and lowered into a slurry pool or something

Why archive films? In a way you put a legitimate question because the whole film business (and many others) are very, how does one say, male. The masculine view, you know, subject of introductory film science classes (yawn), so a feminine perception of it simply smiles it off. Time and again I ask that myself when tired of all the foolishness between the Pacific Rim and Kandahar.

Now, I’m a mechanic, and the metal crafts are also very masculine. Yet, it gives me joy and peace. I can produce something, repair a projector. And if film lasted only from 1887 to 2013 I was part of it and loved it. I have developed originals in 35mm for a few mad producers, struck rushes, and made graded duplicates of warped, brittle films. On film. Yawn, stretch.

Edited by Simon Wyss, 26 November 2012 - 04:13 AM.

  • 0

#19 Christopher Sheneman

Christopher Sheneman
  • Guests

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:16 AM

I dunno about Glass

Glass instead of stone

I’d put content on glass pieces that have the form of the red blood cells. Protection by the rim, most stable, transparent, relatively cheap, exactly positionable. The image could even be contained within the glass. These entities stacked in tubes and lowered into a slurry pool or something

Why archive films? In a way you put a legitimate question because the whole film business (and many others) are very, how does one say, male. The masculine view, you know, subject of introductory film science classes (yawn), so a feminine perception of it simply smiles it off. Time and again I ask that myself when tired of all the foolishness between the Pacific Rim and Kandahar.

Now, I’m a mechanic, and the metal crafts are also very masculine. Yet, it gives me joy and peace. I can produce something, repair a projector. And if film lasted only from 1887 to 2013 I was part of it and loved it. I have developed originals in 35mm for a few mad producers, struck rushes, and made graded duplicates of warped, brittle films. On film. Yawn, stretch.

I'm not sure glass would work for indefinite storage given it's peculiar molecular dynamics and thermodynamics. Is it a highly viscous liquid? An amorphous solid? Or simply in another state of matter that is neither liquid nor solid, therein lies the problem- long term stability. Glass is too sensitive heat, shock, even sound frequencies..
  • 0

#20 Gregg MacPherson

Gregg MacPherson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1880 posts
  • Other
  • New Zealand

Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:37 PM

For some years, from 1993 to 2010, while I avoided any involvement in film making, I occasionally had the strange thought to write something on the differences between the film and the electronic motion picture image - the impact of this difference on art, culture, human experience. I didn't, the grass grew under my feet and now it's almost too late.

There are many reasons why people may lament the apparent demise of film and it may be that they all have some legitimacy. Some important things may be wrongly dismissed as mere sentimentality. For example some people are intimately identified with the physicality of the camera, the perforated film and a photographic process which verges on the inexplicable or magical. This can be quite profound and not to be dismissed.

The photographic process is more densely packed with intelligence and meaningful information than we can possibly imagine. A tiny pixel sized dot on the cheek of an actor. How many photons arrive there per 1/50 second while the cinematographer watches. There are probably some on the forum who can tell us, per unit of measured light. It's a lot, a vast number. The interaction between the photons and the actors skin, we have to assume is on the molecular level, or on the scale of the atoms there.

My contention is that this interaction between the photons and the material structure of the actor is changing the physicality of both photon and actor. I mean on an incredibly microscopic level. Further, some would contend, that the microscopic contains functional principals of the macroscopic. I'm thinking that each single microscopic interaction somehow encodes a snapshot of the macroscopic, at that moment.

So this deluge of photons heading towards the cinematographers eye in the 1/50 seconds interval is overwhelmingly dense with information far beyond issues of light, dark, color, contrast that the cinematographer might normally deal with. You could assume that human sense perception is incapable of responding, or that common disbelief would disable the chance of receptivity. Again, taking an intuitive leap, I suggest that some cinematographers are at least subconsciously receptive to this more subtle, densely rich stream of information and process and make use of it without even being aware of it.

Regardless of the degree of receptivity in the cinematographer, after the expiration of 1/50 second, all that stream arrives at the emulsion. Thinking intuitively about that, and yes again making some intuitive leaps, the interaction between photons and emulsion could be conceived of on a microscopic level. Maybe black and white is easier to talk about. Imagine a very small element of grain. The arriving photons make an impression apon it. This can again be considered at a microscopic level. Being saturated with information on a very refined level from their interacation with the actor, now an interaction on a similar level is possible with the emulsion.

My guess is that with current methods, contact printing the camera original, we loose a lot of or the purity of this vast storehouse of photographed information. On the conscious level, normal human perception may be unable to see it, but this does not mean that it is unable to make an impact upon us and leave us with something useful. Think art, magic, subjective experience.

Now, the digital version. The cinematographer, assuming he is lucky enough to have a spinning mirror, no longer has a photographic capture process that is analogous to his own ocular perception. As before we could hope that his retina, neurophysiology and style of awareness is responding in some way to the microscopic interactions with this vast incoming stream of densely laden photons. Again, after the expiration of 1/50 second, all that stream arrives at the .......sensor. All I can think from what is commonly described about the configuration and function of sensors is that the vast bulk of all that impossibly dense, richly packed information is suddenly all but gone. It's replaced by a relatively) tiny stream of zeros and ones that encode a crude value of only some aspects of that.

I think photochemical process is capable of creating a direct and profound impression. The photons landed on the negative and changed it. It enables a direct visceral connection that someone can later make with that moment. Not imaginary, not virtual, not smoke and mirrors. It's real, palpable, can feel as real as being punched in the stomach. But I don't think we all respond uniformly, most significantly for me because we don't all have the same acuity of seeing or functionality of awareness. But then again, moving pictures as a popular art form require some degree of common or shared style of seeing.

So perhaps the main stream film industry, in particular, digital exhibition, will culture us to see in a way that is useful to them and no one will notice or know any different.

I used up more than my share of space sorry.
Cheers, Gregg
  • 1


CineTape

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Opal

Visual Products

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Opal

Glidecam

Tai Audio

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC