Digital Filmmaking


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In May 1999 George Lucas challenged the supremacy of the movie-making medium of film for the first time by including footage filmed with high-definition digital cameras in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The digital footage blended seamlessly with the footage shot on film and he announced later that year he would film its sequels entirely on hi-def digital video. Also in 1999, digital projectors were installed in four theaters for the showing of The Phantom Menace. In June 2000, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones began principal photography shot entirely using a Sony HDW-F900 camera as Lucas had previously stated. The film was released in May 2002. In May 2001 Once Upon a Time in Mexico was also shot in 24 frame-per-second high-definition digital video, partially developed by George Lucas using a Sony HDW-F900 camera, following Robert Rodriguez's introduction to the camera at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch facility whilst editing the sound for Spy Kids. Two lesser-known movies, Vidocq (2001) and Russian Ark (2002), had also been shot with the same camera, the latter notably consisting of a single long take.