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T436 Fall 2012 - Week 9

Announcements/Reality check

  • Most have dropped the ball on their blogs/journals and not all are carrying out crew critiques. This is a huge part of yor grade. Even if you produce several outstanding shorts, it's still easy to fail because of neglecting paperwork. Everyone is to fill out a crew critique after a shoot. Everyone is to fill out their journal/blog every week.
  • Quiz in 2 weeks. Cumulative. Covers Brown chapters on hi-def video, optics, and tech issues.
  • Model Releases & License Releases – Producers - please use the forms on the T436 website. It's important to specify the performer's address and production they are appearing in. These are extremely important documents. Producers should make sure these are in their production packets.
  • Check out times - Be sure to extend your checkout *before* you actually check out the gear / process the form.
    • Remember to extend the checkout period. It might default to 4hrs
  • Blogs/Journals vs. Production/Crew Reports – Remember that these are separate documents. Only about half of you updated your Blog/Journals last week. You must turn these in on time. That's every Monday. These are important - Please take time after a shoot while things are fresh in your head to write these. Reading these has been extremely enlightening.
  • Notes - review Roles:
    • Producers - make sure you have clearances, get releases, and have coordinated with all cast & crew. You are also responsible for making sure there is recording media.
    • Dir - Know the scene and how you're going to get coverage.
    • Audio - You are responsible for making sure you have all of the recording gear
    • DP/Camera - Please be sure to check the script/storyboards in advance of the shoot. You are almost always on a tight schedule so make usre you get the coverage that's needed/expected.

Tech Issues (cont)

Aspect Ratios (p 336)

Remember that there are several ways to describe an aspect ratio. 16x9 can also be described as 1.78 or 1.78:1. People also use the number of perfs (perforations) that a film frame spans.

  • Full aperture 1.319:1 Before sound was included, the entire width of frame was exposed.
  • Academy aperture 1.37:1 - With the introduction of sound, the space was narrowed to make room for the optical soundtrack.

People wanted to make it wider so two common aspect ratios were used:

  • 1.66:1
  • 1.85:1 (widescreen!)

Anamorphic lenses were used to squeeze the image into the same film camera/projector. So while the negative had an aspect ratio of 1.18:1, the anamorphic lens would extend it to 2.35:1.

  • Vistavision 1.5:1 - (Runs 35mm film frames horizontall)y
  • Imax 1.43:1 (Runs 70mm film frames horizontally)
  • 65 mm 5 perf 2.28:1
  • Super35 for 16x9 HD 1.78:1 (matches HDTV/widescreen perfectly)
  • Cinemascope was 2.35:1 (anamorphic) has been modified in the 70s to 2.40:1. People now refer to 2.40:1 as Cinemascope, Panavision, or Technovision.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

TV, Cinema & Digital Cinema. Impact of digital cinema, equipment and distribution

Be sure to read the wikipedia entry on digital cinema: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_cinema

Advances and changes in technology are changing the way that films (both those shot on film or video) are being distributed.

While digital cinematography refers to production, digital cinema refers to the distribution of theatrical releases.

Feature film

The era of digital cinema began when George Lucas released The Phantom Menace digitally to select theatres on June 18, 1999. Digital cinema replaces traditional film distribution and projection with digital delivery and projection. While digital cinema uses high-definition technology, it’s not directly tied to ATSC’s DTV standards. The formats currently used in digital cinema provide even higher resolution than HDTV, including 2K (2048 x 1080) and 4K (4096 x 2160). Much of the equipment and interconnections used for HDTV production also work with digital cinema formats.


2048 x 1080


4096 x 2160

Digital cinema formats
(pixel dimensions)

Using digital cameras to shoot a motion picture project is referred to as digital cinematography. While some filmmakers have resources to shoot with larger, ultra-high definition cameras such as Panavision’s Genesis, most are opting to shoot in HDTV, or with even smaller, standard-definition formats because of the mobility, ease of editing, and low cost. Digital cinematography provides filmmakers with a means to shoot, edit, and master a project in the digital realm. With digital cinema, they now have a direct path into theatrical distribution. While some film production companies view HDTV and digital cinema as a threat, many studios are major proponents who see it as a way to reduce the costly expense of duplication and distribution. A single 35mm film print can cost over $1,500 to produce. Other benefits include the fact that there is no loss of quality after multiple viewings and that more advertising can be run and edited more quickly and efficiently.

While the 1999 Phantom Menace screenings used media and projectors that were only capable of producing 1280 x 1080 sized images, current installations are using more advanced technology. The latest digital projectors are capable of displaying images with pixel dimensions of 4096 x 2160. Christie, a leading manufacturer of high-definition projectors for the digital cinema market has agreements to install 2,300 projection systems by November 2007.

3D - Each year more and more movies are distributed in 3D. In animation it's relatively easy to add another virtual camera. Though spatially blocking subjects (even virtual blocking must be done following general guidelines).

Most are 2K

DVD distribution

High-definition DVD manufacturers were engaged in a format war in 2007-2008, with the major contenders being Blu-ray and HD DVD. Both formats had considerable industry backing. The formats were similar in that they used the familiar 120 mm diameter CD-sized discs, but incorporated higher-frequency, 405 nm wavelength lasers capable of writing and reading the data more tightly together. Players of both formats are made that are capable of reading existing analog DVDs. Blu-ray won out.


Single layer discs can hold about 25 GB and dual-layer discs can hold about 50 GB writing MPEG video at data rates up to 36 Mbps. While the Blu-ray lasers aren’t directly compatible with existing DVDs and CDs, an additional optical pickup device achieves backwards-compatible playback.

Many think the demise of DVD distribution is imminent.


  • Anamorphic
  • Digital Cinema (not Digital Cinematography)







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