Digital is the future, accept filmmakersOctober 15th, 2011 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Oct 15 (IANS) Panelists at an open forum on digital tools in filmmaking at the Mumbai Film Festival Saturday were unanimous in endorsing digital technology as the future of the medium.
“We have no choice but to adapt to digital. And unlike in the past, it is not because it is cheaper but because the quality of digital has gone up and it allows you to do a lot more,” said filmmaker Rohan Sippy.
Cinematographer Amit Roy agreed.
“Digital for years was not up to the standards of film. But in the last three to four years, it has changed. The ‘red camera’ was a game changer and now you have the Arri, the 5D and other amazing cameras,” he said.
When someone thinks digital, one thinks only of digital filmmaking. Yet, digital permeates cinema in more ways than one.
Sarah Mackinzee, who has worked for various film companies in Britain, said: “What is unique with digital is how it gives consumers an access to content. With film content getting more space due to digital, filmmakers are becoming more ambitious. Films which would never have seen a release are being released commercially globally.”
She gave the example of six independent British films which found release in 36 cities in the US because there are more digital theatres there. “Digital has led to the democratisation of content creation. There’s still a lot more that will happen and this potential is exciting,” she added.
The transition from film to digital that has been going on for a few years now has been painful to many.
“But if you remember that one thing is merely being changed by another, the transition is not so painful. Example, the same thing you used to do photochemically on your print, has not to be done digitally. But you still have to do it,” said Naresh Malick, chief operating officer of Reliance MediaWorks.
On the flip side though, digital is not without its problems. “Digital has made standardisation complex. You store something in one format and tomorrow that becomes redundant,” maintained Sameer Hoon, who has worked extensively in Hollywood.
The same problem is faced when it comes to storing films. “You cannot store it in hard disks as the hard disk you have today will be useless tomorrow. What do you do? Ironically, the solution that studios globally have found, is to store cinema back on film format,” he said.
Yet at the end of the day, cinema is more about the story than anything else. “Like anything else, digital is merely a tool to tell a story. Ninety percent of the things you do are not even seen by audiences. You cannot get too preoccupied with formats. The important thing is to engage the audience. That should be the focus,” said Rohan Sippy, rounding up the discussion.
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