Christopher Nolan made two things extremely clear today as the Produced By Conference got underway on the Sony lot in Culver City. He will definitely not be making a fourth Batman movie, and he believes that digital filmmaking is “devaluing of what we do as filmmakers.” The Dark Knight Rises director said he actually never had a plan for any Batman sequels when he made 2005’s Batman Begins. “We never had a specific trajectory,” Nolan noted. “I wanted to put everything into making one great film, I didn’t want to hold anything back.” And Nolan certainly didn’t hold anything back on his feelings about Hollywood’s “rapid” move to digital moviemaking. Nolan said to the audience, which included Warner Bros‘ Jeff Robinov, that he “didn’t have any interest in being the research department for an electronics company.” Nolan added, “It’s like filmmakers are being encouraged to buy cameras like we are buying iPods.”
Earlier in the session with his producing partner Emma Thomas on stage beside him, the usually reticent Nolan made it very clear that he believes that film is a superior medium for both filmmakers and film lovers. The director specifically chose to illustrate what he feels is the increasingly lackluster experience that filmgoers have in theaters that use digital projectors. “You really are kind of sitting in your living room now watching moves.” Use of digital projection, the director said, “is reducing most theaters to showing TV commercials.”
Nolan was quick to dismiss those who praise the low cost of digital filmmaking as ignoring the hidden costs involved for digital such as the image rendering that’s necessary in post-production. Nolan, who was very specific in describing technical standards and specs, cautioned the crowd that when most people are talking about digital they’re really talking about “video, like television.” With all that, Nolan did not entirely shut the door on shooting in digital himself. “When it is as good as film and makes economic sense, I’d be completely open to it.”
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