Film or Digital? The Oscars’ll Take Film

Film or Digital? The Oscars’ll Take Film

Cinematography

As firmly placed in the Age of Digital as moviemaking—especially low-budget indie moviemaking—undoubtedly is, it’s good to take a step back once a while and consider film.

The last few decades have seen an increase in buzz about digital cameras, digital projectors—digital everything, really. And while the sheer amount of attention paid to digital advances can give one the impression that shooting on film is a holdover from a bygone era, the fact of the matter is that film is still very much alive.

For proof, one needs look no further than the Oscars, where the big winner is still, as it always has been, film. In fact, only one Best Picture winner in Oscar history has ever been shot primarily on digital—and even that film, 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, was shot partially on film.

“At Kodak, we feel the thousands of filmmakers who continue to choose film as a storytelling partner are winners too,” notes Kimberly Snyder, president of Kodak’s entertainment imaging division. “We feel privileged to provide the creative and technical community with the tools to tell remarkable tales that entertain and inspire audiences worldwide.”

Of the nine Best Picture nominees at this year’s Oscars—which take place this Sunday, lest any cinephile has forgotten—seven of them were shot on Kodak film: Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse, The Descendants, The Help, Midnight in Paris and The Artist. As anyone who’s been following awards season knows, The Artist is far and away the frontrunner for Oscar victory, but even if there’s a massive upset and it doesn’t win, Kodak film is still looking at a better than three-quarters chance of racking up yet another victory.

Love for film doesn’t stop at the Oscars. From the BAFTAs to the Visual Effects Society Awards, most top honors on this year’s awards circuit went to films shot on… well, film. And while the digital medium is especially popular with indies, film is far from extinct at the Independent Spirit Awards, taking place this Saturday, where over 30 nominations were given to indies shot on Kodak film, among them Take Shelter, Margin Call, Martha Marcy May Marlene and PariahMM

So when you’re camped out in front of the TV on Sunday waiting for the final award of the year to be announced, take a moment to remember: Film is, and will be, here to stay.

Photographed by Emmanuel Lubezki

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