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February 05 2012

End of an era for Serenity: 35mm prints have been retired for U.S. screenings. This is expected to have minor impact on CSTS screenings since the majority of last year's events were already using digital copies and CSTS has been anticipating the change.

Since this news first popped on the CSTS forums, I've been trying to determine the last time I saw a 35mm print of Serenity. If either CSTSLA 2011 or the SDCC 2010 screening was 35mm, it'd be one of those, but even there I didn't watch the entire film.

I suppose this was an inevitability, but it's still weird to contemplate.
Sorry b!X, both of those were blu-ray. The last SoCal screening that used 35mm was Orange County in 2010 (I think, it could have been 2009).
Yeah, then I have no earthly idea.
I suppose there's a laundry list of reasons it'd be unwise for Universal to auction off the remaining 35 mm copies as keepsakes?
Is there a place to see what legs/stops of this year's viewings will be using the "DCP" format vs. DVD/Blu-ray?
Not as far as I know, although it'd be easy to maintain a list on the CSTS forums.
That's so sad. My daughter works in film and what's happening in the industry breaks her heart. I know there's probably a lot of degradation with the same prints being used over and over, though.
Dang, that's a downer. I'm with your daughter on this one, redeem. Particularly as some of my favorite movie theaters in LA live and die by their film prints.
This is actually a gigantic problem for repertory cinemas, museums, and film history.

Though as a cinephile I have mixed feelings about the digital revolution, there's no doubt it has an enormous upside in terms of consistency and money savings for the studios, it's probably even got some green pluses. Nevertheless, I'm pretty angry that the studios are apparently completely stopping the manufacture of 35mm (and 70mm!) prints, particularly for films that were (and still are) being made that way. There should at least be a token number of prints manufactured, IMO.
I am sorry to hear about this, too. 35mm has a texture that digital just doesn't.
I agree with Sunfire. How awesome would it be if Universal donated even 1 single copy for sale as a whole or even frame by frame for CSTS. They have been so wonderful working with CSTS organisers in the past, and I for one, am grateful for their assistance (albeit through Universal Australia) in running CSTS events in the past. Not many film studios would do this for a fan base, charity or not, methinks.
Aren't the real issues what becomes of the negatives and whether 35 mm film stock is going to be manufactured in the future? If the negative is in good shape and there is film, a new print can be made later.

There are film libraries preserving and restoring old movies. One of them should be given a copy of the Serenity negative.
That's a shame. The movie has a nice, grainy film quality compared to the ultra sharp, grain-free digital format of "The Avengers."

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