Tribeca: “Side by Side” – so what’s the future of filmmaking?

This entry was posted on 23.04.2012

Ask nine experts and get ten answers. Ask a dozen filmmakers on the future of movies – and get even more opinions. If you intend to watch “Side By Side” to get an answer a better idea of what maybe ahead for filmmakers, you might leave the movie theater disappointed. But if you watch “Side By Side”, part of the Spotlight series of the Tribeca Film Festival 2012, to hear a lot of interesting ideas, you will be well rewarded.

Director Chris Kenneally and his producer/interviewer Keanu Reeves had access to some of the most important filmmakers of the last four decades – Martin Scorsese and David Lynch, Lars von Trier and James Cameron, Steve Soderbergh and Chris Nolan, to name a few. They also talk to directors of photography like Michael Ballhaus, editor coloring specialists, camera makers and so on.

The main question: How is the digital present and future effecting filmmaking? The answers: They vary. A lot.

One example: When filmmakers shoot with real film, they get their dailies back the next morning. Robert Rodriguez always hated that – there’s no chance to correct mistakes anymore. David Fincher agrees: He loves the “immediates” – the chance to see what was shot immediately. Steven Soderbergh, on the other hand, thinks this is an illusion – a small computer screen just can’t show what the audience will see on a big screen. Martin Scorsese might have the wisest answers: He like to see results as soon as possible – but in a separate room.

Opinions on cameras are varied too: Soderbergh says his movie about Che Guevara would not have been possible without the “Red One” camera”. Fincher hates it. And what about the option to shoot movies with small Canon photo cameras? Will this be the punk rock revolution for movie making? Or will these cameras bring an inflation of bad movies? David Lynch might have the best answer: Everybody has access to pen and paper. This doesn’t mean that everybody can write a great story.

Kenneally covers a lot of topics and en passant explains how films are made this days: James Cameron praises the development of 3D movies (but fails to mention how many movies are shot in 3D now just for monetary reasons, as somebody else points out). What influence will Netflix and the iPhone have on movies? How are movies preserved in the future, considering that technologies change every few years?

Again: Don’t expect answers, just a lot of very interesting ideas. For those “Side By Side” is worth watching.

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