I keep hearing that documentaries can only be shot on digital.
Currently BBC 2 HD have been showing two documentary series; Brazil with Michael Palin from 2012 and the Himalayas with Michael Palin from 2004. The Brazil one has been digitally shot, but the Himalaya one was shot on Super 16. This shoot must have been very complex, the photography is excellent. The Brazil show looks great too, but the photographic look between both shows is very different. I am not sure of the Himalaya one’s productions workflow, I guess all the 16mm negative was telecined to standard definition video, it seems as if the BBC are showing it from standard definition, but despite this it looks amazing next to the digitalshow..
My workshops are always about film in the present tense. I have just finished teaching a 16mm program; it was very successful, I find that more young people than ever before want to use 16mm. The question that I am being asked [by students] more than ever is ‘what camera they should get’ and as ever I find myself a bit stumped as to which one/s I should recommend.
In the photo the students are using a Super 16 Éclair ACL 2 with a Canon DSLR battery attached to the magazine.