“Film has shaped the new media to accommodate it”
-David Bordwell, Kirsten Thompson, p.730.
Since the introduction of Digital Cinema in the late 90’s, it is fair to say that we are well and truly immersed in a new digital age for film. Despite some filmmaker’s objection to the introduction of digital cinema, and an overall wariness of the conversion from traditional films to digital, nowadays, the majority of films that we see in the cinema are digitally made.
“The next ten years may witness the almost complete disappearance of celluloid film stock as a recording, distribution, and exhibition medium.” (Roderick. The Virtual Life of Film (2007))
Furthermore, many classic films such as Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” (1937) and Stephen Spielberg’s “Jaws” (1975) have been digitally remastered to improve our viewing quality and experience. In this essay, I aim to illustrate how film has shaped the new media to accommodate it, and also discuss how the advent of digital technologies are reworking the role of images.
With Digital Cinema, it is possible to watch movies anywhere, anytime, and pretty much on whatever device you wish. This idea seems extremely appropriate with the pace at which the world is moving at the moment. Almost everyone you meet has some form of android or smart phone, iPod, iPad or other portable device in which they can watch a film on.
“iPods are the latest digital device to enable audio-visual imagery to go mobile, allowing viewers to watch and listen in almost any context, provided they have first downloaded their tunes and podcasts” (Wood, Aylish; Digital Encounters. 2007)
In being able to watch a movie on the go, on your phone or tablet is certainly one way in which “Film has shaped the new media to accommodate it” (Bordwell, Thompson; Film History, an Introduction. 3rd Edition. 2010). Bordwell and Thompson argue that “Far from killing movies, digital media have allowed them to leave the theatre and our living rooms.” (p730) and I completely agree. Why not avail of the technology that is there and watch a movie on your commute to work. John Belton argues that digital cinema lacks novelty value and that “it does not transform the experience that spectators have of moving images and sound in the theatre the way sound, colour, 3D and widescreen did. It merely duplicates the experience spectators always had with 35mm film.” (Belton. Film History. Vol.24. Issue 2 (2012) I however disagree with this statement. I believe that digital cinema truly has revolutionised not only film quality and experience, but has also made 3D cinema much more enjoyable and easier to watch. No longer do we encounter the blurriness of quick paced movement, or feel the need to take off the 3D glasses to give our eyes a break. Furthermore, I feel that the novelty which Belton thinks that digital cinema lacks is in fact there. The novelty is that we can easily watch movies on our phones etc, something that would not have been...