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Your Favorite Directors and…….Keanu Reeves?

August 30th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

Given that Keanu Reeves was the star of the 1999 movie that pretty much paved the way for a whole slew of digital filmmaking innovations, he seems an apt figure to guide us through the discussion of film as a recording format being in its twilight years. However, it’s the vibrant and colorful directors, cinematographers, and other filmmakers that he interviews that give this movie life and passion. We all know Keanu can come across as wooden and not very animated in his delivery, which is why we are blessed with his mostly being behind the camera in this film.

This film more or less has the prevailing Hollywood viewpoint in mind: all filmmaking will be digital and film will become extinct. While we at the GI (35mm forever!) will certainly mourn the day no movies are made on film, the range of working filmmakers skewed nearly entirely digital. While it’s great to see Christopher Nolan and few other firm believers in the look and feel of film, Soderbergh, Lucas, Lynch and more say they’ve had it with the limitations of film and film cameras. Very much a look behind the curtain to the firm technical side of filmmaking, the film comes across at time like an infomercial for Red and other technology manufacturers. One bit I really appreciated was seeing clip shows of films made in the past few years on both film and digital, and saying what cameras they were shot on. But ultimately for the film consumer, it’s all about distribution and projection. I’ve had the pleasure to work at a couple of theatres around town and sling some film and digital up onto that silver screen. At least Scorsese and a couple other filmmakers give the nod to exhibition, because that really determines the final product. Films are very rarely distributed for average use in more than 1080p, and movies are now being shot with much, much higher resolution than we can currently enjoy at home.

HD vs the new standard for digital exhibition: 4k

I could wax on about the state of the industry for a while, or you could come down to the GI and see for yourself. Keanu and team do a good job of giving a lot of different professionals equal time in the spotlight over a breadth of topics, and one of the most important aspects of the digital era does not get overlooked: archiving. I sincerely believe this is one of the most “must-see” documentaries about the digital era of filmmaking ever made, and you would do yourself a disservice by not arming yourself with this knowledge and new soundbytes by your favorite directors.

—-analog and he knows it, dan

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