Unbeknownst to many people that frequent the cinema, there has been a quiet batle going on about the way film entertainment is being brought to the masses. What used to be an industry full of many specialized jobs and limitations in a walled off studio has now become an industry that can be accessed by all. The reason for this is the invention and evolution of digital film. Side by Side takes a look at the traditional ways of film production and the path that modern film production is on. There are many people from around the industry that give their opinions on the change which largely boils down to preference of celluloid film vs digital film.
What comes into conflict with the more “purest” film makers of old. The threat of digital film comes from availability and transfer of power. To create a professional movie used to require many moving parts from start to end. Highly complicated equipment requires highly trained individuals. Expensive film stock requires expensive processes to have it developed and distributed. Delicate celluloid requires delicate storage and preservation techniques. It seemed that many of the arguments FOR celluloid film was for nostalgia purposes and to feel special.
Digital throws all of that out and allows even the youngest of kids to become praised film makers. It allows anyone with a story and digital camera of some type to make a film from anywhere in the world. It allows many new stories to be told, many new movies to be created, and in many new ways. The movement of a pro-digital world doesn’t deal with the filming of movies exclusively, but also the editing and sound that goes with it. What used to be a long drawn out process of guessing and checking things can now be done real time. It rids film of human error both during filming and post production screening.
To be honest, the film definitely seemed to focus more on digital film movement and all of the doors it unlocks for creators. Digital film is cheap, highly customization, highly transferable, easily learned, and available to all. It seems to be the most recent evolution in an industry that has been evolving since it’s beginnings. However what seems to be missed by most of those interviewed in the film, is that there isn’t any kind of ultimatum. It doesn’t have to be one-or-the-other. To me it’s all about what medium best tells the story (which is the real art and purpose of film-making). In the end it is an artistic decision.