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Is Film Dead? The World's Best Cinematographers Don't Seem to Think So

filmstockIt’s the debate of the decade; is film dead as a capture medium? The answer to that question is manifold, and you would likely get just as many different answers as the number of people who you asked. Sure, shooting film is no longer taught in most film schools (there are a few exceptions). And sure, the cost of raw stock, processing, and high-resolution DIs are up since Fuji stopped production of capture stocks, and local film labs have disappeared left and right. Based on those factors alone, it would seem safe to assume that film is headed the way of the dinosaurs, and rather quickly.


However, Kodak has just released a list of the motion pictures and shows which are still using film as the primary capture medium, and the contents of that list might just surprise you. First and foremost, the fact that this list exists at all is a sign that Kodak is trying to conjure new business. And why wouldn’t they? They are primarily a film company after all, and that business has been in financial jeopardy for several years. With that said, the amount of film-based production that still takes place in the industry is staggering, especially considering that many experts have been declaring the death of film as a reality for the past year or so.

Kodak

What’s most surprising is not that major motion pictures like Man of Steel and The Lone Ranger are still shooting on celluloid. No, it’s that film is not only surviving in independent film and television production, in some cases it’s thriving. Take modern dramatic television as an example. Many of HBO’s large-budget series such as Boardwalk Empire and True Blood are still shot exclusively on film. Even cable shows such as Breaking Bad, The Killing, and American Horror Story are shot almost entirely with film, despite the fact that it would be more cost effect to shoot digitally.

Film is alive and kicking in the independent film community as well. This year’s Grand Jury winner at Sundance, Fruitvale Station, was shot with Super 16mm, as was last year’s Beasts of the Southern Wild. Jeff Nichol’s past two films, Mud and Take Shelter (an all-time favorite of mine), were both shot with 35mm on relatively small budgets. Even the biographical drama, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was shot with celluloid.

So what’s the point of all this? It’s not that film isn’t in a treacherous position. It most certainly is. Film will likely be used less and less as digital cinema technology continues to progress and becomes affordable enough for the masses. The point is that film is still alive because it’s the best tool to tell some stories. Today’s elite cinematographers realize this and use the best capture medium for stories that they’re trying to tell.

Here’s one of Cinefii’s “Bite-Sized Dailies” with John De Borman as he talks about how he chooses a medium for each project and why it’s important to keep film alive.

For me, Borman’s point is a valuable one. Film needs to be preserved as a capture medium because it’s one of the tools with which we’re able to tell stories. Eliminating it from the toolbag limits our storytelling potential; it’s as simple as that. Of course most of us, myself included, can’t afford to shoot film on most projects, and that’s a sad and sobering reality. But having an understanding of how and why to shoot on film is invaluable, especially in our digitally-dominated world.

What do you guys think? Does it surprise you that film is still as prevalent as it is? Is it important to keep film alive as a capture medium even though the price to do so is rising? Let us know in the comments!

Link: A Selection of Productions on Kodak Motion Picture Film — Kodak

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  • Doesn’t surprise me at all that there are still plenty of people wanting to shoot on film, but I am surprised that any movie with a lot of VFX would shoot on film these days. I don’t know a lot about the VFX workflow for big budget movies, but I would imagine that shooting digital for movies like Man of Steel would take away an entire layer of complexity that shooting film would add to the VFX workflow.

    • I can imagine the lack of RAW post capabilities would have made their job a little bit bigger.

      • john jeffries on 07.10.13 @ 7:45PM

        Film negatives have quite a lot of “post capability” actually…

      • Film is the original RAW – there’s a ton of latent information in a film negative – a ton. You can push overexposed negative, like you would RAW, and find pretty incredible latitude.

        So they’re probably not missing out on RAW capabilities.

        • It’s not the raw capability or latitude that I’m talking about though – honestly, those are considerations for post, but don’t really have much bearing on a VFX pipeline, which is what I’m talking about. In my mind, scanning the film to be worked on in the first place adds a whole extra step that digital dissipates, and in terms of consistent image alignment, film must have at least a little more variance than digital due to its mechanical nature, right? I know when you watch a film at the movies you can see the “jitters” in the picture, but I don’t know if that’s a product of the printed film or the projection – or both.

          • That’s a projection problem (one that IMAX films don’t have due to a much more sophisticated projector). On a big film I don’t think it makes any difference to the VFX people because they’re not the ones developing and scanning the shots. They’re just getting DPX or OpenEXR sequences the same as they would on a digital show.

  • If The Killing is shot almost entirely on film, why is it that pattern noise appears in almost every low-light shot?

    • Likely compression of the TV signal.

    • That’s likely due to the fact that AMC still broadcasts in standard definition. I’ve watched episodes both as they’ve aired on AMC and in HD on Netflix, and the Netflix version is filmic and beautiful and better in every way. Personally, I love the way they shoot that show.

  • Film looked better in the movies I grew up on. 80′s and 90′s stuff. I watch a movie like Thelma & Louise now and I can’t see those Dialogue scenes with a Red camera. Same for many others.. The newer movies still shot on film aren’t convincing me however that celluloid is still relevant, because most of them all look the same anyway. If you’d told me Man of Steel was shot on an Alexa, i wouldn’t have argued with you.

    • That’s so true! Film had a unique character in the older films that’s not so visible on films using film now. I wonder why. Maybe its the DI process and hi-definition scans?

  • its really annoying when unaccomplished people state whether something is dead or alive. It’s happen all too much in the dslr blogs.

    • But, on the other hand… those who are accomplished are only going to side with what they know and what will protect their careers. You kind of just have to come to your own conclusions…

      • ANY Union DP can shoot with anything. Using film isn’t about protecting their job.

        Do you really think that all the Union DPs will be replaced by n00bs with their first VDSLR when film fineally goes away??

        • It’s more so about protecting the status quo of the industry. Think about it, film is expensive… it takes a long time to learn the craft, decades to a life-time. We now have tools that you can learn the same craft on (if you have the eye/talent) in a year or two. Once the industry goes through another radical shift (like the end of the studio system) and we lose the union/exec control, we’re going to see a very different way of making films. It’s only a natural human response to protect the way that “I did it” and how “I learned the craft”. A bit of narcissism mixed with hubris.

  • Film looks good enough on the current resolution displays. Once you get to 8K – which may be another decade away but it’s coming – anything mechanically recorded will have serious disadvantages on the movie screen sized displays.

    PS. Much like vinyl vs. digital or tubes vs. solid state, the new technology will take over most of the consumer and pro market, with the small circle of aficionados clinging to the old technology. (and I am saying this as someone who actually loves the old tube sound for certain types of music)

    • Not that I necessarily disagree with your point about 8K, but I know that in the guitar industry tube amplifiers are still largely prevalent at all price levels. In fact you’d be hard pressed to find a high end amplifier that doesn’t use “outdated” technology, primarily because tubes are full of nuance and character at the expense of being less accurate and more expensive than solid state (which parallels the differences between film and digital quite nicely, if you ask me).

      • actually, these days one van get a digital simulation of any tube sound for the guitar amp purposes … you can play any guitar into a modeling amp and it’ll come out sounding like any other guitar played through any other amp, as long as the program for that particular model is uploaded … (btw, I was actually talking about a home audio tube amp, which can still be found in a number of high end systems … for certain music at low to medium volumes, tubes sound great due to their soft/musical midrange … so if you’re listening to a jazz vocalist with a trio backup through a planar/ribbon/horn loaded speaker, tubes are fantastic … try to crank Judas Priest through a sealed enclosure and you’re SOL)

        anyhow, back to film vs. digital – one has to realize that the high end/pro digital cameras haven’t been around that long … first generation was HD at best and thus lacking in both resolution and color gamut visavis the film … Dalsa Origin was the first 4K camera and it came out only in 2008 … Alexa has been around for two and half years …. so, an experienced cinematographer, by this point in time, may have worked for 40 years with film and has barely a clue about digital … if you compare with my tube vs. solid state examples – the germanium based transistors came out in mass in the late 50′s but the silicon based audio gear only began to appear a decade later … the Woodstock sound design team used McIntosh home audio amps to power up the subs, hoping that only a small portion would fry in the open air … the modern type of acoustic reinforcement began for real in ~ 1971-72 when Grateful Dead, the Who and Led Zep got their multi-channel multi-separates setups … to cut the long story short, the digital cinema is at its infancy … a decade from now, film will be a faint memory along with the DV’s, Hi8, SuperVHS and alike …

    • Thyl Engelhardt on 07.11.13 @ 5:05AM

      Methink that audio media is an anomality that will not be repeated. Why did DVD Audio not take off? Weird. Vinyl is still there because CDs, at least for many people, including myself, exhibit a worse audible quality than Vinyl. DVD Audio would probably have replaced Vinyl for good.
      In the film industry, there are no hardware standards that prevent a next generation of technology to become successfull. Resolution, dynamic range, colour space will continue to evolve until there is no longer any reason for chemical film.

      • DVD Audio/Super Audio CD delivers resolution/clarity that is far beyond the capabilities of vast majority of home sound systems. For hobbyists, as you deftly put it, there are lossless formats available that are above DVDA or SACD. Presuming motion pictures will attain an 8K resolution within a decade, it’s highly doubtful a home theater market will be tempted to move beyond 4K regardless, as at CPD of 60 (retina display approximate), one would have to sit within two thirds of the diagonal screen size to fall under it. In theaters, however, 8K makes sense and that isn’t something (35 mm) film is capable of. In TV production, digital in general and 4K in specific is beginning to take over this summer, albeit with a bunch of scripted 1-hr dramas still shot with Arri Alexa in ~ 2.6K. (which is easier to upscale to 4K than 1080P)

  • vinceGortho on 07.10.13 @ 5:59PM

    Id like to see studios push for imax cameras like in dark knight. 70mm is breath taking.

  • Just watch “side by side” and you’ll hear some of the most acomplished DP’s and directors saying that there’s nothing like film just quite yet. Digital is growing further and further but hasn’t reached film ( 35mm ) capabilities let alone 70mm… film is the best there is, too bad that not everyone can shoot on it.

    • Well, again, allot of them are just going to, psychologically, side with whatever they are familiar with and what protects their careers. Digital production (not just shooting), once fully implemented, will upset allot of the industry and union practices.. causing job-loss/re-arrangement. Digital is also faster to learn on, and easier to get better results with less experience… siding with film preserves the inherent “elitism” of film and the process. I love watching movies like side-by-side… but there’s just something about the tone in their voices and the way they word their arguments… it doesn’t seem fully sincere.

  • Skyfall and the Alexa went a long way to push digital… First bond movie not shot on film. Film is great but red, sony, and arri are going to burry it (save for a few) in the next five or six years.

  • Film is not dead, it is just no longer relevant. For every film or TV show listed you could easily name 10 of equal or better quality that are being shot on digital. Anybody ever hear of the small show on HBO call Game of Thrones?

    Films primary strength lies in its archivability.Most major features will do separation neg of the final film, which I believe Fuji still manufactures, though I’m not 100% on that.

    Convenience will always win out, and Digital is convenient and cost effective.

  • john jeffries on 07.10.13 @ 7:48PM

    Film looks great, but RED, with old lenses and proper color grading, looks just as good.

  • Don’t forget, the only truly archival medium is film. A hundred years from now, when some one stumbles upon an old reel of film, they’ll still be able to capture its image.

    Good luck trying to read a Mac formatted hard drive, or MiniDV, or Betacam in 100 years….

    • Or you could transcode when you feel the need.

      Film actually degrades despite what people claim. You dig up a film shot in the 1913 and look at it now in 2013 and tell me its as good as it was then. Lucas when they did the Star Wars remastered editions said they were lucky they did it when they did as it was fading.

      At least digital we can transcode every 15 or 20 years. Who knows, its software. Why shouldnt we still be able to read prores in 200 years?? It shouldnt be hard for future hardware to handle the old software. Like an emulator.

      Film might not be dead but ceasing film camera production in 2011 definitely made it terminal. Personally I like the look of film too.

      • The film they were using in 1913 is very different to the film we have today. Nitrate film did tend to decay in quite a nasty way but the modern acetate stocks have an extremely impressive lifespan if stored in reasonable conditions. Anyway, high quality film archival is done on polyester film which has a virtually indefinite lifespan if stored properly.
        Large scale digital archival is complex and extremely problematic. Way more so than archiving on film. It’s not just a matter of transcoding from time to time. Hard drives are horrible long term storage mediums as they tend to fail often and need to be activated on a regular basis. Enormous amounts of data will need to be migrated onto new drives at regular intervals. Even SSD and SD storage uses a tiny charge which degrades with time (much faster than film degrades).
        Maintenance costs for digital archival become astronomical if you are trying to preserve a large library of films (we need to look past our own immediate needs and think about what will be best for film culture in general) over a long period of time.
        This preservation issue is such a serious problem. Whatever your views on capture mediums I think we should all be supporting film as the gold standard archival medium, at least until we find a digital storage process that is as straightforward, effective and reliable.

        • But the above is assuming that the digital archiving has no further technological advancements either.

          Meanwhile –

          “Washington, July 10 (ANI): Scientists have experimentally demonstrated nanostructured glass could record 360 TB/disc data capacity, has thermal stability up to 1000 degree Celsius and has practically unlimited lifetime.

          Scientists at the University of Southampton have, for the first time, experimentally demonstrated the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional digital data by femtosecond laser writing.

          Coined as the ‘Superman’ memory crystal, as the glass memory has been compared to the “memory crystals” used in the Superman films, the data is recorded via self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz, which is able to store vast quantities of data for over a million years.”

          From (but seen around the net everywhere)

          - http://truthdive.com/2013/07/10/Now-nanostructured-glass-allows-360-TB-disk-capacity.html

          • I take your point. I think technological advancements will eventually solve the problem. However, we need to be realistic about the current situation. That study you linked to is fascinating but seems very experimental. Only a 300 kb text file was recorded. I get that it is the process that is exciting rather than the size of the file written, but god knows how many years/decades this is away from being able to competently replace large scale archival set-ups, if ever.
            I’m a devotee of technology and I’m not rich enough to be invested in film and don’t particularly have an emotional attachment to it (although I do prefer the way it looks when it is done properly). Film is a technology too. A highly effective, time proven one. We shouldn’t forget that. For long term archiving purposes (especially of large libraries like the ones the studios and film institutes keep) I don’t see what the problem is with keeping film as the tool of choice until something demonstrably better is created. Why are people so eager to see film die?

          • I doubt people actually want it to die. I definitely see people hanging onto it through nostalgia. Its just a medium. I recommend everyone watching the documentary called Side by Side. I imagine most here have seen it but if you haven’t its very good.

      • Thanks Simon. I can’t help but get the feeling that some people see the death of film as the death of a system that was nearly impossible for them to break into. I can see why these people might feel like this but I think it’s misguided. And I think that if we loose film as an archival medium it will have horrendous consequences. I have seen Side by Side and it was very informative.
        I’d urge anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the archival problem the film industry is facing at the moment to read a series of blogs called Pandora’s Digital Box. It can get quite technical (and a little boring at times) but it gives a wonderfully detailed account of the rise of digital technology and the advantages and disadvantages that have come with.

        http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/page/3/?s=pandora%27s

        The post which concentrates most on archival concerns is: http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2012/02/13/pandoras-digital-box-pix-and-pixels/

        One part that really jumped out at me (sorry for the length of the quote) is…

        Speaking very broadly, with 4K scans of color films you wind up in the neighborhood of 128 MB per frame. . . . Figure that a typical motion picture has about 160,000 frames, and you wind up with around 24 TB per film. And that’s just the raw data. Now you process it to do things like removing dust, tears, and other digital restoration work. Each of those develops additional data streams and data files. We’ve decided, based upon our previous experience, that it is best to save the initial scans as well as the final processed files for the long term. Now we are up to 48 TB per film. In our nitrate collection alone, we have well over 30,000 titles. 48 TB x 30,000 = 1,440,000 TB or 1.44 EB (exabytes) of data.
        Weissman adds with a trace of grim humor: “And of course you want to have a backup copy.”

  • I worked on Dark Knight Rises, the upcoming Darren Aronofsky Noah and just finished working on Spiderman 2 all shot on film./ It seems more an more film than video compared to a couple of years ago. I love it.

  • It’s surprising that after a decade of digital production this debate is still going on. They are very different mediums and there are clear advantages to each, making it fairly easy to choose between them.

    Got a budget show with lots of VFX shots? Digital is a no brainer. Is cinematography a priority and can your show support a film workflow? Film is the gold standard for image quality , and will be for the forseeable future. People go on about all the new sensors coming out – how many have actually tested the new stocks from Kodak? They’re stunning. And we’re not even getting into 65mm.

    Film also has one paramount advantage that so far, digital hasn’t been able to approach: Skin tones. The entire image structure is different from digital.

    That said, I rarely shoot film these days, just because clients aren’t willing to pay for it, or I have VFX work. I love running around with my DSLR – no rentals, crew, etc, shooting whenever I feel like it. But I certainly wouldn’t throw away the film cameras.

  • Thyl Engelhardt on 07.11.13 @ 5:20AM

    This question must be answered from a scale of economics point of view that includes not only the movie/TV industry, but also stills photography. Until the early 2000s, we had a rising number of emulsions available. After that, due to the digitisation, technical progress stalled (more or less), the number of available emulsions decreased significantly, and also the number of companies producing film. Most here will probably be US citizens, and you might have missed the demise of Agfa Photo, Orwo, Ferrania, Konica or Foma.

    Reversal film is already more or less gone, with only Fuji producing some emulsions, and Agfa Gevaert offering an aerial reversal film. Next will be negative film. Here, Kodak seems to be the last man standing for movie film, and as we know, they will not survive their constant re-structuring. The last one to go will be black and white film, since these can be cast on rather simple apparatus, as it is just a single layer, even on a “hobbyistic scale”.

    Colour Film making is such a complicated process that there must be a minimum of stock produced. If that mimium is thresspassed, it is over. For negative film, I gues it will be about five years from now, somewhat depending on the global ecomomy, i.e. until which date also people from developing countries can afford to buy digital cameras.

    • This is it exactly. Far more of an economic issue rather than an aesthetic one. Hard to see Kodak supporting the overhead they currently have. Will be interesting to see if someone steps in to the vacuum, or purchases some of Kodak’s patents-

      I still have a few 120 rolls of Orwo B+W – have never seen anything like this filmstock, film or digital. No amount of photoshopping can get a similar result! Still trying to track this stuff down.

  • Motion pictures are 6 percent of Kodak’s worldwide capacity, and only 7 percent of their revenues. It’s funny that cinematographers have the false idea it’s up to them to decide the fate of film. The final fate of film rests in the hands of the dying manufacturers.

    • It’s the production that decides the medium its shot on, not the manufacturers.

      • For the moment that choice is an option, but as less of that medium is produced and with less processing facilities the production costs will increase. The economics are clear, film is dying-out. There’s just no arguing with the numbers.

        • I agree but I’m saying its in the hands on the producers of content, not the manufacturers. Manufacturers will always go where the money is being spent.

          • The original comment is pointing out that the money is not in film. And therefore even if producers decide to continue using film, it is not a large enough market to keep Kodak producing the film. They simply don’t make enough profit.

  • Given that everything goes through a digital intermediate, the origination medium has long ceased to matter as much as it used to. If you can use a digital camera to capture a sharp-enough image, with enough dynamic range — and these days, in most situations, you can — then you can apply effects to simulate any kind of stock you like. Assuming you want it to look like “film”, that is.

    To be overly blunt: “analog” is an effect you apply to your clean digital material to make it look crappier.

    Now, to hide in a safe place before someone attacks me with a film canister. :)

    • The original comment is pointing out that the money is not in film. And therefore even if producers decide to continue using film, it is not a large enough market to keep Kodak producing the film. They simply don’t make enough profit.

  • Said this many times but I would love to shoot something on film but can find nowhere near the right resources to get started in shooting with it. Wish there were more guides like the bazillion guides to shooting digital :)

    • john jeffries on 07.11.13 @ 10:49PM

      Go to your local film lab / post house and ask. Their machines rarely get used nowadays and im sure they will give you a pretty deep discount just so they can fire it up one more time

  • Thyl Engelhardt on 07.11.13 @ 11:12AM

    Maybe, there will be a time when we can choose among a variety of sensors with different colour characteristics, like nowadays with film emulsions. There are a number of different dyes for the colour filter arrays, and these will give different impressions. Why not have several versions of a sensor? TrueSense already affers three different versions of many sensors, e.g. Bayer, Sparse (one green replaced by clear) and monochrome. Why not offer a “Kodachrome” sensor, or a “Velvia” sensor? It mostly depends on price for the sensors, and on developing standards for sensor modules that are user-exchangeable, to make that feasible.

    • And Kodak’s engineers actually developed the digital sensor back in a day, and then stupidasfuck executives poo-poo’ed it in favor of “forever strong” celluloid… Look at them now, suffering. They could’ve been leading the slow but inevitable evolution to digital capture with all of their knowledge incorporated in “the kodak sensor(s)” with different film stock presets included… But noooooo.

      Well, no mercy for the losers. This is capitalism after all.

      • Thyl Engelhardt on 07.12.13 @ 2:54AM

        Given a good strategic leadership, Kodak might even have been able to establish co-existence of both media. A couple of years ago, they released a number of very interesting ink jet printers. They however spoiled it by having them produced too cheaply, and by firmware faults. But why did they not offer a version with a built-in scanner for slides/negative film? The main problem with film is quick accessibility. By simplifying the process from the negative to the print, a lot of people might have stayed with film, for its known advantages.

        Or take Kodachrome as an example. Why did Kodak not -using their existing mini labs for Kodachrome- set up a franchise system, were people could buy Kodachrome directly, via Internet, from the franchisee, return them there by postal service, and get low resolution scans of their images by next evening, followed (if ordered) by high-resolution scans and the slides via post afterwards? Only a high quality high speed scanner would have to be added to the processing queue in the mini labs.

  • Is 35mm motion picture film is being superseded by digital imaging sensors? Yes. Is film carrying the weight of slower, outdated workflow? Yes. Is film obsolete? Probably not, it is still capturing gorgeous images all around the world with unique grain texture and color palette. Is film dead? Still kicking, as long as it’s being manufactured and people are using it for real jobs.

    Nothing wrong with modern digital cinema, stop bashing it, film fanboiz and general “le softer warmer vinyl” luddites. Get used to it, digital is the future, plain and simple.

  • I don’t know if film is dead or not. what I hope dies soon is this discussion about it. Not only it’s boring but pointless.

  • David Sharp on 07.11.13 @ 3:50PM

    If film is to be preserved for the film maker’s “tool bag” then either the product cost or the service cost needs to be justified. If it is, great, if it isn’t then it’s just baggage for the sake of nostalgia.

  • I teach part time at one of those film schools still teaching film. Besides the quality of film, there is a discipline learned when shooting film.,where a lack of precision can get quite costly. I have my students shoot a scene with both the RED and super16mm then compare them in an edit. The differences are still noticeable, particularly in films ability to catch the liquidity of light, the wraps, sparkle etc. I hear that film is dead mainly from those who’ve never really worked with it. I typically gave a much easier time working with film, the original HDR, where I know what is going home. I’m with many others, digital can look great, film , done right, always will & can be retransferred later. Certainly digital has become the workhorse, but film still has its place. The thing I tell my kids is that they really need to have real film skills in place, prep like you’re doing film, to get great stuff to the screen. Digital has created a “ready fire aim” mentality that sinks projects. I prefer working with those who know film on the digital projects, life’s just mo betta that way.

    • Thyl Engelhardt on 07.12.13 @ 3:01AM

      Have a look at the Digital Bolex D16. Using CF cards for RAW recording in CinemaDNG will lead to discipline regarding the “stock” consumption.

      In the end, I would not be surprised if sensors would not be able to exceed the visual quality of film. There are certain physical givens that can hardly be circumvented. There are interdependencies between resolution and dynamic range, colour separation and sensitivity that seem to limit what is possible with digital sensors as well.

      In DSLRs, we already see a (more or less) stand still regarding resolution. Given the nature of Bayer pattern sensors, a 24 MP sensor might be equal to a slide film, and a 30 MP sensor to a negative film.

      • Well, the technology can acquire images well beyond the human eye’s capacity (infrared, X-ray, ultraviolet, etc.). Additionally, cameras with many sensors have been built for astronomers (and, I assume, the military in secret). Here’s one with 50 gigapixels (yes, with a G) designed at Duke University. It uses 98 sensors.

        http://www.pratt.duke.edu/node/3261

  • 8 Tracks hung around for quite a while too.

  • Something that I’m surprised hasn’t come up is no-budget filmmaking. Where I’m coming from, film isn’t even an option. So we can all argue until we’re blue in the face about how much better film is than video/digital, and there’s likely some validity to that argument, but as someone who couldn’t afford even 16mm in the 90s and later, the idea of just picking up a camera and shooting HD sounds pretty good to me.

  • David Sharp on 07.13.13 @ 3:40PM

    I remember Shane Hurlbut said at a conference the main reason why Kodak went into financial trouble in the first place is that they sunk so much of their resources into R&D on film stocks nobody was asking for, Rather than making their existing (best selling) film stocks faster, and cleaner.

    • He may have said that, but from what I’ve heard that’s not true. Kodak got into trouble by sinking a ton of R&D money in a new industry (printers) which was already being dominated. Their film division has been doing fine this whole time.

  • Ah, nostalgia. Maybe if our hearts are pure and we all concentrate at the very same moment we can transport ourselves back to the photochemical days, when PhotoMats were in many parking lots and local labs processed the nightly news film and projectors ruled exhibition and every edit room smelled of splicing cement . . . or we can wake up and smell the new century, which, for better or for worse, is about digital.

  • Kodak’s burn rate is more than $2 million per day. They are having a corporate fire sale, and trying desperately to get maximum value from the remaining revenue streams and assets. Their PR flacks will keep posting this stuff until the liquidators show up to auction off the office furniture.

  • Just a question for the analog cinema fans? What’s so special about filming analog, while the stuff has to be digitized after all todays for Postwork and Screening? Ana at the end it all gets being projected through a digital projector, nicely arranged in pixels, more or less flickering with the remaining information from the film grain (which can be imitated on digital camera material as well).

    • Asteroid_Death on 07.30.13 @ 11:36PM

      Given that the deterioration of viable industry in America has coincided nicely with the slow degeneration of our society it is no surprise that digital capture will one day disestablish film as the preferred medium.

      Shooting digitally allows more individuals the opportunity to produce derivative crap and believe they are saving money doing it.

      Skyfall looked like shit.

  • Nothing Beats Film! If your just getting into photography or cinema, or your getting bored with digital. You Must Must Must try some film. It literally changed my life… Like this guy says use digital for low light stuff its perfect. But nothing will ever beat film! It’s like Bob Ross turning in his easel for Photoshop or Windows Paint.You got to be nuts to call your self a pro Photographer or Cinematographer and not use film. You make all the effort to take a photograph and don’t go the very last mile. WHY!!!!