“Film is dead. Get over it.” ~ Me
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a quaint and somewhat satirical blog post about the different names that we filmmakers/videographers/et.al. call each other. (If you missed it, click here to read it and catch up on all the fun.) There was some great discussion going on in the comments. But I must say I was quite surprised at the number of people who commented that one could not call oneself a “filmmaker” unless one actually shot on film. As in celluloid.
I’m shocked that anyone would make such a claim. That means that David Fincher (who shot The Social Network on the RED) is no longer a filmmaker. That means the Steven Soderberg (who shot Contagion on the RED) is no longer a filmmaker. That means acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins (the go-to cinematographer for the Coen Brothers and who DP’d the soon to be released Justin Timberlake sci-fi action thriller In Time, which was shot on the Arri Alexa) is no longer a filmmaker. George Lucas (who shot all three Star Wars prequels and his latest film “Redtails” on the CineAlta, with 2nd unit work shot on a 5D Mark II!) is no longer a filmmaker. (Please, no comments from the peanut gallery about your feelings on those prequels). Peter Jackson. Jim Cameron. Michael Mann. David Lynch. Paul Greengrass. The Hughes Brothers. And I could go on and on. I guess, according to some people, none of these guys are filmmakers anymore because most of them now predominantly shoot on digital media. I guess, it won’t be long before there will NO MORE FILMMAKERS at all since it’s only a matter of time before film is no longer the primary medium for feature films or television. Don’t believe me? Maybe you missed this interesting article from Creative Cow (a way more reputable source than little ol’ me).
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the sentiment. They want to appreciate and acknowledge the masters who have paved the way for technology and art to lead us to where we are today. They want to give credit to the incredible amount of time and talent that is necessary to create motion pictures on celluloid. They don’t want to trivialize what has been a revered art form for over 100 years. Trust me. I get it.
But frankly, I think it’s a greater insult to the thousands of filmmakers today (whether in Hollywood blowing up the big screen, or on YouTube and Vimeo garnering hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of views) to say they are NOT filmmakers just because their weapon of choice shoots in 0’s and 1’s instead of on film. Their accomplishment is no less. Their talent is no less. And the energy and time from their team of collaborators is definitely no less.
I wish filmmakers of all kinds would spend as much time and energy fighting over and debating story as they do gear. If they did, this world would be such a better place. I’m totally serious. Imagine if every video you saw on YouTube or Vimeo was something that actually grabbed you and viscerally moved you. Whether to laugh, to cry, or to be inspired. Just imagine…
Nah! That’s a stupid idea! I’d then run out of great topics to blog about.
So. I’ll say it again. Film is dead. Get over it.
Okay. Commence the debating.😉