Kodak announced recently that they would continue to produce 35mm film - this is good news and here’s why...

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  • Comment number 20. Posted by Matth Stil

    on 27 Aug 2014 23:03

    Exactly: choice. I'm not against the digital revolution; it's a fine tool, particularly in terms of picture quality, but what I am against is digital becoming the only method available to shoot a movie. For their own personal reasons some filmmakers - including many of the greats alluded to by the Doc - prefer celluloid, and if we don't want to see them thrown in the towel, celluloid must be perpetuated.

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  • Comment number 19. Posted by FoolishBoy

    on 25 Aug 2014 21:09

    The nice thing about taking pictures using celluloid is that when light falls onto the film, it is exposed according to the amount of light or dark hitting a region of the frame. With digital, someting entirely different happens. If the viewscreen on my digital camera is capturing a darkened scene, the shadow areas don't emit a constant level of light. The pixels are having a problem determining what the image should be at x and y. They literally "broil" over the affected area. It's like quantum effects are assigning different values to those darkened areas several times a second. The result is darkened areas have distinct fuzziness leading to a coarse-grained distinctly digital look. I know my 12.1mp camera is not exactly cinematic, but the problem just described will plague all digital cameras whatever the make. Projected film means the light passes through a medium that itself has dimension: the thickness of the film will possess optical properties that create that look film has when projected. Digital devices just project off a light-emitting surpace. The process is completely different and nothing you can do will make it look any different.

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  • Comment number 18. Posted by Peter Hewitt-Dutton

    on 25 Aug 2014 14:23

    I don't think I could possibly agree more with you Mark. I have recently got in to a number of ill-advised internet 'debates' on the subject, it amazes me the opposition to this, to maintaining this vital choice for filmmakers. My opinion is much the same as yours, I've worked on some small scale, low budget films, which have all been digital, and that format allows that kind of cheap film making. But I think all those directors I worked with, given the choice, would have wanted to use 35mm.

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  • Comment number 17. Posted by Arch Stanton

    on 21 Aug 2014 20:47

    eerie@14

    It's all subjective to a certain degree. However, like the digital standards today, film stocks had been constantly evolving throughout the decades and Heathers falls slap-bang in the middle of the era where stock manufactures, like Kodak and Fuji, had started churning out cheaper and 'faster' stock than they'd previously be able to up until that point. Consequently, many of the feature films shot during the mid to late 80's were prone to relatively poor image quality when pushed, compared to those shot prior to or after this period.

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  • Comment number 16. Posted by 6oclockman

    on 21 Aug 2014 00:22

    Mark, I think you underestimate the threat that digital poses to 35mm. If there isn't a unified effort to either protect film or to invent a cheaper way to manufacture it, then digital will replace it entirely, the same way that silver will turn into rust. Going along with the idea that film is good for simply nostalgic reasons doesn't help matters, because there's much more to be said for it. For a century, film has not simply been the method by which we enjoy cinema, it was cinema. Cinema never existed until photographic film came along. They were born at the same moment, and if we don't take this digital takeover seriously, then they will die at the same moment.

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  • Comment number 15. Posted by WSV

    on 20 Aug 2014 22:09

    I suppose all technologies are eventually superseded when demand for them dries up. Digital will only get better as 4K has become 8K and then 16K and on, while new young filmmakers won't know or be trained in anything other than digital.

    One interesting aspect of film vs digital is in the moviemaking process itself. With tradition film a director has to wait for the daily rushes to be processed over night before seeing the raw results of the previous day's shot, as apposed to the instant response from digital cameras. This change must have an enormous affect on the working practices and mind set of the director, and so therefore be a major influence on the creative decision making process.

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  • Comment number 14. Posted by eerie

    on 20 Aug 2014 21:25

    I think nostalgia clouds this discussion. I like the idea of 35mm. It's film, it's real, it has a definite stylised look, it's a chemical reaction and process rather a load of 100111010111011000s, but, having just got in from seeing a 35mm print of 'Heathers' at the BFI, I have to say that good quality digital is a step forward in terms of quality in virtually every aspect. Yes, the 'Heathers' print was 26 years old, but there was a fair amount of damage to the film, there was a fair amount of judder, and sections where the colour had been compromised. I love the idea of film, as I have said, and I hope there is always a place for it, but it cannot match contemporary digital for viewing quality, and that, at the end of the day, is what counts.

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  • Comment number 13. Posted by goodfella2459

    on 20 Aug 2014 17:48

    I was happy when I heard this news. I hate digital to be perfectly honest, but I do see its conveniences & benefits. I'm not against people using it, or want to see it go away, but I just do not like the quality much, & think it has an artificial look which turns me off.

    Now, I have seen some excellent looking films shot digitally, such as Hugo or Zodiac for instance, but I much prefer the quality of film. Again, I'm not against digital, although while I dislike it, I just like the option for people to use whatever they want.

    What I don't like, are the digital advocates that throw out words like "luddites" & "nostalgia" towards people who prefer film. I am passionate about still photography, & primarily shoot on 35mm. Although I do find the quality of 35mm to be superior (I do also own a digital), a lot of the experimental multiple exposures I like to do are actually easier on film, look better & the process is just more convenient. On my digital, I am only limited to 3 shots (as a multiple exposure), & only have 30 seconds to do it before it cancels out. To overlay images in post is more time consuming, takes a bit to load images & can only be done two at a time.

    So its not just the look I prefer, but the process. I find it fascinating that light enters the camera & creates an image onto a strip of celluloid. I love the challenge of having to be precise, & not to waste shots.

    I'm assuming the filmmakers who champion film also enjoy the process, not just the look itself. There is certainly a warmth to it that digital hasn't got.

    I can also understand the benefits of digital projection, but at the same time, 35mm projection is also a craft of its own. I have seen some classic films in a theater, projected on film, & they were amazing experiences. It would be nice if theaters (& there are some though), that can do both.

    Sorry for babbling. Its just I'm passionate about 35mm & while I do not like digital, I am glad that there is a choice for filmmakers to use what medium they prefer.

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  • Comment number 12. Posted by paul c

    on 20 Aug 2014 16:35

    While I'm really happy to see 35mm film still being made and used by such directors such as Quentin Tarantino, David Yates (Harry Potter), JJ Abrams et al I'm saddened to see that the 70mm format is all but extinct. I saw many 70mm presentations back in the day at various cinemas and was always blown away by the sheer size of the picture, pin sharp picture quality and amazing deep multi channel sound, magnetic stripe rather than optical sound, as found on most 35mm release prints. Many of the large cinemas that had 70mm facilities, such as the Empire Leicester square for an example, have removed their 70mm projectors and this wonderful format will soon only be able to be seen in specialist cinemas such as the Pictureville cinema at the national media museum in Bradford. If you've never seen a film projected in 70mm on a 65 / 70 foot wide screen you may have missed, for me, the best possible way to see film projected. Sadly the roadshow cinemas that used to show the format are long gone and now digital is king and has been widely adopted by exhibtors for it's cost effectiveness, the chances of seeing a 70mm release is all but dead.

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by anniemouse

    on 20 Aug 2014 09:42

    Is there a marked cost difference between film and video.

    I was having a chat with someone the other day and we were of the opinion that guitar music sounds better on analogue. Her gripe was seeing bands live, then hearing their recordings and being shocked at how the fire from the music is missing.

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