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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Digi hoo haa - not a new idea! Leave it!

The NY Times had an article today by Scott Kirsner (who does the CinemaTech blog) about the use of digital cameras in movies. Scott knows his stuff as his blog is always a spot on read. But really, shooting on digital or on film - who cares anymore? Most people, people like my mum, assume they stopped using film years ago. After all her shift from super 8 cine film to mini DV seems a distant memory.

But people do care! Big people, in New York and in Hollywood, they care about this! But to me its not even a debate. It is a movement that is happening that you can watch and join in on if you want to. Some people shoot on digital, some on film. There is no link between financial success and format for either side. So it comes down to picking the tool that is right for you.

If I had these five 'digital new ideas' in front of me:

  • Digital access (YouTube etc)
  • Digital compositing and access to tools (eg Apple Motion / After Effects at home)
  • Digital marketing (blogs / funky websites / word of mouse)
  • Digital cinemas and digital theatre distribution
  • Digital Shooting

I'd put them in that order of importance to any new film. Its more important that you understand and utilise (if you want to) any and all of the top 4 before the 5th. They all will effect the success of your film to a much greater degree.


OnMeJack said...

I remember an interview with Sophia Coppola regarding 'Lost in Translation' and how her father had recommened she soot on digital becuase 'It's the Future' but she chose film becuae 'Its more romantic'

which within context counts as using it as a tool.

Its a bit like the debate about HD, until the camera, the distribution and the tv reciever all match up the potential can't be achieved, but even then its academic if the material isnt actually any good.

(cue swipe at Lucas for focusing more on Digital film making then on film making)

Tim Clague said...

Exactly. And as end users its how we receive material that will always interest us more. Joe TV doesn't care that it was shot on HD but he does like to buy an HD (ready) TV.

Tim Clague said...


Amazon will start a movie download service next month. Again - a bigger impact than shooting on digital or film.

OnMeJack said...

I was wondering considering if i understand it correctly your distribution plans for Circumference. Have you written about, and if not your thoughts on, the failures of Soderberghs 'bubble'

Suki Singh said...

In terms of cost of your production, the main cost is what is in front of the lens: the actors, art direction, lights, props etc. This is what really costs the money.

S16mm & 35mm Film is already HD, it has always been a high quality image. HD televisions just means, you see the quality.

Now vdeo is still trying to catch up, it's finally HD (Still, loads of diffrent types of HD out there), well done to the little brother who still wants that film effect, grade and look. Has film ever tried to look like video, no, coz it looks shit. It's always the other way.

HD is just another trendy word, like GTi or ZT for cars.

I watch it if the there is a great story, that process is still the same.

I watched HIDDEN and THE LOST HIGHWAY, both share the same premise, both are strange in their own ways, but shot in diffrent ways and one is film, one is video. See what you think. To me there are a alot more reason a film works or not rather than the format.

Digital outputs in various forms, fine, I'll go with that.

Until you have shot on film, been through the process of the TK and On-line, you'll never know the beauty of it. Only then you can compare.

Long live FILM.

Tim Clague said...

As you know Suki I always like to stir stuff up. So when miniDV came out I shot a lot on Super 8. I guess I just like causing trouble!

With regards to Bubble I think that there is still room for that model (if its for a film you want to see). Why not get a DVD when you go to the cinema. In fact - why don't they give you a poster at the least! £8 to get in - and no poster. What the hell.

Circumference is a slow burn sell - rather than a one-off launch sell. There is room for both but for inde films you must have a big window of sales. One offs work for big films. Bubble isn't a big film so thats why it didn't work. They just matched the wrong film to the wrong new method.