I missed the Tribeca Film Festival screenings of Chris Kenneally and Keanu Reeves‘ Side By Side, a 98-minute documentary about the changeover from film to digital that premiered at last February’s Berliniale. Tribeca Film will open it sometime in August with screenings set for July, etc., but I’m trying to snag a screener today or tomorrow through a couple of publicist pals. If anyone knows anything, please reach out. I’m gone tomorrow night.
“Likely to prove utterly irresistible to geeks of all descriptions, but especially fest programmers, upscale broadcasters and anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of filmmaking, Side by Side examines the impact of digital technology on film,” wrote Variety‘s Leslie Felperin.
“Asking canny questions oncamera while also acting as one of pic’s producers, Keanu Reeves canvasses opinions from a truly impressive array of talents, including not just helmers like Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher and Christopher Nolan, but also some of the industry’s finest lensers and below-the-liners.
“Although laid out with such clarity that any layperson could catch the gist of what’s being discussed, Side by Side is not afraid to get nitty-gritty about more technical matters, such as why the invention of Bell Labs’ CCD chip was so game-changing, how stereoscopy works or why a Red camera or a Sony F950 is so much better than a standard-definition rig (answer: It’s all in the pixels). Yet plenty of airtime is also given to those who prefer the aesthetic of photochemical stock, which, as helpful clips illustrate, still has a much wider dynamic range than digital.
“For other, less nerdy-minded auds, simply hearing great masters of the craft talk about their work with passion, specificity and acumen will be enough of a treat. Pic generously apportions roughly equal amounts of screen time to big names and lesser-known craftspeople such as ace editor Anne V. Coates, vfx legend Dennis Muren and top colorist Tim Stipan, who speak just as eloquently about the work as their more famous colleagues.
“Nevertheless, Joel Schumacher delivers possibly the pic’s funniest line when he sighs that the problem with instant playback via digital is that actors get obsessed not with their performances but with what their hair looks like.”