Film Vs Digital

Why do we think in absolutes on this topic? It has never made sense to me; one being the replacement for the other. They are two different recording and exhibiting formats that both have their strengths and weaknesses. I suppose I really DO understand... it's an easy target that always gives rise to hyperbole and heated discussion; perfect for embellished articles and media hysteria. But for me, you might as well compare Qaudruplex video tape with IMAX. Film makers have always been constrained by technical reality's and have always turned those quality's into a creative advantage to tell their story. The technical short comings become part of the art, the feel, the story.

So what happens when that story is colorised or turned 3 dimensional or simply transferred to another medium? Is it the same experience or has the integrity of the directors visual aesthetic been compromised in some way?

That's one of the questions I asked Associate Professor Marcelo Bertalmío at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain on his recent visit to Melbourne where he presenting 'Between Machine and Mind: Intelligence in Digital Cinema' at ACMI.

We had a fascinating chat after about the aesthetics of film and the visual Neuroscience behind it. Further to this I learnt we still don't have a comprehensive model for how the human visual system works, which I found surprising. This means it cannot be predicted how any two individuals will perceive any given visual experience. An interesting notion when applied to the above.

He was a charming, generous man and his thoughts on the 'film Vs digital' argument were compelling. We got a great interview. 



Bert Murphy