How Digital Technologies Are Changing Filmmaking
Digital technologies are changing many things about our world and filmmaking is no exception. Even the term filmmaking is a misnomer in many cases, as some videos and movies are produced completely absent of the actual strips of film that characterized the industry for so long. While the implications of the switch are hated by some and loved by others, there is no debating the fact that there has been a major shift in the way that films are made and distributed.
Cost and Waste Considerations
In the past, light hit images and filtered through a camera to embed on the film within. Still frames compiled together to create the illusion of moving images. There was essentially no reusing the film, once it was shot it could either be used or not, but unused film was scrap. Unused film was a waste of money and actually created waste for the landfill. Digital filming makes it possible for scenes to be reshot and material to be scrapped with no actual waste. This is a benefit to the environment and the pocketbook.
Ease of Editing and Enhancement
Editing was a rigorous process at one point, with manual cutting and pasting of strips of film being necessary to achieve the desired outcome. A splicer and threading machine was created that quickened the process and made it cleaner. Digital innovations transformed editing at least as much as any other part of the filmmaking process. It is now very easy to add visual effects and to reorganize scenes or remove unwanted shots.
Distribution Reach and Convenience
Distributing films after they have been shot and edited is easier than ever now with digital filmmaking and the internet. YouTube especially has provided an outlet for aspiring amateur filmmakers, home video masters, and large studios alike. While most movies are still distributed through mediums like cinemas and televisions, YouTube provides a far-reaching avenue for garnering interest through the use of trailers and teasers. Uploading films and allowing consumers to access them online through streaming services is not unheard of, but will likely become even more widespread in the future.
Preservation of Recorded Material
Actual film versus digital video storage is completely different, but both have pros and cons. Film is flammable and volatile, so in spite of the fact that there is actually material that can be stored with images, that film may disintegrate over time or burn up. Digital recordings of film can be stored on a hard drives and company servers, which they can be easily backed up from. It is still important to ensure the quality of back-ups, however, as films can be lost to errors and downed systems.
Quality of Picture
The picture quality of traditional films versus digital films has been up for some debate in the past, but innovations have improved this front. The introduction of DSLR filmmakingwith high definition video came about in 2008 and changed many naysayers’ minds about digital. While some filmmakers like the sharpness and particular look of images filmed using traditional cameras, the many benefits of digital have really started to sway even the most die-hard proponents of older camera models.
If you are an amateur filmmaker that has primarily used traditional filming techniques in the past, this may be the right time to purchase new equipment and try your hand at digital filmmaking.