Monday, October 24, 2005

Digital or Film

The above picture is one of the cameras I have in my arsenal. The other is a Arri BL, and I love both of these cameras. The above camera, which is called an Eclair NPR has been used in many productions in the past. Many an independent film has shot with the NPR because of it's portability, and it's relative quiet running. Of course both these cameras are older models, and now there are Arri SR's and Anton's which are quieter, but a lot more expensive. It's a no brainer to shoot film if you have the budget, but more and more the world is going digital, and if your final output is to DVD then you might as well shoot digital, and put the extra money you save into paying your actors or better food on the set. Trust me it will be money well spent.

I have a affinity for film. I like the latitude film gives, and even if I go the DVD route I know the film will look great. Maybe it's the cinematographer in me. I've gotten GREAT images in the past with film, and Kodak keeps coming out with some great filmstocks to capture images with. I spent a little over four grand on film stock for my film "Deadly Obsessions", and another six grand to develop it all. SO you can see why the temptation to go to digital is so tempting.

In fact I would say that if I was shooting a film NOW I would most certainly shoot on digital. Film festivals are more and more accepting digital submissions, and I've seen digital projected movies which look absolutely fantastic. But then again I still love film. Film seems to capture a lot of detail, and since I'm familiar with exposure, and latitudes of film I know what I'll get as the final image. Digital is immediate, and you can manipulate digital later, but I've always thought it was a cheat if you did that. I was schooled by teachers who told me to get a clean image, and I've always done that. Nestor Alemendros was one of my favorite cinematographers, and his photography still stands out to me.

I work with a lot of young adults and it's a shame to see that digital is more and more taking over the academic world. I still don't think film is dead. Not just yet. In fact there may be a resurgence of film some time in the future. Maybe then they'll bring us old folk out and they'll dust us off and have another go round in the world of FILM production.

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