Death of 35mm Film

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Wes R

Legendary Member
I agree. I miss the "movie look" old films had. you look at digital and hd movies these days and they look like soap operas and tv movies. Just more proof hollywood doesn't know what it's doing.
 

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Bryancd

Master Member
I agree. I miss the "movie look" old films had. you look at digital and hd movies these days and they look like soap operas and tv movies. Just more proof hollywood doesn't know what it's doing.
Or that we suffer from the same generational myopia we laughed at when we were younger. :)
 

Riceball

Sr Member
I think that the death of film is greatly exaggerated and overrated, people were saying much the same thing when "talkies" first came about and then the same thing when color film was developed and the only one of those that truly went away was the silent film. I think that 35mm film will be with us for a long time to come, if only as an artistic/aesthetic choice but digital is definitely here to stay. Ultimately, the eventual look of digital films will depend a lot on the reaction of movie audiences along with the directors of many films, being digital doesn't necessarily mean it has to have that live or video look to it, if a director wanted a film that he/she shot digitally to look like it was shot on film I'm fairly certain that they can fairly easily alter it in post to give it warmer and noisier look that will make even the cleanest, sharpest digital movie look like it was old film stock. Just like they can restore old films to make them look just like they did when it was first released or, in some cases, even better than new they can do the reverse and age a film or make it look like it was shot on film. A good example of this the restoration work that was done to the Macross series years ago, when they did they did their first pass at restoring it they did too good of a job of it and removed a lot of the film grain and because they didn't like that look they had the restoration company add grain back in.
 
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rodneyfaile

Sr Member
I agree. I miss the "movie look" old films had. you look at digital and hd movies these days and they look like soap operas and tv movies. Just more proof hollywood doesn't know what it's doing.
I think it has more to do with WHAT they are filming.

Bad writing, CGI, and justin bieber haircuts don't add up to anything I want to see.
 

The Terminator

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Why would we do that though?
Say STAR TREK: The Next Generation had been filmed not on film, but using "80's digital video" then we couldn't get amazing looking TNG at 4K resolution.

Then there's stuff like Stargate SG1(later seasons), Star Wars prequels Ep2 and Ep3 which were filmed digital at 1080p, if were are to get 4K/8K versions of that stuff then we have to upscale it, which won't make it look any better. Where as with film it has always been super high-res.

I don't see a problem with digital replacing film at all. But it's still a relatively new technology, and I think it's a bit premature to be ditching those old film reels just yet.
Same here.

If they want to ditch 35 mm then replace it with IMAX! Bigger is sometimes better.

True, but at the same time anyone knows that if you have 100GB of files you should back them up so that when the drive fails you still have them.When the file types change you can convert them.
Not always :(
 

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Laspector

Master Member
I don't think I would want to watch every movie in IMAX. While the overwhelming quality of it is great for fx heavy films or movies with beautiful stunning cinematography, I don't really want that experience all the time. IMHO most movies just do not call for the IMAX experience. Case in point, say a movie like The Jerk--great comedy film--but to see that in IMAX would seem pointless to me.....Sometimes bigger is better, but sometimes bigger is not better.
 

The Terminator

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I can't think of any digital video file that can't be read now and converted to a different format. Any examples?
I have personally several AVI files which use some weird behind codec that can't be played on anything but my very old Win 98SE computer. Then there's also where John Knoll talked about Episode 1 3D convertion that a lot of that stuff can't simply be re-rendered due to the files being to old. Same with the restoration work on Deep Space Nine.
 

Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have personally several AVI files which use some weird behind codec that can't be played on anything but my very old Win 98SE computer. Then there's also where John Knoll talked about Episode 1 3D convertion that a lot of that stuff can't simply be re-rendered due to the files being to old. Same with the restoration work on Deep Space Nine.
Well, the fact that you can play them on your Win98 machine means you could convert them to .mov files and play them fine on a newer system. ;)

So far as Ep.1 and DS9 I have to call BS if they're talking about video files. I work with digital files from the 90's all the time. Granted, it takes effort, but it IS possible. You have to find original software and codecs and convert to something that can be read by modern systems. I think the problem they were referring to was more in line with the 3D work and post production compositing which would have been incredibly sub-par by today's standards anyway. The video files themselves? Able to be read.
 

Solo4114

Master Member
I'll give you a perfect example of why the switch to digital is potentially problematic for longevity purposes:

Babylon 5.

You can read more here: Babylon 5 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But the short version, as I understand it, is this: the digital effects in the show were done using older technology, at lower resolutions. The problem came with the composite shots of digital and live action, which were left at lower resolutions and now CANNOT be blown up any further. You could "upscale" it, but it'd look weird because the composite shots are SO low-res.

So, here's the problem with digital. Sure, it's all fancy-lookin' now, but if video continues to develop at higher and higher resolutions, you'll get to a point where upscaling will look weirdly artificial. With film, you actually have a TON of information that you can pull out, which means that remastering at 1080p or 2K or 4K or 8K or whatever other resolution they come up with is actually possible, and you'll get native information if the negative is clean. With digital, you have to have the computer "guess" at what's between the existing pixels.


Again, this is just my understanding, but it basically means that there's no way to ever do a high-res release of a show like Babylon 5. That may be no great loss to plenty of people, but there are still good films being produced today that are gonna have issues upscaling when the time comes. For those who love the prequels, you're gonna have a very artificial look to them when they get remastered at 8K or whatever.

We may switch to something very different and see resolutions lock in place for a while as other improvements to home theater technology changes focii, but if we keep chasing higher and higher resolutions, we're gonna end up with a lot of films that just look "weird."
 

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Riceball

Sr Member
I personally wouldn't be too concerned about digital video constantly jumping up in resolution, you can only bump it just so far where few people, if any, can tell the difference between the new resolution/format and the old one. I think that we're more likely to see an eventual shift in medium over ever increasing resolution be it glassless 3D, holograms, VR movies plugged into your brain, who knows but I am certain that the resolution increase will eventually stop.
 

Solo4114

Master Member
I personally wouldn't be too concerned about digital video constantly jumping up in resolution, you can only bump it just so far where few people, if any, can tell the difference between the new resolution/format and the old one. I think that we're more likely to see an eventual shift in medium over ever increasing resolution be it glassless 3D, holograms, VR movies plugged into your brain, who knows but I am certain that the resolution increase will eventually stop.
You would think, yeah. I mean, at a certain point, it becomes prohibitively expensive or impractical to have a screen big enough that you can see the difference in resolution. Like, ok, you've got a 4K Purple-Ray player with a 12.2 DTS-Mega-HD sound system...but the screen is 60" so are you really even able to see the 4K resolution in sufficient detail? Ultimately, I think it's those kinds of size considerations -- given current technology, anyway -- that limit the resolution issue.

But at the same time, I can't help but wonder if film still offers more flexibility down the road, if the value of a property is based not merely on its theatrical run, but on its long-term saleability. Like, with the prequels, how good is upscaling gonna look to higher-res? Or how will they adapt this stuff to holographic displays or whatever?

Actually, what I see happening is the TV-panel industry slowing down some in terms of the perpetual growth in screen size and such, and shifting to more energy-efficient, thinner, lighter-weight models that focus on picture clarity, processing speed, etc. As plasmas fall out of production, the burden will fall to LCDs and OLEDs to improve how they handle things like rapid motion and such. I find motion interpolation to just look AWFUL. I go watch movies at friends' houses who leave motion interpolation on all the time and it drives me insane how artificial it looks. I turn it off and they say it looks weird and choppy (I guess because now they're brainwashed...) whereas, to me, it just looks like everything's been shot on videotape.

If you can't focus on increasing resolution, you can focus on improving the rest of the viewing experience, integrating with other electronics, offering better ancillary services (my Panasonic TV's wifi is worthless, and it's got wonky wired internet, too), and so on. I'd figure that's how the industry keeps people interested. The other big area I see changing -- which might lend itself towards stabilizing resolutions -- is streaming. As streaming services become more widely used, bandwidth will be a limiting factor as the country's infrastructure can't support (currently, anyway), people streaming 4K images or whathaveyou. So, if 1080p is the industry standard for streaming, and most people use streaming instead of other home media, and if the entertainment industry wants more centralized control over it...then why worry about constantly increasing resolution?
 

The Terminator

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I find motion interpolation to just look AWFUL. I go watch movies at friends' houses who leave motion interpolation on all the time and it drives me insane how artificial it looks. I turn it off and they say it looks weird and choppy (I guess because now they're brainwashed...) whereas, to me, it just looks like everything's been shot on videotape.
Turning off those idiot features is a must. Motion plus, noise reduction, edge enhancement, detail enhance etc :facepalm on some tv's it's near impossible to even switch them off
 

Vivek

Master Member
Community Staff
Quentin Tarantino Assumes Full Control Of New Bev, Doubles Down On Film | Badass Digest

I couldn't make it to the New Beverly theatre during my one week stay in LA in July nor was the Scott Pilgrim midnight screening taking place that time. I hope to visit there next year. Also though I didn't get to meet Tarantino up close, I did get to see him while he was talking at one of the panels at SDCC.

One of the downsides of this big change is most of the modern movies including many indie films will not be playing at New Beverly anymore.

The upside is LA will have a permanent venue where 35mm film screenings of classic films will continue for a long time. Lot of them likely will not be getting the DCP treatment anytime soon either.

And though New Bev won't play modern movies (unless it has a film print), there are plenty of theatres that will still play them. So one theater dedicated to 35mm seems like a fair exchange.

Quentin Tarantino on the New Beverly “After 7 Years as Owner, I Wanted to Make It Mine.” | LA Weekly
Full interview with Tarantino.

Michael Torgan, the previous manager and programmer of New Beverly didn't participate for the interview, but he did chime in the comments on that LA Weekly article page.

There are some people unhappy about this decision for various reasons, one being Mr. Torgan not being part of that theatre anymore. I think he still might end up working there in some capacity.
 

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PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank goodness! I was just talking about this with some friends not too long ago, before digital projectors, the click and clack of film projectors and how much I missed that.

My two cents: digital has leveled the playing film, now anyone can make a film (though not to say some should) but it is accessible and it is efficient now. That said, a movie doesn't quite look like a movie if it isn't shot on film. Digital will only get better but only film can capture light the way it does; how soft and romanticized it makes light look. Digital,as though capturing light as it is, it looks harsher, colder to me. Trades on and offs for both but as long as movies are around, there's still gonna be film stock laying around.
 

sycor

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
nevermind on that quote. Didn't realize it was 2 years ago. lol

It is funny how you guys are talking about how digital looks harsher. But the truth is that most movies are filmed digitally. They still use film to actually make the movies. Then "scan" in the film. So what you are seeing on screen is the way the director or editor wants you to see it. The softness of "film" was probably just the projector being out of focus. :lol

17 years in the movie theater business. Don't miss film at all outside of nostalgia. Not having to worry about scratches or dirty prints is great. I know I can go watch a movie 4 weeks after release and it will look just as good as the very first showing.
 
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Vivek

Master Member
Community Staff
Watch the wonderful film Out Of Print by Julia Marchese, a documentary about New Beverly Cinema that also explores the significance of 35mm and revival cinema.

I will not be censored. | juliamarchese
This is a recent blog post by Julia. She was an employee at the New Bev for nearly 8 years. But sadly due to recent management problems, she decided to quit her job there. She was going to premiere the film in 2015 at the theatre, but now has released the film online for free viewing. The film runs for about 87 minutes.


[video=vimeo;101117027]http://vimeo.com/101117027[/video]
 

VilleLeskinen

Sr Member
Community Staff
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Watch the wonderful film Out Of Print by Julia Marchese, a documentary about New Beverly Cinema that also explores the significance of 35mm and revival cinema.

I will not be censored. | juliamarchese
This is a recent blog post by Julia. She was an employee at the New Bev for nearly 8 years. But sadly due to recent management problems, she decided to quit her job there. She was going to premiere the film in 2015 at the theatre, but now has released the film online for free viewing. The film runs for about 87 minutes.


http://vimeo.com/101117027
Shot with Canon 7D, Panavision Cameras and Lenses and Red One Camera. And posted in vimeo. Death of 35mm indeed! :lol
 

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