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July 24, 2006

Another Transition To Digital [5:49 pm]

Studios Shift to Digital Movies, but Not Without Resistance

But while the changeover to digital filmmaking has long been predicted, these companies are encountering an unusual degree of resistance from producers, directors and cinematographers. A majority of feature films are still shot with film cameras and some well-known directors, including Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan, have been vocal about their intention to continue shooting on film.

[...] But producers and cinematographers say that cutting production budgets is not the main motivation for switching to digital moviemaking.

[...]

Rather, Mr. Devlin said the main advantage was the ability to shoot for nearly an hour during airborne dogfight sequences, with the camera mounted on a replica biplane or a helicopter and linked to a digital tape deck. Tony Bill, the movie’s director, estimated that a film camera would have been limited to shooting takes perhaps five minutes long, before requiring a new load of film.

Others are gravitating toward the digital cameras because of their aesthetic qualities. [...]

[...] “We made use of the Viper’s amazing depth of field,” Mr. Beebe said. “You’re seeing clearly from two inches to infinity.”But Mr. Beebe says that film cameras are still superior to their digital brethren for capturing bright sunlight in a more nuanced way, and other cinematographers acknowledge that digital cameras do not have the resolution found in film.

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