Has digital technology finally reached a point where it just may sound the proverbial death knell for film? Digital seems to have taken over as the preferred way to make films due to many factors especially the new equipment, particularly cameras, that can bring added depth and emotion to any film. Some directors are shooting in digital while others stay with film. It is the digital tech, however, that is changing the very fabric of the industry.
Perhaps the major advantage to filmmaking in digital is the cost. While many of the veteran and long time directors would rather shoot in film, it tends to be so costly that it seems a rare studio that will allow it anymore. In addition to being expensive to use, film cannot be reused. If at the end of the day, there isn’t any footage at all that a crew can use, then an entire day of production has been lost. The costs, of course, are increased as the cinematographers have to take the time to develop the film. Shooting with digital means more productive hours for less expense and waste.
One huge area that digital has a proven advantage is in the realm of post production. Special visual effects is where digital has truly proven its use. Prior to digital, placing visual effects into film was a true art form. The precision and the time it took was enormous. Now, the visual effects can be created and inserted where needed and can generally be done in the same program. Current software lets an editor simply piece and fit together scenes while working on whole swaths of a film. Not only has digital had a huge effect on visual effects but digital has revolutionized audio as well. Now, with a high def digital file, the movie going audience will never miss a sound of the action or a word of the dialogue. It makes for a film that comes together smoothly and where an audience will be hard pressed to be even able to see where CGI was even used.
With digital, too, multiple cameras can be shooting the same scene so a director can decide on the angle that is just right with the steady cams being able, many directors feel, to draw an audience in so that they are truly intimately involved in the scene and the story. It allows directors to save time because they don’t have to stop and re-shoot the same scenes from different angles.
Independent filmmaker have gained because of the digital technology because they can now distribute their work in multiple directions and to multiple channels especially YouTube. Just about anyone can become a producer and a director with a digital camera, and great idea and readily available distribution channels. The Indie’s can simply publish or use the digital platforms as means to raise money for projects while the major studios release trailers that can get up quickly and attract huge and immediate audiences.
So, it does appear as if digital tech’s time has finally arrived and here to stay for a very long time. While there will always be those who will always love film, it does seem as if the tech line has inched forward a few miles or two.
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