Digital vs. Film (TT5)

FilmvDigNow this is a topic that has been argued for years. The argument ranges from which avenue is easiest for filmmaking all the way to which one looks more aesthetically pleasing. Now, while filmmaking is the field that I wish to enter, I’m not an expert on either of them. So all of my personal opinions are just that. Take from this what you can and be sure to leave a comment with your own opinions. I’d love to discuss differences and similarities in terms of film.

In terms of ease of use, it’s really hard to decide. Film can be much harder since it takes much longer to see the shot or the finished product, at least with my experience. If you need to get the film developed and you can’t find a person or place to do it for you, you might have to wait a while until you can figure that out though that should be figured out in pre-production, but sometimes things fall through. This might be the biggest reason why many flock to digital, since it’s instantaneous gratification. You can see the product once you stop recording. You can see if the boom dipped on Take 2 and reshoot until it’s perfect. Since they’re mostly saved to SD cards, running out of space means you can manually delete clips on camera or just use another SD card. Then, once you’re done, give the SD card to your editor and have them upload it to one of the millions of editing software out there. You can also, depending on the digital camera, film at some pretty crazy frame rates that make purchasing a low priced DSLR the smart choice.

In terms of look, nothing honestly beats the traditional look that film gives. Sure, digital is as crisp as a winter breeze, but the graininess of film is perfection. It’s obvious that film is the better of the two in this aspect since many digital filmmakers try to get that grainy, authentic look. It doesn’t usually work out since digital cameras and editing software can replicate the unpredictability of the look of film. I have heard horrible stories from professors and older filmmaking friends where their film or someone elses film burned on the projector. Which brings me to the next aspect.

Since digital film is saved on SD cards and then on computers, there are thousands of way to recover a film if something happens to one of the copies, unless you lose the SD card prior to uploading it to the computer. If you haven’t duplicated your film once it’s finished being cut, and something happens to it, you’re set back quite a ways. It’s a horror story either way, but it can be harder to happen with digital.

Price and finding a film camera for filmmaking can be difficult to pin down, but it’s no doubt harder to find and more expensive than digital cameras. A good DSLR can be purchased at most big box stores, websites and through friends. I personally have never seen a film camera at a big box store and the only cameras that I know of are quite expensive.

When it comes down to it, a film camera is quite a wonderful thing. It’s biggest issue is that in a world gone digital, it’s hard for a filmmaker to start out with it. In a perfect world, traditional filmmaking, you know with film, would last till the end of time. But the ease for digital filmmaking, especially for the beginning filmmaker can’t be denied. So don’t mistake me for a traditional film hater, I love the medium as a whole and film is the back bone of cinema, but everything evolves and filmmaking is no different.

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Frank (Film Review)

Frank_movie_posterFrank, starring Michael Fassbender, is one of those movies from last year that I wanted to see immediately after hearing about it. Sadly, I had to wait until Netflix came along and put it on their streaming website, which is one of the many reasons I love Netflix. Now, as I started to watch the movie, I realized that other than knowing the film was about an eccentric musician who always wears a fake head, I knew nothing about the film. Despite not knowing anything, the film had built incredibly high expectations in my eyes and it was going to be tough to top them. So did it?

Now, first things first, the film follows Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), an aspiring musician who can’t seem to write any music. He gets an opportunity to fill in for a band’s keyboardist after the previous guy goes crazy and soon finds himself in the middle of no where trying to record the band’s album with them. Fassbender plays Frank, the dude in the fake head and Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Clara, who is more or less the antagonist of the film’s main character Jon. Many troubles arise, changing how Jon sees the world and the people around him, that’s me trying my hardest not to spoil anything.

The movie is incredibly fun at times and incredibly depressing at others. It’s a great mix and ends in a fairly unpredictable way, not super crazy, but good nonetheless. I loved the performances, especially by Gleeson and Fassbender. Gyllenhaal was also very good and helped to add another dynamic to the film. I felt like in the beginning that her role could have been cast by any actress, but towards the end it made sense why she was cast. There were other actors in smaller roles and they too did a great job.

Some people might not like how the film’s main character uses twitter and YouTube, but I didn’t seem to mind it. It added to the realism since pretty much everyone I know uses twitter and/or YouTube. It didn’t feel excessive in my opinion and also stayed true to how people really act when they’re on social media.  The film has minor nudity, with a man’s buttocks seen briefly and if you look hard enough you might be able to see a breast through murky water. The main reason the film is rated R is that there are quite a few F-bombs.

I honestly can’t find anything to hate about this film, it was great on all fronts and lived up greatly to my expectations. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I might have been one of my favorite films of 2014.

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Sinister (Re-review)

93026_galA struggling writer of true crime novels moves him and his family into a house where a grisly murder took place years before. He soon discovers a box filled with “home movies” which turn out to be videos of different families being murdered. He then starts to see some of the crazy things in his new house. Things that would make most men run away, far away.

Director Scott Derrickson really delivers at providing that audience with a good, violent and scary film. Derrickson was able to work with a low-budget and provide thrills throughout the film’s near 2 hour run time. Continue reading

To the Wonder Review…what did I just watch?

100421_gal63 of 200 new films watched in 2013

Premiering at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder” experienced a limited release in the United States, making it a bit difficult to find. The film follows an American man named Neil as he moves back to America with his French girlfriend, Marina, and her young daughter. The two lovers are soon separated by distance as Marina moves back to France with her daughter.

Malick’s use of camera technique is worth applauding. His wide shots show just how small these characters are and his up-close shots frame the stone buildings of the European countryside. Continue reading

Nobody Walks Review [62 of 200]

Nobody_Walks_movie_posterGeez, what a terrible movie. Seriously, this is a terrible, terrible movie. I mean that’s honestly all I can say. The film stars John Krasinski and Olivia Thirlby as two filmmakers, with Krasinski helping Thirlby make her artsy film. In what feels like mere minutes, the two are hooked on each other, the only problem is that Krasinski’s character is married with kids. Does that stop him? You can probably guess the right answer. Continue reading