Welcome to the latest edition of 24 Frames. Sahara Shrestha and Andrew Jamieson will be guiding you through the exciting, confusing and often brilliant world of 'film'. Expect news, trailers and plenty of opinion.

This edition is brought to you by Andrew Jamieson, who can be found on twitter over at @theghostwriterc.



The 'End of Imax Film Prints' Edition:

Next November we will see the release of auteur Christopher Nolan's next movie Interstellar which is slowly putting together a spectacular ensemble cast featuring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck. If all of this wasn't enough to get excited about, Nolan has also revealed that he will be shooting parts of the film using 70mm IMAX film stock as he did to great success on The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. What has interested me is that this may well be the last big budget movie to be shot using IMAX film stock as Hollywood continues its rampage toward the eradication of film as a medium to shoot on.

I'll say this now, I prefer film rather than digital. I say this because as images get sharper and sharper, I believe film offers the director more visual nuance than movies shot on digital. While the biggest proponents of digital (David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh, Michael Mann amongst others) are skilled directors who make some of the best aesthetic choices around, I also love the romanticism of film and the intimacy it brings to an image.

Imagine The Godfather shot on a digital camera: the deep colour palette would have more clarity yes, but for me less depth too. The best Director of Photography working today, Wally Pfister and Christopher Nolan argue that any director should have the choice between using film stock or a digital camera. Hollywood by its very nature moves toward the cheapest option, however I heard Rian Johnson say on the Looper movie commentary that it is cheaper to shoot on film rather than to shoot on digital. Seemingly there is a debate to be had here with the number crunchers from the major studios.

  • Christopher Nolan with Syncopy pictures co owner, producer and wife Emma Thomas

As a resident of the North East of England I have a local digital IMAX screen, but last year I travelled down to London to the British Film Institute and saw The Dark Knight Rises projected on a 70mm IMAX screen using a source master that had the ratio of 1.44:1. The print was gloriously projected on the largest cinema screen in the British Isles. The IMAX corporation is moving toward a 4K projection system based solely on the digital medium.

While many 70mm screens will still offer the older format, it is clear that within a decade most auditoriums will have been brought into line with the 4K system and not the 70mm one. While I am aware that the new system will maintain this ratio, it is also abundantly clear that this represents a huge shift on a relatively new mass market format (IMAX has been around for years but now is more widely available to us all).

As cinema ticket prices rise on an incremental basis year upon year it is clear that the cinema will become more of a luxury than it is today. Surely as prices increase, viewers deserve to have their own cinematic choices in hand? Whether that's film, 3D or the new 48 frames per second format - cinema goers and directors deserve choice. So when Christopher Nolan's Interstellar arrives next year, it may be truly the end of an era as the inevitable move toward digital drives forward.


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