Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR to Receive Exemption from Paramount’s Digital Mandate

by     Posted 276 days ago

interstellar-logo

Last week, Paramount Pictures announced that starting with The Wolf of Wall Street, all of its films would now be released to theaters in an entirely digital format.  It was essentially another nail in the coffin of film projection, but today Paramount has had to backtrack a bit on its new mandate thanks to one very powerful filmmaker: Christopher Nolan.  Paramount likely realized that trying to convince the film-friendly director to distribute his latest picture on a digital card instead of on film was an impossible task, and so they have confirmed that in the case of Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi pic Interstellar, they will be making an exception.  Hit the jump to read on.

christopher-nolan-interstellarEarlier today, Paramount Pictures vice chairman Rob Moore added a caveat to the studio’s mandate (via LA Times), saying, “Although we anticipate the majority of the studio’s future releases to be executed in digital formats across the U.S., select exceptions will be made.”  The studio went on to confirm that Interstellar will indeed be one such exception.  This isn’t an altogether surprising move, as Nolan is an avid proponent of film projection and personally worked to convert a number of IMAX theaters across the U.S. from digital to film projection in order to display The Dark Knight Rises to his preferred specifications.  Interstellar is again being filmed using IMAX cameras, so expect the same presentation to follow later this year when the pic opens on November 7th.

Though Nolan’s passion is in the right place, I’d argue that DCP projection has its merits.  Filmmakers like Nolan are seeing their movies projected on film pristinely in finely tuned settings in Los Angeles, but many theaters in other parts of the country suffer from a lack of consistency when it comes to theater presentation.  Film projectors require more attention from theater owners, and it’s unfortunately common to see dimly lit or out of focus presentations in this format.  With DCP, there’s at least a greater consistency when it comes to the quality of the projection.

For those unfamiliar with the pic, Interstellar revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  As with all Christopher Nolan films, further information is shrouded in secrecy, but Matthew McConaughey leads a fantastic cast that includes Anne HathawayJessica ChastainCasey AffleckMichael Caine, David OyelowoWes BentleyJohn LithgowEllen BurstynTopher GraceDavid GyasiMackenzie FoyBill IrwinTimothée Chalamet, and Matt Damon. If you missed the film’s first teaser trailer, click here.

christopher-nolan-interstellar




Like Us


Comments:

FB Comments

  • Lance

    Adam’s comments remind me about arguments over Starbucks. In Nowheresville, Iowa, the opening of a Starbucks is a great thing, and provides its customers with a substantially better experience than they’re used to. A Starbucks in New York City, on the other hand, is not necessarily a great thing because that city already has so many better coffee houses.

    Digital Projection is like Starbucks. It’s the future (and the now), but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

    • Strong Enough

      Hans Zimmer is a demi god

      • Mark Tornits

        aside from when he blatantly reuses his own cues. But he is def awesome over all.

      • jay

        exactly i was watching 12 years a slave and had no idea that Hans Zimmer did the music to the movie until i thought i heard Time from Inception and i knew instantly it was Zimmer.

      • Mark Tornits

        oddly enough inception was ripped off from his own score for The Thin Red Line , track “Journey to the line” its actually even closer to 12 years a slave than Inception.

    • kilar

      Film isn’t perfect either, but it’s had a century (?) to get right… Digital is just really kicking off and still has huge upside potential in terms of tech evolution

      • axalon

        Interesting counter-argument, people seem to forget that film was not without its own problems

      • Lance

        So why not wait until Digital actually gets better than film? Why rush to embrace a technology that still is in its infancy?

        Just look at the way George Lucas rushed into making his prequel films with 2K cameras. Back then corporations (those making the cameras) claimed 2K was “film resolution.” Then it became 4K. Next it will be 6K, 8K. You see? The people who want everyone to buy into Digital are always selling the message Digital is just as good as film but it’s just marketing, not the truth.

      • Farrell

        “So why not wait until Digital actually gets better than film?”

        That’s a contradiction. Digital cannot get better than film without being field tested…meaning it has to be used by filmmakers and projectionists in a variety of scenarios in order to evolve, which is exactly the way film evolved…you can’t make something better in a vacuum…it needs to be tested on all kinds of movies, formats and styles to be made better. That’s what progress is. From everything from computers to buildings to restaurants.

      • Lance

        They can test Digital in certain theaters, film in digital in certain situations, without forcing everyone to use it when the tech is still rough.

        The only reason to have everyone use it right now isn’t because it’s better, it’s because people are out to make a buck selling an inferior product to people who are lured in by anything that is “new.”

      • Farrell

        How is the tech “rough”? Digital looks about as good as film right now. Even earlier iterations of HD digital cinema looked quite good.

        And you cannot make a buck on a clearly inferior product when hundreds of millions are on the line. Hollywood would not be trusting their very large film investments to an inferior technology.

        And you seem to be ignorant of the realities of technology. Digital cinema was not even on anybody’s radar until Lucas formed a partnership with Sony to develop digital cinema, and guys like Robert Rodriguez took to it as well…these high profile filmmaking partnerships are what generate the money necessary for further development. And those guy needed to test the equipment on actual films…if they’re going to spend money testing it, they were going to try and make some of that money back by making an actual film, not sitting in a tech lab somewhere where you need to pour FAR more money into research than you will see in return.

        Your insistence that some magical company with infinitely deep pockets and in no hurry to make a profit exists somewhere that would be willing to develop digital film cameras for decades without seeing any return is ludicrous. No company in existence has the money or time to do that. Even computers constantly evolve by being put to marketplace first. Apple did not become the giant it is now by waiting decades to release a computer because they wanted to “wait until the technology was good enough”. Your company would go bankrupt. You have to release technology in STAGES in order to keep generating money so that you can keep making it better.

        The same applies to digital cinema.

      • milo

        The mandate is to distribute digitally, not mandating shooting that way. A filmmaker can still shoot on film if they want, if theatres show it digitally that doesn’t impose any limitation on the film itself.

        And going to higher resolutions isn’t an admission that it’s not better than film. Different people are going to disagree what digital resolution is “better than film” if any. But it’s still a good thing when available shooting resolutions go up, unlike film where it’s not really practical to keep doing that.

      • Lance

        And just how shortsighted is that mandate? Sure, studios save some bucks now on print costs and distribution. But they’re just paving the way for the movies to be piped directly into people’s homes, and the theater chains will all go bust. They’re being forced to go digital by the studios, not choosing digital because it’s a better viewing experience.

        Movies are meant to be seen in the theater. But these technological “advances” mean that movies as we understand them will soon be dead. Why go out when I’ll be able to watch a movie at home on my 8K giant TV with Dolby Atmos Surround Sound setup? Chances are, it’ll be better than the digital projection setups that exist in theaters now and that will hang around forever.

      • milo

        I suspect that many people can’t tell the difference between various formats or don’t care.

        People go to a theatre because they want the experience of being there and seeing it on a big screen, and because if they want to see a movie when it’s first released the theatre is the only (legal) option.

        Home viewing improvements have always been a threat to theatrical releases. I don’t see film versus digital projection as much of a factor. You really think people who had the option to see a movie on a high quality large screen at home would go out to a theatre and pay the ticket prices just because it would be so important to them to see it projected on film?

      • milo

        I suspect that many people can’t tell the difference between various formats or don’t care.

        People go to a theatre because they want the experience of being there and seeing it on a big screen, and because if they want to see a movie when it’s first released the theatre is the only (legal) option.

        Home viewing improvements have always been a threat to theatrical releases. I don’t see film versus digital projection as much of a factor. You really think people who had the option to see a movie on a high quality large screen at home would go out to a theatre and pay the ticket prices just because it would be so important to them to see it projected on film?

    • Farrell

      And what most film advocates don’t want to admit is that we’ve seen the top end of what film can achieve…it’s had over a 100 years of development. There is not much more it can do in the photochemical realm. But digital is in its infancy…meaning as great as it looks now (and it looks damn near as good as modern film), it is barely a couple decades old. That means in a couple decades, digital did what it took over 100 years for film to do. This means digital is superior on that basis alone, and will only get better and better as time goes on. In 20 years these film vs. digital debates will have people in stitches.

  • Leo Spaceman

    Honestly, I rarely know the difference between how films are shown. I will say that the games in Catching Fire looked incredible so I am in favor of doing everything in Imax if possible, but for most movies I don’t really care enough about how its filmed unless its the big budget block buster. I don’t want Age of Extinction to be compromised though.

    I guess I really don’t know. I couldn’t even make up my mind while writing this comment. But I can understand why Paramount wants to do all digital. Actually print on film is expensive and digital is literally a click of the mouse to duplicate. That is why Pirating has become so popular. Just say download and click play. No tapes to steal, just copy ones and zeros.

    Though if it is all digital it will become a lot easier to steal if there are bad people working the projectors. Build a little machine that could read the ones and zeros and record them, then compile those into .avi and then it gets uploaded online. So best of luck to them, but digital is easy to steal because you just duplicate the binary numbers.

  • Chris Nolan

    Chris Nolan at meeting with Paramount execs: “Blimey squires, you can’t expect me to bend over and grab ankles on this one. This is a very important script to my brother Jon Jon, it is. We made all our home porno movies on film, we did, and we want to preserve that legacy, we do. After the pounding Warner Bros gave me on the Dark Knight Rises my bottom wa so sore I couldn’t sit for a month, I couldn’t. Now Guvs, I know they paid me a lot of money to ruin Batman but on this one it won’t be cricket.”

    • NICK НΛRT

      do you honestly expect people to read that whole thing?

      • Chris Nolan

        Well, guv, five sentences is a lot to ask from the people who read Collider, it is.

      • Chris Nolan

        Also, now that i have your attention, do you by any chance know if there is a Trayvon Martin impersonator that i can hire to come to my house, gather my family in the living room, drop his pants and start pissing in my open mouth while yelling “ACTION”? I’d really like that, in fact, i’m pretty sure that it’ll be the best birthday ever! I’m willing to pay $300 cash. $350 if he can make it taste like CORN. ;-) Lulz!

    • God of Collider

      Be damned for speaketh of such lies. Eternal damnation for your soul and a lifetime of watching Batman & Robin in the firery blaze for impersonating a legend.

      • God of Collider

        Trust not in false idols. There is one true God.

  • Brandon

    And just how the hell does Nolan expect the average “mega-plex” in any major city to play 35mm film when all theaters are making the permanent switch to all digital..?! The short answer is that they won’t be.

    Digital is the future of the movie industry. As a former 35mm movie projectionist of over 10 years, I have a sad, nostalgic pining for what was, but I recognize the reasons for the technological switch. The funny thing is that when things went wrong with film and projectors, a skilled projectionist could get the movie running again within minutes. I have friends who still work as projectionists (albeit, all digital now), and they claim that when something goes wrong with the systems, not a single one of them has the slightest idea how to fix it. They basically just press “play” now, and that’s it.

    • Excpired

      Also the chance of something going wrong with a digital projector is pretty much a million times lower than a film projector – who cares if the tech guy can’t get figure out how to fix it when the only way its gonna break is if he accidently trips the power cord?

      These old directors who are obsessed with film are just nostalgic. Film isn’t dying its dead and as soon as these dinosaurs kick the bucket nobody will think twice about the fact that everything is digital. That being said they are influential directors so they are lucky to have the pull to tell people that they can’t screen the film in digital- its really a stupid argument though with no merit, its like those retards who actually think vinyl sounds better than a lossless digital recording of a song, just because you like to sniff vinyl like a tweaker doesn’t make it better.

    • Excpired

      Also the chance of something going wrong with a digital projector is pretty much a million times lower than a film projector – who cares if the tech guy can’t get figure out how to fix it when the only way its gonna break is if he accidently trips the power cord?

      These old directors who are obsessed with film are just nostalgic. Film isn’t dying its dead and as soon as these dinosaurs kick the bucket nobody will think twice about the fact that everything is digital. That being said they are influential directors so they are lucky to have the pull to tell people that they can’t screen the film in digital- its really a stupid argument though with no merit, its like those retards who actually think vinyl sounds better than a lossless digital recording of a song, just because you like to sniff vinyl like a tweaker doesn’t make it better.

      • Sten

        Nolan is 44, Paul Thomas Anderson as well. James Cameron, the pioneer of digital projection is 60. Peter Jackson is 53.
        Who are the dinosaurs?
        The best picture I ever saw on my HD screen was the IMAX beginning of The Dark Knight. Followed by last year’s The Master. You can see the difference, I tell you.
        Just recently saw The Hobbit in HFR and I don’t like the theatre look of it. On the other hand all CGI looked incredibly real and sharp.

      • lordjim

        a digital recording of an analog source is by definition never losssless, and there is a huge difference between digital and analog mastering, so yes vinyl does sound better, if you haven´t got a good player you might not hear the difference though.also you can see very clearly that an analog photo looks better and more organic than a digital one, so i really don´t get your point.the only reason for going digital is that it´s cheaper and easier to handle, so why would you think that directors like nolan and tarantino prefer film, do you really think they are masochists?

      • Farrell

        How can it be “better” if most people can’t hear the difference? Artists don’t make music for engineers, they make it for the mass public, most of which listen to crappy bit rate mp3s.

        And a film photo being “better” than a digital one is completely subjective.

      • milo

        Bullshit. By definition, “lossless” means no lossy data compression.

        If you’re talking about whether a digital recording sounds exactly like the original performance, of course it doesn’t. But neither does any analog recording, or even any sound coming through microphones to a mixing board to speakers.

        Vinyl no question colors the sound more than a digital recording. If you like that coloration then you like it, but that doesn’t make it “better” by any stretch of the imagination.

        The reason for going digital is that it does sound better in many recording and playback situations. That it is cheaper and easier to handle are just extra benefits.

  • NICK НΛRT

    good for him. if you guys haven’t already checked it out there is a great documentary on netflix called side by side that compares the merits of film and digital, and features awesome interview segments with nolan. really hope that other studios don’t decide to follow in paramounts footsteps, that would be very sad indeed.

    • NICK HART

      You might also want to read my Nolan fanfic where he makes love on Batman and then me. Go to patheticfanboy.net to read it!

      • Batman

        Got milk?

    • Chris Nolan

      And while you’re there, could you also leave a comment about whether or not there is a Trayvon Martin impersonator that i can hire to come to my house, gather my family in the living room, drop his pants and start pissing in my open mouth while yelling “ACTION”? I’d really like that, in fact, i’m pretty sure that it’ll be the best birthday ever! I’m willing to pay $300 cash. $350 if he can make it taste like CORN. ;-) Lulz!

      • Mike Tyson

        I wish that you had some children so I could kick them in the fucking head or stomp on their testicles so you could feel my pain because that’s the pain I have waking up every day.

      • Strong Enough

        LMAO

    • Farrell

      Yeah, and in that doc, Nolan and his DP are pretty much the only ones championing film as better than digital. They come off as dinosaurs in that doc. I’m not saying film is bad, but the realities of digital being more than adequate to replace film at this point cannot be ignored. Only the most OCD, sensitive tech junkies can tell the difference anymore. The public at large couldn’t care less because to them it looks like film. And filmmakers make their movies for the public, so Nolan’s stubborness looks even more foolish.

    • The Flobbit

      Side by Side is a great movie, and is the definitive film vs digital documentary. If you’re going to compare the two, make this the last thing you watch.

  • stylus59

    i hope he films in 70mm because 35mm looks shit in a big-ass IMAX screen

  • sense11

    that’s why hes the man

  • kilar

    Another pretentious douche move by Nolan.
    Give it a few more years and he’ll be filming in digital out of sheer nessescity, unless he wants to corner the market on novelty douche-bag niche film projects he and his hipster sychophants can hand-relief each other over onto a steaming pile of evil hard drives.
    Oh and if TDKR is the best film can offer, I’m happy to see digital curb stomp it into history.

    • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

      Haha. Look, maybe he doesn’t like digital images now (the older digital projectors were kind of low-resolution and pixel-y) but in the future most theaters will support 4k, which is crisp and pristine. Then 6k and then 8k will become normal and the world will never look back.

      The world is going digital. The only reason to fight it is for some directors to circle-jerk with the old-hats in Hollywood about how much they like the smell of film canisters. Somehow that’s suppose to give them director-cred.

      • kilar

        In 20 years film canisters will be like lemon ludes man!!!
        But really, film has all but topped out in terms of technical advancements (it should have, it’s been around a long time) where as digital is just hitting it’s stride and the potential upside in terms of tech innovation and evolution is massive.
        Nolan, live in the now man!

    • hahe71

      I like how a guy wants his movie that he made to be shown a certain way is called pretentious. God people overuse that word so much it’s lost its meaning.

      And good god people it’s not like he’s FORCING every theater to show it on film. Since Paramount went all digital he still wants the option to have film prints so they made an exception for him. That’s it. So if a theater still supports film, they can show it on film.

      • kilar

        Nolan’s insistance on film is cute, in the same way that seeing a guy riding a penny farthing on the 8-lane highway is cute.

  • The Flobbit

    Can somebody explain to me the merits of shooting on film? And don’t go using words like “creamy”, “richer”, “deeper colours”, and “history”. Digital is cheaper, it’s better for the environment, you can shoot more, you can shoot in ways film never can, you have better control, you can edit better, and it’s done more for independant filmmaking than film ever did.

    Excepting the event of a global EMP, rendering all digital movies useless…digital trumps film in every way.

    • MGS

      Besides the fact that film and digital look different and physically record light different there was for a long time the problem that Digital didn’t have the dynamic range film offered. That means the Ratio from the brightest point that can be recorded and still has detail (before being clipped to white) to the darkest point that still has detail (before being just black and grainy). Arguably most high-end digital cinema cameras (Arri Alexa, Red Epic, Sony F65) have the same dynamic range, but the distribution of those “stops” of over and under-exposure is different. Film has better High-Light handling, Digital better Low-Light Handling. That means film can be overexposed more and still yield detail, digital can be underexposed more and still yield detail. For exmaple a bright sunny daytime scene (without additional lighting) shot on film will hold detail in the sky and clouds while your actors faces are properly exposed. On digital you will either lose the detail in the sky which will clip to just white – so you will have to underexpose the actors and brighten them in post (introducing all sorts of artifacts etc.) or you need to bring out big lights to light your actors. For low-light it would be the other way around: Digital sees into darkness whereas with film what you don’t light will not be recorded. So in digital you need more equipment and setup time on daytime scenes then with film and the other way around when it’s lowlight work.
      It really is a technical aspect to the work of the cinematographer, who has to choose the right tool and right approach to achieve the look him/her and the director are after. Some looks are easier achieved on film some on digital.
      BTW this is a very simplified answer to your question.

      • Stack

        The short answer is that it’s now a style choice rather than a technical one.

      • The Flobbit

        I’m sorry, but there are dozens of blockbusters shot digital, that take place in the bright daylight, and I see no overexposure. To the average viewer, film and digital look EXACTLY THE SAME. It’s only the art buffs and the cinephiles that can tell the difference, so I ask you again: why shoot on film when digital is:

        Cheaper
        Easier
        Commoner
        Better-looking
        More versatile
        More maneuverable
        Gets more detail?

  • Redjester

    I could honestly care less if this film is shot in film or digital. That said, a director SHOULD have the last say in this regard, so I’m glad Nolan won this.

  • orianalianna

    I don’t care what format a film is in I care about the outlandish ticket price – since that’s what actually matters to non-filmmakers…you %$#@! divas.

  • Pingback: Anonymous

  • Pingback: CineOpinativo – Opinião e Sétima Arte | Interstellar: Filme será exceção entre cópias digitais

  • Michael N.

    Christopher Nolan is the BOSS. He is the most powerful director in the business. Studios love him. They let him do whatever he wants and give him the budget he wants. Studios, Actors, Critics and Audiences praises him.

    • Lulz 2 Be Had

      You’re trying to hard Nolanite. LULZ WE B HAVEN AT YOU!

  • Pingback: Extras! Vin Diesel dances, Fox chooses its own adventure, Mother Teresa biopic on the way, Sausage Party finds its cast, and Loki was Thor?! Plus much more! | Welcome to The Movies

  • Matt

    Stop living in the past. Digital is the future.

  • Film watcher

    As many people who’ve been to a multiplex recently could tell you, a lot of DCP systems suffer from similar problems as poorly serviced film projectors – insufficient brightness, sloppy alignment, hot spots, being out of focus. Moreover, even if they don’t know how to describe it, patrons do notice this stuff. Y’all know when you’ve seen bad digital installations, and I know you’ve all seen them.

    DCP definitely “has its merits,” but it is not a magic bullet for good presentation – it still takes a careful installation and solid service to make for a good image, or else the same problems befalling old, disused film projectors will befall digital installations. There’s definitely not a guarantee of “a greater consistency when it comes to the quality” of DCP projection.

  • Pingback: First INTERSTELLAR Image; INTERSTELLAR Stars Matthew McConaughey

  • Pingback: 30 DMC: Day 21 – Your Favourite Director | Rhey of Sunshine

Click Here