Film vs. Digital in Filmmaking

Written by: Charlie Matthau

Summary: Learn why cinema has transitioned to digital.

Quentin Tarantino recently purchased and renovated the New Beverly with the sole purpose of showing 35mm films. Not too many films are shot on film stock these days; digital is the favored medium for most modern productions.

Film is certainly iconic, but digital is much easier to work with. Approaching producers for funding to make a movie on film stock will get you about as far as the production of Don Quixote. Here are some of the reasons why digital has far eclipsed film.

Going Digital

Digital offers a lot of freedom in post-production to attain a certain look. You can shoot something over or underexposed, then use digital post-production to highlight certain elements. You can also experiment a bit with hard or soft lighting because modern projectors display in true black, so shadows and tones look the way they ought to without a lot of complicated behind-the-scenes work.

Digital equipment is also inexpensive when compared to film, and a lot lighter. Cameras are getting smaller, mobile and the steadicam is a part of everything now. First time crews can pick up a cheap rental, a laptop and create an entire film in just a few months.

There is also a flipside to this explosion, which is that quantity has increased and quality has inevitably gone down. Not all new releases are bad, but viewers have become more discerning because there is simply so much to sort through.

Digital has made it easier to create, and to release films. The one thing that digital hasn’t changed is the need to market your film.


 

Bio: The Charles Matthau Company is best known for movie and television adaptations. Based out of Los Angeles, the Charlie Matthau Company will produce the upcoming show “Mexican High.”

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