If you at all follow the world of filmmaking, you’re aware that director Christopher Nolan is a very, very, very big advocate for shooting on film. In fact, he’s so passionate about celluloid that it’s genuinely thanks to his efforts to “rally the troops” (ie. Filmmakers like J.J. Abrams, Edgar Wright, and Quentin Tarantino) that directors still have the choice to shoot on film. A couple of years ago, when Kodak was going to shut down and the production of film stock was going to cease, Nolan worked hard to put pressure on the studios to keep Kodak open, thereby maintaining shooting on film as a choice filmmakers could have rather than defaulting to shooting on digital.
So yeah, one could say Nolan really likes film stock. As such, he was invited along with Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow to take part in a conversation about all things film at the Sundance Film Festival yesterday, where they were joined by cinematographer Rachel Morrison (Fruitvale Station) and filmmaker Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip). The result is a fascinating, wide-ranging 90-minute discussion on the advantages of shooting on film, the realities of the business re: choice, fallacies about digital, how the arrival of “motion smoothing” on televisions alters audience perception, and much much more.
Needless to say, if you’re interested in hearing one of the most influential filmmakers today get into a nitty gritty discussion about moviemaking with three other smart filmmakers, this is a must-watch. And while she wasn’t initially among the participants of the panel when it was first announced, I’m thrilled to see Morrison bringing both a cinematographer and female perspective to the discussion.
So take a look at the video below, which starts at the 30-minute mark (via The Playlist). And yes, this is the video in which Trevorrow revealed that he’s shooting Star Wars: Episode IX on film stock.