The 2009 Three Rivers Film Symposium: “IS FILM DEAD?”
The Changing Ways Movies Are Made And Displayed
Date: Friday, Nov. 13 10a-5p at Pittsburgh Filmmakers
As part of the Three Rivers Film Festival, the second annual Film Symposium will look at the state of the film medium and its alternatives. Celluloid’s demise has been predicted for decades, with video advancing in picture quality, sound, portability, and affordability. Yet film has itself improved over the years, and 35mm film remains the standard of attainment for video. Will high-definition (HD) video, in some form, finally eclipse film? Those attending this event will gain an understanding of these often-complex technologies, and an appreciation of the tools in making motion picture art.
Attendees will participate in a number of ways:
- Be an extra in a performance video: A veteran crew with an Red (HD) camera will shoot a band performing a song in the Soundstage. Then a Flip camera will do the same thing. Then a 35mm film crew will show and discuss the footage they previously shot of the band. Same subject–three different media, with three different approaches. Attendees will be needed as extras, and can observe the process and the results.
- Check out the demos: How does a film camera work? How does film make an image? How does video cameras make pictures? How about special effects? Hands-on demonstrations of current gear, and a rare display of vintage equipment will demystify the technology. The day will feature special presentations of the latest in film imaging (by a visiting professional from Kodak ) and hi-definition video (by a Panasonic pro) and a case study by a filmmaker who has worked with both.
- Join in the discussion: Anyone who has been to a movie theater, watched TV, or viewed video on the Web has something to contribute to the open discussion that wraps up the day, because the audience is the ultimate arbiter of the whole film vs. video business.
A few underlying questions and themes will define the day:
Film’s Life Expectancy: Now a venerable 115 years old, cellulose-based cinema is still going strong, chosen for about 90 percent of feature film productions. What will be its share by 2015? 2025? Will film ever be retired as a means of acquiring moving images? If so, what will be lost?
The Medium is Not Always the Message: Most artists shoot with whatever they can afford or get their hands on. While format plays a part in conveying meaning and artistic expression, how about storytelling? Does an enrapt audience care if it’s 35mm or Hi8?
The Rise of the Enhanced Viewing Experience: DLP Cinema projection… Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound… the growth of 3D. How will these exhibition features change the films? Will independent artists utilize them?
The Rise of Crappy Images: The most compelling movie of 2009 came from a shaky cel phone on the streets of Tehran. A hundred million Americans watch 14 billion videos every month on YouTube alone. We’ve become accustomed to watching motion pictures of approximate quality of the proto-TV broadcasts of the 1930’s (or Super8 film). Will the ease of acquiring, transmitting, and displaying low-res ensure its continued presence?
Cost at the door: $30 (or $15 for students and members)
Contact: Will Zavala firstname.lastname@example.org (412) 681-5449 x219