The Final Days of Film Projection
It’s another nail in the coffin of Hollywood’s Golden Era.
Jason Gwynn and Jay Sheldon’s documentary short film, Going Dark: The Final Days of Film Projection focuses on two men for whom the change in theatrical projection from celluloid film to digital disk is particularly alarming.
With studios forcing theaters to convert entirely to digital projection or be left without content to screen, theater manager Clif Campbell makes the only choice he can: to close down his theater. On the eve of the closure, he and projection manager Patrick Jenson reflect on what it means to be a film projectionist and the reasons why film projection is more fulfilling, and better, than digital in the eyes of many.
As much as the film is a lesson in film projection, it’s also the study of the end of an era for those who have become experts in an extinct field. When Patrick reflects over his many years as a projectionist, you can hear the pain in his voice when he laments relating his skills that are now useless. There’s no need for a projectionist to even have to press a button anymore.
The Heartland Emmy-winning film also touches on the unique qualities of film projection and what will be lost when the conversion to digital is final everywhere.
For some, it’s the loss of a job. For others, like Clif, it’s the total end of a business. As many small theater owners face the choice of expensively retrofitting their theaters for digital or perish, Clif’s story rings on a painfully universal note.
Sometimes progress isn’t made by innovation. It’s made by lazy execs trying to find
a cheaper and easier and way to do something. Convert or die.
~Via Vimeo, Google/Film Threat
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