Barry Sonnenfeld on filmmaking

I'm stuck lately on media and artifacts and their relationship to art and creativity. Bear with me.

In the Report on Technology in Monday's Wall Street Journal, film director Barry Sonnenfeld offers his thoughts on technology and the movies. I braced for the inevitable nostalgia, but I found it a rather thoughtful and clear-eyed about the trade-offs. For example, he believes digital film offers a host of advantages over analog filmmaking in terms of time saved and creative control.

He also offered some thoughts about our relationship to film that I found interesting. The italics below are my own.

On digital filming:

I still don't love the way [movies shot digitally] look. I still think they look a little too immediate. One of the things about film -- if you originate on film -- is that it still has a certain grain to it that the mind is used to having. Video still looks a little bit like reportage. It still feels like you're watching the six o'clock news.

On DVD release window and the Internet as distribution platform:

I think the window [between movie and DVD release] should actually get longer, and I don't understand that business model of releasing everything on the same day. There's a weird ether on the planet - it's a social ether about people getting excited about things.... there's this ether that happens and I think you need time for it to build. People need to have things that they want to do. They need to have events....


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