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Christopher Nolan sees artists devalued with the digitization of films

07.09.2014

The era of digital film-making brought with it a whole new realm of possibility. This allowed filmmakers to watch what they've shot immediately, rather than having to wait for film to be developed. Digital projection in theaters also ensures that whether you see a movie on its first day or last, you can expect pristine quality (depending on the projector, of course). Despite these advancements, there are film purists that feel this may have a negative impact in the long run, especially as far as the future of cinema is concerned. One such film enthusiast is Christopher Nolan, who has been very vocal about this topic.

Aside from the gimmicky post-conversion use of 3D, Nolan feels that reducing a film to a "file" is much like turning a record into an mp3; where ease of use and accessibility will limit films in theaters to those that score those big opening weekend, and not the ones that usually strive on word of mouth. Here's what Christopher Nolan had to say on the subject.

In terms of how it may work in the future:

A movie’s Friday matinees would determine whether it even gets an evening screening, or whether the projector switches back to last week’s blockbuster. This process could even be automated based on ticket sales in the interests of 'fairness'.

In regards how important the theatrical screening is:

The theatrical window is to the movie business what live concerts are to the music business — and no one goes to a concert to be played an MP3 on a bare stage.

It's an interesting comparison he makes, although I would say that plays are to concerts (rather than films), but I definitely understand where he's coming from. Whether or not a film "has legs" might be a phrase of the past, if a format like this takes hold and films are swapped out in favor of the easy money makers. Christopher Nolan also had something to say about this regarding his newest film, INTERSTELLAR, and that he's actually forward some technological advancements.

Regarding the presentation of INTERSTELLAR:

I really think on this film the technical aspect of how this film is presented is really going to be more important than on any film I’ve done before, so that means getting into partnership with the studios and theaters.

Hopeful sentiment, regarding the advancement of cinema technology:

It’s unthinkable that extraordinary new work won’t emerge from such an open structure. That’s the part I can’t wait for.

There's no doubt that formats are ever changing and I feel that TV, not only the advancement of home cinema, is playing a big role in that. It was recently announced that the Wensteins have passed on funding Kevin Smith's CLERKS III. He'll get it made, regardless. If he wanted to, I'm should he could Kickstart that beast and get his funding (although he's done a pretty good job on his own with TUSK and whatnot). So while I understand Christopher Nolan's concern with artists getting their work out there, especially for films not of the TRANSFORMERS variety, if there's a demand for it, there will always be a way.

Christopher Nolan's next, INTERSTELLAR, will give audiences a reason to go to cinemas on November 7, 2014.

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Extra Tidbit: Do you think Christopher Nolan's predictions will come to fruition?

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