Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More Randomness - Death of the movie camera

I somehow missed this last week, but feel the need to talk about it now. It's official, the movie camera is dead. I'm talking about the camera that uses actual, honest-to-god film. For some reason this bothers me. I make my living in the digital world, I'm a computer technician, I write a blog, I have a $2000 digital camera, later today I'm going to pick up my new iPhone, but the "death" of the movie camera bothers me.

I like to think of myself as an analog guy in a digital world. I love my Polaroids (I have many), I have a ton of vinyl LP's that I still listen to. Other than my digital SLR my newest camera was made in 1968. I still have darkroom equipment to make my own prints from negatives if I wanted to. But I don't, most of what I do is digital because it's easy to use.

I grew up watching films. It wasn't until high school that we started watching videos. I remember the teachers getting the movie projector out and loading up the film. Running it through the machine and hooking it to the other spool. It was always a position of honor to be the one who got to sit at the projector and hit the little lever to stop the film from jumping. My brother used to make and edit Super8 films and we would watch them in the living room as a family. Even as late as the mid 80's Disney was selling 8mm films in the parks for people to take home, rather than VHS tapes.

I had a photography teacher tell me one time that working with film was an art and a craft. There are so many variables that go into working with film. You can repeat the same steps exactly and get different results because of something as minor as the temperature being off by a few degrees. When you work with film you have to have a feel for how the film will react.

We are going to loose those artists that have a feel for film. In my lifetime I know that working with film we become like being a blacksmith or a hat maker. Only a small number of people will fight to keep the tradition alive and people who are just growing up now will not experience the pleasure of seeing a true "Film", they will get just a digital reconstruction of what a film used to look like, and the world will be a sorry place for it.

Man, I sound old! "Back in my day...." Enough of this randomness. Up next is The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad.

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