The two questions that I regularly get asked are;
1. In this day and age why do some filmmakers choose to use film [celluloid] to shoot their projects and not digital?
2. If everything is going to be finished digitally, then why shoot film in the first place?
Both questions are related but are not easy to answer, the second question assumes that 'everything' filmed is being finished digitally, which isn't quite true as there are still many who finish their films photo-chemically and project them using analogue projectors, though digital finish has become the norm since the 1990's even when the film has been originated on film [celluloid]. So the question remains why shoot on film [celluloid]? The answer is complicated and not always easily explainable, many have tried to give structured responses, some are emotional, while some are practical, some say they use it because of the look of film, its aesthetics and claim films rich colours, textures and warmth all adding to an organic feel, whereas digital often gives a harsh soulless feel, others talk about nostalgia of film citing its archival properties, then there are those who perplex us with technical talk of films wider latitude over digital.
The simple thing is film is available and in many ways it's is much easier to work with and in many cases cheaper too. I know many will be thinking that film isn't cheap, no one really advocates film as being cheap, we always hear that it's expensive, well it isn't cheap; especially if we do a side by side comparison, film is expensive. So what do I mean when I say film can be cheap? Well in film and television productions the media used whether it is film or digital is only a small fraction of the total budget, the biggest cost is labour, not only talent in front of the camera but talent behind the camera. In an industry where people are usually paid by the day filmmakers need to be quick and well shooting on film allows that, working on film means a fast shoot [therefore cheaper], whereas digital shoots take longer and therefore cost more. In post production film is quicker too; film just looks good straight after processing even with a simple scan and without complex wizardry, whereas with digital a colourist has to spend [costly] hours making digital footage look good.
Writngs and thoughts on 'film'
I really love it and get very excited when younger filmmakers choose to use film for their projects, but I am not sure how I feel when people say they have chosen to use film to pay 'homage' to old school filmmaking, to me this suggests that 'film' / celluloid is no longer relevant for modern filmmaking. It's true that 'film' is not relevant for many of today's young filmmakers who are fed with incorrect information that everything is digital and many are becoming detached from seeing the whole picture.
Many say that film in the digital age is an aesthetic choice; personally I disagree with this view as I find film is more practical, economical and more affordable.. Unless given for free a RED or an Alexa camera Package, this includes the basic camera, cables and accessories, lenses and batterries will cost far more than renting a modern Super 16 camera package. The shooting time will increase and there will most certainly be more footage to edit and the xtra time is extra money. I choose to use film for many reasons;
1) Film gives you that authentic film look effortlessly
2) There's a certain way you work when shooting film, you are more decisive and more certain
3) High end digital systems are expensive to rent, whereas film cameras are very cheap, film can be expensive but it depends on your shooting ratio
4) Most of the time digital shoots take longer and therefore are most costly, especially in narrative film-making
5) With film you spend less time in the edit or with computers trying to 'fix' the images, digital images need a lot more work in post
On this page I will be putting together my creative writing, the stories that I have published and am currently writing.
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