one of the most foolhardy things I did while teaching at a university
is challenge a student to prove me wrong.
as they say, there were "extenuating circumstances."
that, technically speaking, video could deliver sharper images in
television than film -- and I had explained why.
particular student (who had family in the film business) politely told
me I was crazy and suggested that any fool could see that film was
superior. Things then came to a standstill in the class as he continued
to argue his point.
To shut him up and move things along I said,
"If you can prove to me that the best film image is technically
superior to the best broadcast video image I will give you
an automatic "A" in this course.
course was not considered easy and he was not a strong student
(possibly in part because of his bias against video, but for him it was
a required course).
He smiled and did what I hoped -- shut up and
started planning how he was going to prove his point.
Since he had connections in the film industry, I assumed
he would soon reappear armed with resources to try to prove
never mentioned the wager again.
That was a long time ago and since that time this argument
has been clearly settled -- on technical, but not necessarily
on artistic grounds. The email to this site that previously
had challenged my film vs. video comments has also dropped
so, many people still hold to film as a preferred medium, especially
for dramatic television. But as the information below shows, the battle
is largely lost.
ccording the National Assn. of Theatre Owners' trade group
by 2012 more than 85% of the U.S.' 4,044 theaters, representing
34,161 screens, had gone digital.
Those that haven't will have to either spend $60,000 or more for
digital equipment or be forced to close, because soon movies will all
be distributed on computer disks rather than film.
Theaters that can't afford the move to digital are planning to close --
some after decades of serving small towns around the country.
Not only do digital "films" represent a major cost savings in
duplication and distribution, but the technical quality (sharpness and
clarity) of the image can be superior to film.
Many film buffs, including many film and TV directors, still strongly
argue this point, of course. However, when "Hollywood" is 100% digital,
the whole matter may only be of historic interest.
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