Martin Scorsese Rallies Behind Kodak Film

Martin Scorsese (who begins shooting Silence in Taiwan on film this summer for a November 2015 release) issued a public statement strongly supporting Kodak’s decision to continue its production of film stock: “Our industry – our filmmakers –- rallied behind Kodak because we knew that we couldn’t afford to lose them, the way we’ve lost so many other film stocks. This news is a positive step towards preserving film, the art form we love.”

“I’m not suggesting that we ignore the obvious: HD isn’t coming, it’s here,” Scorsese suggests. “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.

“It seems like we’re always being reminded that film is, after all, a business. But 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. Everything we do in HD is an effort to recreate the look of film. Film, even now, offers a richer visual palette than HD. And, 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.”

Rodrigo Prieto (The Wolf of Wall Street) will lens  Silence and has already advocated shooting on film. Scorsese’s pet project is based on the novel by Shusaku Endo about the introduction of Christianity by Jesuit priests in 17th century Japan. It stars Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson. Dante Ferretti will oversee the elaborate production design.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Movies, Tech

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