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Andrew Reid

Kodak celluloid film saved by studios - oh and by the way - what's the point?

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The only person being elitist is you, by thinking the medium they are choosing to use isn't good enough.

​Nah, I don't think that at all Willy. Clearly good enough for the past few decades.

Read the article again to get the gist of it better.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Long time lurker. A post that made me finally want to create a user name.

I'm all for digital and the freedom it brings to all film makers.  But I recently had a discussion with a colorist about this subject and he (proponent of film) said something that made me think about my thoughts on digital/film: 'If you didn't have to worry about budget, would you choose film or digital?'

I'd have to say at this point, I'd probably choose film (and only to shoot, not for projection.) But those days are definitely numbered.

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I wouldn't choose film, it would slow me down too much.

I wouldn't even choose a large complex cinema camera like the Alexa, again too slow.

I want to be nimble enough to get the spontaneous unplanned moments. I think it's vital and makes a much bigger difference to the end result than overall image quality.

Anamorphic on the other hand, makes digital look far more film like and organic. I would take that, but I wouldn't go so far as shooting film.

The Sony F35 and Digital Bolex proves that digital can ape the look of film very closely indeed. The F66 and Alexa shows that too.

I find the difference minimal at best now. Thus, those clamouring to save it are vastly overrating it and forgetting about the advantages digital brings to a shoot, creatively.

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I can see both sides of the argument here, I definitely don't agree with many out there that film is so much better visually than digital and that the gap between them is closing rapidly. However this is like saying now that you can paint a picture in photoshop/painter with a wacom tablet there is no reason to use real paint anymore. Paint is messy, expensive and takes time to clean up. Digital is quicker, you have far more freedom and options for manipulating it, etc... Working with film is an art form just like working with paint and I personally feel it is a real loss anytime any art form is lost. No matter what some say about why film is better than digital, I suspect deep down it is more about a love and respect of the art of film rather than love of the film itself.

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This special “filmic” look…

Give me a break.

It is like with wine tasting.

There are 2 kinds of film. The ones I like, and ones I don’t.

And even if there really WAS this filmic look…

Today, I would guess, 99,9% of all films are watched on TV or a monitor! And even in cinemas, there are digital projectors. So what’s the point, making the “ultimate” wine and mix it with cola?

But honestly, I don’t believe in ultimate film quality. Not, if I don’t see it. In the cinema, I don’t see the difference between film-film and digital-film. On the monitor neither. It is also funny, this idea comes from Hollywood, which is more the “fast-food’ of the global film industry. I would guess, in the last successful Hollywood films more than half is animated computer effects… So taking care of Kodak’s film is like McDonalds wanted to protect the ancient wagyu cattle… :-)

The Kobe-beef is premium, I can taste it. But I don’t see the difference between film and digital, furthermore, with the right software I can make a good digital image look like any kind of film. I do like music and I have a good Hi-fi system. Some years ago I sold all my LP-s, because they were not better than my CD-s. The person, who bought them, liked exactly the additional handling and caring with the LP-s, and found the scratches are a natural part of music. And I thought, what a wonderful word, everybody finds and pays for his preferences.

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This special “filmic” look…

Give me a break.

It is like with wine tasting.

There are 2 kinds of film. The ones I like, and ones I don’t.

And even if there really WAS this filmic look…

Today, I would guess, 99,9% of all films are watched on TV or a monitor! And even in cinemas, there are digital projectors. So what’s the point, making the “ultimate” wine and mix it with cola?

But honestly, I don’t believe in ultimate film quality. Not, if I don’t see it. In the cinema, I don’t see the difference between film-film and digital-film. On the monitor neither. It is also funny, this idea comes from Hollywood, which is more the “fast-food’ of the global film industry. I would guess, in the last successful Hollywood films more than half is animated computer effects… So taking care of Kodak’s film is like McDonalds wanted to protect the ancient wagyu cattle… :-)

The Kobe-beef is premium, I can taste it. But I don’t see the difference between film and digital, furthermore, with the right software I can make a good digital image look like any kind of film. I do like music and I have a good Hi-fi system. Some years ago I sold all my LP-s, because they were not better than my CD-s. The person, who bought them, liked exactly the additional handling and caring with the LP-s, and found the scratches are a natural part of music. And I thought, what a wonderful word, everybody finds and pays for his preferences.

​Never a truer word spoken!

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I wouldn't choose film, it would slow me down too much.

I wouldn't even choose a large complex cinema camera like the Alexa, again too slow.

I want to be nimble enough to get the spontaneous unplanned moments. I think it's vital and makes a much bigger difference to the end result than overall image quality.

Anamorphic on the other hand, makes digital look far more film like and organic. I would take that, but I wouldn't go so far as shooting film.

The Sony F35 and Digital Bolex proves that digital can ape the look of film very closely indeed. The F66 and Alexa shows that too.

I find the difference minimal at best now. Thus, those clamouring to save it are vastly overrating it and forgetting about the advantages digital brings to a shoot, creatively.

​I'd probably choose film for most creative projects... I'm sure there are a few instances that i'd use digital for (low light, tight quarters, etc...) I'd probably choose digital for most docu-style shoots, if budget didn't matter.  But budget always matters and I'm sure I can find a better way to use the money I saved in film processing and transferring.

I'm happy that digital leveled the playing field and glad that film is still an option.

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Budget always matters and I'm sure I can find a better way to use the money I saved in film processing and transferring.

I'm happy that digital leveled the playing field and glad that film is still an option.

​Yep.

There are better ways to waste money :)

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I've never specifically worked with film or done comparisons to digital, but here's the impression I get from reading posts by those who have.

Digital has certainly caught up in terms of resolution. It appears to be caught up, or at least very close, in terms of dynamic range. A long time Achilles heel of video.

Where I think digital might still fall behind is the richness of color and the color science itself. The "mojo", if you will.

Which is why specs and charts never tell the whole story. 

Not saying I agree with it because I don't really know, but I do wonder if film is still king in this regard? Anyone who worked with it want to chime in?

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I'm an old salt. I've worked in film most of my professional life, primarily in labs (gigantic and small) , post-production and editorial. The past fifteen years, I've been in film restoration. I have literally seen and handled hundreds of millions of feet of film in my life, dating from the early 1900's to, well, negs shot just a couple of years ago.

In my work, we use traditional photochemical and digital technologies hand-in-hand. There are things digital can't possibly achieve, and things traditional photochemical processes choke on that digital wins as undisputed champ. And I LOVE my digital tech. I'm no luddite.

In the end, though, I feel posts like this one (and on other blogs) re: the film issue are an exercise akin to arguing how many angels can dance on a saltine cracker. Or, to put it more directly, "You can't argue taste." It's a tool in the arsenal, just like why someone would shoot video with an 8-bit codec at 720P. Because they can/need to/like to. Right tool for the job. Everything else is academic. If YOU, the media creator, make the format choice that you believe is correct from an aesthetic, technical and budgetary standpoint, so be it. You are the artist. If it is to be 4K HFR 3D, great, if you want VHS, okay. If you want film, rock on.

As to the dated, anachronistic aspects of the film medium, I agree it can be frustrating, unwieldy and time-consuming. I also happen to think performing live music with a band is a pain in the butt just for the sheer aggravation of moving a truckload of instruments, cabling, amps, etc. around, setting up, tearing down, but I would never advocate trashing it all for a keyboard and sampler just because it is cheaper, more convenient and "is just as good."

Just one man's opinion...

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How do you shave? Do you do it oldschool? With a brush and a bit of soap? An actual fancy bladed razor like back in the day or at a barber? Do you do multiple passes? Listen to a bit of jazz music in the background, taking your time? Dry up with a nice warm towel and finish with a splash of after shave with a slight alcohol burn? Does the routine comfort you? Does it clear your head? Does it keep you focussed? Did your years of shaving like that give you skills, making you hit that perfect clean shave everytime, without any skin irritation or cuts?

It might take a bit longer, but there's something familiar, something comforting, something true and perhaps even romantic, about shaving like that.

You could argue that it's quicker to take an electric shaver and go at it. Facing that blinking LED telling you the battery is out of juice... hairs clogging the apparatus, the aggravating noise. There's hardly any comfort in that, nor is it romantic. But it gets the job done, probably quicker and just as effective...

What I mean is... maybe people just feel more comfortable shooting film, not even so much for the result, but because of the process. Because it feels right for them to do it that way and because of that they're able to give it their best. And who's to say which is better? I think it's a cool thing film is still around. Not that I would use it myself, but it's craftmanship... it's skill... and I'm just glad that there's people willing to keep that alive.

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"The fact is when Shane Hurlbut recently tested a modern Kodak film stock he found digital more emotionally pleasing in every way. The fact is that the modern film stocks are more clinical than the older, discontinued ones. Yet most people don’t see it that way."

First time posting here. This site is wonderful resource. I agree with a lot of you have to say, but I can't agree with this one.

The film example looks like boyhood the C300 looks like a commercial spot. The film literally makes the talent look better. How could you or Shane find this to be a better image. I think you're fumbling here, because you focus on the specs on everything. You zoom in on 4k images and dissect every aspect of a camera. 

If you're on the pro level, and you can get 95 percent of the quality with digital, you will probably still choose to shoot film. 

What are your opinions on the different guages? 16mm and 8mm certainly capture a very unique look. This doc shot on 16mm looks beautiful in every way. It just seems more believable to me. I watch so much commercial stuff shot on the 5D, this is such a nice break. If you have the money it seems like the way to go. Obviously different tools for different jobs. 

https://vimeo.com/49445992

I still feel that video with a film effect, still looks like, video with a film effect... 

 

 

Film_Digital.png

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Aren't all digital films transferred into film to preserve them? Digital preservation doesn't last. 

I personally can't wait for Star Wars to return to Film, the most recent Digital Star War films were visually totally lacking in character.

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Agent Provacateur, that Andrew Reid.  "Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One" is one of the most honest, beautiful films I've ever seen -that captures life and what happens on and off set so much better than any other movie I've ever seen. Shot in 1968 on the Eclair to film stock. I have never seen another movie so similar. It's not flim that's limits Chris Nolan, it's Chris Nolan. Memento was a wonderful film.

 

A lot of Dogma '95 films were shot on film. As Shane's test shows - film has perfect motion - has a certain softness and sharpness that feels natural, not cold or clinical. It renders highlights better - shadows better - tungsten stock much better - richer colors. Film is still the best. Until a digital camera comes out that is superior, I still will love film. It's a struggle - it's a pain in the ass. But sometimes doing things the easier way is not the better way.

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I wouldn't choose film, it would slow me down too much.

I wouldn't even choose a large complex cinema camera like the Alexa, again too slow.

I want to be nimble enough to get the spontaneous unplanned moments. I think it's vital and makes a much bigger difference to the end result than overall image quality.

Anamorphic on the other hand, makes digital look far more film like and organic. I would take that, but I wouldn't go so far as shooting film.

The Sony F35 and Digital Bolex proves that digital can ape the look of film very closely indeed. The F66 and Alexa shows that too.

I find the difference minimal at best now. Thus, those clamouring to save it are vastly overrating it and forgetting about the advantages digital brings to a shoot, creatively.

​F35 looks like film? You have to be joking. Honestly this latest article comes across as really arrogant. Why?

Directors 'clamouring' to save it are 'vastly overrating and forgetting'. Tell that to hoyte van hoytema, a wonderful cinematographer who clearly chooses film for many projects because it LOOKS DIFFERENT! Not because of some romantic notion. Why do you have so little respect for these artists? How much have you shot 35mm film? Film isn't slow to use, one of it's great benefits is it's FASTER not slower. I haven't yet seen a digital movie with the look of The assassination of Jesse james, or The Master. If you can point me to a single digitally shot movie that looks like these please do but until then the fact is that film looks different.

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not totally sure how to jump into this conversation, but have some thoughts

classic film (like Dog Day Afternoon, let's say) has a real charm I think that is at least very difficult to recreate. if you want that look for your project, I'm not sure you can really get the colors or feel just right - though maybe something like Koji is good for that (haven't tried it could be terrible, and really guessing it's not amazing since it's so cheap and unknown). I'm guessing that type of film though has actually been dead for a long time (THAT'S the real shame) since film has been heading towards more accurate colors etc - really today's film-films do look the same as digital to me.

even crappy digital looking classic film like United States of Leland has some seeerious charm that again is gonna be very difficult to recreate in certain situations. guessing that was filmed on like a teeny ccd, which I also want to remain as an option for filmmakers

people making their projects "look like film" makes sense to me more as like a way of not being so transparent - I don't want to know you're filming with a Sony because of the freaking weird colors, I don't want digital to hold you back from whip pans with some terrible rolling shutter - really a mechanical shutter whip pan is the most beautiful thing, and I notice rolling shutter issues all time, even global shutter in not as good as mechanical shutter (which I realize both are options with digital)

Wolf of Wall Street combined film and digital (an ARRI - no whimpy machine) and I think it was usually insanely obvious which was which. they tested extensively beforehand and found film to be better for sure, using digital just for greenscreen, low light, and shutter speed effects (don't get me wrong, those are impressive wins for digital)

maybe we can just forget film and fully embrace the high quality digital that we have, as long as it's not painfully over-graded.

I WILL definitely want to work with film at some point, even though the capabilities and price of digital right now are a godsend.

idk, pretty much I'm on board with Andrew, might as well always use digital, but - "what's the point?" - it should be an option. I realize you added it should stay an option, but I mean.. THAT'S the point. film is awesome.

Just some ramblings. keep on keepin on, Andrew and other filmmakers here!

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Always amazing when clueless people pretend to know something - actually sad. Red flag came up when I read: "I wistfully remember the time when a full days work could be ruined by a piece of hair or dust or the youngest person on set zipping up a bag incorrectly?"

OK, the author quoted somebody because he himself probably never shot film. But quoting nonsense like that is enough. Like, how many 'files' were lost by the 'youngest' person on set deleting the files on the wrong card or overwriting....?  Answer: a lot! Where I live, gates are/were always checked religiously and if there was something - well, shoot it again.

But that's actually besides the point - the point is that people with no experience talk about things....they know nothing about. 

 

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