J.J. Abrams recently attended the Produced By conference, which we reported a bit on here, and he spoke about how he shoots his movies. One of the biggest things he revealed was that he prefers shooting with film rather than digitally, and that he has "not yet shot a movie digitally." Abrams said:
- "Film is the thing I am most comfortable with. If film were to go away—and digital is challenging it—then the standard for the highest, best quality would go away."
Shooting digitally is something Abrams had the option for with this year's Star Trek Into Darkness. Instead, he chose to continue shooting in film, because of his comfortability and to match the look of his first Star Trek. That wasn't the only reason he shot with film, though:
- "...with all the CG, it was important to me that it was as warm and human and analog as possible. It may not be obvious to many of the people who saw it, but I think it is more important than people know."
While Abrams didn't say whether he would shoot Star Wars Episode VII digitally, I personally hope he doesn't. I would rather he stick with traditional film. Regardless of what you think of the prequels (and I'm certainly not a big fan), I've always said that the best-looking Star Wars film was Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It was shot on film and had a great mix of locations, practical effects, and CGI. Beginning with Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, though, George Lucas shot the films in digital and mostly used CGI for effects.
There was a noticeable difference in quality between The Phantom Menace and its two sequels, and they were exactly what Abrams said about digital: the look and feel of the latter two prequels lacked the warmth and humanity of the previous Star Wars films. To me, Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith looked like video games. Here's to hoping that Abrams continues to use film!
Do you think Star Wars Episode VII should be shot on film or digitally? Let us know in the comments below!