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Discussion in 'Industry News' started by dr5chrome, Oct 15, 2011.
I remember a professor telling me that film would be gone in 5-10 years. That was 1997. It's been about two years since I've seen a real camera at work (nightmare on elm street). I do mostly tv though. It's a bummer, the atmosphere on set isn't the same. We've lowered our standards and the public doesn't know the difference between home videos and film.
The subtitle of the article reads: "Major manufacturers have ceased production of new motion picture film cameras. Cinema as we once knew it is dead."
However they quote the founder of Aaton as stating "Why buy a new one [film movie camera] when there are so many used cameras around the world?"
I don't see the connection.
Also, from the Bolex site: "Today in 2011, BOLEX INTERNATIONAL SA in Switzerland continues to manufacture the legendary 16mm and SUPER 16 film cameras"
Among other things I'd blame that on y**tube and the lowest of the lowest quality that is fed to the millions there.
If you read the whole article the perspective is more nuanced. Film is simply fading to obscurity because intermediary steps along the way from shooting to viewing are forced into digital for reasons of cost. Also, digital is about to catch-up to film aesthetically, or at least mimic film entirely. It's not quite there yet to the discerning eye, but most viewers don't discern.
This is turning from an aesthetic issue into a financial issue. Entropy and depreciation will eat away at the installed camera base. As fewer film cameras are used less film will be needed. Less demand = higher costs both for manufacturing the film and processing it. Same for any new film cameras.
The burning question is: Will there be enough demand, and stabilized demand, including a continuous supply of cinema and photographic film cameras, to keep Kodak and Fuji analog film services operational? Investors and creditors will not put new money into declining demand sectors. So before all demand dries up from consumers or professionals, the money may dry up first, and the market capitulates. These are unforgiving times.
Kodak and film require a saviour like the fellow who rallied Leica. Someone with deep pockets and the skill necessary to consolidate, rationalize, and re-introduce the product. Film cannot compete with digital, so it needs to claims its own space. There's a lot of marketing power in nostalgia.
This has a lot to do with the labor negotiations 2-3 years ago. There are different unions covering film work and video work. When the video union signed a contract and the film people held out for a better deal, production companies saw that a lot of money in labor costs could be saved switching their productions to video. There was an almost overnight switch as you describe.
So, if that is the case, then what about The Digital Dilemma - http://www.oscars.org/science-technology/council/projects/digitaldilemma/
Here is the link to the pdf (in case You don't wanna reg on the OSCARS website to get it) http://www.artmob.ca/files/pdf-stc_digital_dilemma.pdf
Also, in the recent months Kodak seems pretty active on their Youtube channel, blasting videos and stuff..
..and this, from last year http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploadedFiles/incamera_july2010_digitalDilemma.pdf
The "digital dilemma" is not going to be solved by Kodak film. It will be solved, or rather, ameliorated, by digital means as opposed to photochemical and mechanical means. Many analog film reels decayed due to lack of adequate and costly storage. Frankly, the biggest threat to digital archiving is copyright. The mentality is still "vault" rather than "
I like Kodak's thrust about the positive side of film, and its economics. But Kodak does not make cameras. Nor do they own the motion picture screens in movie houses. Kodak ironically hastened the advance of digital steep in film processing to cinema with Digital ICE technology.
I think the fact that film has fallen off a cliff was inevitable, but in cultural industries we like to be romantics and always envision a soft landing buyer by dedicated enthusiasts and hobby industries. Sadly, there may not be enough demand for fill in photography or motion pictures to sustain any industrial roll or canister film manufacturing. There's a terrible inertia at work here.
film decays, if its not coated on polyester base (or stored in extreme conditions).
Have some faith!
The big players like Kodak, Agfa, Fuji are still playing
I notice a lot. I see compression artifacts even in "Hi-Def" images. I see banding and "mosquito clouds." I see macroblocking and halos and I hear distortion in the sound.
The upshot is that I just don't watch TV very much, anymore.
Then, again, I get mad at myself when I splice a movie together and I can see the splices on the screen.
i think others (non-photographers/filmmakers/etc) just don't notice or care. too many times i find i'm the only voice in the room complaining about image compression, improper color balance, changes in filmstock, royalty free sound effects, etc.
judging from their products the majority of media sources (tv, movies, print, etc) obviously don't care about lo-res or even poor quality reproductions of their images. if they did maybe the public would notice, or care.
then again maybe its about passion.
You're right - People no longer care.
I used to have a going joke with my boss at work. He was a mad Avatar fan, had seen it many times, thought it was the greatest movie ever made. As someone who really couldn't care less, I used to joke that I was going to wait until I could download it from the net and watch it on my iPod Nano......
The respective Audio/Visual industries spent decades and decades researching, developing and perfecting replay methods, only for people to compress and then watch on mobile devices. Its no longer about authentic reproduction and a quality listening experience, its about how many shitty MP3's you can fit on your iPod.
Digital distribution, as attractive as it seems, even at the most advanced projection venues is not all there yet. I've seen examples of DCP projection which involves the distributor sending the film to the theater on hard drive (way cheaper than shipping 35mm reels), and it comes with a code arranged between the distributor and venue that controls the location where the film may be screened and the dates. As easy as it seems this should be, there is often confusion around setting the codes, and there are new kinds of technical problems that are not repairable on the spot, like missing sound tracks or subtitle tracks, where the theater has to refund tickets to angry patrons. I'm hearing about more cases like this than problems with film, like reels being spooled upside down or backward or film breaking, but at least the projectionist can fix those kinds of problems. If you have a data error at one of the highly prestigious venues that can afford a DCP system, you're stuck.
I'm with David. You can stand by the projector and watch the film go through. You will instantly know whether your show is running right. If a problem develops you can see what's wrong and, with luck, correct it before the audience even knows. With digital projection, you have know way of knowing that there is a problem until after it has already occurred. You might be able to correct it. You might not.
If you want to screw up a person's filmgoing experience for the rest of his life, teach him about cue dots. I've had Workstudy students who were operators in my booth come back, years later, and curse me for ever teaching them about how projection actually works. Once they learn to watch a film critically, from the technical standpoint, it becomes natural to see the splices going through the projector.
If you really want to torture a person to death, you can teach them about CAP code dots.
The truth is that most people don't even see these things, much less any other defects or digital artifacts. Though I don't expect everybody to be able to analyze a picture as well as I can, I do expect people to be able to recognize a quality image when they see it. That's what frustrates me the most.
My father often found cinema-going a challenge. Most of the audience would be enjoying the movie, while he would be distracted by hard to detect emulsion scratches and slight variations in colour-balance as the film transitioned from reel-to-reel.
And when the theatre showed a print that ought to have been retired a few (or more) screenings earlier - it would drive him nuts!
All that from spending his days helping Kodak customers with, inter alia, their Single 8/Double 8/Super 8/16mm movies.
Cinema distribution will move to server farms at redundant locations with projection via remote operators. This is already in testing.
As a rental company, Panavision is committed to supporting our customers worldwide by providing them a wide range of camera equipment which includes film cameras. We continue to support our fleet of film cameras, and that includes ongoing major refurbishment, which in many cases means almost a complete rebuild of existing product. There is still significant demand for film equipment in many of our key markets, including studio feature film productions. So, while our ongoing focus is the transition to future products in the digital world, the implication that weve quit the film business isnt accurate.