Side by Side : They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

Funny that the movie is called "Side by Side" but we never see a true shot of a subject shot on film side by side with the same subject shot on video.

It's nice to have all these talking heads giving their opinions on the topic but shouldn't they have given the viewer a demostration for them to decide for themselves which format looks better.


Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

you can find comparo's all over youtube and the web.
so there's really no need to. the point was the industry is changing whether people like it or want it to or not.
last comparo I saw was Arri and red and film and the film LOOKED like crap.
"oooh NICE GRAIN!" Not clean and clear like our normal eyes see.
RIP Film, long live everything that is better.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

Watch Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on blu ray and tell me film looks like crap. Directors like Wes Anderson will always use film, he shot Moonrise Kingdom on 16mm not because it was the best looking format but because it gave the film the look he wanted. Do you honestly believe if directors like him continue to want to use film they won't be able to? I have no problem with digital, but people who think film will be gone in a decade just don't know what their talking about.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

they're

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

digital would work just as well. film is fading.... many companies that MAKE film are STOPPING making film. That tells us everything. Then what are we going to do?? Stop making movies?
Nobody knows or even CARES about "a look" some guy wanted... they just watch the movie and enjoy the story. Nobody footing the bill (the paying audience) is concerned if the director got the LOOK he was after. I thought Pilgrim VS looked fine and enjoyed THE PRODUCTION, all of which could be done digitally. Heck, I assumed it was, since more than likely the whole thing WAS ported into digital for all the crazy effects.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

You're missing the point so try to pay attention. Directors like Wes Anderson and P.T. Anderson will always want to use film and since they are very wel respected artists who have a track record of making profits they will always be able to. If they are able to get over 15 million to make a film with, even if no company makes film commercially, which there will always be atleast ONE company somewhere on earth that will, they could budget enough money to produce and develop the film somewhere.

You might think of him as some guy but he and many other independent directors have very devoted fan bases along with good relationships with production companies and producers like Scott Rudin and would easily be able to find the money it would cost to use film. In ten years digital will be used much more than film, but film will still be around. Anyone who thinks differently doesn't know what they're talking about

I hope you can read this and understand that while digital is the future will not die anytime soon, it will simply be the exception. If not than you're just a retard who won't listen to anybody who has a different opinion than you do.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

You also might want to watch Moonrise Kingdom or some other Wes Anderson, like The Darjeeling Limited, movies before you say nobody cares about the "look" of a film.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

The point of the film is to compare film to video and it's called "Side by Side". Why would I have to go search the internet for comparisons when that's what I'm expecting to see in the movie.

I was hoping to see demostrations of film vs video done in front of filmmakers and DPs and have them point out specifically what they like and dislike about each.

I think Wally Pfister made the strongest point about how you have more creative options with how you underexpose and overexpose using film vs video. Also, from everything I've seen film is still superior to video when it comes to shooting high speed slow motion.

A previous post made a comment about how video is "clear and clean like how the human eye sees". I don't think that is the ultimate goal in photography. I think the most memorable images I've seen in movies are displayed in a way totally unlike how our normal eyes would see it in real life.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

The point of the film is to compare film to video and it's called "Side by Side".

No, that is not the point of the documentary. "Side By Side" is a reference to the current time period having feature movies being made in both ways, film and digital techniques. Those two techniques are "side by side" within the history of movie-making.

Early digital movies were clearly inferior, no one debates that. The resolution was inferior, and the digital capture process did not have enough 'latitude', the ability to capture a very wide range of images from very light to very dark. But digital motion photography has improved in both areas so that now it is arguably better than film. So there really is no reason to include a side-by-side image comparison.

Fans who take the stance "film has its own charm that cannot be duplicated digitally" are probbly correct. That same argument was made in music, in reference to vinyl records. But all the other advantages of digital sound have made vinyl records all but obsolete. The same is happening for digital to replace film in movie-making.

One can also successfully argue, for movie fans just growing up and seeing everything in digital, they have no other frame of reference. I.e. they will never be able to say "I like the look of film better" because they never saw a film in a theater.

TxMike
Make a choice, to take a chance, to make a difference.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

right. any show can't be exactly what every individual person wishes it was. This is NOT a comparo movie, but an interview with directors deal, and it shows you that going in.

Dare I use terms others have here?? Anyone NOT knowing that is a "retard"? :D

This whole thing is exacly like what audio went through 20 years ago. Exactly. I worked in the recording studios during that time. We came out of it just fine, with MUCH BETTER sonics than vinyl ever allowed.
And yet now we have to ADD GRAIN to digital video, because it looks too good? Shame we are stuck in that mindset.
"It's better because it is worse." Wait... what?? hahahahhaa

BTW one can still make and sell vinyl records. But it is a rediculously small market niche now. I'm an audio engineer, but think the limited sonics of vinyl is a joke.... and I'm old enough that I grew up on vinyl, and 8tracks, and cassettes... all way behind digital.
"FILM" will live on.... in niche markets like Polaroids live on. Anyone with a $40 digital camera can take much better looking photos than Polaroids, and good luck sharing your polaroids quickly on facebook. :)

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

Your arguments are so ridiculous I don't know where to start. First of all comparing bands releasing music on vinyl to directors RECORDING their movies on film doesn't make any sense. When was the last time someone RECORDED an album using analog methods and won best song or best album at the grammys? Directors like Tarantino, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Edgar Wright(among others) will continue to RECORD their movies using film and continue and continue to be nominated for oscars, not really a "niche" market.

Scott Pilgrim was a box office bomb, yet Wright had no problem finding the money to make his next film coming out this year using 16mm, strange considering film is dying.

You mentione bands releasing albums on vinyl, how many of those do you think were recorded digitally than released on vinyl and cd? How many well respected bands RECORD their albums using analog methods? To use the film vs. vynil argument the difference between film and digital must be the same as the difference between vinyl and cd, and you know that's not the case.

I really don't understand why you can't accept there will be a number of directors who will continue to use film for the foreseeable future. The cost doesn't make any difference when the director wants to use film, if a film has a 20 million dollar budget the cost of using film is meaningless. As long as directors continue to want to use film, they will be able to find production companies willing to pay for it.

I'm not even going to get into that ridiculous polaroid argument.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

digital vs film is where AUDIO WAS 20 YEARS AGO. Film/digital is a newish thing
I don't know how you can NOT see the direct comparison?

Not gonna dig through numbers, but yes, nearly everyone records digitally now
Filming wise, we are heading in that direction.
Yes, some still record on analog tape in studios... and that is fine, but no one listening even cares. And they shouldn't they should simply enjoy the music.
None of our bickering changes that FACT that digital IS taking over.... just like it did in Audio 20 years ago. See?

I'm not comparing right now, I'm compare to audio's transition into digital 20 years ago when it happened. Everyone accepts it now, it is fine. Same will be in film 20 years from now.

I accept there are directors that will want to shoot film. When did I say I didn't accept that?
Again, STILL doesn't change that digital is taking over.

If the story is great, the movie can be too, REGARDLESS of what format it is shot on.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

I do understand your argument, as I've said I believe digital will certainly outpace film in 10-20 years, I just don't think the vinyl to digital argument is fair. If you compare vinyle today to 20-30 years ago, there's not much difference. But if you compare film today to 15 years ago there is a huge difference. Yes films like Scott Pilgrim were, I would imagine, transfered digitally to achieve a lot of the special effects but it still looked amazing while being recorded with film. You could never say that about vinyl vs. digital.

You've said that consumers don't really care about the format used, just the story, and I agree with you. The argument goes both ways though, because film has advanced so far nobody in the audience cares if it's on film or digital, so any director who wants to use film will be able to.

You also make it sem like digital will continue to get better and better but there is a limit to how much better it can get, and I don't see it becoming unbelievably better. Has digital audio changed all that much,in terms of quality, in the last 10 years? Film will definitely be second to digital in the near future if not now, but a close enough second that it's nothing like the vinyl digital argument you keep bringing up.

And unless RIP means something else to you, that is why I thought you were saying film is dead, as in it will no longer be used.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

I beleive in 20 years (or much less) Film will be used as much as analog recording is now: probably less than 5% (guessing)

Digital CAN get better... but film will not be researched as much anymore. Digital can go 4k, 8k, 32k, 196k, dynamic latitude will go beyond our visual uses, etc etc and... like the recording industry, peoples will get better and better in creating with it. DIGITAL music initially was a trainwreck.... people were still mixing to over compensate for analogs deficiencies.
Digital will continue to advance as technology does, film has sort of peaked with it's physical limits and people are moving away from developing new advances in film. Even NASA has moved on from it.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

We're just going to have to disagree on this, I do believe digital will continue to get better, just not as much as you do.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

if I may jump in here bagg..., you write We're just going to have to disagree on this, I do believe digital will continue to get better, just not as much as you do.

The type of progress you refer to is a compromise between what is technologically possible and what consumers want and will pay extra for. There may be a practical limit, for example, to the number of pixels in a digital imager, and thus resolution, but no one knows what that is. The answer may not be important, because once they get to a certain point additional resolution may not be needed. Once you reach what is commonly called "the point of diminishing returns" then going past that doesn't pay off. And I don't mean just money, but everything that is considered in making a "good" movie.

Still to me that is clearly a secondary point. Right now, today, digital is used to make superb motion picture images. It is constantly getting better, in such things as resolution and exposure latitude. In fact there is no barrier to making a digital imaging exposure latitude 2, 3 or more times that of film, if that is desired. With time the good reasons for using film get more and more difficult to find. So it is a forecast, not a wish, that soon digital will be almost ubiquitous in movie-making.

And, aside from all that, look at some other advantages of digital. For example, if you need to shoot in very tight places, or places where camera weight and portability are critical, you can make a movie-quality image with a very small, very light lens and imager, simply connected to a computer or other recording device via thin cable or even via Wi-Fi. There simply isn't any way to do that with film, where everything has to be a certain minimum size and close-coupled.

I think the arguments are totally superfluous, in either direction. The move to switch to digital just makes sense when you weigh all the advantages and disadvantages. It isn't some sinister plot against film, it is just an example of the natural evolution of technology.

And comparing it (in simply an alalogous sense) to the switch from analog vinyl and analog tape towards digital recording and playback is a worthwhile comparison, to help us all accept the paradigm. As it was when TVs went from B&W to color, or from CRT to projection to flat screen, or rotary phones to push button phones and now to cell phones. They are all different, but their similarities are when a new technology has enough advantages it will mostly replace the older technology. That's all that is happening right now with digital "filming".

TxMike
Make a choice, to take a chance, to make a difference.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

And I didn't mean the retard thing, I had a little too much to drink when I was writing that.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

bahahahahhaha it's all good. :)
As long as they keep making great movies on whatever.

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Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

Vinyl has better sonics than digital you *beep* Do your research.

Jesuis can we discuss this without calling each other names?

It is clear that you feel strongly about this, but let's consider that it isn't a "contest" to see which technology is better. They are different, each has advantages and disadvantages.

For example, for vinyl the master recording has the best sonics, it is a direct analog copy of the original sounds. But as soon as you start pressing copies, there is some loss of sonic accuracy. Then, as a needle makes multiple passes through the grooves when you play it at home, you lose more sonic quality. Plus some unwanted pops and hiss from the mechanical technique of sound reproduction.

A digital version of the same music may be slightly inferior sonically, but it never degrades. And, if you use a high enough digital sampling rate, to more accurately reproduce the sound spectrum, the digital version can be very, very close to the original. But a real advantage of digital is it never degrades.

Same with movies. Shoot on film, edit on film, make a master, it is just what the filmmakers want. But then you have to make copies for theaters, and each copy has a loss of quality. When they shoot digitally and edit digitally, and send digital clones (not copies) to theaters there is no loss of quality. That is an advantage.

As I said, I think it misses the point to view this as a contest, there is no "right" answer to which is better, film or digital capture. They are different, they have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. I say we do best to embrace both of them, it just increases the options we all have as either filmmakers or just fans.

TxMike
Make a choice, to take a chance, to make a difference.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

You can also shoot on film, scan the film, do a digital intermediate, and send digital clones. The "master" will never degrade either. And of course, it will end up looking like a real film, not a video.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

ncolawicz writes, You can also shoot on film, scan the film, do a digital intermediate, and send digital clones. The "master" will never degrade either. And of course, it will end up looking like a real film, not a video.

Good points, but my question is, if you plan to do that from the start, what is the benefit of shooting real film in the first place? I.e. when you make the digital copy isn't that defeating the purpose of "looking like real film"? I mean, if shooting the original scene digitally looks "different" then won't making a digital intermediate also "look different"?

If not, why not? (I am a photographer, but not a cinematographer.)

TxMike
Make a choice, to take a chance, to make a difference.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

What do you mean? Even on a CRT TV you can tell if something was shot on film or digitally.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

Maybe you can but I wonder if general audiences can?

Lately as I have been watching current movies at home on BD and a 52-inch HiDef TV, I will try to guess by looking at the image whether it was shot on film or digitally. So far I have not been successful!



TxMike
Make a choice, to take a chance, to make a difference.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

Majority of auidences can't. I am fairly certain that has been proven somewhere, just too lazy too look it up right now. :)

MEANWHILE, what film "Adds" to the film is what makes it look like film:
- grain
- blurry pans
- coloration imperfections

Everything that I have noticed film brings to the table, are faults and shortcomings.... giving it that beloved "film look", over the pristine perfection of digital... "it looks TOO CLEAR" really? TOO CLEAR? Are we listening to what we are saying here? Photos that look TOO good? So, we prefer them to look LESS clear? hmmmmmmm

Transfer to digital doesn't lose what film adds, but it does keep it intact (grain, blur, coloration) which is a good thing. It can also look better than that.... ...once we finally ALLOW it to.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

sazza writes, " "it looks TOO CLEAR" really? TOO CLEAR? Are we listening to what we are saying here? Photos that look TOO good? So, we prefer them to look LESS clear? "

I hadn't thought of that angle until I read your comment, but maybe that is the key. Maybe for many fans the look you describe is what they associate with "good cinematography", meaning it reminds me of all my old favorite movies. Maybe we are too quick to discount the emotional element, the attachment to characteristics, flawed in quality as they may be, which triggers a happy subconscious response.

If so, then it makes perfect sense that watching an otherwise excellent movie shot digitally (sharp, clear) would trigger a negative emotional response simply because it doesn't look like movies used to.

TxMike
Make a choice, to take a chance, to make a difference.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

While I agree with that idea, that doesn't make it (the idea) "right". After all, GENERALLY speaking, we are shooting pictures of real things in life to present, right? Don't we want those pictures to be the best quality possible to be viewed? My example is in our home photographs... if you are old enough, dig out some actual paper photos from about 15-20 years ago, and compare them to almost any modern digital camera picture. In all cases I have seen, the digital is way better looking on every level: colors more accurate, contrast closer to correct, image detail WAY more clear...

but, yes, old photos carry a "Nostalgia" about the past with them... but lack REAL clarity.... twas simply the best we had (or cold afford) at the time.

I see this as simply a transition period. People's home TVs are pumping out adjusted motion, cleaning up detail, and soon theaters will pump out higher frames rates.... the kids with think it is super cool and come to expect nothing less, the old fogies will grumble about change as always.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

stazza proposes, " Don't we want those pictures to be the best quality possible to be viewed? My example is in our home photographs... "

Maybe not. Let me use a current example, since you mention "home photographs", photos that appear on social media like Facebook. I probably see more photos taken with cell phones and Ipads than I do with good digital cameras, even the "point and shoot" kind. Why is that? Because most people don't really care if the image quality and exposure are really good, they want a quick and easy result that "represents" the social situation, e.g. restaurant, bar, school, family picnic.

Now that is certainly NOT the same as a motion picture, but what I am postulating is there is a connection, regarding what most people really want. Maybe most people don't really care if a movie is sharp and clear with good color, as long as they enjoy the story or their favorite actor is in it.

When was the last time you heard a casual viewer say "The movie was fine but I wish the images were sharper and the color was more realistic"?

Don't get me wrong, I personally am all for better pictures, clear and focused and well-composed and properly color-balanced. I am a long-time still photographer and those are my own priorities when taking photos. Probably the same as your priorities. But maybe we represent the 1%? Maybe the other 99% don't really care!?


TxMike
Make a choice, to take a chance, to make a difference.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

you bring up an interesting point here for sure. I notice instagram and other processing pic programs are artificially adding bad color and vignetting to the digital pics making them appear older. and peeps use that because they look cooler.

however, I'll add, it would not be as fun to butcher them up like that if the source was crappy looking already. the source layer of the underlying photo is already pretty good these days, so adding lens flairs and blooms and color banding still looks great.

I do think us in the field DO want accuracy, but the end viewers don't. They would prefer the popping colors over accurate everytime. All movies are over done too. And that is fine... "eye candy" and all that.
Still best to start with high quality source

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

Nice try. Anyone's idea of "Better Sonics" comes down to personal opinion when it comes to vinyl. I've been in and out of recording studios as engineer, artist, and producer (REAL producer, not these fake wannabee "I own a MACBOOK and some mad beatz therefore I am a producer" hacks) for over 3 decades.
I'll type this slowly so you can fully grasp it: (Snide comment because YOU were rude)

- Analog to digital to digital to analog conversion STILL comes out as reconstructed ANALOG in the end. If it was a failed process, NO ONE would ever have purchsed "CD"s, ever. Let me ask you, have you ever known anybody to EVER purchase a CD? Just one? There ya go.

- Double blind tests prove the majority of people can not hear anything more than what digital can provide. And half the time, the minority with good enough ears were wrong.

- It is VERY easy to hear the "sonics" are far more accurate in digital, than Vinyl can provide. Whatever magic or warmth or sweetness you perceive as "better" in vinyl is simply innaccrate frequency coloration: a bump in the higher bass, a roll off in the highs (which increases with each playback of grinding a diamond against tiny plastic bumps representing the high end)

- now let's list the things that make music on Vinyl BETTER SONICALLY than digital:
- static
- hiss
- skipping
- cracks, pops
- loss of bass (Vinyl can't handle accurate full frequency bass)
- MONO'd bass (required in pressing to avoid jumping grooves)
- loss of high end
- CONTINUED loss of high end over time and many playbacks
- wow and flutter
- warping
- RIAA eq application (look it up)
- speed variations
- rumble
- feedback through needle
- decay

The ONE THING I do miss about vinyl is the large picture album covers.

So, if your idea of "Better Sonics" is to listen to highly inaccurately recorded representation of a performance mixed with a soup of static, hiss, skipping, cracks, pops, low bass, mono bass, high end loss, wow and flutter, warpage, with speed variations, low end rumble, and needle feedback, then go ahead and call it "better". But I,a nd millions of others, don't think that makes any sense.

In truth, it simply is not better at anything. Other than large, cool album covers.

Now let's go over the mysterious sonics that Vinyl has that Digital can't grasp:
You can claim that instruments have sonics above human hearing and that can affect the impact of real listening. Ok. Without digging deep into db ranges of human hearing VS what can be recorded (on digital or vinyl), let's simply look at the truth: do you REALLY THINK the sonics of violin strings hitting frequency ranges above 96,000hz @ -95db volume is REALLY going to make its way through the signal processing chain (consisting of several preamps, several EQ sections, effects, recording heads, microphones that can't even record up that high) onto processed vinyl and out $50 diamond, back though a $5 RIAA EQ'd output amp, through your $300 stereo, and out your speakers that are rated to roll off most things beyond 35,000hz??? REALLY?? That is insane to believe in that magic. EVERY STEP in the recording process shunts off that magical high end - and I would bet that violin skreech -95db down at 96,000 would still be detectable but found somewhere in the -3256db range which is pretty much in the NEGATIVE hearing range as far as reality physics on planet Earth.
Please explain what voodoo magic and keep this "soul" in vinyl when clearing 20 processing steps are ALL the weakest linking removing them from the original sound via recording?

I await your assessment of how slicing up sound into tiny sections represented digitally creates a "chopped up sound" (even though much science has proven the analog sound coming out of converters is nearly 99.999% identical), how harsh and cold the high end sounds (mostly due to engineers learned how to over compensating the high end in the studio to make up for VINYL'S LOSSES), and how proven inaccurate EQ coloration from vinyl (low end bump, high end roll off) is "sonically better", and lastly, how this silly digital music thing is a failed joke that will never catch on with anybody.

And finally, I am not a fan of brickwall limiting, but it is an available option in today's plethera of production options. And it has it's place in the market, which it sounds like you would be incapable of understanding.

Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

The mistake your making is that this film is kind of about the two technologies in and of themselves but, actually it's not. This movie is really about these people's reaction to, feelings and opinions about the two technologies.

So, your hope that it would be a film that demonstrates the difference doesn't match the reality of what the film is.

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Re: They never put film vs video 'Side by Side'

I think putting them side by side would only be meaningful if there was a single camera that recorded to both media simultaneously, via some kind of internal optical duplication technique.
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