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RIP, the movie film camera

Old 10-13-11, 10:55 PM
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RIP, the movie film camera

Interesting article about a day we knew would come, although sooner than I may have liked. I don't think digital is quite there yet, but at least the option for film will be there - as long as the supply of cameras lasts. Here's to the end of an era.

Matt Zoller Seitz
Thursday, Oct 13, 2011 4:54 PM UTC

R.I.P., the movie camera: 1888-2011
Major manufacturers have ceased production of new motion picture film cameras; cinema as we once knew it is dead

We might as well call it: Cinema as we knew it is dead.

An article at the moviemaking technology website Creative Cow reports that the three major manufacturers of motion picture film cameras — Aaton, ARRI and Panavision — have all ceased production of new cameras within the last year, and will only make digital movie cameras from now on. As the article’s author, Debra Kaufman, poignantly puts it, “Someone, somewhere in the world is now holding the last film camera ever to roll off the line.”

What this means is that, even though purists may continue to shoot movies on film, film itself will may become increasingly hard to come by, use, develop and preserve. It also means that the film camera — invented in 1888 by Louis Augustin Le Prince — will become to cinema what typewriters are to literature. Anybody who still uses a Smith-Corona or IBM Selectric typewriter knows what that means: if your beloved machine breaks, you can’t just take it to the local repair shop, you have to track down some old hermit in another town who advertises on Craigslist and stockpiles spare parts in his basement.

As Aaton founder Jean-Pierre Beauviala told Kaufman: “Almost nobody is buying new film cameras. Why buy a new one when there are so many used cameras around the world? We wouldn’t survive in the film industry if we were not designing a digital camera.” Bill Russell, ARRI’s vice president of cameras, added that: “The demand for film cameras on a global basis has all but disappeared.”

Theaters, movies, moviegoing and other core components of what we once called “cinema” persist, and may endure. But they’re not quite what they were in the analog cinema era. They’re something new, or something else — the next generation of technologies and rituals that had changed shockingly little between 1895 and the early aughts. We knew this day would come. Calling oneself a “film director” or “film editor” or “film buff” or a “film critic” has over the last decade started to seem a faintly nostalgic affectation; decades hence it may start to seem fanciful. It’s a vestigial word that increasingly refers to something that does not actually exist — rather like referring to the mass media as “the press.”

In May 1999 — a year that saw several major releases, including “Toy Story 2,″ projected digitally for paying customers — editor and sound designer Walter Murch wrote a piece for the New York Times headlined, “A Digital Cinema of the Mind? Could Be.” In it, Murch pointed out that only two major aspects of the analog filmmaking process had survived into the late ’90s, the recording of images on sprocketed celluloid film and their projection onto big screens by casting a beam of light through the images. Murch predicted that once digital projection became widespread, it would “trigger the final capitulation of the two last holdouts of film’s 19th-century, analog-mechanical legacy. Projection, at the end of the line, is one; the other is the original photography that begins the whole process. The movie industry is currently a digital sandwich between slices of analog bread.”

Near the end of 1999, my former New York Press colleague Godfrey Cheshire published a two-part article titled “Death of Film/Decay of Cinema“, which in hindsight seems eerily prescient. He predicted just about everything that would happen within the next decade-plus, including the replacement of old-fashioned film print projection by digital systems, the replacement of film cameras by digital cameras, and the near-total takeover of traditional cinematic language by techniques that had once been the province of television.

“Camera, projector, celluloid,” Cheshire wrote, “the basic technology hasn’t changed in over a century. Sure, as a form of expression, film underwent a radical alteration with the addition of sound, but that and other developments – color, widescreen, stereo, etc.–were simply embellishments to a technical paradigm that has held true since photographic likenesses began to move, and that everyone in the world has thought of as “the movies” – until this summer. [...] For the time being, most movies will still be shot on film, primarily because audiences are used to the look, but everything else about the process will be, in effect, television – from the transmission by satellite to the projection, which for all intents and purposes is simply a glorified version of a home video projection system.”

Although I’ve become more of a surly classicist with age, I was an early defender of movies shot on video, and I really don’t see the point of doing a Grandpa Cinema routine, waving a cane and hollering that the movies somehow “equal” film. That’s silly. Cinema is not just a medium. It is a language. Its essence — storytelling with shots and cuts, with or without sound — will survive the death of the physical material, celluloid, that many believed was inseparably linked to it. The physical essence of analog cinema won’t survive the death of film (except at museums and repertory houses that insist on showing 16mm and 35mm prints).

But digital cinema will become so adept at mimicking the look of film that within a couple of decades, even cinematographers may not be able to tell the difference. The painterly colors, supple gray scale, hard sharpness and enticing flicker of motion picture film were always important (if mostly unacknowledged) parts of cinema’s mass appeal. The makers of digital moviemaking equipment got hip to that in the late ’90s, and channeled their research and development money accordingly; it’s surely no coincidence that celluloid-chauvinist moviegoers and moviemakers stopped resisting the digital transition once they realized that the new, electronically-created movies could be made to look somewhat like the analog kind, with dense images, a flickery frame rate, and starkly defined planes of depth.

But let’s not kid ourselves: Now that analog filmmaking is dead, an ineffable beauty has died with it. Let’s raise two toasts, then — one to the glorious past, and one to the future, whatever it may hold.
http://entertainment.salon.com/2011/...011/singleton/
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Old 10-13-11, 11:18 PM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

I'm thoroughly depressed now...
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Old 10-14-11, 12:10 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

While indicative of the trend towards digital cinema(which has really gotten quite good, and is only improving at an amazing rate), certain DPs will continue to shoot film (Kaminski, Pfister). It's not as if the many, many film cameras will cease to work as well as they always have- heck, I've shot FX plates on a 50-year-old Mitchell camera that is as steady as anything. A well-serviced camera will last for ages, like a sewing machine.

Cry when the handful of film stocks still in production cease to be made... Only then will film be dead for good.
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Old 10-14-11, 06:25 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

But digital cinema will become so adept at mimicking the look of film that within a couple of decades, even cinematographers may not be able to tell the difference.
Music didn't happen that way. When synthesizers first came out in the 1970s, manufacturers thought that the way to go was to imitate analogue musical instruments. They had settings of violin, trumpet, and so forth. Musicians didn't want that. They wanted something new, and developed sounds that no one had ever heard before.

Why would a creative person want his movie look like something shot from the back of a Model T Ford?
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Old 10-14-11, 06:28 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Well this is far too soon. I can understand pushing for producing more digital cameras (and they have gotten progressively better) but phasing out film cameras comepletely...?
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Old 10-14-11, 07:20 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

It said the three MAJOR camera makers stopped production so there must be other companies making cameras.
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Old 10-14-11, 08:21 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

But digital cinema will become so adept at mimicking the look of film that within a couple of decades, even cinematographers may not be able to tell the difference.
i'm sure someone will make a plugin that will allow film makers to insert artifacts and jumping splotches onto the picture to simulate seeing a movie past the first day
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Old 10-14-11, 09:26 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by RocShemp View Post
Well this is far too soon. I can understand pushing for producing more digital cameras (and they have gotten progressively better) but phasing out film cameras comepletely...?
If no one is buying them, why bother making them? Nostalgia?

I have a bunch of library snob friends who are all upset about books going away in favor of e-readers. I've been an avid reader for 30 years. I'm never not reading a book. But ever since I got my Kindle, I'm never going back to hard copies. Because I can read even more books now. And buy new ones instantly. And not have to worry about storing them anywhere or driving back and forth to the store or the library to get new titles. I finish one and immediately download and start another. This is what I've always wanted.

Point is, the stories still exist and I still get to experience them. In a vastly superior format that makes more sense. The same thing is happening here.

I welcome it.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:11 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
i'm sure someone will make a plugin that will allow film makers to insert artifacts and jumping splotches onto the picture to simulate seeing a movie past the first day
Robert Rodriguez already did that with his Grindhouse segment Planet Terror.

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
I have a bunch of library snob friends who are all upset about books going away in favor of e-readers...

Point is, the stories still exist and I still get to experience them. In a vastly superior format that makes more sense. The same thing is happening here.
eBooks may be "vastly superior" to you, but that's not true for everyone , or every situation. The DRM on them means that ownership is a lot more limited. If Amazon ever goes out of business, you could potentially lose your entire Kindle collection. When you die, you can't pass on your book collection. There's no reselling of Kindle titles. Even lending is more cumbersome and limited.

Not that any of that applies to movies. We've been living with owning digital copies of movies at home for a decade now, and even before that the vast majority of people never owned a 35mm copy of a film. For film, it's more an aesthetic value, in how images captured on film are always going to look different than images captured on digital video, even with steps to make digital video better approximate film. It's more akin to the vinyl vs CD debate, or using analog recording equipment even if the end product is likely going to be mostly bought digitally.

Film also has a sort of simplicity as a storage and viewing format. You shine light through it, and you see an image. Digital relies on a variety of different media and codecs. Nowadays we're still finding lost films from the early years of cinema, and able to view them with little difficulty. I wonder if, 50 years in the future, someone comes across a NTFS formatted SATA harddrive holding a series of .mts files containing video encoded in REDCODE RAW, that we'll have the hardware and software available to actually recover the movie within.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:18 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

I still have my super 8 and regular 8 cameras, as well as two 16mm cameras. I think I'll start a rental house.

(Now where's that 3-strip Technicolor camera I used to have lying around? )

I love the look and feel of a printed page. I love the look and feel of a strip of celluloid. Film is chemical, just like people--that's why we have such a strong chemical reaction to film.

I have a VHS copy of GATE OF HELL (1953), one of Japan's earliest color films. It was transferred directly from a film print. It looks beautiful in a way that a digital copy can't.

(Of course, I'm trying to convey it with a digital photo--nothing beats actually watching it.)

And remember when subtitles looked like this?:
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Old 10-14-11, 10:23 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Film also has a sort of simplicity as a storage and viewing format. You shine light through it, and you see an image. Digital relies on a variety of different media and codecs. Nowadays we're still finding lost films from the early years of cinema, and able to view them with little difficulty. I wonder if, 50 years in the future, someone comes across a NTFS formatted SATA harddrive holding a series of .mts files containing video encoded in REDCODE RAW, that we'll have the hardware and software available to actually recover the movie within.
One could make the same argument about vinyl. Spin a record, drop the needle, you get music. But that doesn't mean we should hold to it because it's easier to use. And you still have to have a piece of equipment for it, the media needs to hold up, and so on.

I've been a professional shooter and editor for the last 13 years and I've never touched a piece of film. And while there may be a lot of codecs out there, there aren't as many that are regularly used by a majority of people. Those things will continue to standardize as we move forward. It might be painful for a bit, but transferring a file to a movie theater is a much better system for everyone than shipping a gigantic roll of film across the country.

This is just the latest step in the evolution of the media.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:23 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

yeah...I read this as it came out. Sad to see the film cameras are no longer being made by those guys.

In this current time of filmmaking. I'm all about film. Why? Cuz it just looks better. But I'm not stupid. I know digital is getting up there and I'm cool w/ that. I just hate missing w/ it cuz it's still messy where I don't want it to be (FUCK YOU, MOTION BLUR!). When digital is up there w/ Film in giving me all those options that film stocks gives us. Like..right at that line..I'll go w/ digital. Until that time...I'm a film guy.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:17 AM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
One could make the same argument about vinyl. Spin a record, drop the needle, you get music. But that doesn't mean we should hold to it because it's easier to use. And you still have to have a piece of equipment for it, the media needs to hold up, and so on.
Vinyl has seen a huge resurgence in the past decade. Even music that's recorded digitally is seeing vinyl releases. And my point about archivability has a lot to to with the simplicity of the equipment needed for it; even if it doesn't still exist it could be easily reproduced, and much easier to determine how to extract the information. For vinyl, all you need is a needle, a cone, and a way to spin the record. The solution doesn't even need to be motorized.
http://www.altmann.haan.de/turntable/

In fact, you don't even need a needle nowadays. They're using images of broken records in order to digitally reconstruct the sound:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=11851842

And here's a story of modern technology recovering the earliest recorded sounds ever, back in 1860:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/arts/27soun.html
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=104797243
http://www.firstsounds.org/sounds/scott.php

They managed to recover recordings that even the recordings' inventor didn't know how to play back, largely due to the simplistic analog method used.

For fun, digitized cylinder recordings:
http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/

For film, you just need a light source to see the individual images. Producing a moving image is more complicated mechanically speaking, but a digital transfer would be scanning the images individually anyway.

And while there may be a lot of codecs out there, there aren't as many that are regularly used by a majority of people. Those things will continue to standardize as we move forward.
There's certainly some standards out there, but those will likely continue to change as time goes on. What's the "standard" now isn't likely to be the standard a decade from now, if even that long. Digital technology allows standards to evolve much more quickly, which means that older files, as well as older media formats, are going to be increasingly difficult to access. And of course, those minority outliers that use some little known and short lived codec or format may never be recovered.

Film, for better or worse, was largely the same for over the course of nearly a century in terms of image playback.

It might be painful for a bit, but transferring a file to a movie theater is a much better system for everyone than shipping a gigantic roll of film across the country.
Digital projection certainly has its advantages, advantages that may outweigh film projection for many. However, this thread isn't about film projectors, it's about film cameras. Many movies originally shot on film have been projected digitally.


Just to be clear: I'm not saying that film is superior, or that we have to be beholden to it. However, film has its advantages in certain areas, and to blindly dismiss them in favor of digital cinema is nearly as bad as stubbornly clinging to older technology because of a fear of change. You called your book loving friends "library snobs," when in reality they may simply have different value than you when they look for a medium for reading.
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Old 10-14-11, 04:58 PM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

I think the vinyl resurgence is primarily powered by nostalgic 30 somethings with money to spend and hipsters who think it's cool to prefer vinyl, but that's a separate thread

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
You called your book loving friends "library snobs," when in reality they may simply have different value than you when they look for a medium for reading.
All good points and I can see the issue. I'm old enough to have had records in the house, but moving to cassettes, then CDs, then digital files has been relatively painless for me. I've never felt the medium was important, only the content.

The reason I use the term "library snobs" is because the impression I get is that they feel the printed word is somehow going away. And that's something to be sad about. To me, it's becoming easier than ever to get. If I read a book, whether on my Kindle or a hard copy, I still get the story. Doesn't matter how it's delivered. And even though I spent every day after school in the local library, I was only there because that's where all the books were. Now those are in my Kindle.

While it's not exactly the same thing, seeing a movie shot on a film camera versus a digital camera doesn't really matter to me - what matters is the story. And I don't tend to enjoy films that are overly "artsy" for lack of a better term and rely on the imperfections of film to make the movie look a certain way.

I just see this as an "of course they are going away." The same way film cameras went away.
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Old 10-14-11, 06:32 PM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Why would a creative person want his movie look like something shot from the back of a Model T Ford?
I can think of two modern films that used hand cranked cameras from the silent era because it gave them the desired look they wanted.

Film isn't going away as fast as this article might make you believe. Cameras last forever. I was just re-watching the Last Emperor supplements and Starraro says he shot that movie with a 50 year old camera...a camera made in the 1930's! Amazing. Filmmakers will still shoot with film. Exhibition on the other hand will probably go 100% digital very soon, with only museums and special venues retaining their film projectors. I wonder...with all the theaters going digital it might get very cheap to buy a 35mm projector.

Last edited by Mabuse; 10-14-11 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 10-14-11, 06:34 PM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
I can think of two modern films that used hand cranked cameras from the silent era because it gave them the desired look they wanted.
Do tell....
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Old 10-14-11, 06:52 PM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

The Tin Drum and Magnolia
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Old 10-14-11, 08:04 PM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
I can think of two modern films that used hand cranked cameras from the silent era because it gave them the desired look they wanted.

Film isn't going away as fast as this article might make you believe. Cameras last forever. I was just re-watching the Last Emperor supplements and Starraro says he shot that movie with a 50 year old camera...a camera made in the 1930's! Amazing. Filmmakers will still shoot with film. Exhibition on the other hand will probably go 100% digital very soon, with only museums and special venues retaining their film projectors. I wonder...with all the theaters going digital it might get very cheap to buy a 35mm projector.
And the Call of Cthulhu was a silent movie with intertitles. That's an artistic choice too. But I don't think movie makers will strive to make their movies indistinguishable from film any more than singers use an Autotune to make their voices sound analogue.

As for the loss of history, people are still hoping a complete copy of Metropolis will be found. If it is found, the reels will be put into a common projector. As for digital media, I remember the 5 inch floppy disk, and that was only 25 years ago. If someone found a unique copy of a lost masterpiece on a 5 inch floppy, how could it be retrieved? Digital movies will be lost as thoroughly as the nitrate-era movies.
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Old 10-14-11, 08:19 PM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
eBooks may be "vastly superior" to you, but that's not true for everyone , or every situation. The DRM on them means that ownership is a lot more limited. If Amazon ever goes out of business, you could potentially lose your entire Kindle collection. When you die, you can't pass on your book collection. There's no reselling of Kindle titles. Even lending is more cumbersome and limited.
We can play up any scenario you want to show off the downsides. Some of your points are rubbish though. You won't ever lose the books you download and the DRM is so easy to rip. I don't ever see Amazon going out of business and if it does someone else will take it over and keep the Kindle going. The world is more likely to end then the Kindle is to go away. And as long as someone holds the Amazon account, there is no reason those books can't be passed down. And while you can't resell books, you can sell a Kindle with all the books included on it. They won't transfer to another account, but the person can just keep them on the device with no issue or copy them to the computer. And I'd also like to point out you can download so many classic books for free giving one far greater and easier access to so many books.

The debate between e-books and physical books is very shallow, though. It misses the point of reading. They are both incredibly capable of giving an individual the written word and allowing their imagination to flourish.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:28 PM
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
The reason I use the term "library snobs" is because the impression I get is that they feel the printed word is somehow going away. And that's something to be sad about. To me, it's becoming easier than ever to get.
Technically they're right. The printed word is going away, and being replaced with digital words.

Digital delivery of written works has a lot going for it. It opens up availability, can remove physical or geographic barriers from obtaining or owning a work, etc.

However, that doesn't mean one shouldn't be sad that it inevitably comes at the cost of the printed word. We're on the cusp, near the end of one era and at the beginning of another. The printed word still has value in ways digital words do not. While the advantages of going digital may far outweigh those of staying with printed for many, many people, that doesn't mean everyone has to be happy about it, or for any one person to be unequivocally happy for it.

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
While it's not exactly the same thing, seeing a movie shot on a film camera versus a digital camera doesn't really matter to me - what matters is the story. And I don't tend to enjoy films that are overly "artsy" for lack of a better term and rely on the imperfections of film to make the movie look a certain way.
Going digital isn't going to get rid of "artsy" movies, since "artsy" isn't the sole domain of film. Nor or people who prefer to shoot on film doing so strictly for "arsty" purposes. Film does have a certain look though, and that look is ingrained into the vast majority of people out there over the past century. One of the common complaints about new TVs is their "motion enhancement" modes that cause films to look more video-like, to many people's dismay.

And for many, story is an extremely important part of a film. However, just as, if not more, important is how the story is told. I wouldn't necessarily want to watch a film of a man reading a book aloud, no matter how good the book. How a film is shot is an important element in conveying a story, as important as the acting and the editing. And I'm not talking about "artsy" shots necessarily, but simple craft, conveying the scene cleanly and concisely. Film was an important part of that for decades, and its on its way out.

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
And the Call of Cthulhu was a silent movie with intertitles. That's an artistic choice too. But I don't think movie makers will strive to make their movies indistinguishable from film any more than singers use an Autotune to make their voices sound analogue.
Autotune was originally devised to make a human voice sound in tune, more human than human, so to speak. The distorted voice people commonly associate with autotune was a discovered side effect. But autotune is still used for making inperfect singers sound on key; you just don't notice that it's been used.

I do think some filmmakers will want to make digital look as close to certain film stock as possible, and this has already been done. Others will embrace digital and its possibilities. Digital projection is one of the main reasons for the resurgence of 3D, since it allows for a 3D projected image at a level of quality that film projectors have never been able to reach. Peter Jackson is shooting The Hobbit in 3D and at 48fps, which is a framerate twice that of normal film, and one that never caught on with film cameras due to the increased costs of filming and projection. Digital filming and projection makes the faster framerate practical now.

However, either way, digital will never look exactly like film. Shooting on film will eventually die out, or at the least severely cut back. A specific look of film will be gone, which is the price of progress, but is a price we pay none the less.

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
As for the loss of history, people are still hoping a complete copy of Metropolis will be found. If it is found, the reels will be put into a common projector. As for digital media, I remember the 5 inch floppy disk, and that was only 25 years ago. If someone found a unique copy of a lost masterpiece on a 5 inch floppy, how could it be retrieved? Digital movies will be lost as thoroughly as the nitrate-era movies.
Nobody could fit a film onto a 5 inch floppy.

Originally Posted by Drop View Post
We can play up any scenario you want to show off the downsides. Some of your points are rubbish though. You won't ever lose the books you download and the DRM is so easy to rip. I don't ever see Amazon going out of business and if it does someone else will take it over and keep the Kindle going.
DRM is illegal to circumvent, so while it may or may not be possible, it's not something you are legally allowed to do. Printed books don't have this legal restriction on what you can do with that copy.

As for it being unlikely that DRM would cause people to ever lose access to items they purchased, this has already happened. Both Yahoo and Microsoft stopped releasing keys for tracks that people bought from their DRM music services, back in 2008. Microsoft and Yahoo are still here, but their music services aren't. So you can't base the future availability of Kindle titles based on the future of Amazon, since Amazon could simply abandon Kindle when it becomes no longer profitable.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-9998504-93.html

Originally Posted by Drop View Post
And as long as someone holds the Amazon account, there is no reason those books can't be passed down. And while you can't resell books, you can sell a Kindle with all the books included on it. They won't transfer to another account, but the person can just keep them on the device with no issue or copy them to the computer.
These are just cumbersome "solutions" at best. First off, the collection can't be broken up, so as you point out you can't transfer ownership of any of the books without transferring all of them, meaning most people won't give them up until they die. Once they die, the collection is still all or nothing, and can't be split up. Most people don't want a whole collection of someone else's stuff. They may want to keep a few pieces and sell the rest. With printed books, an estate sale could sell off all the books, most typically to a bookseller who would split it up and sell the books individually to customers. In the case of a all-or-nothing collection, the value of it would significantly diminish, since it'd be extremely unlikely to find a buying interested in obtaining and keeping all the specific titles.

And that's not even getting into the cumbersome idea of having to juggle multiple accounts on multiple devices obtained over the years.

Also, it may be illegal. The Kindle terms of service specifically state that you are not buying a copy of the book, but are being granted a license to view the book on certain devices. What's more:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...deId=200506200
Unless specifically indicated otherwise, you may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense, or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove or modify any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content. In addition, you may not bypass, modify, defeat, or circumvent security features that protect the Digital Content.
So they're forbidding transferring the license to anyone else, as well as forbidding bypassing DRM. These are concerns that printed books don't have.

Again, my point isn't that the printed word is better than ebooks, or film is better than digital video. My point is that each has advantages and disadvantages. While the advantages of digital works have caused them to gain dominance, let's not forget the advantages of the past methods, some of which we're losing with digital.
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Old 10-16-11, 10:17 AM
  #21  
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Good, nuanced response.

Of course you can't fit a movie onto a 5 inch floppy. But in eighty years, it's a safe bet that whatever format your 2011 movie is in, that format will be obsolete. I trying to use the floppy disk as an analogy.

Some people believe that digital data will remain available, in new formats, for as long as there is a world-wide web. Instead of someone finding a diary of a Civil War soldier in a box in some attic, the blog written by a soldier fighting for Ghadaffi will be in the cloud forever.

I'm less optimistic. The hardware underlying the cloud is owned by a handful of large operators, who could purge yottabytes of data because it is no longer accessed by anyone. I have to fight the IT department at work every few years because they want to "clean up" the drives that hold old cycle data. In the science fiction story "The Green Leopard Plague," the vacation snapshots of people who've been dead for a century are still on the web. I don't see that happening. Once stuff is forgotten, it will be gone.

What disturbs me most is the problem of George Orwell's 1984 on Kindle. Amazon pressed a button, and every copy disappeared. Gone. Imagine how happy an undemocratic government would would be to have that power. The Dead Sea Scrolls and The Analects of Confucius were suppressed and burned, but people were able to hide copies for future generations. Electronic media potentially gives tyrants the power to burn books with a completeness that scares me. There would be no samizdat, no secret Bibles, no Vatican list of banned books. They would simply be gone.
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Old 10-16-11, 10:31 AM
  #22  
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

...and schools are no longer teaching penmanship.
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Old 10-16-11, 05:19 PM
  #23  
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO looked beautiful in the theater and that was a digital camera.
All the colors were true. I don't understand all this green,teal and yellow in movies we've been getting for the last 11 years. Is that digital or film?
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Old 10-16-11, 06:58 PM
  #24  
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by wm lopez View Post
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO looked beautiful in the theater and that was a digital camera.
All the colors were true. I don't understand all this green,teal and yellow in movies we've been getting for the last 11 years. Is that digital or film?
Neither, that's the DI, regardless of capture format. Personally, I hated the look of ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, but that was back with the early F900 camera, and digital cameras have come a long way since then.
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Old 10-16-11, 08:41 PM
  #25  
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Re: RIP, the movie film camera

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Some people believe that digital data will remain available, in new formats, for as long as there is a world-wide web. Instead of someone finding a diary of a Civil War soldier in a box in some attic, the blog written by a soldier fighting for Ghadaffi will be in the cloud forever.

I'm less optimistic. The hardware underlying the cloud is owned by a handful of large operators, who could purge yottabytes of data because it is no longer accessed by anyone. I have to fight the IT department at work every few years because they want to "clean up" the drives that hold old cycle data. In the science fiction story "The Green Leopard Plague," the vacation snapshots of people who've been dead for a century are still on the web. I don't see that happening. Once stuff is forgotten, it will be gone.

What disturbs me most is the problem of George Orwell's 1984 on Kindle. Amazon pressed a button, and every copy disappeared. Gone. Imagine how happy an undemocratic government would would be to have that power. The Dead Sea Scrolls and The Analects of Confucius were suppressed and burned, but people were able to hide copies for future generations. Electronic media potentially gives tyrants the power to burn books with a completeness that scares me. There would be no samizdat, no secret Bibles, no Vatican list of banned books. They would simply be gone.
Yeah, "The Blog of Anne Frank" wouldn't survive.
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