David Lynch shot his latest feature, Inland Empire, on DV, and not on one of the new HD camcorders but a plain old Sony PD-150. He chatted with the NYTimes about this foray into DV (you need to be a TimesSelect subscriber to access the article, well worth it for Lynch fans*).
I'm still partial to the look of film, but I also recognize that in my lifetime, I'm going to shoot more digitally than on film. The mistake is assuming that digital has to surpass film in quality to win out. That's just not true. Digital cameras dominate film camera sales today, but they didn't win out based on quality. They seized the majority of the market share first, and the quality has slowly improved (whether it has caught up to or passed film is not the issue at debate here).
Digital just has to be good enough. For many movie applications, especially documentary filmmaking, it has been good enough for a long time now. The economic advantages of digital are so overwhelming that market forces will drag artists, some of them kicking and screaming, into the next age.
*Lynch's latest passion, besides DV, is consciousness-based education, derived from his longtime devotion to transcendental meditation. His website homepage links to the Maharishi University of Management, a school built for consciousness-based education. He has a book coming out this holiday season called Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity.
Now that I live in LA, I'm excited to listen to the daily weather reports that Lynch reads out on his website. They are on hiatus for now. I am a sucker for Lynch films, but I suppose that is not unusual for film school students. The adjective "Lynchian" is tossed around so frequently it's almost an accepted part of the cinema lexicon.