After shooting 2012 with Panavision’s Genesis, we began searching uncharted territory for an upcoming feature film project that had a considerably lower budget. Most of the film would be shot in low-light scenarios, and lots of scenes, again, would play in front of blue or green screen. So we knew that we needed a low-grain, high-sensitivity recording solution. My digital compositors, and me personally, have preferred digital noise over film grain for a long time. But not every Director of Photography would think the same way. Some because they’re simply afraid of working in a different medium than they had been for the past decades, and others for more valid reasons like, for instance, dynamic range.
We started testing the RED One with the new Mysterium-X sensor, which has been shipping for a few weeks now, and then the ARRI ALEXA joined the race. The ALEXA is currently a prototype and scheduled to ship in mid-June of this year.
Now, because I’m so excited about what I saw, I’ll give you the test results upfront.
Digital has finally won over film. Yes, for me the most important outcome of this test was not one or the other camera, but that BOTH finally made it possible for me to say this: “FILM (Celluloid, that is), IS DEAD!”
[Read the entire article, with huge pictures, with arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one (not to mention excellent comments) at:
Let me start with a disclaimer here, because I know there will be a mass of hate mail from 35mm film lovers landing on my doorstep very soon. Since I don’t have the time to answer any of it, I would rather like to pre-empt it right now. I have no agenda here. I started out using 8mm film as a teenager, I shot 35mm (and 16mm) film for years and years, I don’t work for a company selling digital equipment of any kind, and I don’t get kick-backs from any such company. But I stick to what I just said. Film is dead.
Film has been in the death throes for a few years by now, as a small part of a huge revolution that has seen ‘digits’ taking over all aspects of our lives. It started in general with computers (anyone using a typewriter right now?), then expanded to other usage areas (anyone listening to 45rpm records right now? Actually, how many of you are even still listening to CDs rather than mp3s?). I don’t think I have to remind anyone that we ALL used to shoot on 35mm still cameras up to the mid-nineties, give or take a few years. And how many of you are still making the trek to the drugstore to have the photos from the last kid’s birthday party developed ?
[This really gets more detailed and interesting. We’ll not go any further except to emphasize the data on the writer of the piece:
Marc Weigert is an Emmy-award winning visual effects supervisor and producer. He is the CEO of Uncharted Territory in Los Angeles, founded in 1999 with business partner Volker Engel. Under the ‘Uncharted’ banner he has produced and co-produced several TV movies, mini-series and feature films, most notably Roland Emmerich’s 2012 and Dean Devlin and Bryan Singer’s The Triangle. Marc is currently co-producing and VFX supervising Emmerich’s Anonymous.