Why film is cool

From: Scott Janush (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2006 - 13:27:23 PST

Hi all!

I've been subscribing to this list for a short while, and I have to
tell you, the contributors to this list have opened my eyes.

I work in the so called "Feature film" world as a VFX editor / 1st
assistant editor. I spend most of my time on large visual fx films,
most of which turn out to be tremendous disappointments in the artistic
realm, if not the financial realm.

My coworkers and I spend amazing amounts of time lamenting the state of
our industry, most of which relates not to technical issues, but rather
the lack of creativity of the so-called "creatives" on the films. There
are so many layers of watering down that occur by the time the cameras
roll that it is rare that a "filmmakers vision" actually makes it to
the screen, whether it is worthy or not. As far as I'm concerned,
studio executives have pretty much abdicated their roles in bringing
better product to the screens/DVD etc...

When I joined the industry, it was just as video editing was starting
to gain a foothold in cutting films.
There were many editors who cried to the heavens how this was going to
destroy the filmmaking process.
Most of them are now cutting electronically, but we are still, (at
least for the time being ) releasing these films on film.

Most of my coworkers tend to agree that the "film experience" is the
fun part of seeing a film.
What greater film thrill is there than going to a screening with a few
hundred other people and everyone getting startled by a scare? Or a
collective breath? Or seeing scores of people crying? It's spectacular.
It's what filmmaking is all about, getting a response from the viewer.
The problem is that most films are awful.

Bottom line is that in a few years, once the economic aspects have
truly been worked out, many theaters will be projecting digital. The
economics from the studio distribution side are massive savings in
distribution and more importantly to them, security. From my side,
video does not have the same visceral impact that film does, but that
comes down to the original image source. If we shoot on film and
release on video and that gets the viewer a better experience and that
keeps people coming to the theatres, then I'm all for it.

Any format that allows wider distribution of a person's creative output
is good for everyone.
For those who live and breathe for Kodachrome, I hope you can fill your
refrigerators with all you can find.
For me, I just hope that those who are truly creative will take
advantage of any means necessary to get your message out there to the
rest of us who still believe that creativity trumps technology on any
given day, by whatever means.

Thanks for letting me rant.


For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.