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Wally Pfister and Hoyte van Hoytema

Pfister on using Film vs. HD Video

Posts: 163
I really, really appreciate Nolan and Pfister's approach regarding Film vs. HD Video. The only filmmaker I've conciously been aware of using HD video in a unique way is Michael Mann, and I appreciate his approach as well, as he seems to have created a look and feel that he wants for the films he's shot in that format. Wally has said that he can Chris are on the same page that they're making films, and that means that they want to remain true to the medium, so digital video is off limits in thier book.

Back to HD Video though.. Out of Mann's films.. Collateral is where it made the most sense to me, as the benefits it creates during nighttime shooting with enormous depth of field and high resolution were vastly needed for a film set at night for 90% or so of the screentime. Mann created a pretty unique aesthetic with that medium, and I loved it. He likes to use some of the graininess of film to capture a mood, and managed to replicate a look that had a film like quality due to his 'intentional imperfections'.

TDK, particularly in the cityscapes shot on Imax seemed to capture as rich of night landscape as anything I've seen on digital video.. that's a bit surprising and a testament to Wally for sure, as that has to be much harder on film. Chris always seems to want very clear cinematography, and not create a mood out of the medium, which is the exact opposite of what Mann does, and that's not a complaint or saying one is better than the other. I would love to see Chris and Wally continue to push the medium by venturing into video, but only if it creates something that benefits the film they're trying to make. I guess my point in bringing this up is that like Mann, Nolan is 100% about serving the story through every filmmaking choice he makes. He might consider video to achieve an aesthetic for a movie that traditional film can't give him, but it seems that would have to be a last resort.

So what do you guys think? Would you be ok with these two filmmakers utilizing HD video or do you want them to stick to film? Can you see a situation where they'd ever abandon film for video? I say no, they never will.
Posts: 13923
Location: La La Land
He won't shot on video until the studio forces him to or digital has surpassed film in image quality. Which it has yet to do. You answered your own question several times in the OP; Chris and Wally will not shoot digitally. Period.

And there not alone. The vast majority of Hollywood films are still being filmed on 35mm.
Posts: 2224
There was some Phantom on the set of INCEPTION so he's got his pinky finger in. It's only a matter of time.
Posts: 13923
Location: La La Land
RomanM wrote:There was some Phantom on the set of INCEPTION so he's got his pinky finger in. It's only a matter of time.


Only for the 4-5 seconds of slow motion footage...
Posts: 11375
Location: Texas
Nolan will shoot on it when it's the best quality. He can get that kinda freedom now. lol
Posts: 2224
CrazyEight wrote:
RomanM wrote:There was some Phantom on the set of INCEPTION so he's got his pinky finger in. It's only a matter of time.


Only for the 4-5 seconds of slow motion footage...


I did say his pinky finger.
Posts: 99
Sooner or later... Pfister will shoot on the Arri Alexa. It's just a matter of time. :batface:
Posts: 13923
Location: La La Land
Crazy Eight wrote:He won't shot on video until the studio forces him to or digital has surpassed film in image quality. Which it has yet to do. You answered your own question several times in the OP; Chris and Wally will not shoot digitally. Period.

And there not alone. The vast majority of Hollywood films are still being filmed on 35mm.


Ah. The good 'ole days back when this statement was true. :cry:
Posts: 2099
Location: Budapest, Hungary
The funny thing is that, if I'm correct, Mann had to shoot some of the night club scenes in Collateral on film, because it was so dark.

(oh... I thought this was a fresh new topic :-D)
Posts: 163
DHOPW42 wrote:The funny thing is that, if I'm correct, Mann had to shoot some of the night club scenes in Collateral on film, because it was so dark.

(oh... I thought this was a fresh new topic :-D)


I remember that he filmed that scene on film, but I didn't think it was because of the lighting. I thought HD Video captured dark conditions much more vividly, which is why he wanted to use it for that film, as it was set at night.
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