Many longtime members will remember that for a number of years we produced an annual list of all major motion pictures and TV Dramas that were acquired digitally. With the subsequent growing acceptance of digital, and the vast number of major productions using it, the task became overwhelming and we had to give it up. However, we were still interested in seeing a current ratio of digital compared to film production, and undertook an informal survey using IMDBpro as the source.
If you took box office grosses as the only benchmark the ratio might be a little higher, since it would include the big tentpole releases such as The Hobbit and Iron Man sequels, which are digital 3D, as well as Animation releases which are of course, digital. However, of the features that are in awards contention this season, the percentage is about 50/50. Since the Academy has not yet announced their nominations, we went with what is generally considered a good indicator, the Golden Globes, and have listed below the ten Best Picture nominees, (5 for Best Drama and 5 for Best Musical or Comedy, although you might question how they put some of these movies in the comedy category).
12 Years a Slave – Primary Acquisition Format: 35mm Kodak with ARRI Cameras
Captain Phillips – Primary Acquisition Format: 16mm Fuji, with Aaton Cameras, (some 35mm and a bit of digital)
Gravity – Primary Acquisition Format: Digital with ARRI Alexa/Codex
Philomena – Primary Acquisition Format: Digital with ARRI Alexa
Rush – Primary Acquisition Format: Digital with ARRI Alexa/Codex, (many other cameras also employed including Canon C300, GoPro, Phantom Flex, and RED Epic)
American Hustle – Primary Acquisition Format: 35mm Fuji with ARRI Cameras
Her – Primary Acquisition Format: Digital with ARRI Alexa, (Some Canon C300)
Inside Lleweyn Davis – Primary Acquisition Format: 35mm Kodak with ARRI Cameras
Nebraska – Primary Acquisition Format: Digital with ARRI Alexa, (released in Black and White)
The Wolf of Wall Street – Primary Acquisition Format: 35mm Film with ARRI Cameras, (some Digital with ARRI Alexa/Codex)