Cinema History

Is Film is a 19th Century Invention, will it be lost?

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Close up of an IMAX film negative.

Side by Side: The Science, Art and Impact of Digital Cinema is an in-depth examination of how digital filmmaking is challenging traditional celluloid film as the gold standard in moviemaking. Side by Side captures the essence of the film versus digital debate through unprecedented access to influential filmmakers such as James Cameron, David Fincher, George Lucas, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Robert Rodriguez, Lana and Andy Wachowski, Steven Soderbergh and many more.

For almost one hundred years there was only one way to make a movie — on film. But over the last two decades a digital process has emerged to challenge photochemical filmmaking. In 2009 Slumdog Millionaire won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, the first time the award was given to a film shot almost entirely digitally and not on film.

Side by Side investigates the history, process and workflow of both digital and photochemical film creation, and how — at least for now — the two forms coexist side by side. The evolving relationship between art and technology is revealed through clips of groundbreaking films, as well as visits to movie sets. Directors, producers, cinematographers, colorists, editors and actors offer anecdotes and candid opinions about how the digital revolution is transforming their storytelling tools and techniques.

Side by Side examines what is gained and what is lost both practically and philosophically in the changeover from film to digital. Those who embrace digital cite how it democratizes the filmmaking process and allows for infinite creativity.

 

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