Paramount's recent revelation that it is no longer producing movies on 35mm film is one that should surprise no one.

Most major movie studios have been trying for years to transform their businesses to a digital-only one, ridding their budget sheets of expensive rolls of film and paving the way for a complete digital distribution solution - one which negates the need for sending expensive prints to movie theatres. To them, digital is a no-brainer as it is kinder on the purse strings.

Where technology used to be the biggest stumbling block for a studio to go 'all digital', though, today that is not the case – it is now the director who decides. Certain big-name helmers simply won't let go of film as a medium. It is not about the money (which is always a studio's first worry) but about the final creative product.

For them digital isn't aesthetically pleasing enough to truly represent their vision, whereas film with its 100-odd year legacy still offers the best way to make a movie.

Film is better looking

Christopher Nolan: "It's cheaper to work on film, it's the technology that's been known and understood for a hundred years."

One of the most outspoken is Christopher Nolan, director of the Dark Knight trilogy. In an interview in 2012, he revealed to the Directors' Guild of America that he had felt pressure to move to digital but just couldn't see the creative benefits.

"I've felt increasing pressure to stop shooting film and start shooting video, but I've never understood why," he said.

"It's cheaper to work on film, it's far better looking, it's the technology that's been known and understood for a hundred years, and it's extremely reliable.

"I think, truthfully, it boils down to the economic interest of manufacturers and [a production] industry that makes more money through change rather than through maintaining the status quo."

The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Trilogy was completely shot using film

Another director who feels the same as Nolan is JJ Abrams. In the same week Paramount announced it was going all digital, Abrams revealed he would be shooting Star Wars: Episode VII on film – something that had been rumoured for some time.

This is the biggest indicator yet that the new Star Wars is an Abrams film, with marginal input from George Lucas.

Lucas had been for many years the biggest advocate of digital. He was the first to shoot a major all-digital movie (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones) and according to an interview back when the film was released in 2002, there was no going back to film for the series.

Digital can't stop, won't stop

George Lucas: "Digital is a much more malleable medium than film."

"There is so much misinformation being put out there by people who have interests other than the quality of film. They're determined to slow this down or stop it, but they can't. It just won't happen," he said to American Cinematographer.

"Digital is a much more malleable medium than film, by far; you can make it do whatever you want it to do, and you can design the technology to do whatever you want to do. This whole field is really going to ramp up in the next 10 or 20 years."

A good 10 years later and he is right: digital growth has exploded, despite his own franchise bucking this trend.

Star Wars
Star Wars Blu-ray was scanned from a 2K print

I spoke to Christopher Kenneally, the director of Side By Side – a Keanu Reeves fronted documentary that looks at the history of film and digital in cinema – who said it was right for Abrams to choose film as it is a medium he is comfortable with.

"I'm not sure shooting Star Wars on film versus digital will be that different," he said.

"To me it makes sense for JJ and his team to use film if that is what they are most comfortable with. A movie with the budget of Star Wars has a lot of freedom and resources and can shoot on whatever medium and with whatever workflow they choose."