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February 11 at 8:30am

The Digital Cinema Revolution (and Che)

Che and the Digital Cinema Revolution from high rez on Vimeo.

Scott Kirsner tipped me to this video (from the Criterion Collection) about the first film shot on The Red — that little thing called CHE. I just shot with The Red on SUPER and had a great experience. Among the joys were incredibly quick dailies (truly living up to their name) while on location.  It definitely played a big hand in how fast we moved on that show (38 set ups/day!) as we never had to reload.  The technology has progressed rapidly since Che  Hearing though of it’s development, and what Soderbergh and team went through using it on CHE, I am so thrilled that others got to work out the kinks first!  Thank you.

I like how Soderbergh speaks about how digital gives you time to get to a “point of reflection” quicker so that you can sit back and consider your work on a macro level much sooner. I find that most innovations in our field that I have gotten to experience first-hand ultimately matter most as creative tools and not economic solutions.

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December 5 at 12:38pm

The Benefits Of Less

For my tastes, I have long encouraged the practice of getting away from the cinema of excess and getting back to the compromise.  I have always learned a great deal by bouncing back and forth between budgets.  Truth be told, for me it is out of necessity, not strategy.  Yet for directors, the proof has come that it should be part of the process.

Time and time again, filmmakers have rejuvenated themselves, their work, and their careers by dropping their budgets and picking up some freedom in exchange.
Ang Lee, Alfonso Cuaron, Gus Van Sant, Steven Soderbergh have all done this, with Crouching Tiger, Y Tu Mama, Gerry/Elephant, and Schizopolis.  Coming off of The Hulk, Great Expectations, Finding Forester, and The Underneath respectively, these subsequent “indie” productions yielded great work (generally) and a major creative reboot.
And now we get to witness this again with Darren Aaronofsky’s The Wrestler, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, and Jonathon Demme’s Rachel Getting Married.  These are three of the year’s best films.  This formula could also be applied to Van Sant’s Milk (which I hope to see this weekend) but now the back and forth between budgets and control appears to be part of Gus’ process.
Ann Thompson pointed this out to everyone in the business today so hopefully we can witness a few others gaining from the new poverty.  Anne includes my other fave of the year, Ari Fohlman’s Waltz With Bahir, as another benefiter of this approach.

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