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Over the years, digital photography has become the norm in Hollywood moviemaking. However, there is a small number of directors who believe that making a movie requires shooting with honest film stock. Here are 8 directors who still make movies the old fashioned way… on film.
- Judd Apatow. Believe it or not, but Judd Apatow still shoots his movies on film stock, instead of digitally. While many comedy directors switched over to digital, Apatow remains on “team film” for the time being. He told The Wall Street Journal, film and digital are “are valid choices, but it would be a tragedy if suddenly directors didn’t have the opportunity to shoot on film.” Apatow continued, “There’s a magic to the grain and the color quality that you get with film.”
- Quentin Tarantino. Of course, Quentin Tarantino has been a cheerleader for film stock over digital filmmaking over the years. “As far as I’m concerned, digital projection is the death of cinema,” said Tarantino at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. “The fact that most films aren’t presented in 35mm means that the world is lost. Digital projection is just television in cinema.”
- Steven Spielberg. While Steven Spielberg created an entire digital world with The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, he prefers to make all of his movies with real film stock. Along with Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg is part of a movement in Hollywood for film preservation and restoration.
- Wes Anderson. To give his films a certain period look, Wes Anderson turns to shooting his movies with real film stock. Anderson shot Moonrise Kingdom with 16mm film stock to make the movie look like it was made in 1965, while he used multiple aspect ratios to bring The Grand Budapest Hotel to the big screen.
- Alex Ross Perry. While Alex Ross Perry is an indie director, he shoots all of his films with 16mm film. It’s cost effective and more cinematic than shooting digitally.
- Paul Thomas Anderson. He shoots all of his movies on film, including his last two, The Master, which was shot on glorious 70mm and Inherent Vice, which was shot on 35mm. “There’s small group of us that’s slowly growing and sticking together. Quentin’s much more vocal about it. He wants to tar and feather people. He wants to turn it into one of movies, like, ‘I’m going to cut your fucking ear off!’, Anderson said at the New York Film Festival in 2014. “I stay out of [the film vs. digital debate]. I certainly throw my hat into the ring with what I like, but I also find it difficult to get on anybody if it’s their bag. I don’t want to tell you what to do, I don’t want you to tell me what to do.”
- Christopher Nolan. Although Christopher Nolan makes big blockbusters, he still uses real film stock to bring his vision to the big screen. In fact, along with Michael Bay, Christopher Nolan makes most of his film using IMAX cameras, which require film stock, as Nolan believes it “still represents the gold standard” for filmmaking.
- Rian Johnson. Along with J.J. Abrams, Rian Johnson will make the new new Star Wars movie with real film stock, instead of digital photography. In fact, Abrams shot Star Wars: The Force Awakens with 35mm film and IMAX cameras. It’s likely that Rian Johnson will do the same for Star Wars: Episode VIII.