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Martin Scorsese abandons film, will shoot The Wolf of Wall Street on digital this August

Jun. 29, 2012by: George Merchan

A filmmaker many believed would never put down the celluloid camera has done exactly that. In an interview with Empire Magazine, Martin Scorsese's esteemed editor and long-time collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker reveals that Scorsese will not only shoot his next film THE WOLF OF WALL STREET on digital, but that it will likely also mark the start of his full switch to the still controversial format.

Here is Schoonmaker talking to Empire about Marty's new direction:

"It would appear that we've lost the battle. I think Marty just feels it's unfortunately over, and there's been no bigger champion of film than him."

The decision comes at a time when filmmaker Christopher Nolan (THE DARK KNIGHT RISES) has on multiple occasions lambasted the very use of the digital format, more specifically inferring that the decision to go digital has typically not been a creative one but rather a business one that's come down from producers and the very companies that are creating digital equipment.

"It's a very bittersweet thing to be watching films with him now that are on film. We're cherishing every moment of it. The number of prints that are now being made for release has just gone down, and it would appear that the theatres have converted so quickly to digital."

Schoonmaker, meanwhile, reveals that THE WOLF OF WALL STREET will begin shooting in mid August and describes the film like so:

"It's about this man in the late '90s [Leonardo DiCaprio's Jordan Belfort] who got people to start investing in much cheaper stocks. It was a big scam, and he went to jail. They were out of their minds. Out of their minds! He's out of jail now, doing motivational speaking. He supposedly feels bad about what he did..."
Extra Tidbit: HUGO was actually the first feature Scorsese shot using digital, though the director himself suggested that he would only use the format for the purposes of 3D. I guess something changed his mind since then...
Source: Empire

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12:39PM on 06/29/2012
Well, that's immensely depressing.
Well, that's immensely depressing.
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12:38PM on 06/29/2012
Not really sure why this is happening other than people pushing digital tech are really pimping the shit out of it. The only digital that I've seen that I really liked was Michael Mann's work with it. If all films looked that good, I'd have no problem but sadly digital usually looks inferior. Thankfully Nolan is sticking to his guns about this.
Not really sure why this is happening other than people pushing digital tech are really pimping the shit out of it. The only digital that I've seen that I really liked was Michael Mann's work with it. If all films looked that good, I'd have no problem but sadly digital usually looks inferior. Thankfully Nolan is sticking to his guns about this.
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11:24AM on 06/29/2012
Sad, sad, sad news. No reason Marty would shoot digital unless he wanted to. If he wanted to shoot film, it wouldn't be a problem. Plenty of movies are still shot on 35mm. Doesn't make any sense...
Sad, sad, sad news. No reason Marty would shoot digital unless he wanted to. If he wanted to shoot film, it wouldn't be a problem. Plenty of movies are still shot on 35mm. Doesn't make any sense...
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7:44AM on 06/29/2012

Sad to see film go, but it really is inevitable.

The real tragedy is that all this is pretty much confirming that Django Unchained will be Tarantino's last film.
The real tragedy is that all this is pretty much confirming that Django Unchained will be Tarantino's last film.
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11:58AM on 06/29/2012
As long as Tarantino, Nolan, and Spielberg keep using film, there's still hope.
As long as Tarantino, Nolan, and Spielberg keep using film, there's still hope.
7:05AM on 06/29/2012
I'm a big fan of digital filmmaking, as it gives the opportunity to more talented people to have their visions realized on a budget, and adding more players to a game always means that we get to see more exciting champions, but I very much hope that film never completely dies. Maybe productions will need a hell of a lot of clout to be able to use it, but it would be nice if it always remained open as an option. The problem is, by the time the next generation or two of filmmakers come along,
I'm a big fan of digital filmmaking, as it gives the opportunity to more talented people to have their visions realized on a budget, and adding more players to a game always means that we get to see more exciting champions, but I very much hope that film never completely dies. Maybe productions will need a hell of a lot of clout to be able to use it, but it would be nice if it always remained open as an option. The problem is, by the time the next generation or two of filmmakers come along, will anybody still remember how to use it?
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