Film and Video Face Off for Cinema Supremacy

The conquering of traditional film by video technology is a story whose outcome was perhaps decided years ago. But there remain the hangers-on who fight in the name of those grainy, flickering, celluloid strips. "Side by Side" is a documentary produced by Keanu Reeves (seriously) which examines the transition from film to video in the world of movies.

Hopefully it will serve to educate budding filmmakers on the important differences between the two mediums. And discourage the use "old film" filters always, forever, the end. [Side by Side via The Documentary Blog]

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I think Scorcese said it better, but I think there's a way to put it for non-cinema folks.

Film is a tool. Digital is a tool. Within those tools, you have other sets of tools that supplant those tools. Just like when you choose to use nails, you use a hammer or when you choose to use screws, you use a screwdriver.

A good craftsman knows which tools will work for which job. He recognizes the inherent properties of each tool, and knows which one to select. Maybe he'll choose film, if he wants to hire a crew and team that will knows how to work on film. Maybe he'll choose digital, because he knows he's on a budget, and would rather spend his budget on good people rather than film resources.

The perception of "better" is entirely objective. Both exist. Soon, one may not, due to economic factors. It's a little sad, since we attached so much magic to that medium, but all good things must come to an end, and even if film dies, good stories won't.

Who knows? Today's digital filmmakers may throw a fit when the Lytro technology makes it to cinema cameras, and we get the war between deep focus and selective focus cameras.

The fact that Scorcese made a freaking beautiful and awesome film in 3-D tells me it's all about the craftsman, and honestly? I'm more excited that we're getting a film where we get to hear a bunch of craftsmen talk about their craft, and the way they view their tools. It gives us better insight into them.