June 19, 2003

Still Movies, Just Not Film

The Times reports today on the attempts by University of Southern California's Entertainment Technology Center to make digital projection a viable option for theaters. First, there's the discussion of picture quality -- how to make the thing sharp enough so that it surpasses the beauty of a pristine 35 mm print. Then the issues revolving around distribution -- do you use a hard drive? a feed? what if people hack your feed?

Sure, movie watchers are becoming more and more enamored by the digital tech in DVDs and HDTV, and in our linear way of thinking about technology new does equal better. Why wouldn't we want to see (eventually) the demise of film for digital? Is this really the most profound advancement the industry has seen in a long time? Not one to hamper progress, Cinecultist is not certain that's what digital projection will be. The image as is now, just is not superior. Just because it might be possible to achieve this technique does not mean it would be better for the art of filmmaking. Actually, what would we call it, if now we're not really using film? A strange conundrum indeed.

Posted by karen at June 19, 2003 1:31 PM