Side by Side is a fantastic documentary produced by none other than Keanu Reeves about the transition from film to digital video in the film industry. To me, this doesn’t seem like something Reeves would be involved in (insert typical Keanu Reeves impersonation here), but the actor really knows his stuff when it comes to the technical side of filmmaking. Side by Side is a documentary for anyone to enjoy. It starts out by explaining in laymans terms exactly what they will be discussing in the coming hour and a half. The film is filled with interesting interviews with seasonal and newer cinematographers and directors from the industry giving us their opinions on the vastly changing technology. Some embrace this change whole-heartedly and some resist futilely.
As an aspiring filmmaker myself, I took great interest in this particular film. I could watch documentaries like this about the history of film on repeat but what I really like about Side by Side is that anyone who is a fan of movies can enjoy this film. There is so much one can learn from this documentary that I wish it were mandatory that everyone see this film. With opinions from filmmakers such as George Lucas, David Fincher, James Cameron, David Lynch, Robert Rodriguez, Steven Soderbergh, and Martin Scorsese you will walk away from this film with a much better understanding of the changing technologies currently happening in the film industry.
Here is a trailer for the film to entice you even further into seeing Side by Side:
The documentary investigates the history, process and workflow of both digital and photochemical film creation. We show what artists and filmmakers have been able to accomplish with both film and digital and how their needs and innovations have helped push filmmaking in new directions. Interviews with directors, cinematographers, colorists, scientists, engineers and artists reveal their experiences and feelings about working with film and digital — where we are now, how we got here and what the future may bring.