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Thread: In defense of 35mm

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    Default In defense of 35mm

    According to this article http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-12/f...tal-Hollywood/ late last year Michael attended a private screening of footage from The Dark Knight Rises with several other top directors, upon which Christopher Nolan took to the stage and made a plea for them to fight for their right as filmmakers in choosing film or digital as their weapon of choice at a time when 35mm is under threat to be phased out. Michael of course has spoken on this issue in favor of film.

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    Senior Member Flyingheart's Avatar
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    Ppff so much to read, i'm on iPhone now.

    Look, i liked 35mm but you have the filth and hairs that fall in between these things and they get projected onto the screen. Sure it gives you that nice nostalgic movie going feeling but it also bugs you at the same time, if you ask me Hollywood should only think about one thing and that is:

    What will happen to the digital hdd's when a electric-pulse-bomb falls in the area, will the digital version be destroyed?
    If so, then every movie needs to have at least 10 or more back-up 35mm film rolls to preserve the history of film.
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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    Long live 35mm! May you live long and prosperous like Vinyl records

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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    Fantastic article.

    I had the opportunity to see two movies these past couple of weeks, one projected on film, the other digitally. I hate to say this, but I had a much, much better experience with the one projected digitally. Crystal clear picture with no scratches and blotches, no shaking, etc.

    That doesn't mean I haven't always had a bad experience with movies projected on film. Some looked absolutely crisp and beautiful, others looked like utter crap. And that's the problem, the experience varies with movies projected on film. With digital, you get the same quality every time.

    But, I'll still all for movies being shot on 35mm film.

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    Senior Member Albershide's Avatar
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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyingheart View Post
    What will happen to the digital hdd's when a electric-pulse-bomb falls in the area, will the digital version be destroyed?
    And what if a Nuclear bomb is dropped? Then both will be destroyed.

    Back on topic - to be honest every time I go to see a movie in my theatre I always first look for digital screenings. The clarity of the picture, the colors and the amount of noise of the digital is best suiting my taste. And the ease of use of digital cameras really will make the 35 mm film obsolete in the next few years. At least for a whole movie shot on film. But sure there are some movies that are meant to be seen on film.

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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Albershide View Post
    And what if a Nuclear bomb is dropped? Then both will be destroyed.

    Back on topic - to be honest every time I go to see a movie in my theatre I always first look for digital screenings. The clarity of the picture, the colors and the amount of noise of the digital is best suiting my taste. And the ease of use of digital cameras really will make the 35 mm film obsolete in the next few years. At least for a whole movie shot on film. But sure there are some movies that are meant to be seen on film.
    I'm quite the opposite; I will go out of my way to see real film projected and will only watch digital as a last resort.

    It looks better than it used to, but blown highlights and crushed blacks are still the norm.

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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    And now there's a documentary devoted to the debate:

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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    Thanks for posting DNN, will Michael be in this Docu?
    When i Transform i release rockets with nanobot-viruses that destroys you from within... the fuel inside you will turn into acid, metal will melt instantly...
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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    I don't think so, at least he isn't noted among the featured talking heads.

    As Scorsese says in that trailer, it's up to the filmmaker how the difference matters. Kubrick once advised that a director should learn all he/she can about photography; all the other skills of filmmaking can be acquired through experience, but you need to begin with an understanding of the camera. I don't know if Mike was familiar with that quote, but he certainly seems to have taken it to heart.

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    Senior Member Flyingheart's Avatar
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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    I think 35mm should stay..

    I think 35mm should be a option if you want to make a movie with a authentic feel to it like if you want to shoot a movie with the theme in the past like like say before the year 2000 you use 35mm and for the years 2000 and up you use HD.. or just use 35mm in general for using footage that takes place in the past.. so 35mm for the past and HD/3D for the present and future..
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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyingheart View Post
    I think 35mm should be a option if you want to make a movie with a authentic feel to it like if you want to shoot a movie with the theme in the past like like say before the year 2000 you use 35mm and for the years 2000 and up you use HD.. or just use 35mm in general for using footage that takes place in the past.. so 35mm for the past and HD/3D for the present and future..

    Sorry but that just sounds ridiculous. It's easy enough now to add after effects to digital/HD footage to make it look and "feel authentic" - perfect example all those stupid instamatic effect apps for digital camera and smart-phones

    Sometime's artists just prefer to stick to old school methods to get their style or message across. Another great example of this (not video related but still worth mentioning) is the Foo Fighters last album that was entirely recorded on tape! Dave Grohl said that he wanted to make it all about the music and the over produced, auto-tuned and edited/mixed down digital BS you hear on the radio. It pushed him and his band to get their performances perfect when recording to tape. It's too easy now to produce music and videos on a digital format and forget what it's really about - talented producers, directors, musician's, artists etc creating real magic on traditional formats.

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    Senior Member Flyingheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Majestic

    Sorry but that just sounds ridiculous. It's easy enough now to add after effects to digital/HD footage to make it look and "feel authentic" - perfect example all those stupid instamatic effect apps for digital camera and smart-phones
    You just gave a good reason why 35mm should disappear.
    And that thing with Foo Fighters is only good for music not the film industry.
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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyingheart View Post
    You just gave a good reason why 35mm should disappear.
    And that thing with Foo Fighters is only good for music not the film industry.
    How? Please explain oh wise one.

    Just because you can add after effects to digital film to give it that grainy old school film look doesn't mean traditional forms should be phased out. As a musician i hate the fact that every man, woman and child with a PC/laptop and basic audio mixing and creation programs not thinks they're a DJ/producer. It takes rare talent to create something real and original and not sampled from someone else's work. This will eventually happen with the film industry. Digital HD camera's will drop in price and soon everyone will think they're a movie director and producer and flood the market and online communities with cheap, tacky "movies"

    The Foo's example also relates to this topic - some movie directors and producers may still prefer to work with 35mm rather than digital formats. With digital you can easily edit and add effects to it, with film most producers and directors would push for the actors to perfect their scenes to avoid wasting 35mm celluloid film, time and money. Look at how James Cameron made Aliens, most of the special effects shots were done in camera and with minimal post production editing. It gave the movie a fantastic feel by pushing the SFX teams and actors to deliver product and performances that hit the target and delivered a movie experience unlike no other (at the time of release and hard to beat still to this day - when compared to some of the over hyped, CGI filled, over/under edited crap that we see today)

    I always have and always will support traditional formats like 35mm video, 35mm film still cameras and vinyl records.

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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Majestic View Post
    Just because you can add after effects to digital film to give it that grainy old school film look doesn't mean traditional forms should be phased out.
    I wholeheartedly agree with this point. It's kind of sad to see, this adapt-or-die mentality, being forced by the business side of show-business onto the artistic side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Majestic View Post
    As a musician....
    Most of what follows, I feel, devolves into the same judgmental us-vs-them snobbery typical in practically every industry. Why get so worked over apps? It's besides the point "in defense of" something so subjective anyway, as the everyman/hobbyist considering themselves pros, which I highly doubt they do, (let alone making an unlikely career) solely on iMovie or Instagram (or whatever), really shouldn't be a threat to anybody who let's their work do the talking. As if there were no "crap" 35mm films. Or pressing "crap" music on to 45's, and so forth.

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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    I see your point, what I meant is original/traditional music/video production made from live recordings vs sampled/copied/over edited forms of music and video - using apps and after effects as opposed to experimenting with raw equipment and their settings.

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    Post Re: In defense of 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by dnn View Post
    Kubrick once advised that a director should learn all he/she can about photography; all the other skills of filmmaking can be acquired through experience, but you need to begin with an understanding of the camera. I don't know if Mike was familiar with that quote, but he certainly seems to have taken it to heart.
    I recently saw an old documentary about Kubrick on YouTube. Well, I listened to it while editing a digital work. I think he was a camera tester for the army or worked with one at some point before going into movies. He was a photographer first. Michael Bay was also a photographer first. An award-winning photographer (but come on, if you won the county fair, you can call yourself award-winning).

    But learning about the camera alone isn't going to help you figure this out. SLR's and DSLR's have the same mechanics. The optics and lenses follow the same rules. So it's down to image quality of the medium during capture.

    As per film or digital, I've never worked on film, but I've dealt with the limitations of digital (DSLRs) and say shoot on film! Mathematically, it makes sense to shoot on film because you can get a larger range of exposure. Film absorbs light logarithmically, while digital absorbs light linearly. That is, image and color will only *degrade* when over- or under-exposed on film, while it will cut-off (disappear) on digital. It's extremely frustrating trying to find a balance between not clipping highlights and underexposing most of my shot.

    However, I haven't used the top-end digital cameras, and maybe you can avoid clipping if you use a larger bit-depth and higher data-rate to capture the light information. Also, film is limited by the physical dimension (or standard) 35mm. Eventually, camera designers will make digital sensors that are larger than 35mm, getting better image resolution, but it will be like 70mm film - a rarity meant for landscape photography and IMAX documentaries, and the linear exposure limitation will still exist.

    It's a lively debate. But when it comes down to it, it's really up to the director's BUDGET. If you have a top-tier D.P. with top-tier camera equipment and film stock, then you're going to get a better quality image than any top-tier digital. But unless you're blowing shit up Michael-Bay style, or shooting entire movies under candle-light, or on very "dark" nights (pun intended), you don't "need" film. And unless you're a Hollywood studio, you can't afford film. (Plus, I've seen some crappy images in Michael Bay movies from sloppy exposure in limited lighting, so it's not like film is perfect.)

    Right now, tens of thousands of film-makers exist because of digital video, and for everything but theatrical release, a good HD camera is "good enough". You just got to be MORE careful to properly light and expose your image on digital, and use a higher bit depth when you play with exposure in post.

    I do like the digital revolution though. It's nice to have a camera that can auto-focus for you, track faces, rack focus at the touch-of-a-button, and optically stabilize the image for you, as well as shoot continuously for long durations, and fit into tiny spaces. And run pretty much silently. I don't think film can do all that.

    Lastly, I haven't read the article yet, but is Nolan talking about losing the option to shoot on film? What the hell is that bullshit? There will always be film stock, or some boutique outfit that will sell it. If you want to use film, buy it. And pay for the expert who knows how to use it. Otherwise, deal with it like the rest of us who can't afford to shoot on film.

    It's economics: IMAX went digital because there wasn't a market for shooting on 70mm film and they went bankrupt. They re-designed their business to focus on digital projection of up-res'd 35mm images instead of continuing to manufacture 70mm film cameras which no one bought. A digital copy of an IMAX film costs no more than the $200 hard drive they put it on, but to copy and ship three reels of 70mm film for the same feature costs like $5000, and they have to be moved around with forklifts because they're five feet in diameter! (I think a 35mm copy of a typical film is like $2000 but much smaller). The cost comparison is telling of the capture format. Buy a $200 HDD and shoot on RED, or spend thousands of dollars for the equivalent film? Then consider how much footage is shot on film that never makes the cut? It sucks, but that's the way it is. Nobody wants to shoot on film anymore, and soon there won't be a compelling reason to pay ten times more for it.

    And if a nuclear bomb goes off, a digital copy of The Dark Knight should be the least of your concerns.

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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    The movie Side By Side is getting some good reviews, can't wait to see it.

    The other issue is that of archiving. We've all heard the horror stories about crushed cans and half of all films shot before the 1950s lost. But at least with film you do have the original negative that exists as a physical object. With digital, well we all know the issues with changing formats, and we've all had that horror of losing family photos saved on floppy discs.

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    Default Re: In defense of 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by dnn View Post
    Kubrick once advised that a director should learn all he/she can about photography; all the other skills of filmmaking can be acquired through experience, but you need to begin with an understanding of the camera.
    There are two type of great directors... either a director is talented in cinematic storytelling - thats where you need the understanding of paintings and photography. Or a director is an "actors director" like Elia Kazan. Everything in between is experience.

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