Keanu Reeves Documentary SIDE BY SIDE Tackles Film vs. Digital Debate; Includes Interviews with Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, and David Fincher

     January 9, 2012

A curious little website has popped up announcing a new documentary produced by Keanu Reeves that tackles one of the foremost issues facing filmmakers today: the advent of digital filmmaking. Entitled Side by Side, the documentary takes an in-depth look at the issue of film vs. digital, and “examines all aspects of filmmaking – from capture, to edit, to visual effects, to color correction, to distribution to archive.” Through interviews with numerous well-respected masters of the medium, Side by Side “explores what has been gained, what is lost and what the future might bring.” Take this sample quote from Christopher Nolan:

“No credible source really has been claiming to have invented something that is aesthetically superior to film at this point.”

The documentary will feature Reeves interviewing filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Lana and Andy Wachowski, George Lucas, James Cameron, Steven Soderbergh, and many more. Hit the jump for more details.

While the website is currently only one page, it includes a few interesting pull quotes from some of the filmmakers Reeves has spoken with. The Matrix co-director Lana Wachowski says:

“Digital cameras are the new aesthetic…and at the same time we are going to mourn in the loss of film.”

Predictably, George Lucas also has some pro-digital thoughts to share:

“It’s magic now. It’s just, whatever you can think of, you can do, and that’s the whole idea.”

The list of interviewees also includes David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Robert Rodriguez, Danny Boyle, Lena Dunham, Greta Gerwig, and director of photography Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight, Inception). Needless to say, I’m incredibly interested to check this thing out. With the increasing frequency of 3D and the fact that most multiplexes are converting to digital projectors, the “film vs. digital” debate is more relevant now than ever. The future of filmmaking is at a turning point, and Reeves has rounded up a stellar group of filmmakers to discuss the issue at hand. No official release date is given, but the website claims that Side by Side is “Coming in 2012”, so hopefully we’ll get to see it sometime this year.

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