Attack of the Digital Cinema

1141 Words5 Pages
While discussing the magic of movie-making, progressive film director Joel Schumacher once said, “The people who came before us gave the world new ways to dream, and I think it is our job to continue that and try to give people new ways to dream.” Since its invention in the late 19th century, film has enabled storytellers to create amazing pieces of art through a unique and visual medium. For more than a hundred years, filmmakers shot motion pictures exclusively on celluloid film stock. This lengthy photochemical process remained the gold standard in the cinema world well into the new millennium. However, in more recent years, a technological leap into the digital realm arose to challenge old film. For many years, critics of digital film predicted the fall of this new technology, claiming to be highly inferior to film in quality. Then in 2002, digital film pioneer and director George Lucas released Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the first full-length film to be shot completely with high-definition digital cameras. Despite failing in the eyes of most critics and fans alike, Attack of the Clones pushed the boundaries of digital technology in cinema while simultaneously leading to the possible demise of film. The method of capturing, developing, editing, and showcasing motion pictures was an extensive and time consuming task. Film cameras were cumbersome and loud devices, which allowed light into the lens that would then capture the image on the celluloid film inside. On set, camera operators and technicians would load the magazine with the film stock, giving the crew approximately ten minutes to film before the reel was full. Once completed, the operators had to reload the magazine, a process that could take an addition... ... middle of paper ... ... like Christopher Nolan still prefer to film on film, more and more directors are discovering the advantages of digital filming. The world of cinema is an ever-evolving entity, trying to satisfy the need of modern audiences. Martin Scorsese said, “One shouldn’t even think, ‘We’ve stopped and now we’ve reached digital. This is it.’ No, no. Think about where the entertainment impulse — where the need is going to go.” There are some filmmakers who still hold onto photochemical film as the everlasting gold standard as cinema, but the numbers of movies filmed on celluloid is dwindling. Whether film will be around in the future is still to be seen. In the end, however, it is about how artists tell stories and as director David Lynch remarked, “People love great stories. They like to get into a world and have an experience. And how they get there—it doesn’t really matter.”
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