If digital photography makes everything possible, does everything still matter?
The great film-versus-digital debate continues. There are no words to explain that tingly feeling one gets when watching a movie that was shot on film, but some cinematographers believe that the film look can be achieved through a digital camera if done right.
Cinematographer Roger Deakins has been actively filming some of his projects over the past few years, such as Skyfall, Blade Runner 2049, and 1917. Deakins sat down with me Nolerg and explains why digital photography is the way to go. When properly edited, digital cinematography can look like film recordings.
Filmmaker Quinton Tarantino vehemently contradicted Deakins’ hot attitude.
For Tarantino, digital recordings seem a bit exaggerated and superfluous. Most of the time, people take photos digitally to avoid the extra time it takes to light a room or to plan properly to get the final look of the film. When you take digital photos, you get what you see on the monitor. There is no extra work before or during filming to achieve the specific look the film is trying to achieve.
That’s why Tarantino said it’s hard to tell whether a film has a good cameraman or not.
“In a world where you can do anything, nothing means anything,” said Tarantino in his interview with Nolerg. If you aren’t doing the work to get a great shot, what for? Digital cinematography puts all the heavy lifting into post production instead of planning and trying to get the perfect shot on set.
Digital recording is a great option when you are on a budget. If you’re digitally shooting and trying to get that film look, go with film. Instead of adding grain or shuttering to the digital recording, use film. Film looks like film, so why not take the easy route?
Tarantino is not totally against digital cinematography. He fully supports its use when digital cinematography can capture something in a way that film cannot. The problem he has is simple: stop trying to make digital look like film.
What do you think of filming compared to digital? Let us know in the comments below!