The Technological Evolution of Filmmaking and its Relation to Quality in Cinema
The evolution of film technology remains unpunctuated. New technologies are readily invented, tested, and perfected. In recent years, the rise of digital cinema equipment and techniques has begun encroaching on the arena once dominated solely by photographic film (Thompson & Bordwell 713). As was true in previous evolutionary iterations, however, this technology only serves as another option for filmmakers to choose and not a precondition of modern quality. This is reflected by enthusiasm from some directors, such as George Lucas and Robert Rodriguez, about digital technology, and apprehension from others. Thompson and Bordwell write, “Many cinematographers, directors, designers, and other professionals were upset at the prospect of the death of photographic film, as were many movie fans, but the rise of digital cinema seemed inevitable” (713). This trend and the attitudes surrounding it harmonize with the patterns that have characterized cinema history. However, fans of cinema need not fret, for neither adoption nor disregard of this new technology can bring an end to cinematic quality. The power to do so lies solely in the hands of the filmmaker, the quality of whose projects will ultimately depend upon his or her ability to effectively wield the cinematic formal elements, whatever they may be in the coming years, to clearly convey a story, emotion, impression, or idea.
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