The Resurgence of Celluloid

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The advancement in technology, filmmaking has soared new heights. The equipment, software, sound, effects, and various cinematic innovations have helped bring in audiences to theaters. The digitization of films has pushed its celluloid parent out of the ballpark. Online platforms such as Netflix and better access to these platforms have ensured a decline in film stock. The bankruptcy of film manufacturers Kodak and Fujifilm further sealed the fate of the celluloid.

As the debate on “digital medium being better than film” continues on, there have been a number of movies which have sparked an interest in celluloid. 2015 alone saw films like “Joy”, “Steve Jobs”, “Son of Saul”, “Love & Mercy”, and “The Hateful Eight” roadshow display the power that the celluloid still holds. J.J.Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which created waves in the cinematic sphere, was shot entirely on film.

Within the big studios in Hollywood, there exist a select group of A-list directors such as Martin Scorsese, Judd Apatow, Christopher Nolan, and Quentin Tarantino who have maintained their fascination with film. Take a look why.

Film vs digital

There is no doubt digital filmmaking has opened new doors and created more opportunities for filmmakers to showcase their creativity. But film also has its advantages.

  • Film is a tried and tested method which has been around for as long as the industry itself. Filmmakers prefer working with what they understand rather than learn something complex and new.
  • The resolution you get from film stock is higher than its digital colleague.
  • Color fidelity is higher.
  • The exposure latitude for film is broader compared to a digital medium. Exposure latitude defines the extent to which the film, in underexposed or overexposed areas, can be rendered.
  • Cinematographers find it easy and quick to shoot with a film camera than a digital camera.

The environmental waste, cost, and quality of prints of film stock are a big negative when talking about analog filmmaking. There are, however, advancements which are aiming to bring the analog film back into the mainstream by trimming these issues. Kodak, after a revival, has launched the Super 8 camera, a prototype which can record in both digital and low-resolution analog. The technology has been welcomed by film purists such as Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg.

It is optimistic to say analog filmmaking will be the future, but the resurgence of film and its backing by the Hollywood elite will keep the medium alive for a long time.

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