Originally Posted by NetworkTV
Actually, Ansel Adams is a poor example.
He only shot large plate photos because 35mm was so poor in comparison.
Not to be sarcastic, but I sort of assumed this was common knowledge. Every photo of him I've seen has him using a full-sized camera.
He totally would have been all over HDR photography.
Perhaps, particularly in regards to digital processing.
People are often mistaken about his photography and use him as an example of "pure, unaltered photography" and as the case against digital manipulation of images. In fact, it's just the opposite: he used to do a ton of editing of his photos in the darkroom. Those that know his workflow intimately agree that he would have welcomed the modern digital tools.
My old film teacher met him once and said that he told him that he used to spend countless hours in the darkroom working on his photos' resolution, coloring, etc. Again, I assumed this was common knowledge. Even as a kid when I used to get 35mm developed for my parents back in the good old days, I noticed how it simply looked like you got what you got, and assumed professional photographers always used more time and different tools to achieve specific looks for whatever they worked on. Though it could just be that I find the image of Ansel Adams hunched over a computer screen using Photoshop intellectually abhorrent
Walt Disney would be another one in favor of modern digital cinema. He loved modern technology and used it in whatever way made the production better. The work of Pixar would have thrilled him. The thing is, he would have insisted on better resolution in digital cinema. 2K would not have passed muster for him. Good enough would not have been good enough for him. If he were still around, perhaps we already would have end to end 4K workflow.
Again, not hugely surprising. Disney was a notorious taskmaster. That being said, would he have welcomed CG animation over the cel? Obviously, it's impossibly to know, but given the technical innovations it offered, I guess it's a plausible theory. Certainly, in terms of the scanned resolution, yes, but again, maybe I find the notion of Walt Disney doing anything besides cell animation to be intellectually unacceptable
I'm not sure The Walking Dead's schedule would gain anything from digital. Their main holdup is the makeup and other on camera effects. Setting all that up gives plenty of time for film changes between takes.
If film dies, it'll be academic. Mad Men
already switched over, I wouldn't be surprised if The Walking Dead
As far as expense, I'm pretty sure all that outdoor and location shooting eats up far more budget than the cost of film verses digital.
I assumed it was the FX stuff which was the most costly part of the whole process. But like I said, if the price of film gets too high, they'll switch over to digital and it'll be academic
Originally Posted by Marc Wielage
No, Imax has never owned film processing laboratories. As far as I know, they're almost completely switching over to Imax 4K digital.
That doesn't make much sense, especially given that their camera still use film. Did they always simply outsource the distribution and developing and processing to someone else?
I like to believe there will always be a market for the old stalwarts like Spielberg, Scorsese, Tarantino, Nolan, and so on who want to hold on to film. But I give this 5 years on the outside.
I share this depressing buy accurate view
Again, the problem isn't so much getting hold of the cameras or the Kodak stock; the problem is processing the film, making dailies, and then creating a post workflow that works today. It wasn't so bad when there were four or five choices for labs in NY and LA and London; when it's down to one choice, that makes things much more dicey.
But if you're using a DI, aren't you processing everything digitally anyway?
I dunno about drugs (especially today), but I can assure you that the daily catering and transportation budget for a $100M+ film costs more than film stock. You have a crew of 120 people to feed and move around twice a day, that costs real money. I'd bet $50,000/day is on the low side.
God, I work retail in the suburbs, and someone came and bought some food recently which she said was for a "film set," probably a bunch of guys shooting on DVCAM, but even then, your "crew" has to eat!
When all the TV shows switched to film about 6 years ago, a fairly high-ranking producer told me all the cost savings got "absorbed" by the executive producers, essentially giving themselves a $100K a week raise. I heard similar sentiments from a couple of associate producers I know, and they griped that they weren't included on those raises.
Gee, look at that, there's a cutoff point where you don't need a bunch of people below you, and the guys above get a raise
Sorry, my inner liberal got loose for a minute there. 16 years of Catholic school have led to delayed teenage rebellion.
Originally Posted by Marc Wielage
Cinefilm in Atlanta did all the processing on Walking Dead (and a lot of other productions shooting in Georgia), and it was rumored a year ago they were going to shut down the developers. I think they rescinded that and do process motion picture film on certain days of the week.
Walking Dead looked a lot cleaner this past year and I could swear it was on digital, but I haven't been able to confirm it. The wideshots in 16mm are always a (walking) dead giveaway -- they looked as soft as crap. Medium shots and close-ups look fine.
I kind of like that softer, grainy 16mm look, it feels closer to the horror flicks they want to emulate. For now, anyway.
Mad Men looks absolutely dynamite, and a lot of that has to do with DP Chris Manley and the other fine cinematographers who work on the show. Matt Weiner also gives them the time and budget they need to light the show correctly, plus they take great pains to make sure the costuming, set design, and makeup are absolutely perfect. That's a beautiful, beautiful show.
I'm sure that since its become their critical darling, AMC have been willing to throw a lot more money at it too.
Note that digital is not necessarily that much cheaper than film -- it's more a question of speed and workflow compatibility, turning over 6 hours of material in less than half a day vs. an entire day. People generally didn't see film dailies until about 10AM-11AM the next day, but nowadays, they expect to see them by the end of the same day. And the DIT can hit a button and play them back any take from any scene right there on the set, which is not possible from film (at least with the same quality).
To think that there was a time when the monitors on cameras were considered revolutionary. I was born in a pretty amazing time.
One last quick comment: I've heard DPs complain that they're unhappy that the mystery of film has been eliminated because of the big digital monitor on the set. Before, the director would turn to the DP after a scene and say, "will that look OK?" And the DP would nod and say, "yes, we got exactly what we needed -- I'll show you in the dailies in the morning." And the DP would talk to the lab and they'd make it blue or bright or dark or whatever they needed, and it'd generally look great.
I've also heard some DPs say that as shooting digitally is different from film, even for some Oscar winners, it's something of a learning curve.
But with digital, directors want to see what it's going to look like right this second, and the problem with that is that now everybody second-guesses the DP. I've heard complaints that it kind of trivializes their work, because the DP understood what they could do in post to improve the pictures later on. This is further complicated nowadays by DPs being shoved out of the post process, where the director and producers start re-coloring and changing the composition of every other shot without the DP's permission or knowledge. It's become a political nightmare, this loss of control.
I have heard plenty of horror stories about this. Add to this the endless teal-and-orange fad, and the infamous color-timing issue which plague many home video releases because of the directors' arbitrary decisions (I'm looking at you, James Cameron and Michael Mann), and I think you wind up with a whole new can of worms. All of this new freedom must come at some sort of a cost-as Orson Welles once said, "the lack of limitation is the enemy of art." And this new power structure after 80+ years doesn't benefit everyone equally. Look at the hideous digital blood being added in and out to get the ratings to PG-13, etc. And lets be frank: the last thing that film needs is anything which diminishes the artistic power of the directors, DPs, etc, and gives more to the producers and studios, IMO. Film critic Mark Kermode actually interviews someone not too long ago who was badly burned because of criticism of his screenplay which had been completely changed by the director and producers to something which barely resembled what he wrote.
Having about as much practical knowledge about this issue as I do about human sexuality (none, in other words
), I can only go by what I've read. I've read a variety of defenses on both sides (Since my head is currently not full of enough worthless information
.). The resolution of 35mm not being equaled by many high-end cameras-Alexa, etc., the fact that most DIs are only 2K anyway, the warmth of film vs. digital processing, where the creative control begins and ends, the years of experience which come with celluloid, the storage issues, all of the stuff in Side By Side
, etc. But I think that the simply reality is that it'll eventually come down to a point where film can no longer compete financially with the workflow of digital, and that'll be the end of it
. I'd love to be wrong, but based on what I've read, there's a little too much truth too it to ignore.
Incidentally, part of this is also a completely selfish impetus on my part to see many films projected in 35mm or especially 70mm (Lawrence of Arabia
, and many others) which I'll never get to, and I personally find that sad.
On another tangent, my local AMC's recent "Classics Series" DCPs were majorly disappointing. The Ten Commandments
, apart from being shown on their most dingy screens, didn't look anywhere near as impressive as I'd have hoped, with some washed out colors and poor detail. Whether this was the fault of the projectors or not, I don't know, but it brings around another issue, which is that there isn't the time or ability to scan every single thing everything into a computer somewhere. If there isn't any 35mm projection, doesn't mean that there are an awful lot of films which will only ever be around as SD masters or DVDs or DVD-Rs?