Keanu Reeves presents an in-depth look at the ‘analogue vs. digital’ cinematic revolution in the 2012 film “Side by Side” – a documentary that asks how film-making is changing in the digital age. As the title, “Side by Side”, suggests the documentary doesn’t argue for one format over another.
Since the beginning of movie making, over a hundred years ago, there was only one way to make a movie — with photochemical film. But over the last two decades a digital process has emerged to challenge photochemical filmmaking. According to “Side by Side” producer and presenter Reeves, “Our goal was to explore the spectrum of opinion in the industry at a time when both film and digital are still used to shoot.”.
It is a pivotal time in the production moving images (and still images for that matter) do we abandon a process that has served us well for over 100 years, for one that is unquestionably easier, faster and more accessible? Or, is there room for both in today’s increasingly digital world? If you like movies, and are interested in how they are made, then I strongly suggest you see this film.
Through interviews with directors, cinematographers, film students, producers, technologists, editors, and exhibitors, “Side by Side” examines all aspects of filmmaking — from capture to edit, visual effects to color correction, distribution to archive. At this moment when digital and photochemical filmmaking coexist, “Side by Side” explores what has been gained, what is lost, and what the future might bring.