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Star Wars 9 to be shot on 65mm film


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I can't a post about this by anybody else here:

We seem to be straying ever further from Geo Lucas's myopic 1999 vision:

http://www.slashfilm.com/star-wars-episode-9-will-be-shot-on-65mm/

My personal vision is that the Next Big Thing is going to be lightweight wall-sized screens that can be rolled up like an old-fashioned home movie screen. At the moment, screen sizes bigger than about 65 inches are at about the limit of practicality; anything much bigger that that will need some means of stowing it when not in use.
Clearly they want to future-proof their franchise as much as possible.

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Yea, it's very exciting to see two more 5/65 productions being shot next year. What kills me is that nobody is talking about printing. I just hope they understand that 65mm camera negative needs to be printed to 70mm film for theatrical release. That's truly the only way to see it.

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70mm print projection is tricky to arrange, judging by the release of "Hateful Eight" -- it would be nice, but I suspect all of these productions other than "Dunkirk" will do a 4K D.I. so any 70mm print would be made from a film-out to a 65mm IN. But we'll see what happens.

 

65mm-to-4K DCP looks nice in a different way than 65mm-to-70mm print. If someone shot a 65mm movie designed for neg cutting and contact-printing, hardly any vfx work, then a 70mm contact print is something special, but for a vfx heavy movie, then most of the shots would get scanned anyway.

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I thought "Interstellar" did the same workflow as the "Dark Knight" films in terms of making sure that the IMAX footage was contact printed whenever it didn't have a visual effect, and everything else around it when through a conversion, and the same for the 35mm anamorphic version, it was contact printed whenever possible, so two negative masters were cut. I didn't think Nolan wanted to take the whole movie through a D.I. for the film prints.

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Whoops, yes 11k scans and 8k laser out, my bad.

 

I was referring to the 5/70 prints of interstellar, not the 1:1 15/70 material.

 

But that's besides the point, my point is 8k scan and laser out, doesn't really effect the quality of 5/70, so it's possible to do an 8k finish and strike prints, since there aren't any 8k digital cinemas.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, it looks like film is still the best of the best. It's the elephant in the room softly and warmly breathing down the necks of all who say, yeah, film is nice and quaint, but .... Personally I'd take a sack of Red and Alexa air-cooled 'brains' and put 'em in a potato sack and heave them as far into the sea off the rocky heads at Noosa as I could.

Edited by Jon O'Brien
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  • 2 months later...

Bear in mind that most theaters were forced to get rid of their film projectors in order to get DCP systems. So 70mm prints will have to be a road show at best, though I'm not sure what the point would be since they'd most likely use a digital intermediary so they can screw with the color for no reason.

4K projection is a compromise at best. Yeah, it's 4x the pixels but also 4x the compression, so the advantage isn't as great as one might hope. Still, I'm always glad to hear about productions being done on film. Alexas are great cameras but nothing beats the real thing IMO.

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  • 3 months later...

"George Lucas's myopic vision"?

Rogue One was shot digitally, and in my opinion was much more visually appealing than The Force Awakens, though some of that might be due to the fact that Edwards can direct circles around J.J.

 

And many of the best directors and cinematographers of today are very on board with digital shooting. (Fincher and Deakins, just to name 2 superstars.)

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Well, the person whom Deakins himself considered the No 1 cinematographer was a big digital sceptic and found even hi-end video tech very crude and limiting. And it wasn't because of Yusov being anti-progress or whatever: you can't call an inventor of a remote-controlled crane head and numerous other innovative devices anti-progress.

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When did he (Yusov) voice his opinion on digital shooting though?
Because digital imagery is looking exponentially better all the time. Compare Attack of The Clones to Rogue One. Hell, compare Attack of The Clones to Revenge of The Sith.

George Lucas said it best when he said (i'm paraphrasing) "We are now at the start of a new hill of technology to climb. But the top of this hill has the potential to be much something of much better quality than anything we have now".

 

And i'd say that that's coming true. The first movie I saw that I mistook for film was X-Men: Days of Future Past, shot on the Alexa in 2014 (well, in theaters in 2014). That's when I started to really like digital.

 

Digital isn't *better* than film yet, but in the right hands it's certainly on par with 35mm.

Edited by Jesse Straub
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When did he (Yusov) voice his opinion on digital shooting though?

Not that long ago. He died in 2013 and was involved in Russian cinema and education till his last days. He was an active supporter of motion picture film and insisted cinematography students should be taught on film.

 

Because digital imagery is looking exponentially better all the time.

Resolution and S/N figures have gone up quite a bit, surely. But a much more important thing - colorimetery - generally hasn't advanced much from the days of Varicam-27 and Sony F23. Alexa is an exception, a big step forward but hopelessly inferior to Vision, Eterna/Reala or any modern stock in terms of color reproduction.

 

 

Digital isn't *better* than film yet, but in the right hands it's certainly on par with 35mm.

Depends on your priorities. If you're after a flashy sharp image (suppose you're not) and what matters to you is detail and cleaniness, then video is already better for you.

If you want flexibility working with color and contrast and generally follow realism (I mean, for example, Yusov's realism, not the modern "a la documentary" fad), video will indeed be limiting.

 

 

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I think film will always have its niche, because it is distinct from digital and has its own feel that can be preferable for certain movies (though I wonder if when digital matures if it will be able to somehow indistinguishably replicate film, even feel-wise?), but I think within 15 years digital will be technically superior than 35mm. 70mm on the other hand...

Edited by Jesse Straub
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Rogue One was shot digitally, and in my opinion was much more visually appealing than The Force Awakens

The story had better locations... I mean it had more scale. I thought cinematography wise, it was very flat and had a dystopian color pallet that wasn't very exciting or appealing. I felt The Force Awakens had a much broader color pallet and was more in line with the 'star wars' look.

 

though some of that might be due to the fact that Edwards can direct circles around J.J.

Considering they re-shot more then 40% of Rogue One and completely changed the ending, I'd have to say JJ wins on the "directing" front.

 

And many of the best directors and cinematographers of today are very on board with digital shooting. (Fincher and Deakins, just to name 2 superstars.)

Deakins doesn't shoot film because the lab infrastructure imploded on itself from 2013 - 2016. There are 5 labs opening up this year, 3 of them were older labs that were re-instated. Thus, re-building some of the missing infrastructure. There is an even bigger push to open more labs by the end of 2018, there is just so much work. The commercial industry is also shooting film more today, thanks to the labs, so it's growing again.

 

Most filmmakers shoot digital, film has been relegated to smaller projects, but the vast majority of big hollywood movies shoot digital because in their minds what's the point of shooting film? They don't care about longevity of their product, they don't care about a unique theatrical experience, they don't care about keeping the technology alive. They care about making money and that's what the industry is all about... outside of a few whack jobs like myself, who care about the artistic side more then the money side.

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The story had better locations... I mean it had more scale. I thought cinematography wise, it was very flat and had a dystopian color pallet that wasn't very exciting or appealing. I felt The Force Awakens had a much broader color pallet and was more in line with the 'star wars' look.

 

Considering they re-shot more then 40% of Rogue One and completely changed the ending, I'd have to say JJ wins on the "directing" front.

 

 

Well first, I don't think TFA was in line with the Star Wars look at all, mostly because JJ was so obsessed with being the exact opposite of the PT that he made the locations even more lifeless and bland than what technology could muster up for the OT.
Just take the Yavin 4 rebel base in ANH versus the mundane construction site-esque base for the "Resistance". The Yavin 4 base at least attempts to look exotic. (A base that featured prominently in Rogue One, I might add.)
As for your second point, reshoots are irrelevant if the finished product still works. And as far as production issues go, TFA had it far worse. They won't even release J.W. Rinzler's comprehensive BTS book (that he completed) because of how bad JJ (or possibly Iger, who was the one that rushed the movie so much that the original script writer dropped out) screwed up.
Edited by Jesse Straub
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Resolution and S/N figures have gone up quite a bit, surely. But a much more important thing - colorimetery - generally hasn't advanced much from the days of Varicam-27 and Sony F23. Alexa is an exception, a big step forward but hopelessly inferior to Vision, Eterna/Reala or any modern stock in terms of color reproduction.

 

This is something most people seem to overlook. Most video cameras don't do deep blue or deep red well. Film is almost as good as the human eye in that regard, Alexa is almost as good as film, Kodak's CCDs are right with it and Sony is third IMO while everybody else falls behind them. Many cameras have weak color filters to cheat up the ISO, so the saturation is boosted in the camera's processor, which in turn creates strange artifacts under certain conditions. On top of that, virtually ALL current cameras have rolling shutter, which puts them in the "not good enough" category. I really had high hopes for the Digital Bolex, which is the only video camera that I was excited to try in a long time but they got ignored because of the price tag. The uncompressed capture, global shutter and accurate color put them way ahead of the competition even against higher priced cameras.

 

Everybody doing microcinema seems to be obsessed with high ISOs and pixel count; yet Alexa is lower res than a lot of the current "hot" items and it's on top in terms of popularity in Hollywood. The reason for that is it is almost as good as film in terms of contrast and color. I think that's also the reason 16mm is still alive. It allows that same great color and latitude even though it's lower res than 35mm, at significant cost savings of course.

 

 

 

They don't care about longevity of their product, they don't care about a unique theatrical experience, they don't care about keeping the technology alive. They care about making money and that's what the industry is all about

Got that right. They KNOW the major flicks are terrible, recycled schlock. Selling tickets are all that counts.

 

P.S. I know my next film won't make back the money I spend on it, but it WILL be film. I don't care, I just want to do it, despite potentially being able to turn a profit by shooting on video.

Edited by Stephen Baldassarre
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Well first, I don't think TFA was in line with the Star Wars look at all, mostly because JJ was so obsessed with being the exact opposite of the PT that he made the locations even more lifeless and bland than what technology could muster up for the OT.

Got me lost there... PT and OT?

 

I thought The Force Awakens locations worked well for the story. Considering Episode 4 was basically a desert and a few sets in London, what JJ did was pretty good in my view. I don't "like" The force Awakens, it's not a movie I would own or really re-watch, but neither is Rogue One.

 

Just take the Yavin 4 rebel base in ANH versus the mundane construction site-esque base for the "Resistance". The Yavin 4 base at least attempts to look exotic. (A base that featured prominently in Rogue One, I might add.)

I'm a nerd and all, but now you've just cruised way over my head.

 

As a filmmaker, I watched Rogue One and the notes I made above about it's blandness is what I feel. I honestly didn't like anything about it. I would have walked out, had I not been there with friends.

 

As for your second point, reshoots are irrelevant if the finished product still works.

It may have worked for you, but it didn't work for me at all. It made money because the series has a huge fan base and you could make pretty much anything (Episodes 1 - 3 for example) and people will still go to see it. Where I did think the connection at the very end with Episode 4 was tastefully done, the rest of the movie was a joke in my eyes.

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It may have worked for you, but it didn't work for me at all. It made money because the series has a huge fan base and you could make pretty much anything (Episodes 1 - 3 for example) and people will still go to see it. Where I did think the connection at the very end with Episode 4 was tastefully done, the rest of the movie was a joke in my eyes.

 

(PT and OT stand for prequel trilogy and original trilogy btw, if that's what you were asking.)

 

I find the Prequel Trilogy to be easily on par with the Original Trilogy (with Attack of The Clones possibly falling behind due to the somewhat bungled nature of the mystery subplot).

Here's an interesting article by a guy who has similar opinions on the new Disney SW movies as you do (non-plussed by TFA and really disliked Rogue One).

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/what-the-seven-star-wars-films-reveal-about-george-lucas

 

I don't agree with some of his opinions, I'm mostly posting this to just say "there are people that know and love film that see the merit of the prequels".

 

But i'm veering off the thread topic. (not sure what the mods around here are like)

Edited by Jesse Straub
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JJ & Dan Mindel specifically talked at length in the AC article of how much they paid attention to make it look really in keeping with the OT and it does, and the Gareth Edwards directing circles around JJ bit made me smile, I have no idea why some people have a hard on for Rogue One, it's an opinion but not only does The Force Awakens' beautiful anamorphic 35mm lensing imo wipes the floor with Fraser's flat, low-contrast, jarring digital look (what a mistake for a film taking place right before ANH to shoot digitally), but TFA is also a far superior film whether in terms of direction (enough of that handheld aesthetic), craftsmanship, characterization (can you look at me with a straight face and tell me any of the characters in Rogue One are more memorable than Rey, Finn, Poe or Ren?), pretty much everything really.

 

Rogue One being a spin off, I just cannot consider it in the same way as a film of the main trilogies, it's expandable, I'm curious about the Han Solo one since Phil Lord & Chris Miller are great, although it being shot digitally makes me groan once more, but yeah.

 

I used to love the prequels as a kid, they're not as bad as some are making them out to be, but they're surely not anywhere near the level of the OT, ROTS can come close at times, TPM has some great moments, AOTC is flat out mediocre though.

Edited by Manu Delpech
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