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Christopher Nolan Urges Hollywood to Keep Film Alive for Future Generations

Christopher Nolan Urges Hollywood to Keep Film Alive for Future Generations

Last summer, Hollywood directors including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams and Judd Apatow urged Hollywood studios to support Kodak to keep film stock in use. Then, last month, Kodak announced it has finalized new film supply agreements with all six major Hollywood studios.

READ MORE: Film is Here to Stay! Studios and Kodak Strike a Deal

But according to Christopher Nolan, there’s still more work that needs to be done to guarantee the future of film. “We need film projectors and film prints — forever,” said Nolan on a panel moderated by Kerry Brougher, director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, at an event on Sunday presented by the Getty Research Institute, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Nolan said it wasn’t a question of film or digital, but that both options should be available. “If you want the choice, it’s very important to support film now,” said Nolan. “Filmmakers are going out of their way to shoot film and talk about it. We want to see a world where there’s a choice; it’s important to preserve it for future generations.”

He urged the industry to rely on film as an archival medium. “We don’t have a uniform standard for preservation and archiving for the studios, at the Academy, or at archival institutions. There’s no stable digital archiving medium, [at least not] in the immediate future. If there is, it would need to be tested for decades.”

Though North American theaters have almost entirely converted to digital, Nolan said that quality 35mm projection “can still be a selling point for a theater” and pointed out that theaters that showed “Interstellar” on 35mm “did incredibly well.”

READ MORE: Indie Theaters Scramble to Screen “Interstellar” in 35mm and 16mm

Critics often point to the fact that film is more expensive to shoot than digital, but Nolan dismissed that claim, saying it is largely a misconception. “Whatever your budget level is, what you are spending money on is people and their time, overwhelmingly,” he told the crowd.

To conclude the program, Jeff Clarke, CEO of Kodak, said that “Kodak is all in to film now…We still lose money but we are committed because we believe this is important artistically and that this is a business that will come back.”

With the rise of digital imaging technologies and theaters converting to digital projection, Kodak’s film sales have declined by 96 percent over the last decade.

But film may be making a comeback of sorts. Recently, such high-profile films such as Oscar-nominees “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Interstellar” and “Foxcatcher” were shot on Kodak film. Some of the biggest films of 2015 are being shot on Kodak film as well, including “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” and “Batman v. Superman – Dawn of Justice,” among others.

READ MORE: Here’s What Sundance Cinematographers Think of Shooting Film vs. Digital

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