It doesn't matter if digital looks like film or not.

I would beg to differ that it is kind of the point- not as to why artists choose to work in film, but for why film may not be a choice for an artist anymore.

This issue with film's struggle to stay vibrant is that it is the entire process that is losing footing. It's not just the celluloid production, it's the chemicals, it's physical cameras, it's the processing labs, it's projectors, the editors, it's everything. All of these individual parts have to fight with the idea that much of what can be done visually with film, can be mimicked with digital cameras. Not just buy the companies that produce these things but that the artist that will be using them. And while I understand artists now can see the value of film and its physical differences from digital "film", I have a hard time believing future artists will feel the need to go through the processes of film or challenge an idea that they might need to.

Few young or new artists that I know have deep pockets. As these artists emerge and the cost (and hassle) of producing film increases (not to mention a somewhat long and steep learning curve with film) they'll turn to what they have access to and can afford. I have a hard time believing it will be film they turn to. It will most likely be the digital machine that most closely mimics film that can fit their budget (it probably will also need to interface with their stupid computer in some way).

Film is slowly losing it's most important part of the process- the artist's demand. Really to me it's not about what the companies do, what artists now do, or anything that has already been done; it's about whether the artists in the future are going to want film. And the idea that film can be mimicked, however correct or incorrect, might be exactly what hurts film's chances the most. And the idea is out there.

On Oct 8, 2011, at 7:34 PM, Pip Chodorov wrote:


the starting point of your logic is all wrong.

It doesn't matter if digital looks like film or not.
It is NOT film.

The debate is not about what digital looks like, or about what film looks like.
It's about what they are.
The nature of the material.
Artists work with those qualities.
Sculptors choose to work in clay, plaster, bronze, stone...
Moving image artists choose to work in digital or analog video, 35mm
16mm or S8mm...
they choose for a reason: the nature of the material and what they
choose to express through it.

This to me seems irrefutable and essential.

Whether or not corporations survive is another debate.
Kodak is only one of several corporations making film, including
three in eastern europe.
If one stops, others will have more orders.
Cameras are still selling like hotcakes on ebay so there is a demand
for stock to feed those cameras.
We'll see.

But the arguments should have nothing to do with comparing how the
media look like each other or not.
That's really not the point.


At 16:22 -0700 8/10/11, Aaron F. Ross wrote:
Definitely good points. However, don't forget that any film stock can
now be emulated, given good enough digital source material. As I said
before, the moment that HDR sensors become affordable, then celluloid
will be irrelevant. If you start with 20 stops of latitude in a
32-bit floating point color space, you can push or pull it wherever
you want and the end result will be indistinguishable from footage
shot on the stock of your choice. --

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