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Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ----Bowie----, Feb 13, 2006.
It' s just not going to happen. Film has SUCH high quality that it won't be replaced for another 50 years in my opinion. HD may be the future in video, it won't replace film in Feature Films.
Wasn't starwars episode II and III filmed completely in digital?
Yeah and those star wars videos looked terrible.Look at the first ones that were film originated. Much better.
I don't think the medium is the source of the problem in the two newer ones.
That said, I don't think it will take 50 years for digital to match film in quality (in most areas), at least in 35mm (motion and still). It's not quite around the corner yet, but it's also not too far off. That doesn't mean film will be standing still. Today's ISO800 film (okay, talking still here, but the same principle applies I'm sure) has grain similar to that of ISO (or rather, ASA) 100 of years ago. They keep getting improved, even though Kodak/Fuji/whoever's left know digital is taking a good chunk of their sales.
I have a feeling for cost effectiveness, digital may make it's way into the mainstream in the near future, and already has. Machael Mann has already begun experimenting, first with Collateral, where the externals were doen all with a Thompson Viper, and now with Miami Vice in the same vane. But there is a feel with film that is unobtainable with the certain drawbacks of digital, such as set resolution, harshness with overexposure, poor low light, so on. So film in an art form that will not soon die, but coexist with digital for years to come. IMO.
I don't think film will ever go away completely, but it's use will become rare. Kinda like how occasionally feature films are still shot in black & white ("Good Night, and Good Luck" for example). Film will stick around for a while if for no other reason than all the time and money that companies (and individuals) have invested in film equipment and work flows. I think it will be 10-15 years before the big "watershed" moment happens and film really gets displaced by video. Even though "HD" has a lot of buzz surrounding it it's still in a teething phase.
Sony is Already There
I think video will be crossing over to digital sooner than later. It will not only help reduce costs, but it will also speed up production once the right technologies have been worked out. It will probably be like still cameras are now...Most professionals have gone digital, at least the ones working in media. Its just much more practical and becoming extremely high quality.
I believe that I heard Sony Picutres had "officially" stated that they will never make a movie in film again. So with that said, I think the crossover has begun...Its just a matter of time until the majority of production companies switch over.
well that red cinema camera is a giant leap in the digital direction...
What's your definition of "sooner"? "Attack of the Clones" was released in 2002 and since then there have only been a handful of big feature films shot digitally.
Currently HD cameras do not mimic 35mm film cameras very well. They can be very separate beasts. They require different support personnel and hardware, different lenses, different shooting styles, different lighting, different make-up, different set design, etc.,. It's not just one person deciding to replace their film camera w/a digital camera. It's the entire production industry that has to decide to learn a new skill set (or at least heavily augment their current skill set).
The new Superman movie is being shot w/a new type of digital camera (the Genesis by Panavision) and I think the success or failure of that camera (both on the screen and behind the scenes) will be a very pivotal. If the experience w/the camera is overwhelming good then I think the move to digital acquisition will keep moving on at a slightly accelerated pace. But if working w/the Genesis was a PITA then it will just reinforce the stereotype that digital is just for the "little guys."
By sooner I mean less than 20 years....in the past 6 years there has been over a 700% increase in digital still image quality. Since the HD boom just started a few years ago and now becoming the big thing, I would predict it is not going to take 20 years to exponentially increase digital video technology. At least I hope not.
As far as the film cost, the low percentage of overall production cost is a very valid point. However, shooting digital, editing digital and distributing digital would save a significant amount of time, which is worth a lot. I know its not there yet, but I think it will get there and it will be a good thing.
Digital will absolutely replace film for mainstream Hollywood. It's only a matter of time. I'm guessing in the next 15 years, after most movie theaters have upgraded to digital projectors.
It's inevitable. Just like still photography, where all the pro's are now using dSLR cameras. They work perfectly, and the advantages far outweigh the cons. The same will happen with digital cinema replacing 35mm film in motion pictures.
Of course, those Digital Cinema cameras will still cost a pretty penny. Just because it's digital, it doesn't mean it'll be cheap.
Do you have a similar problem with audio recorded on anything other than a record, or perhaps a phonograph cylinder?
Film is dying a slow death.
HD is much cheaper, sharper, and easier to work with, and it is getting better ever day.
Not to state the obvious, but the biggest difference between digital video cameras and digital still cameras is the fact that digital video cameras take many pictures at a time while still cameras take one at a time. Building a camera system that is small enough to use, yet powerful enough to handle the insane data rates is the problem right now. The camera Lucas used for Episode 3, the Sony F950, can have a data rate of up to 880megs per second. IIRC at that data rate the camera has to dump directly into a RAID of HDD as there is no way to record it to tape. And the F950, while being the top end HD camera, isn't even one of the "film replacement" cameras like the Genesis or Thompson Viper FilmStream. Once solid state media becomes fast enough, cheap enough, and big enough to handle these huge files then that will be a very big hurdle crossed by digital acquisition.
Several mitigating factors
There is so much involved that would take too long to go into here.
1) Distributors do not necessarily like digital because they know it will cut into their piece of the pie. Filmmakers could essentially distribute content themselves.
2) As someone mentioned, the crews are different for HD and film. Right now, there is not enough qualified people to shoot HD for films consistently. Plus, film crews need time to transition. Much like editors who had to transition from Flatbeds to AVID.
3) Cost appears cheaper for digital, but sometimes it is actually a minimal difference because of the added cost in post.
4) HD features are still transferred to film because theaters do not have projectors. This is another battle for monetary reasons.
HD will supplant film. When is hard to say. With more established filmmakers taking the plunge, the process of transition will steamroll. At the same time, the technology continues to improve. Either the filmmakers or companies such as Sony can and will dictate when and how soon the change will happen. Once the studios and prod.companies start seeing budget lists from other big name features shot on HD, they will start shooting more films in HD.
I think you are right to say that film is dying a slow death.
But you are very wrong to assume that HD is cheaper or easier to work with. Sharper, yes, but that really depends on the lens used (and sharper isn´t neccesary better)
In general, HD requires more lights than film due to lesser exposure range. (More fill light is needed)
You also need an extra person to work the technical side of the camera, to do the in camera set ups.
I assume you haven´t shot on both film and HD?
I do have a LP collection, but I listen to CDs on iTunes/iPod 99% of the time. I also use 35mm for still photography, and I have no plans on switching to digital.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not an old man stuck in his ways. I'm 18 and for some reason i prefer the old analogue mediums.