Film Fades to Black: How Close is Hollywood to Going All-Digital?

  • Creative COW asks if film is getting ready to fade to black: “While the debate has raged over whether or not film is dead, ARRI, Panavision and Aaton have quietly ceased production of film cameras within the last year to focus exclusively on design and manufacture of digital cameras. That’s right: someone, somewhere in the world is now holding the last film camera ever to roll off the line.”
  • “The demand for film cameras on a global basis has all but disappeared,” says Bill Russell, ARRI VP of cameras. “If you talk to the people in camera rentals, the amount of film camera utilization in the overall schedule is probably between 30 to 40 percent.”
  • While film may not be dead, it is most certainly on the decline. Digital production is on the rise, and for those still interested in shooting on film, used cameras are available.
  • “Almost nobody is buying new film cameras,” says Aaton founder Jean-Pierre Beauviala. “Why buy a new one when there are so many used cameras around the world?”
  • Stereoscopic 3D production may also be “accelerated the demise of film” says Beauviala, since it is “a nightmare to synchronize two film cameras.”
  • Russell predicts that film will eventually disappear, although the exact date is unknown. Phil Radin, executive VP of worldwide marketing at Panavision suggests the timing will be decided by the availability of resources. “Film will be around as long as Kodak and Fuji believe they can make money at it,” he says.