Is Film Still Relevant in Filmmaking?

A photographer or filmmaker's equipment is probably one of the most hotly debated topics, as anyone familiar with photography forums can tell you. There are arguments both for and against either a "fully stacked" or a "minimalist" approach. Dan Mace takes both in this video.

"Your Gear Doesn't Matter" says the thumbnail of this video, and then, Dan Mace attempts to create two identical vlog-style videos with dramatically different camera setups. The first setup is a well-equipped Arriflex 16SR3 16mm film camera that was introduced in the early 1990s, and the second is an up-to-date iPhone 13 Pro Max. After comparing how the two cameras create their videos, explaining the process, and the differences in the formats, Dan then goes about creating these two vlogs.

In an attempt to create a 1970s style vlog, he starts off by creating a "Trolley Cam" out of a shopping cart to be able to move the 16mm rig around comfortably. Quite extreme! The iPhone, of course, just goes in his pocket. Dan shoots the same vlog on these two different rigs and edits them to look the same. The film is scanned so that it can be edited on a computer, and the iPhone's bokeh effect is used to recreate the shallow depth of field effect of the film camera.

Towards the end, he screens the two films, both showing the exact same story, but shot with dramatically different equipment. What do you think? Is film still relevant, and does your gear matter?

Susheel Chandradhas's picture

Susheel Chandradhas is a professional photographer and filmmaker based out of Chennai, India. He has a background in advertising and graphic design.

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It's the same old film vs digital sensor battle.
Watching Polanski's "Chinatown" has a flavor that could be replicated with an Alexa but we do rely more on post-production and green screens than on good DP these days...