This post is in response to Movie Studios Are Forcing Hollywood to Abandon 35mm Film. But the Consequences of Going Digital Are Vast, and Troubling, published in LA Weekly on April 12, 2012.
The demise of film has been heralded for a long time. It might have begun in earnest, as many cinematographers have speculated, with the ARRI ALEXA’s introduction two years ago. Or, as RED-evangelizers would have you believe, with the RED ONE in 2007. Or, just maybe, film’s death was sealed as soon the current generation of young filmmakers got their hands on affordable DV cameras and editing software, in contrast to the 16mm roots of their predecessors. Whatever the cause, the days of celluloid are undoubtedly numbered– but some in Hollywood seem reluctant to let it go.
As we in the post-production community look forward to the release of Final Cut Pro next week, many have speculated how Apple will move past traditional editing paradigms and create an app that “skates where the puck will be”, to quote Mark Raudonis use Wayne Gretzky’s famous phrase at the pre-NAB Editor’s Lounge. It’s true that much of the current iterations of Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Adobe Premiere are based on old metaphors, and if technology today has the potential for much more, why not use it? I don’t know what Apple has come up with, and I don’t expect it to be anything as physically-based as this, but regardless– here’s some ideas I’ve had, originally written in early 2010: