Analog Vs. Digital

I love that analog media formats are making a come back as of late.

The Star Wars movie saga portrays a perfect example of the digital vs analog onscreen battle.

George Lucas has always been at the forefront of pushing the envelope for expanding movie technology.

Back in 1975, Mr. Lucas created the famous Industrial Light and Magic special effects studio because nothing existed at the time capable of producing the visual effects he envisioned for his legendary first Star Wars film.

Then again, in 2002 he was the first to shoot a major film entirely on digital film.

Lucas believed digital is a much more malleable medium than film. The format allows you the ability to make it do whatever you want it to do.

Many Star Wars fans, myself included, did not enjoy the digital filmed prequels. The special effects and visual graphics were stunning, but in my opinion looked too clean and artificial as if one was playing a sophisticated video game.


Fast forward 15-20 years, we are now seeing a significant decline in digital film with directors choosing to shoot entirely on celluloid. The Force Awakens, released in 2015, uses standard 35mm stock with use of 65mm IMAX cameras for some action sequences.


Surprisingly, a number of directors are going back to using standard film over using digital formats. Many directors and artists feel there is a tangible quality to analog film that is impossible to replicate with clean, regimented digital images. There is a randomness to film that it’s proved impossible to simulate digitally, because of the inevitably slightly varied chemical composition of celluloid. This can affect colour and clarity, but also gives a definitive realistic look to images captured on film.

As an artist I enjoy both digital and analog formats. Having options is a good thing. It comes down to the personal preference of each individual and what type of story or vision you are telling. But there is something raw about film that digital media will never replace.

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