[Research Project] ANALOG / DIGITAL: The Emotional Impact of Film Recording Processes on the Audience
Zurich University of the Arts / Institute for the Performing Arts and Film [filmwissen.ch]
Partners: University of Berne, Institute of Psychology and University of Zurich, Institute of Cinema Studies
Industry Partners: ARRI Arnold & Richter Ciné Technik GmbH & Co, Egli Film AG, Kodak SA
Digital formats have already largely supplanted analog formats in the arena of film production. This is also the case in Switzerland, where a large majority of films, including feature films, are filmed digitally. Postproduction is done almost exclusively digitally worldwide. The transition of projection technology from analog to digital, however, has only recently begun to take place on a large scale in movie theaters.
The technological and aesthetic aspects of this transition have been discussed extensively from the outset, in particular within the field. A certain coldness and sterility is often ascribed to digital images, said to derive from the underlying difference between the dancing grain of the analog film emulsion and the rigid pattern of the digital image. No empirical investigation exists, however, that employs an interdisciplinary approach built on a rigorous psychological foundation and that investigates the question of whether and how this difference, based on the materiality of the medium, influences reception and in particular emotional processing.