Dune: shot digitally, transferred to film and then digitized. But why?!

Dune poster
(Image credit: Warner Brothers)

Dune hit the big screen only a couple of months ago and was a massive success at the box office taking over $380 million and counting. However, something more hard to fathom than its astronomical takings (or that the the hour remake was only part 1), is the fact the whole film was first shot on digital using Arri Alexa LF and a Alexa Mini LF cinema cameras,  then transferred to 35mm motion-picture film, and then scanned back to digital. That seems like a rather lengthy process, but when you have a budget of $150 million, I guess you have to spend all that money somehow, right?

So let’s break down how the film was shot and why they transferred it to 35mm film and then the need for re-digitization? 

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Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specializing in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound, and many more for various advertising campaigns, books, and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science, and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is a member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected into BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in street, medium, and large format photography with products by Leica, Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa, and Sinar. Sebastian has also used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI, and everything in between. He now spends his spare time using his trusted Leica M-E or Leica M2 shooting Street photography or general life as he sees it, usually in Black and White.