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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Are movies shot on film or digital?
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03/20/2006 03:36:18 AM · #1
My roomies and I went and saw "V for Vendetta" tonight and we were talking befroe the movie and were wondering if movies are shot in digital or film now?

I mean....digital would sure be more cost effective and easier to edit and process. But I'm not sure if digital video cameras can produce results that match the quality of film yet.

So....can anyone answer this?

Oh....and by the way, the movie rocked....highly reccommended. Natalie Portman is hot:P

Caleb
03/20/2006 03:43:15 AM · #2
Ask American_Horse. He's a movie industry Gaffer.

I'm pretty certain that they're still shot on film but I also think that they're then transferred to digital. If that's the case, it all seems a bit silly to me. Why not just shoot digital?

Things in this industry move so fast, it doesn't pay to guess. We have Weta Digital, Weta Workshops and Peter Jackson's facilities just on the other side of town and they're breaking new ground all of the time. I'd been away from the industry for 5 yrs a while back when I came back to it and asked about A & B rolls in editing... and got shamelessly laughed at. It was embarrassing :)

Brett

Message edited by author 2006-03-20 03:44:05.
03/20/2006 03:44:24 AM · #3
I'm in advertsing and we shoot a lot of ads on digital due to budget constraints.

The quality is not that bad, but nothing can beat film.

The Lord of the rings movies were done on film.

Compare that to say, part of Star Wars that was shot on digital if i'm not mistaken, and you can clearly see the difference.

Once you compare a couple of film against digital movies, you can easily spot it in the future.

Film is just beautiful!
03/20/2006 04:08:09 AM · #4
Tim Burtons' "Corpse Bride" was shot in digital; in fact it was a digital camera - Canon EOS-1D Mark II with Nikon lenses .
03/20/2006 04:14:36 AM · #5
Originally posted by KiwiPix:

I'm pretty certain that they're still shot on film but I also think that they're then transferred to digital. If that's the case, it all seems a bit silly to me. Why not just shoot digital?


That's exactly what I told my roomate...

Hmmmm....
03/20/2006 04:25:08 AM · #6
Originally posted by stare_at_the_sun:

Originally posted by KiwiPix:

I'm pretty certain that they're still shot on film but I also think that they're then transferred to digital. If that's the case, it all seems a bit silly to me. Why not just shoot digital?


That's exactly what I told my roomate...Hmmmm....


Maybe they dont want their unfinished movie to be downloadable all over the internet, do you?

j/k... ;)
03/20/2006 07:28:13 AM · #7
If i recall, the LOTR films were some of the first big-budget releases to be shot entirely digitally. Star Wars ep.2 as well, not sure about ep.1

Originally posted by faidoi:

Tim Burtons' "Corpse Bride" was shot in digital; in fact it was a digital camera - Canon EOS-1D Mark II with Nikon lenses .

Twenty-four of the things, if i remember rightly.

bride4.jpg
03/20/2006 07:54:06 AM · #8
Yeah, digital isn't quite up to par with 35mm film yet. Both have two different looks, just like a still film and digital camera. Digital video is much less expensive to shoot so either that or 16mm film is usually most common with indy films.
03/20/2006 07:59:09 AM · #9
Originally posted by Joey Lawrence:

Yeah, digital isn't quite up to par with 35mm film yet. Both have two different looks, just like a still film and digital camera. Digital video is much less expensive to shoot so either that or 16mm film is usually most common with indy films.


AAAAA, I beckon to differ my young friend.

Currently, on "Pepper Dennis", and a few other tv shows as a matter of fact, are 100% HiDef. There is NO film camera, and you really can not tell the differance.

I agree that 35 has a look, and HiDef has a look when put side by side.

But, to the general viewer, you can not tell.

Hell, the last Star Wars movie was shot with HiDef only.

302867.jpg

Message edited by author 2006-03-20 08:01:05.
03/20/2006 10:35:59 AM · #10
Other technology to track - the movie "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" (2001) was a landmark in that it was completely 3D geometry for rendering by (your) computer / graphics card.

Most major animation movies do their own custom rendering, often time consuming and the bottleneck for production. Improvements in computer graphics techniques can be quite rapid, for example, during the making of "Shrek" (2001), major improvements were made in (facial) appearance, and sections of the movie were rerendered to benefit from the improvements as they developed.

Then there's "Eye Vision," computer integration from multiple cameras, allowing the viewer to "fly" around the action during Superbowl XXXV (2001) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010124075009.htm
Movies like the "Matrix" (1999) were famous for these techniques, but application to long live scenes is a whole other ballgame. :-)

Over the years, the techniques have matured to become just another tool in the film makers toolkit. Techniques are often used seemlessly so that most viewers no longer even recognize what is a straight shot and what is a special effect. Digital compositing is more common than not for many movies.

Message edited by author 2006-03-20 10:39:21.
03/20/2006 11:38:17 AM · #11
99.9% of all big screen movies are shot on 35mm film, there are very few digital cameras that can come close to the quality of the film, to shoot a whole 90min movie on a 20Mpixel videocamera would take a truckload of harddisks (if such a camera existed)

and then there are that 0.001% that is shot on 70mm film, the quality is astounding, the only one I remember at the moment is Far & Away with Tom Cruice & Nicole Kidman. check it out, the quality is much better then the normal 35mm movie :)
03/20/2006 11:43:59 AM · #12
off subject, sorta
v for vendetta, that was a really good movie
i thought i would say that
: )
03/20/2006 11:48:16 AM · #13
Movies filmed in miniDV. "Full Frontal" by Steven Soderbergh was shot almost exclusively with the Canon XL1s. "28 Days Later" is a film by Miramax also shot in miniDV.

EDIT: The Blair Witch Project was shot in digital too.

Message edited by author 2006-03-20 11:51:06.
03/20/2006 11:50:42 AM · #14
I remember watching one of those behind the scenes docs on 28 days, which was shot all in digital. They mentioned a few limitiations with digital, such as DOF they wanted for some of their shots.

Of course, I think they were using (relatively) low end digital cameras for it.

Reagrding FInal Fantasy, appaerently, it was suppose to be a trilogy, but all the money got used on the first one, and it didn't make enough money to justify making two more.

Just a piece of random, unsubstantiated trivia for you :)
03/20/2006 11:55:36 AM · #15
I know recent Star Wars were shot digitally. And I think a few others have been. It's about to start transitioning. In 10 yrs I estimate 20%-40% will be shot digitally. In 20 yrs 90%-98% will be shot digitally.

a) digital quality is increasing greatly

b) review process is instantaneous, directors can review a shoot immediately. Rather at the end of the day. Thus allowing a immediate re-shoot. Saves a lot of time and lends to better final film quality.

c) easy transfer to the editing room

d) easier editing

e) easier storage and transit

f) eventually, easy deliver to theatres (eventually, a theatre is simply going to have a fat pipe to the clearing house and just download the movies digitally for performance, cutting out the massive shipping costs. Each will be digitally stamped to reduce piracy and track the film if it is pirated.)
03/20/2006 01:04:16 PM · #16
Originally posted by riot:

If i recall, the LOTR films were some of the first big-budget releases to be shot entirely digitally.


What I remember from the bonus DVD's that came with the Extended versions was that LOTR was shot on film, scanned, digitally processed and put back on film. It was very interesting to watch how they converted colors to create a certain mood.


03/20/2006 01:15:42 PM · #17
Almost all current movies are shot on film, but many many have digital effects/animation added during editing. See the cover story in the March issue of Wired Magazine. It is informative and an interesting read.
03/20/2006 01:31:49 PM · #18
Collateral was digital

That recent sequel to Desperado by Troublemaker studios was also digital

Both DVD's have extensive commentary on the advantages of digital and how things worked out for them..

One of the things both of them were quite happy with was the greatly increased dynamic range.

They both praised the flexibility in lighting that would have been difficult in the film medium.

I was able to tell with the Antonio Banderas movie, but didn't immediately notice in Collateral.

Several times during the commentary of each, both filmmakers stated that a particular scene was something that they wouldn't have been able to get if they had used film (or at least wouldn't have been able to get with such a minimum of hassle).
03/21/2006 12:23:11 AM · #19
Originally posted by DanSig:

99.9% of all big screen movies are shot on 35mm film,

and then there are that 0.001% that is shot on 70mm film,


Does anybody read theses thread before they post?

Again, the trend is leaning twords HiDef. Even if the production is shot in 35mm, the concern to be 'in' HiDef is standard for the conversion.

My show, House, and a couple others are exclusivly HiDef. Movies are leaning twords HiDef.

The only achillies heal with HiDef right now is the lack of cameras availble.


03/21/2006 12:28:55 AM · #20
Wow....I learned a lot in the last 18 posts I read.

Good deal, I can now go on with my life knowing a little more about the film industy. Thanks!
03/21/2006 02:20:29 AM · #21
Originally posted by stare_at_the_sun:

Wow....I learned a lot in the last 18 posts I read.

Good deal, I can now go on with my life knowing a little more about the film industy. Thanks!

For some perspective, I highly recommend reading The Making of Kubric's 2001: -- an amazing piece of technical editing in its day. As I recall, some of the scenes had something like 27 different images/layers matted together.

Tomorrow night's Commonwealth Club of San Francisco lecture (heard on many NPR stations -- check your local listings) is about the "digital film revolution."

Message edited by author 2006-03-21 02:22:23.
03/21/2006 03:20:43 AM · #22
Originally posted by American_Horse:

Originally posted by DanSig:

99.9% of all big screen movies are shot on 35mm film,

and then there are that 0.001% that is shot on 70mm film,


Does anybody read theses thread before they post?

Again, the trend is leaning twords HiDef. Even if the production is shot in 35mm, the concern to be 'in' HiDef is standard for the conversion.

My show, House, and a couple others are exclusivly HiDef. Movies are leaning twords HiDef.

The only achillies heal with HiDef right now is the lack of cameras availble.


I read it before I posted, and if you'd learn how to count you'd see that 99.9 + 0.001 does NOT make 100

there is still left 0.099% wich covers the digital, hidef, 8mm, 16mm, VHS, Betamax, V2000 and any other format still being used...

and just for fun... Hollywood produces less than 5% of the worlds big screen movies ;)
03/21/2006 09:31:06 AM · #23
DanSig, babe, don't blow a fuse.

I can barely spell, let alone count, especially after a 14 hour day.

Originally posted by DanSig:


and just for fun... Hollywood produces less than 5% of the worlds big screen movies ;)


I'm not so sure on your figure,but,no matter what the figure is, your absolutely correct. Hollywood is not the big player like she used to be. But, Hollywood has many things that other big players don't have.

And just for fun...Iceland is not a player.

Message edited by author 2006-03-21 10:30:09.
03/21/2006 10:36:30 AM · #24
I don't know if it soderbergh's movie ( think it was) but somebody of a 'name' sort did a movie and it was processed and editied toally digtially - an an apple iBook or G5 or some 'puter you and i could actually buy and afford.

was theatrically released but was a 'small' film as they say. 3 years ago or so.
03/21/2006 11:11:37 AM · #25
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

I don't know if it soderbergh's movie ( think it was) but somebody of a 'name' sort did a movie and it was processed and editied toally digtially - an an apple iBook or G5 or some 'puter you and i could actually buy and afford.

was theatrically released but was a 'small' film as they say. 3 years ago or so.


"Full Frontal" by Steven Soderbergh was shot almost exclusively with the Canon XL1s

And almost all Natural Light!

Message edited by author 2006-03-21 11:12:00.
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