Thursday, 9 December 2010

The 'Debate' Film vs Digital

I've been researching some really good articles and information regarding digital cinema and film. It's all really interesting, in so far it's help to brush up on technical knowledge that had laid dormant since graduating university. I still *pretend* to know what DPs talk about - hopefully it will get my by without them spotting my ignorance.

One thing that really stands out for me among all of this (seemingly pointless argument), is that:
You can shoot any format, and if the script is good, it will integrate and help tell the story with out drawing attention to “the format”.
BAM!!! (For all those directors out there who think otherwise and degrade story to a bit part in their play of 'Self Indulgence is my Middle Name!') 

Another great resource out there is the blog, - though the writer no longer appears to be updating it since Dec 2008, it has some real gems in there. I stumbled on this epically wise: The Importance of Shooting on Film - the writer makes a good case that these days, film makers or digital cinema directors come from a features television background and not a photographic one where the old school were encouraged to really think about how to tell a story with pcitures and how it cuts etc. I won't try to badly paraphrase this great text, I just encourage all to read it! 


  1. hk this , may be useful to you

    digital camera has come to stay

    do you know that the world;s biggest box office hit film, James Cameron's 'Avtaar'was shot on sony high definition cameras with cannon lenses, giving a shot in the arm not only to the digital format technology but also to the 3D stereoscopic format. George Lucas's last two "star wars" films were also shot on HD Cameras with Panavision lenses.

    also the winner of 8 Oscar awards, including the Oscar for director of photography, "slumdog millionaire" was shot on Sl-2K AND Canon 5D Cameras both being totally digital.

    Geoffery Chappell of Cooke Optics, UK tells that when he visited camera rental houses in Germany recently, he was surprised to find that the 35 mm/16 mm cameras were not being hired by film makers. the only cameras were moving out of rental houses were Canon 7D/5D and the RED ONE's.
    India is now trying keep pace with the international technology and the first film being shot on Canon 7D cameras is almost nearing completion.

    the film"AAJ BHI" is being produced by PD.Garg under the banner of Palm Tree Productions. the film is being directed by Piyush chakarvarty and DOP is Ashok who has shot many many feature films on various mediums by now. this is Ashok first film being shot digitally on Canon 7D and his work has come out extremely well and he is also extremely happy with the outcome.
    At the moment, only the canon 7D/5D cameras and RED ONE's have super 35 mm size CMOS Sensor which gives digital cinematography the same or similar look and latitude as that of a 35 mm film.
    the camera set up for the film 'AAJ BHI' is provided by The FX FACTORY of Mumbai who are also handling the entire post production including Reverse Telecine on 35 mm optical film with dolby digital sound.

  2. Hi.

    Totally aware of digital cinema's rise, I'm not anti-digital or anything (I have my own Canon 7D) I believe the 'argument' is kind of silly; it depends what your production best needs are - there's no point in using a format simply because it's the cutting edge or whatever - it's what best serves the production and namely, the STORY. Like the quote says, if it's good, then it needn't draw attention to the format.

    Money actually dictates so much of the decision making - it's no surprise Canon's are being rented, it's more cost effective. But when it comes to big buck film making, the costs don't vary as much.

    The main POINT I was illuminating was the fact that in FILM you're encouraged to really think about how to tell stories with pictures - every shot has a meaning. With digital, you're inclined to shoot from as many angles or whatever. That's not to say that digital filmmakers aren't using the same methods old school filmmakers are using etc - but the point is a relevant one. i.e. George Lucas's latest Star Wars where epic fails in terms of story because they didn't consider using shots as a vehicle for that - Lucas got swept up in CGI and leached the narrative as a result. Ask anyone - even kids - they prefer the old Star Wars films.

    Less said about Bollywood, the better. I mean the majority have no story, no character, are shot more like trippy music videos, concerned more with what the fashion of the actors are wearing that what stories and narrative they are relaying to audiences. So the way Bollywood is heading is a prime examples of the degradation of quality film-making. (Lagaan and classics like DDLJ aside).