And the winner is ... digital

February 20, 2014 7:50 PM

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And the winner is ... digital

We still call them films, but it's a term that could become as quaint as ''talkie'' or ''motion picture photoplay''. The cinema industry, the movie business, whatever you like to call it, is now unequivocally a digital realm. The image of a strip of celluloid with sprockets down the vertical – once a universal visual symbol – is more like a souvenir. In this year's list of the candidates for best cinematography at the Academy Awards, only one was shot on film. And the director of photography (DOP) who made it says ruefully it was probably the last time he would work that way.

The story of celluloid and digital is a story of gains and losses, with an accelerated momentum. There have been remarkable advances in quality since films shot on digital video were first screened in cinemas in the last decade of the 20th century – in the beginning, it was mostly low-budget, indepe...

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