No More Film?

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It makes an awful lot of sense. Digital technology is fast replacing everything from film photographs to taped music. The Disney studios are saying that the movie theater format is next to go:

“I’m referring to digital cinema. In today’s world you go to a theater to view a piece of 35-millimeter film that uses an intense light source behind it to project onto a big screen. The notion of shipping, warehousing, reclaiming, restoring, and destroying reels of film will one day, potentially sometime in our lifetime, become obsolete.

“This will happen in favor of a digital system where everything from the way the camera captures the image, through the method the content is edited and cut into a final product, to the manufacturing process for distribution, which will most likely occur on DVDs, distributed through satellite or another form of terrestrial distribution. [It’s] all to be determined. It will have a dramatic impact on supplier relationships and infrastructure supporting all that supply chain. “

I don’t own a high-definition TV, so honestly, I don’t notice much difference on my (to my friends) ‘totally outdated’ 4-year-old television between DVDs and VHS tapes (except for the white snow that more frequently decorates the screen with VHS), so I guess it’ll be fun to see the really sharp pictures at the movie show when digital hits.

But as for photography, the pros are still out on the question of changing over. When it comes to speed and ease of printing, no comparison. Digital wins by a landslide. But digital photo quality is another story.

Well, whatever the professional art and magazine photographers decide–and who knows where the technology will lead them–business has taken to digital like a magic tonic. We’ve all become (we think) graphic artists now that we can readily play with images. We email heavy-duty photos and files full of graphics around with abandon. This is certainly a fun thing–but if you’re a small business owner, don’t fool yourself. Professional work will still make the difference in your marketing materials–and everyone will recognize amateur junk when they see it.

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  • Nothing can ever replace the quality of film.

  • You could well be right, Jeff. But I’m not going to be the one to bet against technology–I just don’t know if you and I will be alive to see it if it happens.