Film gets a reprieve (for now)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Adam Gregorich, Jul 30, 2014.

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Does film matter anymore in our digital age?

  1. Yes

    85.5%
  2. No

    14.5%
  1. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    According to the WSJ, Kodak was on the verge of closing their film plant as film purchases have dropped 96% since 2006. They are the only major company left producing it as Fuji stopped manufacturing it last year. Several directors including Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and J.J. Abrams (who is using film for the new Star Wars movie) lobbied the studios to commit to buying film from Kodak to prevent the closure.


    Its a great article and can be read here. Vote in the poll and tell us what you think of film.
     
  2. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    would you consider not having us need to answer both questions ?

    i would have preferred to leave #2 blank.

    i just chose the last answer, so as not to select any sort of time frame on it.
     
  3. revgen

    revgen Supporting Actor

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    Digital hasn't even begun to come close to film in terms of being a reliable storage medium. That's why many digital productions are still backed up to polyester film for preservation. http://blog.unl.edu/dixon/2012/01/27/digital-storage-vs-film-storage-which-is-cheaper-which-is-more-stable/

    As long as digital films are being shot on volatile media like SSD drives (Unlike magnetic drives, data is lost forever when it's deleted from these drives. There is no way to recover the data.), film will still have a place in the industry.
     
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  4. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    Film shot through good glass still has tons of data that can be recovered, oftentimes much more than a typical digital capture. 4K begins to get close to what film can capture. Some of the old 4" x 5" Speed Graphic images can yield, easily, 35 megapixels of info, and that's just with a medium scan (1500dpi). Film is dead because people don't understand what it can capture.
     
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  5. StephenDH

    StephenDH Second Unit

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    People will listen to mp3s on rubbishy headphones and watch movies on postage stamp-sized screens so it's clear many people really don't care about picture quality.
     
  6. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    The world is going to hell and as soon as streaming is the only option to watch a film i'm officially giving up on home cinema.
     
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  7. hanshotfirst1138

    hanshotfirst1138 Stunt Coordinator

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    It's just an inevitability at this point, I fear :(. It's all over but the crying at this point. So many films I'll never see projected on celluloid. I think that it's a simple financial reality that film is going to die :(. The price of progress and the momentum of history, I suppose :sad:.
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I don't think that dark day will come. I think movies will emulate music where there will be the garbage option for people that don't care but there will also be a high quality downloadable version as well.
     
  9. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    I think in the linked article, they point out that to archive movies, you still need film, because, stored well, it's good for a century or two at least, whereas, digital formats continue to change and continue to not be backwards compatible (anyone out there still got a functioning Zip drive?). So small runs of movie film will continue to be made, and that means they will still need the technology to read out digital files onto film. There are still a hell of a lot of analogue users on Flickr, but as for the businesses of movies and still photography, digital is getting close to what film does in terms of data. Where the difference lies is in the difference in the medium itself. Pixels are just not the same as well-resolved film grain; though I suppose the digital "grain" you can add to images in post will continue to improve...
     
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  10. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    When they stop making discs i'm screwed because i doubt this town is getting superfast broadband any century soon.
     
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  11. hanshotfirst1138

    hanshotfirst1138 Stunt Coordinator

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    After hearing someone say this, just to amuse myself, I popped a CD into my BR player and was blown away by how much better it sounded. I've been listening to compressed music for long I hadn't even realized how different it sounded. That being said, vinyl and CDs are different-the fanbases for those could keep them afloat as niche markets. Celluloid has no such luxury :(.
     
  12. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    I'd sooner take digital cameras, any type digital projector 2K 4K 8K 80K? Including LieMAX and throw it all into a SKIP! This digital cinema nonsense has ruined my cinema going since seeing digital at the cinema around 2008.

    I do, I really don't care if Hollywood released with George Lucas, a 900 billion K projector. I won't ever again, go to the cinema EVER! They have ruined the whole showmanship of cinema.

    Cinema is finished. I'd give it some many few more years before none of us care about what Hollywood clichés they can come up with next rebooted film, to milk us? I'm not a cow. Moooooo.
     
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  13. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Resolution aside, there is a physical difference between watching images projected from film and those projected from video (whether that video comes from a tape, a disc or a hard drive). I don't know how to explain it, but when I saw The Sound of Music shown in 35mm a couple weeks ago at the Stanford Theatre, I never got the sensation I was watching an extremely large television.
     
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  14. hanshotfirst1138

    hanshotfirst1138 Stunt Coordinator

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    Tarantino keeps calling digital projection "television in public."
     
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  15. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    I think Sir. David Lean, would say the same thing.

    "Cinema original television isn't".
     
  16. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Cinematographer

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    Maybe the two are finally becoming one. TVs have gotten bigger and wider, while average movie theaters seem to be cheaping out, not keeping up standards and resistant to bringing anything new to the table. It is now extremely easy to get a better presentation and atmosphere at home, if you don't mind waiting a couple months for new movies.
     
  17. zoetmb

    zoetmb Stunt Coordinator

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    First let's separate the quality of the content from the medium.

    Everyone complains about reboots, franchises and sequels but there were ALWAYS such films. In the early days of cinema, many films were taken from famous novels and plays. When sound came in, many of those films were remade. Then we began to get the franchises: Rin-Tin-Tin, Lassie, the Andy Hardy pictures, the Universal monster movies, Abbott & Costello, the Marx Brothers, hundreds of westerns that all seemed alike, Tarzan, The Thin Man, Charlie Chan, The Three Stooges, James Bond, etc., etc. There was even a silent Frankenstein (1910) and a silent Wizard of Oz in both 1910 and 1925 before the "original" version from 1939, all of which were (of course) based upon the books.

    As far as the medium is concerned, with the exception of those people who saw a 35mm or 70mm print in the first week at a high-end first-run theatre, films looked like crap in most theaters: they were underlit and especially if it wasn't a big city, were move-over prints that were scratched, frequently with frames missing.

    Digital certainly has its disadvantages, but for the average movie-goer, they see (and hear) a vast increase in picture and sound quality. Last summer, I was at an art house on Cape Cod and the digital projection (of the Woody Allen film) was just as good as any Manhattan theatre. That wouldn't have been true if they were playing a print.

    There's one theatre left near where I live in Queens, NY that still plays 35mm prints. (I suspect they'll be closing if they haven't converted by now). I saw "Her" there and the projection was dim, the print had many scratches and much dirt, especially at the changeovers, and I was surprised how much the sound of the projector annoyed me. It would have looked far better in digital.

    When I saw "The Master" in 70mm at the Ziegfeld, the print had dirt end to end. I don't know what happened, but I suspect someone dropped the platter and had to wind all the film off the floor. And even aside from the scratches, it didn't look that good - not like how I remember 65mm origination looking, so it may also be that people don't know how to shoot film anymore.

    I think we romanticize what film looked like for most people, just as we romanticize what LPs sounded like. Note that I'm talking about presentation, not origination. I still prefer movies that originate on film.

    But in spite of Kodak's supposed promise to keep film going, it's doubtful. Kodak never really made money in negative film - all the profit was in prints. And now that there's almost no 35mm prints being made, Kodak has to be losing money on motion picture film. But they have reduced their offerings: in negative stock, they now sell only Vision 3 in 50D, 250D, 200T and 500T; Double-X b&w in 200T/250D and Tri-X reversal in 160T/200D. They still make 3 different color Intermediate films, but I bet they drop two of them before too long.
     
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  18. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    The biggest thing that bothers me about digital is when I can see obvious pixels. That just screams "digital look" to me. Good 4k doesn't have that. I also find that movie theaters have weak black levels. They look milky to me. My home projector has such good black levels that you can't see the screen at all during an all-black scene.
     
  19. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    I wasn't as impressed with the 70mm "The Master" as I thought and hoped I would be.

    I read that while it was shot on film, according to American Cinematographer, certain key scenes were shot on 35mm, and the entire film was scanned and edited digitally, before being filmed back out to 70mm. It's certainly possible that they didn't scan the negative or do the digital intermediate at a high enough resolution to capture all of that 70mm detail. I also remember thinking that it was weird to see a 70mm film in 1.85:1; I think the overwhelming majority of 70mm films I've seen in my life (whether on film or on video) were 2.20:1.

    I wouldn't be surprised to discover that the original camera negative for "The Master" looked far superior to the prints we got.
     
  20. zoetmb

    zoetmb Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't know that scenes in "The Master" were shot on 35mm- that's interesting. I was also surprised it was 1.85 and not. 2.2:1. It was a WTF? moment for me, although certainly not as disappointing as the dirt.
     

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