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Star Wars Episode VII Keeps it Classic


The Telegraph is reporting that, according to Daniel Mindel (a director of photography who has worked on the re-booted Star Trek films who has worked with future Star Wars director J.J. Abrams) that Star Wars: Episode VII will be shot on 35mm film in order to help recapture that classic 70s style of cinema.

Is this a sign that Abrams is moving back to the foundations that helped make the original Star Wars trilogy a timeless power house? What does it means in regards to the application of digital special effects? How will it be recieved in a modern film industry where most movies are shot in a purely digital format?

Only time will tell, but it’s clear that Abrams has a deep respect for his original source material.


About korazi

Part-time hobbit, full-time Tolkien fanatic, James became a fan after the release of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and within years he had devoured all things Tolkien and embraced his hobbit life. While not fond of adventures, he is enjoying his Unexpected Journey as a father, freelance table-top role-playing game author and Legendarium Media contributor.


  1. This is absolutely fantastic news. Pure and simple.

  2. Does this mean the Jedi aren’t going to fight with lens flairs?

  3. I’m okay with this, even though it’s going to add significantly to the cost of production as film production facilities continue to shut down and film becomes more and more of a high cost commodity. My guess is they’ll shoot 7 on film, 8, possibly, and 9… completely digitally due to the availability of the media. We’ve hit the sweet spot technologically that our digital camera are able to capture the same or higher than the film they’ll be using (save for IMAX, but word on the street is that its’ days are numbered as well). By the 2015 release it’s sure to look dated, but not terribly so as it’s going to an audience that is used to the film look overall. One thing to be aware of is this: the film is just going to be captured into computers anyway for the digital effects and distribution.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy he’s going for the classic look, and I know he can achieve it, I just don’t think it’s a film vs. digital thing (and I have a hard time telling the difference). Just one viewing of Super 8 tells you that he’s capable of capturing the feel of another era of filmmaking.

    While I know that Abrams gets mocked for his use of lens flairs, I don’t mind them. In fact, I think it’d be awesome to see some in Star Wars, if they can be used in a practical way, such as having light from things bouncing off of viewports on X-Wings, etc.

    Anyhow, just my two cents.

  4. There is a warmth – depth of field range closer to that of the natural eye — and certainly a roundness if you will vs. high res pixelation that is film. Shooting ratio for takes will be more closely guarded and the DP crew must plan and pay attention to shadow nuance and subtlety more so that any digital more easily – -‘fixed in post.

    My believe is that this would be a die-hard and dedicated filmmakers dream – and the opportunity for warmth intensity and emotion – much more impactful.
    Yes — digital is astounding – and gorgeous and clear — but for me — as gorgeous as it is — it has never been a ‘natural state’ where my eyes can absorb and not feel bombarded with precision in every dot.
    Actual 35 is gorgeous – and I think the re-masterd to digital are a disservice to many films —
    I am excited to see what this brings –
    Personally, I miss the natural warm tones, the soft blacks and the care that must be put into every shot.

    Watch David Grohls “Sound City’ Doc — about one of the last record to tape sound boards and one of the greatest — created by Neve. THe warmth, tone and natural state of the sounds — simply cannot be duplicated the same way, It is, a matter of taste — both have their merits – but its a great testament to enginering – focus on the moment – and the most perfect and honest – to the human ear- kind of recording one can do — not always the desrired effect nowadays — fair enough – but there was a time:))

    I believe too — that story line will be a contributor in recognizing success, failure of this venture.

    I am hoping beyond hope – to love this from first frame!