Okay, this looks awesome. I’m sure eyebrows might raise at the thought of a Keanu Reeves produced documentary, but this subject matter is pretty irresistible to me. The film is called ‘Side by Side: The Science, Art and Impact of Digital Cinema’ (directed by Christopher Kenneally) and it looks at the war between digital and analog filmmaking. Pretty relevant stuff considering the recent announcement that the Eastman Kodak Company has just filed for bankruptcy protection. Even though the digital revolution seems inevitable, there are a handful of filmmakers who refuse to go down without a fight, insisting that we’re acting too fast by replacing a tried and true format (film) with a technology (digital) that at this point, simply doesn’t compare in terms of the quality if the image. Here’s the synopsis:
The documentary investigates the history, process and workflow of both digital and photochemical film creation. We show what artists and filmmakers have been able to accomplish with both film and digital and how their needs and innovations have helped push filmmaking in new directions. Interviews with directors, cinematographers, colorists, scientists, engineers and artists reveal their experiences and feelings about working with film and digital–where we are now, how we got here and what the future may bring.
I have to say that I absolutely love Wally Pfister. His work is amazing and he’s refreshingly honest and outspoken about his stance on digital filmmaking (and his apparent hatred of 3D). Still, I think there are interesting arguments to be made on both sides, which is what makes this film so interesting. David Lynch, James Cameron, George Lucas and Steven Sodebergh all chime in as supporters of digital filmmaking. Each side has its share of supporters. As for docs, it seems film is even less relevant as it’s truly rare to see a non-fiction film shot on 16mm nowadays. I know I’m always excited when I hear about docs shot on film, but I guess it’s just too expensive when considering the digital alternative. It’s a truly a shame.
You can find more info on Side by Side here: