Home > Society and Culture > IFCO – Celluloid Junkies 2011 – Revisited

IFCO – Celluloid Junkies 2011 – Revisited


One of my main reasons for starting to blog – other than it gives me a forum to hen-peck and squawk about things that ruffle my feathers  – was to open some dialogue and learn from the masses that might just perch here for a bit.  I really enjoy engaging in conversation with others.  I’ve been honoured in my short time blogging with some great feedback from reader Doug Smith (check out some of Mr. Smith’s comments).  Most recently a friend of mine, Patrice, sent me an email regarding some of my comments concerning independent film.  With her permission, I’d like to share her comments because they are insightful, educational and provide some counter-commentary to my musings.

I’d like to make the following observations of my own for clarification as well, which if you approve; I’d like to post on your blog.

  • Super 8/16mm/35mm are ORIGINAL filmmaking technologies, they’re not just “traditional film-making technologies”, because a significant amount, actually most movies nowadays that make it to mainstream cinema screens, most dramatic content, commercials, music videos on television, are still predominantly shot on FILM; Super 16 and 35mm to be exact.  Most reality television, daytime soaps, talk shows and news serials continue to be digitally shot.  Also, there are ONLY but a few dramas on television that are shot on digital, case and point; the new season of HOUSE;
  • Also digital filmmaking does not really exist.  digital is a technology, just as film is its own technology; they’re both completely separate mediums as such.  So I’d venture to say that there’s digital cinema/digital production, but there is no film that is made from digital and vice versa.  digital is either tape or memory cards; film is celluloid based; a very intricately constructed material with endless stock options and possibilities;
  • Digital media is consuming the mainstream consumer markets, which means that the technology is more readily available to the average consumer, and there are a lot of festivals and online options for digital producers to exhibit their works; although I would warn against this, if artists are focused on developing a more professional portfolio, and also if they’re hoping to be compensated for their work.  Digital media has made significant headway in certain commercial industries as well; but I’d caution for viewers to pay close attention to the fact that again the overwhelming technology used in the Oscar and Genie Award nominated and winning films, is still film Super 16mm or predominantly 35mm;
  • Digital projection is steadily being phased into mainstream cinema chains, but still today ONLY about 5%-6% of the world’s screens actually have digital projectors installed; so that also means that most of the screens on the planet, are still using 35mm projectors.

In closing, I would say that IFCO’s filmmakers are actually cognizant of just how extremely viable FILM as medium is in contemporary society.  IFCO’s filmmakers are using FILM because they’re excited by the medium and its possibilities, and not so much because they’re “protecting a threatened art form from slipping into obscurity”.  Audiences need to be more active viewers and not such passive viewers; they need to be better informed as to the creative processes involved in bringing a piece of art to the screen, be it digitally produced/film based imagery.  Yes, digital technologies have attempted to sell the possibility to the average consumer that digital camera in hand, immediately gives them credibility as a filmmaker.   We really as a society however, have to be cautious about prescribing social pressures on art and artists to jump on bandwagons so to speak.  Just because the technology is cheaper, and more accessible, doesn’t make it any more or less relevant than existing technologies.  Filmmakers should also be happy to know that through a centre like IFCO; they can produce mostly short films at really affordable rates, in an extremely supportive environment.

“The medium is the message.” – Marshall McLuhan”

Thanks to Patrice and all my readers who comment via email, Facebook and in the comments section of this site.  I truly appreciate the dialogue and hope we can have many more virtual conversations in the future!

Cheers, M. xo

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  1. Doug Smith
    March 26th, 2011 at 09:36 | #1

    I wish the adult film industry would get back to using film. How’s that for a great comment?!

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