Back to IndieWire

Joel Coen, Martin Scorsese, Darren Aronofsky and More on Digital vs. Film

Joel Coen, Martin Scorsese, Darren Aronofsky and More on Digital vs. Film

“If [film] dies, something is going to be lost.”

“I think it would be incredible if both options stayed alive for as long as possible. Chris [Nolan] called me when there was a campaign to help Kodak and I did what I could with the relationships that I have because I think it’s a great art form and, if it dies, something is going to be lost. It’s not a pure replacement. I really took advantage of film on ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Black Swan,’ which were both shot in 16mm film for the aesthetic of the grain. If you look at Matty’s (cinematographer Matthew Libatique) work on ‘Noah,’ we really worked with what the film stock could do for us. I think the art form changes and the story changes as the media changes.”
Darren Aronofsky (“Noah”)

READ MORE: Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan and Judd Apatow Lead the Charge to Keep Film Stock Alive

“There is something that looks different in movies that are shot on film.”

“[‘Inside Llewyn Davis’] was shot on film for a number of reasons, retrospectively. But I am glad that we shot it on film, and you know, it’s all like a hybrid thing now, because you shoot it on film but it all goes into a box and all goes into a computer and gets heavily manipulated. Still, there is something that looks different in movies that are shot on film… But that’s what’s happening, so it’s probable that we’ll shoot something digitally.”
Joel Coen (“Inside Llewyn Davis”)

“Everything we do in HD is an effort to recreate the look of film.”

“Film, even now, offers a richer visual palette than HD. And, we have to remember that film is still the best and only time-proven way to preserve movies. We have no assurance that digital informaton will last, but we know that film will, if properly stored and cared for.”
Martin Scorsese

“There is still something inherently magical about shooting on film.”

“And to some degree, it’s mysterious and you get to be the wizard behind the curtain that makes everything happen, which I kind of love. But also, with digital photography, you’ve eliminated some of the things that could become problematic, both photochemically and technically in labs with scratches and all kinds of mysterious things that can arise. There’s not many surprises with digital, but there’s more risks you can take. You certainly sleep better at night because you don’t have to wake up at 4am and call the lab to see if there’s still a job for you to do that day. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less work, you still have to put the lights in the right places and you still have to make good choices and fight continuity along scenes.”
Jeff Cronenweth, DP (“Gone Girl”)

“There’s a lack of demand [for film.]”

“There are a lot of people who would like to continue to shoot on film. It’s not a problem of someone manufacturing it. There’s lack of demand and there are just two labs left in L.A. It becomes very expensive to ship and process. I think we’re seeing the end of it.”
Phedon Papamichael, DP (“Nebraska”)

“The decision about digital or film is going to be made for us.”

“I think the answer is that film is gonna be gone. Although I think it’ll make a comeback; it’ll be like vinyl records or something.”
James Gray (“The Immigrant)

“I always suggest film, and it is almost always shot down.”

“I’m sad that I became a DP right around the time when film was on its way out. Fortunately I was able to shoot 20-plus short projects on film while studying at UCLA. This really helped me cut my teeth, particularly with lighting. I have also shot a handful of professional projects on the medium as well. I always suggest film, and it is almost always shot down. I think I will make a habit of continuing to suggest it and see what happens. It truly does make a lot of sense for some projects, just as digital makes sense for others.”
– Topher Osborm, DP (“Dear White People”)

“We’re going to carry on cutting on film.”

“We not only shot [‘Jimmy’s Hall’] on film, we cut on film. It’s very good because it’s not as quick as digital [cutting], so you consider what you do more carefully. It’s a much more human way of working. The film industry is like any other — it’s about speed and cutting the people involved in doing the job. We’re going to carry on cutting on film.”
Ken Loach (“Jimmy’s Hall”)

“I feel like it’s not a question of film or digital, but for me it’s like, ‘Let’s make films. We don’t have to shoot films on film to make them films.'”

 – Bobby Bukowski, DP (“Infinitely Polar Bear”)

READ MORE: 10 Reasons Why Filmmakers Should Shoot Film (According to Kodak)

This Article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit and tagged , , ,