XIXAX Film Forum

Creative Corner => Filmmakers' Workshop => Topic started by: Sal on April 09, 2004, 12:29:54 AM

Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: Sal on April 09, 2004, 12:29:54 AM
Aside from Kodak's Vision stocks which have cut grain for excellent low light, film has pretty much stayed exactly where it is, while digital continually improves its quality to reach film's resolution.  With the digital revolution upon us, why doesn't film start what would undoubtably be the biggest benefit for it -- lower prices.  I suppose we haven't reached the stage where film goes the way of vinyl and so it isn't necessary to do this yet, but there's heavy anxiety among film lovers and certainly film companies like Kodak and Fuji.

Can we expect some sort of defense from the side of film?
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: Raikus on April 09, 2004, 09:29:55 AM
The defense is those big budget Hollywood films that only use film and shoot thousands of yards per movie.

Digital is only a threat to low budget or independent features in regard to film stock companies. And I'm sure Indy's only represent 5% or fewer of their total profit margin.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: mutinyco on April 10, 2004, 12:20:14 AM
It's closer to 1%. Film is still the standard capturing device. It's still the best quality. Because projection is still celluloid. Digital to film transfers aren't that great. Things will start being shot more in digital once projection goes digital.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: Ravi on April 11, 2004, 10:57:00 PM
I'm not sure if this has been discussed here, but theaters might be reluctant to buy digital projectors right now, since what is state-of-the-art today might be obsolete a year from now.  The same film projector can be used for a long time.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: mutinyco on April 11, 2004, 11:38:13 PM
Nope. It's moving along. Witness the rise in live events beamed into theaters like concerts and sporting events. Cinemas will become "entertainment centers" not traditional movie theaters.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: Sal on April 12, 2004, 02:25:04 AM
Quote from: mutinyco
Nope. It's moving along. Witness the rise in live events beamed into theaters like concerts and sporting events. Cinemas will become "entertainment centers" not traditional movie theaters.


Yeah...I've noticed the ads for concerts.  It's funny because we're going back the way theaters started.  First they were venues for multiple shows, including vaudeville acts.  Then they became exlusively for films.  And now they're branching out again.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: booji_boy on May 15, 2004, 05:14:42 PM
Think about it this way. If you want to paint a watercolour picture, you're not going to use oil and do your best to make it look like watercolour. I'll never understand the Film VS Video debate. They are two different mediums, and should be used accordingly. The have pros and cons of course,  but they both have their specialties. For home movies, and lower budget productions, of course digital video has taken over. It is faster, cheaper, and the cameras automatically compensate for lighting and focus. But for a professional piece of cinema, film will always have a place. They work and perform differently. Instead of comparing them, look to them as alternatives, choices, a variety of ways to bring your ideas to life...
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: Just Withnail on May 15, 2004, 07:35:09 PM
Yeah, but someday digital will completely replace film, exactly because of the reasons you stated; cheaper, faster, and heck it even gives you a cleaner image, (better, according to people like Lucas and Rodriguez). Vinyl isn't gone forever, but it won't take too long for it to completely disappear, and film will very, very unfortunately go the same way, eventually. Imagine watercolour becoming obsolete, I bet painters would complain.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: Redlum on May 16, 2004, 12:38:25 PM
I still say that any medium designed to replicate another but be cheaper is a waste of time. Where will the saved cash be going? Studio profit? How rich do people need to be? I don't think the money would be going towards making more artistic films. They'll be churning out HD CGI schlock like they churned out silent movies back in the day. But instead of a rotating backdrop for a set it'll be a chroma key screen.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: cowboykurtis on May 16, 2004, 01:02:13 PM
bottom of the line: money will always rule in the end -- once the exhibtors change over to digital, production will follow. it will get to the point where studios will say -- you're shooting this HD or we're not giving you the money -- they do this with film already -- they will not allow many directors to shoot anamorphic because the costs for prints is so astronomical. the whole uproar with the digital vs. film arguement is valid becuase their is already a very strong effort to compelety switch the standard shooting format from film to digital. i believe that the film companies (kodak/fuji) are on board with this as well. its a very incestous industry. Kodak is now developing a 24P camera. In my opinion the newer film stocks (vision II,etc) are looking more and more like HD every year. WHen you think of celluloid, you dont think fine grain structure. WHo the hell wants extrememly fast film with no grain, it completely makes the art of lighting obsolete. any idiot can now pick up a camera and expose an image. you have an exposure lattitude of 4 stops over and under while still being able to pull an image out of the neg. When you compare it to stocks that guys like greg tolland had to work with, when you really had to know what you were doing, its astounding. The difference in process and execution between a film like citizen kane that was shot on 50 asa and a newer film that is shot on 800t; it mine as well be digital. thats not to mention lens speeds, now you have lenses that have .9 f stops, making it once again even more user friendly, much the same as HD. now dont get me wrong ill accept shooting on Vision II with super speed primes any day over HD. But really when taking a comparative examination between the filmic quality of films today and films 30 years ago, its astsounding how shitting the films today look (in my opinion). when was the last time you saw a theatrical film look like last tango in paris. these new lenses and stocks are slowly conditioning us to accept the "clean" asthetic that will soon become the norm when HD takes over. Film will drift slowly into teh night, the studios wont have to pay for prints anymore, bank accounts will grow tenfold, and the greater population of film goers will be unaware that any change had been instituted. My scources are reliable, I assure you I'm not a conspiracy theorist.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: Just Withnail on May 16, 2004, 01:51:51 PM
I only got through half of that, but I think we're dealing with a conspiracy here...

What you said about Last Tango and new films looking shitty, I wholeheartedly agree. If it were up to me, I'd shoot all my films to look like they'd been filmed in the seventies or sixties, where the image had some warmth and character no matter how it was lit. Now every movie looks (like you said) sterile and bland and boring.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: SoNowThen on May 16, 2004, 05:49:35 PM
Quote from: cowboykurtis
bottom of the line: money will always rule in the end -- once the exhibtors change over to digital, production will follow. it will get to the point where studios will say -- you're shooting this HD or we're not giving you the money -- they do this with film already -- they will not allow many directors to shoot anamorphic because the costs for prints is so astronomical. the whole uproar with the digital vs. film arguement is valid becuase their is already a very strong effort to compelety switch the standard shooting format from film to digital. i believe that the film companies (kodak/fuji) are on board with this as well. its a very incestous industry. Kodak is now developing a 24P camera. In my opinion the newer film stocks (vision II,etc) are looking more and more like HD every year. WHen you think of celluloid, you dont think fine grain structure. WHo the hell wants extrememly fast film with no grain, it completely makes the art of lighting obsolete. any idiot can now pick up a camera and expose an image. you have an exposure lattitude of 4 stops over and under while still being able to pull an image out of the neg. When you compare it to stocks that guys like greg tolland had to work with, when you really had to know what you were doing, its astounding. The difference in process and execution between a film like citizen kane that was shot on 50 asa and a newer film that is shot on 800t; it mine as well be digital. thats not to mention lens speeds, now you have lenses that have .9 f stops, making it once again even more user friendly, much the same as HD. now dont get me wrong ill accept shooting on Vision II with super speed primes any day over HD. But really when taking a comparative examination between the filmic quality of films today and films 30 years ago, its astsounding how shitting the films today look (in my opinion). when was the last time you saw a theatrical film look like last tango in paris. these new lenses and stocks are slowly conditioning us to accept the "clean" asthetic that will soon become the norm when HD takes over. Film will drift slowly into teh night, the studios wont have to pay for prints anymore, bank accounts will grow tenfold, and the greater population of film goers will be unaware that any change had been instituted. My scources are reliable, I assure you I'm not a conspiracy theorist.


Ace.

Great post.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: mutinyco on May 16, 2004, 11:51:39 PM
I still say the most important bullshit detector in this area in recent years was Eyes Wide Shut. Kubrick shot it with the Eastman 500EXR stock, which was going out of use. He pushed it 2 stops. Everybody was baffled at the grain when they saw it in theaters. Everybody had become used to clean TV images. Ironically, the video of EWS cleaned up the grain.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: SoNowThen on May 17, 2004, 09:51:05 AM
Quote from: mutinyco
Eyes Wide Shut. Kubrick shot it with the Eastman 500EXR stock, which was going out of use. He pushed it 2 stops.



They initially exposed it a bit under though, didn't they?

There was a great AC devoted to this and other Kubrick films back in 99...
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: mutinyco on May 17, 2004, 10:08:52 AM
Underexposed 2, pushed 2, I believe. The common T-stop was like 1.3.
Title: film vs digital - why doesn't film fight back?
Post by: SoNowThen on May 17, 2004, 10:10:58 AM
Beautiful.