It’s been around a year since Side by Side (2012) was released discussing the use of film and digital in the film industry today. Documenting transition from the celluloid film that had been used for over a century to capture and project films, to the progressive transfer to digital. This journey has come a step closer recently with Paramount Studios announcing that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues(2013) was their last film to distributed on 35mm film to cinemas. Moving to all digital with Wolf on Wall Street (2013), which was partially filmed digitally. Neither are landmark films (until Oscar night).
Paramount being the first of the major studios to change it’s distribution method. With 20th Century Fox, thought not to be far behind with the likes of Lionsgate and Walt Disney Studios who had sent out letters of this change in the not too distant future to cinemas.
It’s another sign of the demise of film and the universal use of digital to project and capture film. Something that I will personally miss, to hear a projector at the back of a screen. Yet the filming on digital is personally far easier to work with. A romantic notion tinged with reality and progress. Again this highlights the need for film preservation, speared headed by the likes of Scorsese and other film organisations whose job is to maintain celluloid prints of film before the disappear forever. It’s known that a very large portion of silent films are now gone. With the odd one turning up in variable conditions.
It’s independent cinemas who will feel this the hardest with, who will be increasingly finding it harder to find film prints, as more films are released digitally. Paramount is working with cinema chains to fund digital projectors however, which will ease this situation. However will older films that are shown be redistributed in digital form?
It’s all a matter of finance too, costing far less to print digitally, instead of at a lab which are now few and far between today. Today marks the next phase of the digital revolution as the distribution format is changing, for speed, convenience and costs. Whilst at the heart of it all you catch new releases in a large dark room surrounded by others, the core experience will still be there, just the delivery of the print is changing. Which in effect is better for the film, not loosing quality on each print and showing of the film overtime. The only problem that remains is how to them store all these prints for future audiences to enjoy.
- End of film: Paramount first studio to stop distributing film prints (latimes.com)
- Farewell, film: Paramount Pictures to release movies in digital only (foxnews.com)
- Report: Paramount Pictures Cuts Film, Goes All-Digital in U.S. (gizmodo.com)
- Paramount Pictures ‘first studio to phase out physical film’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Death of film: Paramount is reportedly the first movie studio to go all digital (venturebeat.com)