I would like to clarify why I use the word "film" even though many of the important movies of today are being shot on digital video and other mediums. There is a lot of discussion in the entertainment industry today about the advance of digital technology and how it will affect filmmaking, both now and in the future. Cameras are becoming smaller and more versatile, and there are affordable computer programs to edit whatever you have shot; for relatively less money than ever before, almost anyone can call himself or herself a filmmaker. There are those who are saying that film is dead and everything will be digital video in the near future. No one knows what the future will bring for certain. We know it will bring change, but in what direction and how it will change is always an unknown.
It's interesting to note that in 1956 the entertainment publication Daily Variety had as a page one headline, "Film Is Dead!" above an article announcing the invention of videotape. Certainly, videotape changed many things in the entertainment industry; it broadened the possibilities. It did not, however, kill film. Today many have the opinion that anyone can make a movie, now that you don't need expensive lights, film stock, a large crew, and a studio. Just pick up the camera and shoot. The question remains the same regardless of what medium you use—shoot what? What is the story you are telling? How is that story best represented in images? An easy-to-use camera does not answer these questions by itself. The creative artist behind the camera still must answer them. It's true that the widespread availability of more inexpensive, lighter, and easier-to-use equipment broadens the spectrum of opportunity to those that it might have eluded before, but technology is only a tool for talent; it does not do the job for you.
The technology has made certain things easier, but it will not give you great ideas. Having a pen does not make you a great writer, nor does knowing g how to type or to use a computer. Shakespeare wrote with a quill, and he man- ^ aged to be rather prolific with very crude tools by today's standards.
Each generation finds new ways of telling their stories. Each generation wants to separate itself from the past, and that is quite understandable. But even in the modern world of filmmaking, the actor is still standing in 1 front of a camera, and light in some form is still necessary for an image, ^ unless the entire movie is shot in night vision. Styles may change, but the £ content, what the story is trying to say, and how that story is composed in > images is still very important. ^
The general consensus is that whatever the format, whether it be Is photochemical film, digital video, or computer-generated images, the ^
process is still called filmmaking. We still say, I shot my film on digital video. So for purposes of clarity and brevity, unless I'm making a technical point about a specific medium, I will refer to all projects as "movies" or "films," regardless of the stock or format that was used to produce the images in them. Indeed, many films today use a variety of mediums to create the look that is right for the movie. The actor is not consulted on these decisions and, as always, she has to follow the instructions of the director.
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