Shot by Shot

Hweiling Ow as Wei En
16 November 2016

It's 2016. Film is supposed to be dead by now and a whole generation of filmmakers may never know what it's like to load a mag and check the gate.

I wanted to see if it was still feasible and economical to shoot a film on film. I also wanted to examine it as a serious aesthetic choice. Is it only useful as a nostalgia gimmick? Or is there something subjective you gain by losing objective clarity?

Shooting on film certainly requires more time and discipline. I was a solo loader/operator/focus puller on this shoot supported by a very efficient grip and lighting team. We needed a few 10-20 minute breaks while I loaded the mags but overall the process wasn't too different from shooting digitally.

I'm still undecided whether or not the look can justify the cost and inconvenience. But I can't deny the visceral joy of receiving my processed film weeks later and seeing the results.