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Christopher Nolan is one of the most talented and successful directors working today, and his opinion seems to carry a lot of clout in Hollywood. At a Producer’s Guild of America conference today, Nolan spoke out against the ever-increasing use of digital images instead of film in the movie industry.

Many moviemakers and theaters are switching to digital equipment to create and exhibit movies because of the reduced costs involved compared to film. Nolan is gravely concerned about this switch and believes that the moviegoing experience is beginning to suffer as a result.

Said Nolan:

“There’s a huge danger in all of this . . . If you are looking strictly at production cost, then you would use digital. But for the best image, it is still film. The problem with the push to digital is its has been given a consumer aspect . . . It’s not what is best for the film,”

Nolan believes that digital technology has yet to achieve the image quality that film offers, and he refuses to work in the digital realm until that parity is achieved:

“When [digital] is as good as film and it makes sense I’ll be open to it . . . But (at present) it’s not good enough.”

Do you think Nolan’s words are going to be drowned out in the tidal shift towards cheaper digital technology? Is he right that digital images reduce the quality of the moviegoing experience, or are glowing cell phone screens, overpriced concessions and chatty teenagers already taking care of that?

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

9 Responses to “‘Dark Knight Rises’ Director Christopher Nolan Speaks Out Against Digital Filmmaking”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Danofive0 [visitor]

    The Cost of the Crap movies today. Not worth it.
    And really 90% of the movies today ate just that.. Crap!
    The other 10% are ok to good..

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Thomas [visitor]

    I’m okay with them saving money on film; I just wish they’d spend money on better screenwriters! Most movies aren’t crap because of digital artifacts, they are crap because of stupid, repetitive plots and inane dialogue.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Granted [visitor]

      Believe me Thomas, there are plenty of talented screenwriters out there. The problem is the perception of marketability within the industry. It’s what drives their willingness to spend $250 million on an uneven movie like John Carter, complete with it’s sappy dialogue. Marketability rules Hollywood.

  3. Member [Join Now]
    WingTipSchu [wingtipschu]

    Like lossy audio compression, the average schnook could *never* tell the difference between analogue, that has no bandwidth limitations, and its binary equivalent.

    Shane is right. the ‘cinema experience’ is on life-support and in part, as more and more viewers move away from the public theaters, the ‘ana-digi’ issues become irrelevant.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Charles [visitor]

    Doubt if most viewers would tell the difference between film and digital. I agree that it makes little difference as long as we’re getting lame movies that rely too much on CGI. It seems CGI is the driving force of too many moves for the sacrifice of good stories and dialogue. Many foreign films are better because they rely on story and ACTING!

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jake [visitor]

    A good story and a quality movie supersedes the digital question.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    ocg5 [visitor]

    Movies are a visual experience first and foremost without the best visual quality we might as well just watch TV. And Hollywood got that memo a long time ago when it started making movies in a 16×9 format after than a more widescreen aspect ratio. Most people do not like letterbox DVDs because as they say “it cuts off the top and bottom of the movie.” Face it, as with their letterbox misconception, the masses believe that digital is higher resolution than film. True film has grain issues and gets damaged but when you look at film compared to digital it is more lifelike even for photos. The consumer switch to digital is not about quality at all, it is about convenience and cost. If it were a quality issue digital cameras wouldn’t be adding megapixels every year because they wouldn’t need to improve on it.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Pootroot [visitor]

    I don’t mind letterbox movies at all!!! After watching for just 2 minutes I don’t even notice the black top and bottom parts, I just become engrossed in the movie.

  8. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    I don’t like grain. I understand that film has a very high resolution but it seems like it depends on how it is used, sometimes newer shows/movie son film look grainy and distracting other times I can’t tell. I have heard of shows/movies shot only digital and thought they looked great so I’m fine with digital and often prefer it.