Most video producers may work in digital video, but most of them want to move on to 35mm film at some point. As well as wanting to work in a higher-quality medium, it’s also a question of credibility. It may be acceptable for documentary and short producers to create digitally, but full-length movies created using digital video are often viewed as amateurish.
However, this view may be about to change. The New Media and Technology Centre at the Sundance Film Festival, which showcased digital video techniques and technologies, used to be a 20-minute bus ride away from the rest of the festival and was very poorly attended. This year the newly-renamed Sundance Digital Centre will sit in a huge space right in the middle of the host town, Park City, when the 2001 festival begins on Thursday.
The change of perspective follows the huge growth in watching movies over the Internet. Also, the final acceptance of digital media at the top end is helping its credibility overall. George Lucas is working completely in digital for Star Wars Episode II, and the first all-digital Hollywood movie will be released in the summer (even if it is slasher-flick Jason X, the ninth sequel to Friday the 13th).
Also organizations like InDigEnt, which produces movies with established directors using digital equipment, are showing that affordable digital equipment can match the quality found in the majority of movie releases. InDigEnt has also announced that its content has been acquired by Lions Gate Films, one of the largest film distributors in the US.
With the growth of digital projectors, which are being used to screen 30 movies at Sundance 2000 – a huge growth on last year, many people think it is likely that film will disappear completely from the movie-making process. Which should lower the barrier to entry to movie-making even further.