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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Should a video be called a film?

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Or does it not matter if film or digital was used for making it? 

I ask for my own interest. When I solicit institutions to place my films should I be calling them videos and not films if they are all digital camerawork?

But nowadays most film is digitized for online or digital projection. So should there be any name differentiation between the two methods? 100% digital cinematographers are called filmmakers, so I'd say calling a video a film is OK.

Thanks

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"A Film" tends to means to a peace of narrative storytelling where moving images are used. The title of "film" these days is divorced from recording or exhibition technology. 

"Lets go to cinema to see a digital video file projected" says no-one ever. 

Most people will us the statement "I am filming"  to refer to the recording of moving images.

The precise inaccuracy of the way video and film as terms are interchangeable, is really about the way the English language is used in practice. Its less a statement around technology or intent.

Now if you excuse me I'll be Hoovering my carpet with my Dyson. 

My parents call public address loudspeakers "Tannoys", incorrectly all the time. Sometimes the speakers are made by Tannoy but more often then not they are Junk But Loud (JBL etc) 

Nobody likes a pedant (I have learn't through bitter expereince), even if they are technically correct 

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These days it's probably more helpful to specify the gauge if you really want to make the distinction. Most laymen won't appreciate it (or will ask the question) whereas we in the trade will know and, hopefully, appreciate it.

I get a newsletter from the film club in Köln which specifies 35mm. or digital screening. That's as good as it gets. The National Film Theatre usually specifies as well, but the Prince Charles in Leicester Square says that it can't specify some screenings in advance as the distributors won't tell them what they're getting. 2001 is a glaring example.

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7 minutes ago, Mark Dunn said:

but the Prince Charles in Leicester Square says that it can't specify some screenings in advance as the distributors won't tell them what they're getting. 2001 is a glaring example.

How so? I thought the whole point of their 2001 screenings were that they were in 70mm:

https://princecharlescinema.com/PrinceCharlesCinema.dll/WhatsOn?f=7260457

They didn't have to run digital did they? Although digital is probably preferable to the terrible "unrestored" Nolan version 2001 in 70mm.

I think a lot of the issues with rep screenings in 35mm or 70mm is the poor state of the print. The cinemas may be able to book prints from the distributor - but I've heard of situations where a digital back up is run because the print is so bad. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Phil Connolly said:

How so? I thought the whole point of their 2001 screenings were that they were in 70mm:

https://princecharlescinema.com/PrinceCharlesCinema.dll/WhatsOn?f=7260457

They didn't have to run digital did they? Although digital is probably preferable to the terrible "unrestored" Nolan version 2001 in 70mm.

I think a lot of the issues with rep screenings in 35mm or 70mm is the poor state of the print. The cinemas may be able to book prints from the distributor - but I've heard of situations where a digital back up is run because the print is so bad. 

I was referring to something they said a few years ago about 35mm. screenings. 70mm is the exception, I think, because there are prints that Warners don't own. So as long as you can get the print, you just need an exhibition licence.

Edited by Mark Dunn

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3 hours ago, Phil Connolly said:

"A Film" tends to means to a peace of narrative storytelling where moving images are used. The title of "film" these days is divorced from recording or exhibition technology. 

"Lets go to cinema to see a digital video file projected" says no-one ever. 

Most people will us the statement "I am filming"  to refer to the recording of moving images.

The precise inaccuracy of the way video and film as terms are interchangeable, is really about the way the English language is used in practice. Its less a statement around technology or intent.

Now if you excuse me I'll be Hoovering my carpet with my Dyson. 

My parents call public address loudspeakers "Tannoys", incorrectly all the time. Sometimes the speakers are made by Tannoy but more often then not they are Junk But Loud (JBL etc) 

Nobody likes a pedant (I have learn't through bitter expereince), even if they are technically correct 

Nice summation!

(Hoovering...have not heard that in some time.) 

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2 hours ago, Bruce Greene said:

Really?  Just get out there and make MOVIES :):):)

Well I am. And good reminder!

But good to have the right words when talking to people. 

I am old film photog (still photos) from the 70's. Evetime I hear 'film' it throws me back to the early days. 

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I guess its the same linguistic short hand that makes us say Two Three Five!, when we mean 2.39:1. I can become an aspect ratio pedant if not careful. I once got into an argument about aspect ratios with Brian Tufano BSC, even though I'm a fan of his work, I still had to pick a fight. I hope I'd be more mature now... 🙂 

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My seven year old son and some neighborhood kids make little movies with an iPad and they call it "filming" a movie.  The other day I heard a young medical student in her early twenties refer to someone shooting her with an iPhone to stop "filming" her.  I think the term "film" or "filming" regarding shooting any format is going to be around for a while.

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3 hours ago, Simon Wyss said:

Only film is film. The rest is lies.

However if the simulation theory is correct and we are all in a giant computer. Everything, even film would be digital or some quantum version of digital.

 

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I use the words, movie, short, feature, doc, etc. I rarely use the word "film" unless I'm discussing something shot on film. 

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Yeah I always say "motion picture" cause it makes me look hella industry.

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I often correct my own text messages or emails that say i'm "shooting' someone and change it to filming someone before I send them for obvious reasons.

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I think it's fine to say "I'm doing some filming" when shooting scenes with a digital camera. Sounds so much better than "I'm videoing". What a mouthful. But you won't escape the reality that you're not shooting real celluloid. Not that many care a fig for that. I do.

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Posted (edited)

"Interesting. But "shooting" is also used for a film shoot."

Right, falls under "Recording images using any device or media".

Edited by Dennis Toeppen

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On 6/11/2019 at 1:39 AM, Dennis Toeppen said:

Shooting = Recording images using any device or media

Filming = Recording images on film

end of debate

Nah, you may wish that was the case and you may be correct in terms of the technology used.

But, language doesn't work like that. The millions of people that use the term "filming" for digital moving image capture, are not going to stop because some nerds on cinematography.com state its wrong.

Its not wrong, because thats the word people use, how could it be wrong? Again its not about technology, but if you go up to any English speaker and invite them to shoot some video. A very large percentage of them will state they were "filming", thats the way language works. You can't police it or control it. 

Its like the time, the French language people, got upset with too many Americanisms creeping into French. E.g they created an alternative French word for "Walkman", which was "Baladeur" which was used by practically no one, because the general public were happy with "Walkman".

The term "filming" is out in the wild its already being used by millions to describe video recording. At this point it stops becoming incorrect and just a part of the English language. 

Same when radio interviewers describe they got "great tape"... I doubt they are still rocking DAT machines.

If you try correct someone for using the term "filming" wrong, its only going to make you look like a pedant. Also you'd be wrong because if you take the English language as its used by most people: Filming means recording moving images, ask anyone. 

Language isn't a debate, its a conversation. 

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I actually have been thinking about this. Are digital cameras like Alexa and Red really video? Video to me harkens back to tape, which was poor quality. Preferences aside, I think digital looks pretty good, a lot of the time (though I still prefer 35mm) it seems like 'shooting digital' is more apropos than 'shooting video'? 

 

Either way, I'd just say filming for the process, movie/picture for the final result. I've been a pedant for most my life in audio and it was miserable. 

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It's interesting that some motion picture theater chains and film festivals are still using artistic interpretations of film reels or cameras as logos.

 

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