Monday, October 21, 2013

How digital film changes the racial politics of cinematography

Many filmmakers have reacted negatively to the industry's transition from physical film to digital recordings. For all its benefits – immediate playback, easier editing, color correction – some argue that digital filming loses some the warm qualities that make physical film prints enticing. They aren't convinced of the benefits, so physical film still has a number of adherents; even the new Star Wars movie will use 35mm film.

Add another benefit to that list. A recent article from The Washington Post highlights how digital filmmaking has allowed cinematographers to capture a wider and deeper range of skin tones. The physical nature of film historically posed a challenge for capturing non-white faces. Now, post-production and higher-quality digital cameras, it's is less of a problem. This has been a boon for films by and about African-Americans; the Post cites 12 Years a Slave in particular. It's all a little technical to read, but it's fascinating to see how technology can inform the politics of film.

(This great article comes to us courtesy of AU film professor Jeff Middents. Thanks Professor!)

No comments: