To Be Reel: The independent film artist in the wake of digital absorption
by Matt Joyce
The debate surrounding film and digital cinema is becoming exhausting. Two mediums to choose from – which one is better? It is just not that simple. Like all debates, there are valid points on either side; different people use different mediums for different purposes. Yet it is because both parties are coming from two opposing subjective standpoints that the debate has escalated into irrelevance. The large-scale truth of the matter is: digital is taking over. Independent filmmakers all over the world have embraced the positive benefits of digital video for quite some time, but now digital is taking over the industry. However, this shift does not mean the death of film. Film’s medium is finding a new home, and a new appreciation from a smaller niche of individual independent filmmakers.
During an internship at the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of Ottawa (IFCO) in Ottawa, Canada, I witness the various ways in which local film artists continue to choose film as their medium. What I determine from my experiences at IFCO is that the decision to privilege film as the medium comes from both a passion for the process of filmmaking itself and recognition of the desired mode of representation specifically sought after by the filmmaker. The purpose of this essay will thus be to describe objectively the impact of digital video while in turn explaining the special new importance film is garnering as a medium. More »