In the news
By now everyone knows that Slumdog Millionaire is a massive success. Clearly, a little image noise didn't get in the way of a truly wonderful story. If it wins Best Picture, that will really be something. It will be the first digitally acquired motion picture to ever achieve that accolade. Can't forget Benjamin Button either. Shot on the now seemingly antiquated (unfairly so) Viper FilmStream. 2 out of 5 nominees this year are digital films. Every feature that has won best picture thus far was shot on good old celluloid. And truthfully, there still is nothing like it. BUT I'm a digital devotee. I absolutely love film but I don't really want to shoot on it. I just really like the digital workflow and all the challenges that go with it. It's such an immediately malleable medium. I love being able to paint with light and camera settings at the monitor. By now everyone knows that this is where the business is going. But is it...?
Take a look - 2nd one down. The Republican Party has gone through the stimulus plan and pulled out line items that it deems wasteful. According to the CNN report one of them to be singled out was:
"A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film."
246m to buy film stock. Hollywood had a great year but apparently they can't afford celluloid anymore so they're about to get a massive tax break so they continue the practice. How many Hollywood features can be shot with 246 million dollars worth of film? I don't know but I'd like to. This is extremely interesting to me. Features acquired digitally have proven themselves at this point. There isn't nearly the resistance there was 5 years ago. I think if Button or Slumdog (fingers crossed) takes the prize this year it will mean even more features will go digital. That is unless they get free film.
more on Slumdog.. Not only is this a mostly digital feature but it was acquired with a somewhat experimental camera system. I think the SI-2k Mini is very very cool but you've got to admit, it's a pretty radical departure from your typical cinema camera. It looks like an SLR with a cable hanging off it leading to a drive in your backpack. Seriously, that's a pretty unique way to shoot your feature film. When I saw the film, I couldn't help but notice the sensor noise. This is what I do for a living. I can't turn my eyes off. It didn't really take me out of the story but I still felt it was a shame that such great images were tarnished by it. I don't know if this was a problem that was compounded in the film out or what... Maybe it didn't. Maybe it was intentional. If anyone knows, let me know!