The world of moviemaking is currently in the middle of a drastic change. As digital production becomes more and more convenient, even the most dedicated celluloid die-hard directors like Martin Scorsese are turning to the newer technology.
This transition is at the heart of the new documentary “Side by Side,” which features actor—and new director—Keanu Reeves talking with some of the greatest living directors, like Scorsese, James Cameron, David Fincher, and Christopher Nolan, about the differences between film and digital and how cinema will be affected by the change.
MTV News’ Josh Horowitz spoke with Reeves about his involvement in the film and how sitting down with these filmmakers affected his own views of the art.
While Reeves’ own directorial debut, “Man of Tai Chi,” just recently wrapped filming, he insisted that “Side by Side” developed on its own and not as a crash course in filmmaking. “It was not planned. It was not coincidence at development, but having the experience of working on this documentary certainly prepared me in a way to the forest that I was walking into in terms of directing a film, certainly a digital film,” Reeves said. “A lot of the questions and work flow of ’How is this going to work?’ I had the experience of seeing beforehand.”
The rarity of Reeves’ opportunity to speak candidly with these directors was fortunately not lost on the actor. “I was very lucky,” he said. “To spend time with artists who I respect and love and whose movies I love was really a great honor, just to be able to share the passion and as you say, talk shop.”
From all of his discussion about the quickly shifting landscape of filmmaking, Reeves was able to learn that, more than anything, the future of the medium is still up in the air.
“I learned in terms of that it’s in flux as much as it’s ever been. If you take a look at ’Hunger Game,’ photochemical, ’Dark Knight,’ photochemical, ’Social Network,’ digital,” he said. “IMAX, 3-D, digital, also if we talk about streaming or the way that we can watch content now on mobile devices and pads and tablets and bricks and shells and young filmmakers and experimental filmmaking and documentary, which has also really benefited from digital, it’s a really creative time, but this documentary is also looking at that there is photochemical, but that decision is becoming less and less an option.”
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