They say you shouldn't change a winning formula - and Hugo's digital cinematography did win an Oscar, after all - but it's with a tinge of sadness that Martin Scorsese seems likely to bid farewell to film once and for all.
"It would appear that we've lost the battle," said Thelma Schoonmaker, the director's long-time editor. Talking to Empire's Damon Wise after a film restoration panel at the Edinburgh Film Festival, she confirmed that Scorsese's next film,The Wolf Of Wall Street, would stick with digital, albeit in 2D. "I think Marty just feels it's unfortunately over, and there's been no bigger champion of film than him."
Schoonmaker revealed that while Hugo's warm tones had delighted the director and persuaded him to embrace the format, there's much melancholy at the passing of an era. "It's a very bittersweet thing to be watching films with him now that are on film. We're cherishing every moment of it. The number of prints that are now being made for release has just gone down, and it would appear that the theatres have converted so quickly to digital."
Schoonmaker also filled in some of the blanks on Scorsese's current production. "We start The Wolf Of Wall Street in the second week of August," she said, revealing her habit of only reading Scorese's shooting script once. "I don't want them to influence me when I see the dailies, but it's pretty wild. It's about this man in the late '90s [Leonardo DiCaprio's Jordan Belfort] who got people to start investing in much cheaper stocks. It was a big scam, and he went to jail. They were out of their minds. Out of their minds! He's out of jail now, doing motivational speaking. He supposedly feels bad about what he did..."
A little like Henry Hill then? "Yeah! (Laughs) They showed me a tape of what he's doing now. It's very interesting."