Roger Deakins on Digital vs. 35mm

Discussion in 'Misc. Films' started by dark_b, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. dark_b

    dark_b Well-Known Member

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    OMG this was a big suprise. :wow:

    it looks like digital cameras are becoming good enough

    http://www.slashfilm.com/roger-deakins-digital-35mm-im-ill-film/

    he technology and how it’s changing and the possibilities that are coming. This film Now, I’m shooting on a digitalcamera[​IMG]. First film I’ve shot digitally, because, frankly, it’s the first camera I’ve worked with that I’ve felt gives me something I can’t get on film. Whether I’ll shoot on film again, I don’t know. [Shooting on Digital] gives me a lot more options. It’s got more latitude, it’s got better color rendition. It’s faster. I can immediately see what I’m recording. I can time that image on set with a color-calibrated monitor. That coloring goes through the whole system, so it’s tied with the meta-data of the image. So that goes through the whole post-production chain, so it’s not a case of being in a lab and having to sit and then time a shot on a shot-by-shot because this has already got a control on it that’s set the timing for the shot, you know?

    Am I nostalgic for film? … I mean, it’s had a good run, hasn’t it? You know, I’m not nostalgic for a technology. I’m nostalgic for the kind of films that used to be made that aren’t being made now.

    The grain is unique, but on this film Now that I’m doing, I’m probably going to add grain for certain sequences where I feel that they would benefit having grain, just the look and the texture of it. Yeah, there are certain things about film emulsion that I love, and for certain projects, absolutely. I would certainly consider shooting film again, but you can add grain to a digital image. And, frankly, it’s not the technology that makes the great movies. I mean, if you went back to see Citizen Kane and you looked at it on a big screen and you looked at the quality of the image, I mean, frankly, some of it is not very…well, good’s not the right word, because technically it’s not as sharp. Some of it is very grainy. The lens quality is not as good as modern lenses. But…[Laughs] it’s still a better film than ninety-nine percent of what are made today. So, you know, it’s not just about technique and equipment.
     
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  2. mclay18

    mclay18 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I saw the trailer for In Time and I had no idea it was shot digitally until now -- it looked completely like 35mm. Same thing with Drive, it looked wonderfully filmlike but it was also shot on the same camera Deakins used for In Time.

    Like Deakins, there's a certain quality that true film grain embodies so well, but it looks like digital is now equivalent to shooting 35mm. I was against digital because some of the more earlier films (or the DPs using crappier cameras) looked like home video -- like large chunks of Date Night. That movie is a primer in how not to shoot digitally.
     
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  3. Rocketman

    Rocketman Well-Known Member

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    Date Night and Public Enemies are probably the best examples of how not to do it.

    Zodiac and Social Network are solid examples.

    I still prefer film, though.
     
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  4. Ultra Lantern

    Ultra Lantern In Darkest Night!

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    It doesn't matter to me.
     
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  5. Mandalore464

    Mandalore464 New User

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    They're two different supports and both have advantages and drawbacks.

    I'm kind of tired of the so-called elite cinematographers only praising film for its qualities when the only real argument they have, and they wouldn't dare to reveal, is that they don't think digital worthy of them.

    Those saying film has more latitude are wrong. But it has a better rendition of highlights. Those saying digital has a greater latitude are wrong. It has a better rendition of shadows.

    Both supports offer chanllenges (although from a purely logistical point of view, film is indeed more difficult/expensive to handle), but let's not fool ourselves, there will come a day when digital will overcome film in every aspect. A cinematographer should be able to shoot on film AND digitally.

    I can't believe how many of them still prefer to blind themselves to the "terrible" truth. I have nothing but praise for Wally Pfister's work, but his stance on digital reveals his lack of foresight. And there are still an awful lot of people who give credit to his arguments only because his work on film is mindblowing, even though being good at what you do and being right about what you don't do are two completely unrelated things.

    /rant
     
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  6. JAK®

    JAK® Upstart

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    The qualities of film are actually flaws that we've learned to expect from the medium, and now we can't live without them.
     
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  7. moviedoors

    moviedoors Well-Known Member

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    Analogue has a way of being pleasing when its pushed. Like if you're recording on two inch tape, hitting the tape with a slightly too hot signal is pleasing. The way the analogue magnetic medium of tape lends clipped signals even harmonics is pleasing to the human ear. Clipping a sound source on digital leads to obnoxious odd harmonics that grate the ear. They've got their give and takes.

    But I'll still take a DAW over the 2-inch reel-to-reel and a Canon 7-D over a Arriflex 16mm.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  8. dark_b

    dark_b Well-Known Member

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    Deakins is doing Bond. i hope he is again using digital.
     
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  9. matrix_ghost

    matrix_ghost movie fan

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  10. terry78

    terry78 I hanker fer a hunka cheese

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    Hey, everything goes the way of the dodo at some point.
     
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  11. Tacit Ronin

    Tacit Ronin Well-Known Member

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    It's like having a normal looking girlfriend and then suddenly you get the chance to date Charlize Theron. You almost reject it because of her flawless-ness.
     
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  12. Carnotaur3

    Carnotaur3 Well-Known Member

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  13. Mandalore464

    Mandalore464 New User

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    That doesn't mean ****.

    Cameras that were manufactured 40 years ago still work as if they were just out of the factory. Even if they really stop being produced, films will still be shot on 35mm for years.

    And I also wouldn't be surprised if, in say 2075, somebody resurrected the format out of nostalgia and as a homage to "old school" cinematography.
     
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  14. Doctor Jones

    Doctor Jones It's All One Story

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    Eh, this is the future. Film will always be there. I love film too, but people who want to hold onto it to me feel like it's just based on tradition. But I have no problem with this change if a film looks like Fincher's using the proper cameras. You need to get people who know their ****. Which will be difficult when this evolves. It's going to result in a mix of results.
     
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  15. Mandalore464

    Mandalore464 New User

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    100% agree.

    Some people speaking against digital just sound like they're merely lazy to start from scratch and find out new inventive ways to use tools they don't know a lot about.

    Digital is in constant evolution, and I'm talking on a daily basis. Everyday, people come up with new or bettered tools, that will eventually bring us things film was never able to bring us.

    Cinema has always improved faster than any other art. 110 years ago, it didn't even exist. 5 years after its creation, people like Méliès were already finding new innovative ways to bring strange worlds to life, people like Griffiths were inventing cinematography grammar and editing...

    And today, we have entirely CGIed characters who can look just as real as their flesh and blood counterparts.

    If anything, I'm excited about what the future of cinema holds for us.

    Go digital.
     
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  16. mclay18

    mclay18 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. The only time people should be worried about 35mm being phased out completely is when Kodak and Fujifilm stops producing film stock for either shooting or positives for traditional projection.
     
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  17. dark_b

    dark_b Well-Known Member

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