So far as getting shown and known, it seems to have been a mix of knowing the right people and sheer determination. With the scale of work he does he's backed by galleries who take on the production role of funding the project, so building up to that level was simply a matter of working hard for years and making good work until the galleries believed in what he was doing. Building relationships with people and institutions is clearly part of that.
And his explanation for the shift from film to digital was simply because it suited his process of working better - not being able to see the result straight away has always been a real problem, especially considering the complex mix of of natural and introduced lighting in a lot of photos. If you don't get it right, working with twilight and a massive team of people, you're screwed, basically, and no amount of work in post-production will ever fix it. He said he wont go back to film.
The latest body of work seems to have been about downsizing the scale of how he does things. They were all shot straight, nothing was added in post, and printed at a fairly small size compared to his previous work. Nothing to do with resolution, it was just the right tool for the job for him.
He seems to be reluctant to talk tech over concept and content, which frankly is how it should be, but he's more than capable.