Once there was a time when film was film and video was video, and everyone was happy. The general acceptance was: film was awesome, so it got to hang out with movie stars. Video, on the other hand, was the opposite of awesome, so it spent most of its time with men in ugly suits – usually either recording them doing news reports or video taping used car commercials.
This was the arrangement between film and video for many years, and the two coexisted happily.
Then video turned digital and soon after decided it wanted to become more like film.
Like a creepy, obsessed stalker, video wanted the same haircut as film, wear the same clothes, steal the film’s boyfriend, and of course eventually kill film off.
Analogy taken too far?
In a dizzyingly fast span of time, digital video has quickly evolved from being film’s sad, nerdy friend to becoming the vengeful friend whose about to push film off a cliff and assume its identity.
On the high end of the spectrum (Red Epic, Arri Alexa), the quality is so close to film calling it “video” doesn’t even sound right anymore. Many have taken to calling it “digital cinema.”
And even on the low end of the spectrum, with DSLR video a person can take a sub 1k camera like a Canon Rebel t3i and capture beautiful shallow depth of field footage just like traditional 35mm film cameras.
Well, maybe not “just like.” There are many who argue no matter how good video has gotten, it still can’t touch film in regards to such important features such as color reproduction and dynamic range, which I’d agree with – for the moment.
In less than two decades video has evolved from standard definition analog to digital high definition to 35mm 5k digital cinema and is now even ramping beyond that into completely new territories of incredible resolution and capabilities. As fast as video is evolving, if I were film I’d avoid taking any scenic cliff-side walks with it anytime soon.