This is a fascinating and topical documentary delivered via interviews with a large smorgasbord of film industry professionals, Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle, Richard Linklater, David Lynch to name but a few, all talking about the transition from traditional film to digital. The interviewer and narrator is a perhaps not so neutral Keanu Reeves, with the footage consisting of lots and lots of clips and different viewpoints edited into the one narrative. As well as the history and pros and cons of digital, and the possibilities for the future, it gives a behind the scenes look at who does what on a movie set – what the work of the cinematographer, colourist, and editor entails, which arises as a natural part of putting the main debate and the protagonists into context. There is, I believe, a very positive conclusion too – with modern technology anyone can go out and make a film armed with nothing more than their camera, and their imagination. Different opinions on that are given, but The Red Dragon thinks the gift of filmmaking to the wider world is a tremendous one indeed.
For an experimental documentary created as a direct result of available digital technology, see ‘We Are Northern Lights’.