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Exclusive Clip: Robert Rodriguez Talks The Virtues Of Digital Filmmaking In 'Side By Side'

by Kevin Jagernauth
August 15, 2012 1:33 PM
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As filmmakers, financiers and studios continue to work together to bring movies to the multiplex, one of the more interesting discussions taking place that affects everything from budgets and scheduling to artistic approach and visual aesthetic is the decision whether or not to shoot digitally or on film. And getting right into the debate is Keanu Reeves, with his documentary "Side By Side."

Speaking with a number of important, influential filmmakers, including James Cameron, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, George Lucas and more, the doc is an utterly fascinating conversation about where moviemaking has been, where it will go in the future and how technology will play a role in it. In the lead up to the film's release, Tribeca Films has been dropping tantalizing outtakes from the film -- click here to see Steven Soderbergh, Wally Pfister and Martin Scorsese talk shop in case you missed it. And now, we've got an exclusive clip of Robert Rodriguez -- who has made digital filmmaking part of his regular prolific workflow -- sharing an amusing anecdote about making a presentation about shooting for the format to a room full of directors.

"Side By Side" opens in theaters in Los Angeles on August 17th, New York City on August 31st and will be available On Demand starting August 22nd. Check out the clip, along with more outtakes from The Wachowskis and David Lynch.

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  • lilhuxtable | August 15, 2012 3:02 PMReply

    Can someone explain what David Lynch said?

  • LILHUXTABLE | August 16, 2012 8:31 PM


    I am still confused by the explanation. I understand he wants to avoid technical issues interrupting his movies. However, the scenarios he mentions at the beginning are not a good enough reason to eliminate film projection. I have yet to experience any of those situations but mistakes happen sometimes as do technical difficulties. He can't be saying that there is no room for issues with digital projectors.

    To the trained eye, that minimal amount of dust on a print is not going to distract much if the story, acting, photography and sound is good. There is great beauty in watching a film that was photographed originally in 35mm and seeing that image projected as the light shines through the celluloid print.

    This is a special experience that Digital Projection has been trying to achieve for so long but has yet to do it. I can smoke a fat blunt before a film and the only way I'm going to be distracted is if all those great things (story, acting, photography and sound) are being presented to my eyes through a digital projector. And on top of that, digitally shot as well. That is the ultimate distraction.

    And if you can't detect that difference when you to a movie than nothing else should matter to you.

  • mms | August 15, 2012 5:15 PM

    Lynch obviously cares about the subtleties that may get lost in the distractions caused by less-than-optimal 35mm showings that, while they may be serviceable, to him do not "nurture the ground" for a (perhaps subconsciously) fully attentive immersion - an aspect I believe his own films in particular calls for.

  • mms | August 15, 2012 4:52 PM

    I think it makes perfect sense what Lynch is saying. He's addressing how digital projection, not filming per se, comes into play as a consistent presentation of a movie, as opposed to a significant amount of 35mm showings where dirty prints, shaky picture, reels out of order(not that frequent, I'd say), sound drop-outs, etc. brings, or at least can bring you out of the flow of the (immersion of the) experience/viewing. The intrinsic potential of 35mm showings, with clean new(er) prints, is high, but in the wider use througout theatres around the world there are many variables that comes into play which in-variably leads to inconsistencies in the presentation, as named above. With digital projection there's not wear of the film - no matter how many viewings, there's only one "digital reel," so one is freed of picture noise and other related (continuity) issues which, as noted by Lynch, paves the way for a more immersive experience - free from distractions other than what is entailed in the feature itself.

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