Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street was filmed in multiple media and different aspect ratios. As well as digital work, some of the film was shot on 35mm film.
To screen the film in cinemas, some or the other bits and pieces were going to have to be transferred to a different format. Either the digital sequences would have to be printed on film or the film sequences scanned for digital screening.
And if it was getting the typical, modern American release it would have been both with some prints made in 35mm and other cinemas receiving a DCP instead.
But Paramount have, without fanfare, made Wolf their first all-digital release. What’s more, they’re done with 35mm for good.
The LA Times tried to get a statement from the studio but they’re keeping schtum.
Many people are still sentimental about 35mm film and I’ll admit that it’s a wonderful medium that gave us decades of fantastic results. I’ll also say that it’s as valid a format as any other for filmmakers looking to create the aesthetic they want.
But as a default, I understand why it’s days are numbered and I know for sure that if I were to shoot a feature tomorrow with absolute freedom to do it whatever way I wanted, I wouldn’t go anywhere near photochemical film, nor would I even give it a blink of thought.
I do wonder how many US cinemas are now still equipped only for physical film projection. They’re the real victims here, it seems. If they haven’t upgraded yet I can only assume it’s for financial reasons.