Posts tagged ‘evolution’

June 30, 2013

Size does matter

I came across this fascinating video on how aspect ratio has evolved over the years and has shaped our movie watching experience.

Have you ever wondered if your movie going experience would be any different had you watched it in a different theater?  The answer seems intuitive right…of course it would be, sound systems, projection systems, screen dimension et all play a role in creating the experience.

With the onset of multiplexes and standardization this may not be as evident as it were in the past.

Do head over to and check out some of their other videos, they also have some very well structured courses on various aspects of film making.

Vimeo too has some amazing tutorials and informative videos on cinema.


April 14, 2013

Evolution of film titles

In continuation to our discussion on evolution of films

March 25, 2013

It’s celluloid… it’s digital…no, it’s cinema.

It probably requires a more experienced and learned mind to explore something so technical in an art form. But this technicality results in a gratification for the viewer, making him the most apt administrator of subjectivity.

The argument is fairly simple; digital vs. celluloid.

Like all things new, digital has its fair share of detractors because of the fact that the quality of image on film is far more superior, and with a certain artistic character, than it is on a microchip. To a director and a cinematographer, this means a great deal because they are the ones whose vision gets imprinted on both these media. One look at the recently coloured Mughal-e-Azam vis-à-vis the original is ample proof of the limitations of digital image manipulation. But when as a viewer you look at the histrionics of The Matrix with its slow motion gun fights, helicopter chases and lavish multiple roles, it becomes evident that digital must lead to the exploration of a new tangent in the history of cinema. Cost, distribution, safety and archival value are some of the aspects within whose framework this debate may be taken forward. But as implied earlier, this exercise is fairly academic. [Side By Side, a recent documentary on this very issue tried to go deeper into this argument. Watch it if you need to go into the depth of digital and celluloid filmmaking. Watch it anyway, it is a nice film.]

Mine is a generation of digital film buffs. Not so much because we have seen only digitally made films but more so because we have seen most films digitally. Cinephiles pay enormous sums of money and invest entire lifestyles to watch all kinds of films on the big screen. But most of these screenings are digital in nature. No matter how the film was shot, its exhibition on most screens is digital. And to top that, the pirate bay (and others) has helped feed the starved cine buffs with a constant supply of classics from around the globe. And we of course watch them on our small computer screens, or in some cases project them digitally onto a relatively bigger screen. The point is that we hardly know how an Eisenstein or Lang looks when projected naturally on a big screen. The relation between the audio and the video must be different to that witnessed by many on our computers. Even if one takes the ‘beautiful’ Hollywood as an example, Leave Her To Heaven must surely feel different when seen through celluloid. What is this difference? How does it affect a viewer-screen relationship? I do not know, but would want to experience dearly. I will go to see a Bergman or a Dreyer on the big screen in spite of what the projection is, but it would be so much more appealing if it was through actual celluloid. Having said this, it would be really unfair to ask all exhibitors of good classics (like PVR in India) to strictly conform to standards of projections. Beggars can’t be choosers, but every once in a while we ought to be pampered.

Good cinema is not prisoner to trivialities like microchips, cameras and projectors. If Chris Nolan swears by celluloid even when shooting The Dark Night Rises; good for him. But then if Leo Carax shoots Holy Motors on digital, he really shouldn’t get too grumpy about it either. Good cinema is good cinema.

Facts About Projection from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.

February 13, 2013

Side By Side


For almost one hundred years there was only one way to make a movie — with film.

Movies were shot, edited and projected using photochemical film. But over the last two decades a digital process has emerged to challenge photochemical filmmaking.

SIDE BY SIDE, a new documentary produced by Keanu Reeves, takes an in-depth look at this revolution. Through interviews with directors, cinematographers, film students, producers, technologists, editors, and exhibitors, SIDE BY SIDE examines all aspects of filmmaking — from capture to edit, visual effects to color correction, distribution to archive. At this moment when digital and photochemical filmmaking coexist, SIDE BY SIDE explores what has been gained, what is lost, and what the future might bring.

The quote above is as apt and succinct a description you could write for the documentary directed by Chris Kenneally and produced by Keanu Reaves. The documentary successfully gives an account of  how the film-making process,post the scripting stage i.e. just before production begins has changed with advent of digital technology. It does so by following a linear narrative of the film-making process, right from photography to distribution/exhibition and eventually archival. At each stage, we meet practitioners, be it cinematographers, directors, actors, VFX artists, DI, Producers, Studio execs and learn from and through them of the impact of the digital technology.

Watch the video below, to see how idea came about and how they achieved this.

What I really liked about Side By Side was that the film-makers were true to themselves and their objectives. At no point did they deviate from the agenda, equivocally presenting and representing argument from both sides of the divide. Keanu could explore an alternative career as a talk show host or an investigative journalist. With an embarrassment of riches in terms of the interviewees( Scorsese, Lynch, Lars von Trier, Wachowskis, Nolan to name a few) it gives a great perspective on what some of the best practitioners of our time feel about a much loved and popular form of art &entertainment.

The documentary is slated for a theatrical releases in the U.S. and is currently making rounds of the festival circuit and trying to promote it. I was really glad to have caught it at the 0110 DIFF in Delhi. I strongly urge all budding filmmakers and film enthusiasts  to watch it at their nearest screen soon.

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