Film has often been considered the Cadillac of all format options, and Cadillac is a particularly appropriate metaphor, because although film may still be the format of choice today, in our opinion, it won't be too long before it is extinct. When High Definition can perfectly imitate the look of film, a time which is just around the corner, and when the movie industry has had time to completely retool for the HD format, Mr. Sperling believes that virtually all movies will be shot in High Definition due to the cost savings.
For the time being, however, let's jump back to the present. Although technology is rapidly changing, most commercials, high-end television series, and feature films are still shot on film. Nearly every ad agency and video production house would opt to shoot on film if the budget would allow, as it is nearly a universally held opinion that the look of film is simply better than video. As an example, more than 95% of prime time commercials are still shot on 35mm film.
The reason for producing in film is primarily an aesthetic choice. Film has a softer, gentler, warmer look than video. We tend to consciously and unconsciously associate the look of film with movies, with enhanced emotion, and with high-end commercials and television specials.
Most people are shocked to find that The Aviator, the film that swept the Academy Awards in 2005, was shot on 35mm film as opposed to high definition (although it was posted using a digital intermediate). The film's cinematographer, Robert Richardson, who also worked on Kill Bill, Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, and Snow Falling on Cedars , chose to use film as opposed to HD because he wanted the movie to have the feel of the Technicolor films of the Howard Hughes era.
He explained that "the subtle color transitions (of film) are designed to visually and emotionally punctuate the passage of time". It's easy to see the stunning capabilities of film as captured in The Aviator . To find out more about the use of film on The Aviator
visit the Kodak website.
35mm and Super 16mm Film Production
At DSV Video & Film, we offer film production shot on both 35mm and Super 16mm film. Traditionally, commercials, high-end television programs, and music videos have been shot on 35mm film and transferred to video for editing, and most clients who prefer the film look will opt to shoot on 35mm film.
After transferring the material to video, we can post your production in the HD 16:9 format, in the conventional 4:3 ratio format or in both formats depending upon your needs. In this time of standards transitioning, there's often an advantage to posting in both the standard and widescreen formats.
Many clients are seriously beginning to consider production on Super 16mm for its cost savings. This is particularly true when shooting a great deal of raw footage, such as an hour long special that calls for a high shooting ratio.
The quality of film to video transferring has come a long way in recent years, and production on the smaller Super 16mm format transferred to video is yielding nearly the same quality as 35 mm film going to HDTV, and at a greatly reduced cost. As an example, PBS, which has been a pioneer of HDTV and has set extremely high technical standards for new production; successfully tested the Super 16mm format for HDTV broadcast and now regularly produces Super 16mm product for HDTV
To find our more about popular formats we use, click on the following links:
Beta SP Digital Betacam High Definition