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By Duncan J. Petrie

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An alternative to the Panaflex is provided by the Arriflex 35 BL camera. As cinematographer Michael Coulter (Director of Photography on No Surrender, Heavenly Pursuits, The Good Father, Housekeeping, The Dressmaker and Diamond Skulls) explains, the Arriflex system is smaller, more flexible and incorporates a different system of registration to the Panaflex: for me it's like the difference between a BMW and a Renault 4: the BMW is solid and very comfortable but the Renault 4 is a bit more adaptable, you can put down the back seat, shove ladders on the roof and things like that.

Cameras and camera systems are becoming increasingly mobile and versatile, for example 'floating' camera systems such as 'Steadicam' and 'Panaglide', the remote-controlled camera systems mentioned above, snorkel lenses and fibre-optic photography and an increasingly versatile range of dollies and crane arms. Film stocks are becoming faster without dramatic quality reduction in the image. Sound recording and reproduction technology is improving in the wake of Dolby systems. The Question of Cinema Technology 41 And in terms of image quality, high-band video is fast approaching 35mm film without the problems of colour fading over time and dramatic quality reduction from master print to release prints, as I shall explain in some depth in the next section of this chapter.

In addition, of all the arts, film is the most dependent on technology, or more precisely a whole range of technologies: mechanical, optical, chemical and electronic, for its existence and development. At the level of cinema as an institution, both resources are equally important and much has been written about the economics and technology of film-making since its birth at the end of the nineteenth century. However, in the case of any particular project, the question of finance will generally tend to overshadow that of technology, given the notorious difficulties associated with raising money for film production.

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