Side by Side

Side by Side is a documentary that dives into the world of cameras and movie making. Keanu Reeves interviews some of the most respected directors and cinematographers to get their insight on the transition from film to digital. Film and digital are compared side by side The documentary also brings up a hard to answer question: is this the end of film?

Keanu interviews filmmakers such as James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and many more to talk about the evolution of movie making. They talk about the days of film and how it is the classic standard for how movies looks, giving it a kind of immortality. The directors also recall how they would have to haul around rolls and rolls of film and would ponder late at night about how the footage would be like while it was still being developed.

Digital cameras started off as a joke to some directors and cinematographers but many recognized the potential of it. In, the beginning many directors chose to use digital cameras because it was cheaper than film leaving more budget and freedom. Another benefit of digital was that it was significantly lighter and portable. This led to a whole new style of movie making. O brother where art thou was a major accomplishment for the digital camera because it was the first digitally color correction movie. The color correction done to O brother where art thou was used to give Mississippi a more “old timey” feel by changing the lush greens to a drier brown color. That was in 2000. In 2009 the first digitally filmed movie Avatar won an academy award for cinematography. Digital cameras became more and more refined such as the Red 1 and ARRI Alexa during this time. This is where I think digital overtook film and thus began the digital movie age.


3 thoughts on “Side by Side

  1. It is important to point out the Red 1 and Arri Alexa in digital filmmaking, it is the most innovative, respected digital camera in the industry and can only improve from here. In my experience, I have never worked with film and perhaps it is a dying art because I can’t picture myself working with it anytime soon. After watching this documentary, I’d like to work with it at least once for the experience.


  2. Hansen, I really dug your review! Super thrilled to see that you pointed out that the documentary was focused on the insight of well respected directors and cinematographers on the gradual change in the industry of film to digital. Even though film camera’s are no longer being made and the entire industry seems to be drifting to the use of digital cameras, do you think film will die out or perhaps still be used and cherished by film enthusiasts?


    1. Hey Clayton, thanks for the response! I don’t think film will ever die out but I do believe when it comes to the film industry digital has taken over. I think film will be used and cherished by film enthusiasts like you said but also taught in schools and for digital photography enthusiasts!

      Liked by 1 person

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