It’s going to happen to the Movie Industry too


I was surfing through the list of Amazon Prime documentaries the other day and noticed this little gem. “Side by Side” is about the Movie Industry and its transition from film to digital. There appears to be a lot of angst and possibly resignation to what is happening. This documentary explores the history and the effects of technology on how they make movies. Much of the arguments for and against film are familiar to still photographers. I found it really interesting.

Of course since Convenience trumps quality, I can predict how this is all going to end. You get to see famous directors and their take on the situation. Some are bold adventurers others are in denial. Interestingly, age does not seem to be the determining factor of which side of the film/digital divide they’re on.

Recommended. Worth watching instead of some mind-numbing reality show. Available for streaming on Amazon, not currently available on Netflix.

5 thoughts on “It’s going to happen to the Movie Industry too

  1. And it will also be the end of those classic old small time movie houses because of a forced digital transition in order to show current features. One in my area is facing the conversion dilemma. $80k or so to do it, and it’s money they just don’t have. They say they will have to close in about 2 years if they can’t get creative with funding.

  2. Television has long been digital and though I understand why moviemakers are not thrilled about it, it’s going to happen anyway. Digital is much cheaper, can be reproduced in virtually unlimited quantities, and it doesn’t disintegrate as film does. My husband started out in TV shooting film, lived through the change to videotape and finally ended his career in the digital era. It’s not only money. It’s also the storage and disintegration issue. Many films have disappeared forever because film, even modern film which is far more stable than the celluloid of yesterday, is impermanent and fragile.

    And physical. Film requires temperature and humidity controlled storage environments. it’s heavy, bulky … and it burns. Directors and cinematographers will have to relearn shooting techniques. They will, just as we have in still photography and for television, they will transition, but I think it will be the younger generation of filmmakers who develop the requisite techniques. They already transfer most film to digital media anyhow … it’s a learning curve. They’ll get there. But it will take some time. It don’t think in this case it’s a matter merely of cheap and/or convenient. It’s simply the way it’s going and maybe it isn’t such a bad thing.

    I think movie houses will manage. Around here, the only non digital movie house is so obscure I haven’t yet found it, even though I know where it’s supposed to be. It literally isn’t on the map. And we are really backward in this part of the country. If we can go digital … even our drive in movies (yes, we have working drive ins) are digital … I think most regions will find a way to do it too.

    I know many people say they want ONLY paper books. To me, the important part of book is what’s written, not what it’s written on. I’m sure when they switched from scrolls to books, and from scribes to printing presses, people were upset by the change. They got over it. I’m delighted to not have to store all that paper! I buy paper versions of my favorites, usually first editions and there are books that are primarily graphic that remain better on paper. But transient fiction? Do we really need all those paperbacks? I don’t know about anyone else, but my storage has reached its physical limits. It actually reached it years ago and we’ve been desperately trying to figure out where to put all the books ever since. My local library won’t take any more donations: they are out of space too.

    We all have personal preferences, in my case to own my media, not borrow it, but that’s only for movies I really love and music because I don’t enjoy MP3 players. The rest? I’m just as happy catching it on cable.

    It’s ironic how many of the people who are resistant to change are a generation younger than I am. Whatever happened to stodgy old people? Now we have stodgy young people.

    1. Marilyn, I was thinking the same thing where some of the younger folk seem more “old fashioned”. It is interesting times we live in.

      I just came back from a photowalk tonight. Someone, was boasting that they just shoot film, not digital, that they don’t have any blogs, flickr or other digital sites. I told him that he is way to young to be a curmudgeon. He is a collage student at the University of Texas, LOL.

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