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The future of film


'You can fight anything but can't fight technology'
Michael Chapman Film-maker
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I think we all agree that movies was the great art form of the 20th Century. But the 20th Century is over. And movies as such, and we've been talking about that, are... don't have the same position of power they once had. Movies made as big studio movies that go out to theatres where everybody comes and worships the church of the 20th Century. That doesn't exist anymore. And with it, film as such is, I think, fading away. The still is used in most movies, but increasingly it's digital, and in 20 years or so – who knows how long – I suspect it'll all be... if not digital, it'll be laser or something; who knows? In large part because the... the antiquated system of taking large rolls of 35mm film and shipping them in trucks to theatres in... in Jumpoff, Georgia, and, who knows where, Maine, is... is utterly obsolete. It's going... it's increasingly obsolete, and putting and running them through the gates of projectors again, in theatres, is increasingly obsolete technologically. And you can fight anything but can't fight technology. And, sooner or later, that technology is going to be out the window. And as soon as that's out the window, the whole idea of shooting on film is going to become increasingly... I mean, film is a 19thcentury technology. Little claws pulling things down and holding it like that, you know, 24 frames a second. That's... that was invented in the 19th Century, and this is the 21st Century. And, it's like old clockwork... Nobody has... almost nobody has clocks that go tick-tock, tick-tock anymore, and that's... movie cameras are the equivalent of that. And it's going to... it's going to change. The example that I've used before and will use again is, before the process of transferring photographs to newspapers was developed in the 19th Century, images in newspapers were done by people called wood engravers.

Michael Chapman (1935-2020), an American cinematographer, had a huge influence on contemporary film-making, working on an impressive array of classic films including 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull', 'The Lost Boys' and 'The Fugitive'.

Listeners: Glen Ade Brown

British Director of Photography and Camera Operator Glen Ade Brown settled in Los Angeles 10 years ago.

He has been working on features, commercials and reality TV. He played an instrumental role in the award-winning ABC Family series "Switched" and is also a recipient of the Telly and the Cine Golden Eagle awards for Best Cinematography. He was recently signed by the Judy Marks Agency and is now listed in her commercial roster.

Tags: film, studio movies, technology, movie camera

Duration: 2 minutes, 3 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2004

Date story went live: 29 September 2010