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Saturday, 4 July 2009

Digital vs 35mm


Looking at PUBLIC ENEMIES last night on our screen, I have have now completely abandoned any reservations about the new medium. Having seen the film on 35mm a couple of weeks ago, I can see how the digital version is vastly superior.

No reel joints, no scratches, no breaks in sound, rich deep blacks, stable image, perfect aspect ratio, and spectacular surround sound. No motion blur, no danger of a reel spooling off, no danger of the digital reader failing to read the soundtrack.

Beautiful.

Tarantino is insisting that his new film, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, be screened in 35mm, and it is quite ironic (and annoying) coming from the man who digitally inserted scratches into DEATH PROOF. Showing a film digitally doesn't only mean a better experience, it also means a lot less work for our projectionist, who doesn't need to rewind the film (and at 152 minutes, Basterds will be quite a long rewind), and doesn't need to make-up and break-down the print at the beginning and end of the run.

In the wider context, a digital print can be uploaded onto our server and sent off to another cinema, without the need to produce hundreds of expensive 35mm copies for each cinema showing it. This means less expense for the distributor and a wider reach for films, particulary smaller ones.

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