Featured Trailer: Keanu Reeves-produced Doc Side by Side

I’m always up for an intriguing documentary and this one looks to be a must-see for film fans everywhere.

Produced by Keanu Reeves and directed by Chris Kenneally, it features interviews with powerful filmmakers in Hollywood, the likes of Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, the Wachowski siblings, George Lucas, James Cameron, Steven Soderbergh, and so on.

Here’s the synopsis from the official site:

Movies were shot, edited and projected using photochemical film. But over the last two decades a digital process has emerged to challenge photochemical filmmaking.

SIDE BY SIDE, a new documentary produced by Keanu Reeves, takes an in-depth look at this revolution. Through interviews with directors, cinematographers, film students, producers, technologies, editors, and exhibitors, SIDE BY SIDE examines all aspects of filmmaking — from capture to edit, visual effects to color correction, distribution to archive. At this moment when digital and photochemical filmmaking coexist, SIDE BY SIDE explores what has been gained, what is lost, and what the future might bring.

Now check out the trailer:

This is definitely something I gotta see… seeing people from opposite spectrum like James Cameron and David Lynch speaking about their philosophy of making films should be interesting to watch.  It’s always fascinating to see which filmmaker is quick to embrace change and who still has trepidations about it. Nolan’s quoted as saying, “There isn’t yet a superior, or even equal imaging technology to film…” whilst Cameron unsurprisingly stated that because one can’t shoot 3D with film, “… film has been dead in my heart for ten years.” 
Soderbergh’s quote is quite spot on…
I really felt like I should call film on the phone and said I’ve met someone… ’cause I really thought, this is the future.
No matter which side you’re on, this is no doubt a topic worth looking into if you love movies. With the increasing number of 3D movies and digital conversion, the debate between “film vs. digital” is only going to get hotter.
The documentary has just been selected for the Special Section of the Berlinale 2012 in February. I sure hope it’ll make its way to my city soon!

What do you think folks? Does this interest you? 

26 thoughts on “Featured Trailer: Keanu Reeves-produced Doc Side by Side

  1. Ted S.

    I’m definitely seeing this, I love love watching behind scenes stuff and this documentary has all of the big names in it. This is a can’t miss for film lovers and filmmaker wannabes out there. It’s great seeing which filmmakers prefer to shoot on film or digital.

    I’m planning to shoot another short movie this spring, I just hope I won’t get into a fight with my editor and video guy like I did last time.

    1. Yeah I think this is right up your alley, Ted. I hope this gets shown in the theater here otherwise it’d be a while before it gets to dvd.

      Hey, you gotta tell me more about your short movie!

      1. Ted S.

        I have two shorts I want to shoot, one will be 20 to 30 mins long while the other will be 1 to 2 mins. I’m putting a new team together and see how much I can afford to pay them. I finished both of the scripts, now I have to hire actors, editor and a camera guy.

        1. Ted,

          is there any way to check out the other films you’ve done. I’d be interested in checking them out. I’d also love to hear some of the war stories about the your shoots. I just read an interview where Soderbergh and Lem Dobbs, the writer of The Limey, had it out on the commentary track over the changes Soderbergh made during editing. I’ll have to borrow the DVD from a friend to check it out. Here’s the article where Steven talks about it: http://www.avclub.com/articles/steven-soderbergh,67814/

          Wow… it certainly has the who’s who of digital filmmaking. What’s really great is how all this technology trickles down to independent filmmakers by putting the technology within reach of the little guy.

          At the bottom of this review of Canon’s EOS C300, their first foray into motion picture cameras, there are some indie shorts shot digitally. It’s amazing what is being shot at the indie level now. Especially the Blade Runner inspired film, XXIT, at the bottom. Check ’em out.


          Here’s Wired’s write up on the film and a great “making of” video for those interested in the behind the scenes of XXIT using Canon’s EOS C300 to get the look of the film. I highly recommend this Ted.


  2. Just saw the trailer for this on another site and as you know I’m a big fan of documentaries and this is one I’m looking forward to a lot as it has some big names talking about the thing I love: Film (in whichever form)

    1. I do feel that digital film IS the way of the future, though it’s always said to part w/ something that’s been so prevalent in how we view films. No I hadn’t heard about that, but sounds like they’ve got tons of supporters.

  3. Definitely a documentary I want to check out because it’s such a fascinating topic.IMO, celluloid will progressively become archaic in the next decade or so but there will always be people who try to fight progress and their way of life.

    There is certainly a strong nostalgia factor because that’s the way movies have been made since the beginning of the medium but technology has evolved so much that you can basically do the same thing and more with digital cameras.

    1. Yeah, technology is constantly evolving so it’s just a matter of time the digital tech will take over. Yeah, I think the nostalgia factor is what makes it hard for some filmmakers to get over, and it’s also a matter of how much a person is adaptable to change in general.

  4. ow…this is a great news, Ruth, thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    Will see if I can find this. I don’t really mind digital when used wisely….although I haven’t yet find the same joy of watching digital animation compared to traditional animation. But to ordinary movie, I haven’t got a clue which one digital and not.

    Ha!! my old boyfriend is a producer now 😉

    1. Ahah, your old boyfriend… glad to see he’s not relegated to ‘ex boyfriend’ yet. I think Keanu is smarter than what people give him credit for, clearly he’s got one of the longest lasting acting career in the business and boy he still hasn’t aged much.

  5. Seems worth to watch. I love behind the scenes, especially about movie making and the philosophy of it. Thanks for sharing this. Will Keanu be in the documentary? ^^

  6. I’d love to see this film, it cuts right at the core of the major divisive issue in movies today, celluloid or digital? Exciting new possibilities or misplaced enthusiasm? 3D or not 3D? I think a comment Dan from Top Ten films left on an article I did on the 3D arguement sums up where I stand on the issue, at least where 3D is concerned. It’s only part of the debate on ‘new technologies’, but an important part.

    “3D is a failed attempt by the major Hollywood studios to try to curb film piracy in my eyes. It is an offering that can only be seen in cinemas effectively. But as you say, and many others agree, it doesn’t add anything. I have seen a couple of 3D films and the 3D element ruined the experience. I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 in 3D and can’t wait to see it again in 2D – I know I’ll prefer the experience.

    3D should be kept for 10 minute interactive experiences and moving chair type rides at places like Universal Studios’ theme parks”.

    I think the point here is, this new tech, whether it be digital processing or 3D imaging, what is it actually adding to the medium? Does it make the experience better, does it enhance the medium without sacrificing it’s integrity in the name of a quick thrill? Thanks for this Ruth, entertaining and informative as always!

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s