Spielberg to go digital for Indy IV only ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by oscar_merkx, Aug 5, 2002.

  1. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Very interesting to say the least. Here is the link
    http://www.theraider.net/newsarchive...php#0108030201
    The Edmonton Journal reports that Steven Spielberg is no fan of digital moviemaking. "I don't want to shoot digital movies," Spielberg says. "I like film."
    "I love shooting on film and I love editing on film. I know that digital will do the same thing film will do. It will still use lenses. It will still capture the same images. The difference is that digital is like acrylic paint. It's so photo-realistic that you don't see any flaws. With traditional film, where you have it going through shutters in a film gate, it's alive with grain -- compared to digital, it's like an impressionist painting. I would still rather see a still life painted by an impressionist than a still life painted by Norman Rockwell."
    But as a favor to George Lucas on Indiana Jones 4, he might use it. "I'd do anything for George and if George asked me to shoot Indiana Jones 4 on digital, I'd do it. But my duties will always be to shoot on film."
    This bit of news was earlier reported by 'jones' at The Raven message forum.
     
  2. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Well, it's doubtful Lucas will ask him to do digital. Lucas probably wants it, but isn't gonna force him. As if he'd do that anyway.

    But there may be a time where he will be forced to, especially if digital gets better and better, and more people start doing it. I was amused of him commenting on the liking the grain present in film, as opposed to digital. Me, give me my DVDs without grain. That was one thing that annoyed me to no end while watching Minority Report. I know he put the grain in their for effect, but man.
     
  3. Michael St. Clair

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    Film will be around well past Spielberg's lifetime. But like analog studio recording, it will come to cost more than digital.
     
  4. HenrikTull

    HenrikTull Second Unit

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    Excellent. I love film grain for the same reasons as Spielberg. Hope more directors feel the same way.
     
  5. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    I would expect it already is, at least editing and working in digital would be cheaper, not to mention far, far less man hours you have to put in. Working with film is very time consuming and difficult when compared to digital.

    As for my films comment, I didn't meant to imply film would disappear. What I meant to say is that eventually, more theaters will get digital, and more people will start making films digitally. Not anytime soon, but within 10 years I'd imagine digital filmmaking would increase by quite a margin.
     
  6. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    If Lucas can convince Speilberg to shoot digital with Indy, maybe he can convince him to record commentaries for the DVDs! [​IMG]
     
  7. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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    Terrel:

    I found your comments interesting. Would you believe that Spielberg is one of the few directors in Hollywood that still has his films cut on an upright Moviola? Just about the entire industry now cuts digitally on an Avid but Steven still wants his editor, Michael Kahn, to cut his films on film.

    According to Michael, Spielberg likes the feeling of film in the edit bay. Note - when Michael cuts for any other director he cuts on an Avid.

    -greg
     
  8. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Well, I don't know all of that. I have heard Lucas talk about what a nightmare it is to edit on film, as compared to digital, and how much more costly and time-consuming it is. Eventually, digital will surpass film. Spielberg, if he's around long enough, will either adapt or be left behind. It will take a while.

    I finally got to see a digital presentation of Clones, and the difference is staggering. I can only imagine what the difference will be when digital surpasses film in resolution.
     
  9. Michael St. Clair

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  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  11. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    I don't know how old Spielberg is, but I'd say a minimum of 5 years before there are enough digital theaters in the country. And that's being optimistic. As for 70mm, way to expensive by that time. It's already expensive as it is. And I don't know what the resolution for 70mm is, but digital will surpass it too, eventually.
    Think about this. The cameras for AOTC were 2.2 million pixel resolution. In a mere 3 years, we're already looking at a 10 million pixel resolution. That's almost a 5 fold increase in a mere 3 years. Think if that just doubles, or triples in another 3 years. Staggering. They already have a camera that is uncompressed digital, I believe it's called the Viper camera. The only problem is you get into serious storage problems. They already have a camera that has 27.6 million pixel resolution. It's called the Viper Filmstream camera. Here's a link.
    http://www.cinematography.com/index.asp?newsID=15
    It's targeted at filmmakers just like George Lucas. Maybe he can us this camera.
     
  12. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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  13. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    Digital is perfect for direct to video films! At the moment digital is in direct negative relation to the artistic merits of a movie! [Flame suit on!] [​IMG]
     
  14. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  15. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    Jason, you make good points about DLP expanding to more venues in the future. I am more pro DLP then I am HD Cam technology I must admit, if only for the feeling of there being less cause for error in screening what with the 12 year olds who run so many of our projection booths these days.
    I'd take film projection over DLP if it were not for the ever degrading handling and quality of film prints being run at the typical multiplex these days. [​IMG] A solid print, in a great theatre with a good projectionist at the helm is heaven.
     
  16. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    For me the movie lover, digital is a win-win situation. I'm getting tired of all the hardliners digging their heels in and saying things like "well I *just* like film better". They're not disputing the pro-digital arguments, they simply toss their nose up in the air and give a "because" answer.
    For the creative side, the men and women who create the movies I come to love, and the ones I will be coming to love in the future:
    * DVDs will be pressed digital-to-digital, never touching film. The best transfers I own are my Pixar discs, which are direct digital transfers.
    * During filming, digital enables the entire studio, if desired, to watch how it will look INSTANTLY. No "cut, print" and come back hours later with wet-from-lab film stock that is then loaded into a projector, placed in a darkened room, and everyone stops what they're doing to see if this shot or that shot worked or was too dark or a cue was missed or any of millions of other items that go into the creative process. Comments from the ATOC and Spy Kids II productions all give enthusiastic support to how much of an impact it made on their creative process, to be able to simply watch back what they just shot before the next take.
    * Cheaper to film with digital; no millions of feet of physical film stock that must be purchased, developed, indexed, and maintained. From what I understand, a typical "big budget" film allocates several million dollars for physical film costs just for production/editing. If it's spend that US$3mil on the film developing or on a better location, a better set, more extras, better special effects, or other creative elements ... no contest at all where I prefer the money to be spent. Movie money should be on the screen, not in the front-end.
    * Quicker to film and edit with digital; physical film stocks must be physically tracked and physically labeled. When editing, you have to find the bits for this or the bits for that, etc... Digital puts it into network storage and you can look at every single shot in the film from a menu that will play clips on your screen. HOLY S&!T BATMAN, that's amazing! [​IMG]
    All of that's creative side. In addition to those advantages, which directly enable directors to better shape the vision they deliver to me the consumer, there are other advantages also.
    * With Digital theaters, there is no cost for creating, shipping, tracking, and retrieving a physical film print. They can receive it on a DVD or two, download it via satellite or Internet connection; no hundred pound air mails.
    * With Digital theaters, they can better run the actual theater operations using an internal data network that feeds the various theaters on-site. Theater #2 is undersold by 300 seats, while Theater #7 is oversold by 200? Button push, button push, presto; the films swap where they'll play and your electronic signs (box office and labeling the theaters) reflect the new information instantly. Better inventory management for theater owners. Proper management of your available assets as a theater manager (i.e., the theater seats you want to sell, and by selling those seats the concessions sales that come with them) makes you hard cash; ask airlines, hotels and rental agencies whether or not computer assisted dynamic inventory management generates value beyond what existed. This would even enable theaters to add additional screens for a hot new film that wasn't expected to be as clearly popular as it's turning out to be (i.e., Friday Night sellouts might happen, but come Saturday after huge lines that popular film could easily be on another screen or two at urban/multiplex theaters).
    * No print wear. The OPENING NIGHT at Star Wars ATOC there was print damage, simply from the theater having run the print for its employees/owners. Opening f!@$ing night, missing frames, sound drop outs, scratches. That's a joke!
    There are lots of reasons to go digital. Projector prices will drop, same as all other electronic goods drop in price as manufacturing scale ramps up to serve it. Ten years ago large screen televisions were five digit purchases for one worth watching. These days, much cheaper. What changed? Scale.
    The early adopter theaters get burned on price, same as early adopter consumers pay a premium to be the first on the block with the new gizmo. The central business argument against digital movies is the cost to the theater of the digital projectors. That argument becomes weaker as the projectors become more inexpensive.
    While waiting for projectors to go down, however, it seems fiscally advantageous for Hollywood (i.e., Studios) to help subsidize the digital projectors for theaters around the country. Studios benefit fiscally as detailed above by digital productions, they should pass some of those savings on to theaters to help fully realise the digital advantages for both (studios and theaters) during this 3-5 year transition period.
    Now, having said all that, there are effects and creative bits that are film only, like the grain Spielberg talks about. I can appreciate artistic effort and I certainly respect the hell out of Spielberg. He's one of the finest directors working today, and arguably one of the finest directors of all time.
    But, honestly, would you rather have artistic grain or the ability to look at your shot the moment you say cut and see whether or not the lighting scheme worked, or if the extra hit his mark correctly ... or any of numerous other bits you might benefit and be able to reshoot IMMEDIATELY by looking at it NOW. While the crew and cast are there, while the set is dressed, while costumes are done, while the pyro crew is already wired, while the sun is right, while it isn't raining, etc.... vs having to resetup tomorrow or next week when you realise a shot was too dark or it didn't look as good as you imagined it would when you laid the shot down?
    That one feature alone is what I keep hearing directors talk about, and it seems extremely compelling. Film got us here, and it was good. What directors figured out how to do with chemical compositions developed in darkrooms still staggers my mind and amazes my eyes.
    But that doesn't mean it was the ultimate. Nothing says Digital is the ultimate either ... but it sure does seem to offer MANY advantages, creatively and fiscally. When it comes to someone as talented as Spielberg, I simply want to see him try it at least a few times just to see what he comes up with. After all, look what he did with mere chemicals?
     
  17. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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  18. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  19. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Three things:

    * AVID and other 'digital' editors currently in use rely upon physically assembled and scanned film stocks. So the editor may not have to fiddle with roomsful of film, but someone does to get it into the digital system. Plus its still a generation removed.

    * As they work with the new format, it will improve in terms of color saturation and other elements one might argue are inferior to physical film (historian question: anyone can tell me if color film, upon its introduction, was superior or inferior to b&w in terms of quality of product?)

    * You say it's simple convenience, I say it's an increase in productivity.

    If Spielberg and his key folks don't have to burn two to four months fiddling with physical film over the course of a project, might that mean I get an 'extra' Spielberg film every two years or so, vs what I would have received if he had to do it the 'inconvenient' way?

    There's not enough Spielberg in the world, frankly. And I know from his interviews he has lists, some written others in his head, of projects he'd like to see done. Most directors have such dreams, of what they'd like to eventually work on. If it stops taking most of a year for him to make a movie, he gets a few extra weeks here and there with his family or as off time, and movie lovers might very well get more projects from him as a result of that freed up time.

    Again, many positives as I see them.
     
  20. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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