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Thread: Spielberg on flim vs. digital

  1. #1
    Vadim
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    Default Spielberg on flim vs. digital

    I recently came across Steven Spielberg's interview to WIRED magazine, were he talks about digital vs. film in cinematography. Here is the quote (full version is here):

    "Now the thing I'm most saddened by is the constant talk about the photochemical process becoming a thing of Thomas Edison's past. There's a magic about chemistry and film. Sure, a digital shot is steady. It doesn't have to ride through the gate of a projector. And, sure, it's as clean as the OR in a major hospital. That's exactly what's wrong with it. Film has a molecular structure called grain; even a still of just a flower in a vase has life because of the grain, because of the molecules in the film. Especially if you sit in the first five rows of any movie theater, you know what I'm talking about. The screen is alive. The screen is always alive with chaos and excitement, and that will certainly be gone when we convert to a digital camera and a digital projector. I was one of the first people to use digital technology to enhance my films, but I'm going to be the last person to use digital technology to shoot my movies."

  2. #2

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    Then again, you could always simulate the grain of the photochemical process digitally.... ever heard of Gaussian Noise?

  3. #3
    Midnight
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    Gaussian blurring selected parts of every frame is probably a lot more troublesome with digital video cameras (which is what the quote is referring to) compared to digital still cameras...

  4. #4
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    gaussian blurring? whyever? isn't the depth of field from the glass enough?

    I think the film grain can be generated easily... in fact adobe premiere does it, aftereffects does it...

    the diff is like watching a mpg file, in a still scene, you can still see some sort of activity (squares or blips of shades) whereas if ur PC hung, the pic will look dead..

    but film grain and video noise are two different thigs altogether. one is artsy, the other is irritating... wonder why...

    well lucas is using digital all the way, but of course most of his scenes are CG anyway...
    "I'm... dreaming... of a wide... angle~
    Just like the ones I used to know~"

  5. #5
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    Spielberg!!!Spielberg!!!Spielberg!!

  6. #6

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    Originally posted by denizenx

    but film grain and video noise are two different thigs altogether. one is artsy, the other is irritating... wonder why...
    I think it's because film grain has a certain organic feel to it, like a texture. WHereas digital noise just registers as poor picture quality-- the images are by nature clean-edged and sharp, and to see jpeggy blips on it is like a blot on the landscape.

    Kind of like how on a painting, seeing brushstrokes actually enhances it whereas on a monitor, you want your images to be clean and perfect.

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