Cinematographer Roger Deakins: If the Audience Doesn't Notice, You've Done Your Job
In this great DP/30 interview from David Poland, cinematographer Roger Deakins talks Sicario, when a DP has done their job, working with different directors, and whether 70mm makes sense if the general public won't see it projected that way:
As Deakins says in the interview above, the average person doesn't recognize that they aren't at a real border crossing in Sicario (the border crossing is in a parking lot and the rest was accomplished digitally). When asked by Poland, Deakins agreed that this means the filmmakers have done their job, when a shot is sold and the audience doesn't notice. If you want to see exactly what they are talking about, this BTS footage gives you a look at the set the Sicario team created:
As for Taratino and the showings of The Hateful Eight in 70mm, Deakins makes a great point. While Deakins likes film, he sees it as just another tool, and if you are going to make a film in a format that only a handful of people will see, who are you really making the film for, a selected audience or the general public? Watching 70mm in its native format is really something else, but not many are going to be able to see it this way. There is certainly an argument to be made that 70mm converted to digital will still give you a look you're not going to get digitally. That's likely what the Coen's are thinking, and why they and Deakins went back to film for Hail, Caesar!, a film that takes place in the 1950s.
Personally I like that Tarantino is trying to keep the format alive, but as the number of working projectors eventually disappears, will it be worth it when you're only showing the original format in only a few theaters?
Always great food for thought from Mr. Deakins. What do you think about Tarantino and the few theaters that will be showing 70mm?