Martin Scorsese is not only proud to be a director, he’s a filmmaker. Speaking out to praise Kodak’s decision to continue to manufacture film, the acclaimed historian has listed the many reasons why we shouldn’t go wholly digital.
“We have many names for what we do — cinema, movies, motion pictures. And… film. We’re called directors, but more often we’re called filmmakers. Filmmakers. I’m not suggesting that we ignore the obvious: HD isn’t coming, it’s here,” the 71-year-old moviemaker shared in a recent statement.
Referring to Kodak’s decision not to halt production of film a “positive one,” the director of The Wolf of Wall Street continued by admitting there’s a lot to like about digital. He explained, “The advantages are numerous: The cameras are lighter, it’s much easier to shoot at night, we have many more means at our disposal for altering and perfecting our images. And the cameras are more affordable; films really can be made now for very little money.
“Even those of us still shooting on film finish in HD, and our movies are projected in HD. So we could easily agree that the future is here, that film is cumbersome and imperfect and difficult to transport and prone to wear and decay, and that it’s time to forget the past and say goodbye — really, that could be easily done. Too easily.”
Making an effort to relate the medium conversation to current times, Scorsese added, “Film is also an art form, and young people who are driven to make films should have access to the tools and materials that were the building blocks of that art form. Would anyone dream of telling young artists to throw away their paints and canvases because iPads are so much easier to carry? Of course not.
“In the history of motion pictures, only a minuscule percentage of the works comprising our art form was not shot on film,” he continued. “Everything we do in HD is an effort to re-create the look of film. Film, even now, offers a richer visual palette than HD.”
Closing his argument with a warning that going completely digital could mean disaster, the brilliant man behind the highly acclaimed Hugo went on to share, “We have to remember that film is still the best and only time-proven way to preserve movies. We have no assurance that digital information will last, but we know that film will, if properly stored and cared for.”