Top positive review
27 people found this helpful
Film vs. Digital -- Top Filmmakers offer their Opinions
on August 22, 2012
"Side by Side" examines the history of cinema, which has largely existed on film, and how the future of movies might change with the shift to digital cinematography. This is a documentary for anyone interested in filmmaking, cameras, or just people who love movies!
Almost everyone now embraces the digital methods of editing, postproduction, and color timing. It's only in the image capture that some filmmakers still prefer film. And with good reason - there are qualities to film that have yet to be replicated in digital. "Side by Side" looks at the pros and cons of going digital. For example, one obvious pro is that it is far less expensive for both the studios and independent filmmakers to shoot digitally because fewer resources are used and the day runs more efficiently (no need to change film magazines every 10 minutes). But one major concern is the storage of digital movies - there have been over 80 digital file formats over the past few decades, and most of them are already obsolete. By contrast, under the proper conditions a film print can be preserved for over one hundred years.
The documentary asks some of Hollywood's most respected and influential filmmakers to give their views on the film vs. digital debate. On one side, you have filmmakers like James Cameron ("Avatar") who are advocates of digital technology and want to continue to explore new tools that can be used to tell the story. On the other hand, there are filmmakers like Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") who think that film is still the most reliable format and produces the highest quality image, and would like to see celluloid remain a viable option in the years to come.
Other notable individuals interviewed include: George Lucas, Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Wally Pfister, Walter Murch, Lars von Trier, and Steven Soderbergh.
Martin Scorsese ("Taxi Driver", "Hugo") says it best when he says it should be "up to the filmmaker" - he believes that both options should be available to directors and cinematographers (and as someone who has used both formats, his opinion is certainly valid). Unfortunately, it looks like everyone will be forced to go digital at some point. All the major camera companies have stopped development of film cameras, and are now in production on digital cameras. And movie theaters are converting to digital projection at a high rate.
In my opinion, the "digital revolution" is very exciting and the technology is improving, but it would be a shame to see film completely disappear. Film has been such an important part of American culture over the last 100 years, and we should not be so quick to toss it aside.