20 years ago digital cinematography was an exciting if untested new realm. The first two pioneering efforts in this era were Bernard Rose‘s ivansxtc, shot with a Sony HDW-700 in the summer of ’99, and Barbet Schroeder‘s Our Lady of the Assassins, using either the same digital camera or a close relation.
I did a couple of interviews with Rose in the spring and summer of ’02. He was fairly exuberant about the freedom that digital cinema would provide to indie filmmakers, going on about how the film industry would eventually become like the book-publishing business with filmmakers shooting more or less on their own dime and the big distributors having relatively little to say about the creative process, and just distributing the way book publishers do.
Cut to a recent Variety interview between Robin Wright and Chris Pine, and Wright quoting House of Cards producer-director David Fincher as follows: “You realize that we’re going to revolutionize the way people view content. They can watch as much as they want, whenever, like you would read a book. And not only that revolution that’s going to happen, but it’s going to be so comfortable for people to participate [in].”
Rose’s prediction hasn’t exactly manifested the way he saw it two decades ago, but it would probably help if the online commentariat could recognize that these days the indie filmmaking and distribution business does resemble the book business more than, say, the old-style movie distribution business of 25 or 30 years ago. Just a thought.