The film industry: digital or film - a comparison

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Baily, Darren
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BA (Hons) in Business Information Management
Dublin Business School
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The process was conducted through the use of both primary and secondary research. My secondary research involved collecting information from various sources. Books, magazines and internet articles comprised the bulk of my literature review. Primary research involved interviews. I felt this to be the best method of attaining information on my particular area of research. Digital cinema technology is a relatively new medium. Data that is transmitted or stored with digital technology is expressed as a string of O's and 1's. Each of these state digits is referred to as a bit. There are huge benefits associated with the use of digital technology. Speedier production and lower costs rank as 2 of the biggest attributes. Digital also has huge benefits associated with film distribution. Instead of sending film reels around the world they can now be beamed digitally over satellite or sent via the internet. This lower cost opens the market for small film producers. In terms of preservation this is not necessary with digital since a movie will look as good the 1000 viewing as compared to the 1st. However not is all rosy as far as digital is concerned. Issues such as film piracy arise when distributing movies online. With broadband being rolled out to more and more homes millions could be lost from free downloads. In some cases movies may be downloaded before they even reach the big screen, creating more problems. Another problem arises when switching to another medium so rapidly. Those who resist the change are often the bigger players in the industry. This can create a barrier to proceedings. Spectacle replacing narrative in today's blockbuster is an issue that often arises. Digital technology has meant special effects are now a lot easier to utilise and this may lead to overuse. Narrative is often the victim. Film is the traditional format with a long history that many people have become attached to. It is seen by almost all in the film industry to be the best aesthetic medium and is more lifelike than any attempt digital has made to date. Kodak feel the two should not compete with each other but instead should be powerful allies. They have therefore dedicated much time to improving film technology as well as digital. From my research and various interviews I drew on some findings. Film remains the best aesthetic format. Digital technology opens up huge areas for opportunities. Digital technology needs to be closely monitored. Combining the best elements of both formats seems the best arrangement at present.