Apr 21, 2013

Punk Rock and the Digital Camera: the Impression of the Documentary Movie “Side by Side”

Johnny Rotten shouted, “I wanna be anarchy,” and he broke down the values of music.

When I was a high school student, some of my friends formed a band and played punk rock in the school festival. The reason that they chose punk rock was because they could only play punk rock.

Before the Sex Pistols, music played better technically was better, but Sex Pistols showed that music didn’t have to be played technically well. They democratized rock music.

I watched the documentary “Side by Side” about the transition from film cameras to digital cameras in the movie industry. In this movie, Keanu Reeves interviewed many people: directors, cinematographers, producers, actors, editors, colorists, and so on. Some of them welcomed digital cameras, while others stuck to film cameras.

Digitalization changed movie making in two ways.

Firstly, movie making by a digital camera is far cheaper than by a film camera. Videotapes, which don’t have to be developed, are much cheaper than films, and it is much easier to use a digital camera than a film camera, so they don’t need trained professionals. But the picture quality of digital cameras used to be lesser than film cameras.

Secondary, digital cameras got rid of the technical limitation of film cameras. A film camera can shoot only ten minutes, and a director has to wait for a day to watch the pictures that they take, because films need to be developed. On the contrary, a digital camera can shoot much longer than a film camera, and director can check the pictures that they take simultaneously. The picture quality of digital cameras is getting better and is now comparable to film cameras.

The first way was represented by Danny Boyle and Anthony Dod Mantle, who made “Slumdog Millionaire,” and the second way was represented by George Lucas and James Cameron, and “Star Wars” and “Avatar”.

Dod Mantle worked for Dogme 95 project, in which they used digital cameras earliest to make movies.

Danny Boyle was deeply impressed by his avant-garde pictures and decided to make a movie with him using a digital camera. They used a handy digital camera and expressed the dynamism of Mumbai in “Slumdog Millionaire.”

George Lucas and James Cameron have been developing the new digital technology to make images that they want, and their movies, in which they used these technologies, were quite successful commercially. They are entrepreneurs in the movie industry.

Danny Boyle and Dod Mantel democratized movies by digital camera like the Sex Pistols, and George Lucas and James Cameron industrialized movies like Thomas Edison. 

I want to watch a movie made by punk rockers more than by Thomas Edison.

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