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High Definition and 24P Cinematography

Book Description

This authoritative new reference demystifies the technologies of high definition and 24P cinematography. It is written for the director of photography, camera crew and producer or director and deals with the subject from their point of view. It provides a thorough and logical description of the five scanning formats 24P, 25P, 30P, 50i and 60i as well as recording formats, editing options, delivery potential and discussions on the financial implications theses decisions might have.


It looks at comparative costs between different decisions surrounding camera formats, such as 16mm to 35mm shooting for different examples, such as a 100-minute low budget movie or 30 second commercial. There is also considerable discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of using HD versus film, seen from a producer's perspective and what the impact is on all those involved in making a movie. Different delivery systems and camera equipment are discussed as well as editing.

Filled with practical advice for tackling everyday decisions and choices, this is a must-have guide for anyone using or considering using high definition technology.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Dedication
  4. Title
  5. Copyright
  6. Contents
  7. Preface
  8. About the Author
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Introduction
  11. Part 1 Why Choose HDCAM?
    1. 1 What is 24P and HDCAM?
      1. 1.1 Electronic projection
    2. 2 Picture quality
      1. 2.1 What does HD look like?
      2. 2.2 Comparison with 35 mm film
      3. 2.3 Comparison with anamorphic 35 mm
      4. 2.4 Comparison with Super 16 mm
      5. 2.5 Comparison with Digi Beta
    3. 3 Display quality
      1. 3.1 HD shown on television
      2. 3.2 HD written to film and projected mechanically
      3. 3.3 HD shown on a state-of-the-art digital projector
      4. 3.4 Digital projectors
        1. 3.4.1 The Barco D-Cine Premiere® DP 50®
        2. 3.4.2 The Barco SLM R8
    4. 4 Cost implications
      1. 4.1 Savings
        1. 4.1.1 Origination costs
        2. 4.1.2 Stock savings
        3. 4.1.3 Insurance savings
        4. 4.1.4 Savings in print costs
        5. 4.1.5 Shooting for anamorphic release
      2. 4.2 Added costs
        1. 4.2.1 Camera kit rental
        2. 4.2.2 Editing costs
        3. 4.2.3 Writing out to film
      3. 4.3 A cost comparison example – Oklahoma!
        1. 4.3.1 Stock and processing savings
        2. 4.3.2 Camera rental
        3. 4.3.3 Additional costs
        4. 4.3.4 Overall savings
    5. 5 Delivery requirements
      1. 5.1 For delivery on film
      2. 5.2 Multi-format delivery requirements
      3. 5.3 HD projection
    6. 6 Sales potential
      1. 6.1 Multiple standard sales
      2. 6.2 Multiple venue sales
      3. 6.3 Additional sales to HD users
      4. 6.4 Future proofing
  12. Part 2 Pre-Production Decisions
    1. 7 Production considerations and frame rates
      1. 7.1 What is the ‘film look’?
      2. 7.2 Frame rates
        1. 7.2.1 A little history
        2. 7.2.2 Audience perception
        3. 7.2.3 Traditional cinema flicker
      3. 7.3 When other frame rates may be desirable
        1. 7.3.1 Low budget European shoot
        2. 7.3.2 Low budget US shoot
        3. 7.3.3 Big budget productions
        4. 7.3.4 Thirty frames per second?
      4. 7.4 Progressive or interlace?
    2. 8 Production considerations relating to the type of production
      1. 8.1 Shooting in the USA
        1. 8.1.1 Theatrical productions
        2. 8.1.2 US prime time television productions
        3. 8.1.3 US commercials
        4. 8.1.4 Other US productions
        5. 8.1.5 What frame rate to choose
        6. 8.1.6 Potential cost savings
      2. 8.2 European productions
        1. 8.2.1 European feature films
        2. 8.2.2 European television
        3. 8.2.3 Performance shows
          1. 8.2.3.1 Oklahoma!
          2. 8.2.3.2 The Merchant of Venice
      3. 8.3 Equipment
        1. 8.3.1 Cameras
          1. 8.3.1.1 Sony and Panavision
          2. 8.3.1.2 Panasonic
          3. 8.3.1.3 Thomson
        2. 8.3.2 Lenses
          1. 8.3.2.1 Manufacturers
          2. 8.3.2.2 Primes vs zooms
        3. 8.3.3 Preferences
    3. 9 Crewing
      1. 9.1 Should the DoP operate?
      2. 9.2 Do you need a focus puller?
      3. 9.3 Do you need a loader?
      4. 9.4 Naming the camera assistants
      5. 9.5 Do you need a clapperboard?
      6. 9.6 Do you need a dolly grip?
      7. 9.7 Sound
      8. 9.8 Electricians
  13. Part 3 Preparing for a Shoot
    1. 10 Camera preparation prior to the shoot
      1. 10.1 Accessing the in-camera menus
      2. 10.2 Resetting the camera to the standard settings
      3. 10.3 Setting the frame rate
      4. 10.4 Setting the shutter speed
      5. 10.5 Equivalent shutter angles
      6. 10.6 Setting the viewfinder markings
      7. 10.7 Recording on a memory stick
      8. 10.8 Black balance
      9. 10.9 Lining up the monitors
      10. 10.10 Setting the back focus
        1. 10.10.1 Zoom lenses
        2. 10.10.2 Prime lenses and very wide angle zooms
      11. 10.11 Cables
      12. 10.12 Accessories
    2. 11 ‘Top of day’ camera assistant checks
    3. 12 Troubleshooting
      1. 12.1 Stating the obvious
      2. 12.2 Problems and solutions
  14. Part 4 The Shoot
    1. 13 Lighting and exposure for HD
      1. 13.1 Equivalent ASA speed or EI rating
      2. 13.2 Tonal range
      3. 13.3 Lighting ratios
      4. 13.4 Lighting to a monitor
      5. 13.5 Highlights and shadows
      6. 13.6 Exposure
        1. 13.6.1 Using a monitor
        2. 13.6.2 Using a meter
        3. 13.6.3 Auto exposure
        4. 13.6.4 Exposing using a waveform monitor
    2. 14 Lenses
      1. 14.1 How to choose a lens
        1. 14.1.1 Resolution
        2. 14.1.2 Contrast
        3. 14.1.3 Perceived sharpness with regard to contrast
        4. 14.1.4 Colour rendition
          1. 14.1.4.1 Overall colour bias
          2. 14.1.4.2 Colour fringing
          3. 14.1.4.3 What is fringing?
        5. 14.1.5 Breathing
        6. 14.1.6 Focusing a lens
        7. 14.1.7 Comparative focal lengths
      2. 14.2 Depth of field
      3. 14.3 Calculating depth of field
      4. 14.4 Neutral density filters
      5. 14.5 Limiting apertures
      6. 14.6 Filtration
        1. 14.6.1 Colour correction
        2. 14.6.2 Diffusion
    3. 15 Monitors
      1. 15.1 What kind of monitors are available?
        1. 15.1.1 Cathode ray tube monitors
        2. 15.1.2 Liquid crystal display monitors
        3. 15.1.3 Plasma screens
      2. 15.2 Lining up your monitor
        1. 15.2.1 An SMPTE line-up
        2. 15.2.2 Lining up using EBU bars
      3. 15.3 Using an exposure meter
      4. 15.4 Cabling your monitor
        1. 15.4.1 Single coaxial cables
        2. 15.4.2 Triple coaxial cables
        3. 15.4.3 Termination
        4. 15.4.4 Serial monitors
      5. 15.5 Best practice
    4. 16 Colour balance
      1. 16.1 White balance
      2. 16.2 What is white balance?
      3. 16.3 ND filters
      4. 16.4 A warning!
      5. 16.5 Setting the white balance using a white card
      6. 16.6 Setting the white balance using a coloured card
      7. 16.7 Setting the white balance under fluorescent lighting
      8. 16.8 The outer filter wheel
      9. 16.9 Black balance
    5. 17 Playback
      1. 17.1 Don’t use the camera for playback!
      2. 17.2 Using the Sony HDW F500 VTR
      3. 17.3 Using DV for playback
      4. 17.4 Using two DV recorders
      5. 17.5 Down-converters
        1. 17.5.1 The Evertz down-converter
        2. 17.5.2 The Miranda down-converter
      6. 17.6 Sound delay lines
      7. 17.7 Playback packages
    6. 18 Shipping
      1. 18.1 It’s not ENG!
      2. 18.2 Shipping lenses
      3. 18.3 Transit cases
      4. 18.4 Camera set-up when shipping
      5. 18.5 Size and weight
      6. 18.6 Batteries
    7. 19 Multi-camera shoots
      1. 19.1 Synchronization
      2. 19.2 Time code on location
        1. 19.2.1 Lock-it boxes
        2. 19.2.2 Script boy
      3. 19.3 Time code in a studio
        1. 19.3.1 Genlock
      4. 19.4 Menu set-ups
        1. 19.4.1 The Sony RM-B150
        2. 19.4.2 Using memory sticks
      5. 19.5 Matching lenses
    8. 20 Hazardous conditions
      1. 20.1 Resetting the trips
      2. 20.2 Water
      3. 20.3 Heat
      4. 20.4 Cold
      5. 20.5 Dust
      6. 20.6 Gamma rays
    9. 21 Camera supports
      1. 21.1 Fluid heads
      2. 21.2 Geared heads
      3. 21.3 Remote heads
      4. 21.4 Underwater
      5. 21.5 In the air
      6. 21.6 Motion control rigs
    10. 22 How HD affects other crafts
      1. 22.1 Art and design
      2. 22.2 Costume
      3. 22.3 Make-up and hair
      4. 22.4 Sound
      5. 22.5 Script supervision and continuity
      6. 22.6 The second assistant cameraperson or ex-clapper boy
  15. Part 5 Examples of Shoots
    1. 23 Some pictures that made it to HD – and why
      1. 23.1 The Children of Dune
        1. 23.1.1 Rushes requirements
        2. 23.1.2 An extended playback facility
        3. 23.1.3 The equipment list
      2. 23.2 Birthdays
        1. 23.2.1 The studio shoot
        2. 23.2.2 The location shoot
        3. 23.2.3 Exterior tracking shots
        4. 23.2.4 Interior lighting
        5. 23.2.5 Adding gain
        6. 23.2.6 Editing
        7. 23.2.7 Viewings
  16. Part 6 Post-Production
    1. 24 Post-production
      1. 24.1 Generations
      2. 24.2 How the choice of edit suite affects the generation game
      3. 24.3 The route to a film copy
      4. 24.4 Non-photographic distribution
        1. 24.4.1 An international standard
        2. 24.4.2 Where might it be shown?
      5. 24.5 Time code considerations
  17. Part 7 The Sony HDW F900 camera
    1. 25 The camera head
      1. 25.1 The infrared filter
      2. 25.2 The filter wheels
      3. 25.3 The beam splitter
      4. 25.4 The head amplifiers
    2. 26 Digital imaging
      1. 26.1 The history of digits
      2. 26.2 Colour depth
      3. 26.3 Resolution
      4. 26.4 Data quantity
    3. 27 Frame rates and scanning
      1. 27.1 Frame rates
      2. 27.2 Interlace scanning
      3. 27.3 Interlace motion artefacts
      4. 27.4 Progressive scan motion artefacts
      5. 27.5 Three/two pull-down
      6. 27.6 An argument for 30 fps
    4. 28 The on-board VTR
      1. 28.1 The HDCAM format
      2. 28.2 Helical scan
      3. 28.3 Mechanical considerations
      4. 28.4 The scanning drum
      5. 28.4.1 The drum lacing mechanism
      6. 28.5 Operational considerations
      7. 28.6 A jammed mechanism
  18. Part 8 A Selection of Other Cameras and Equipment
    1. 29 The Panavision HDW 900F and its system
      1. 29.1 External modifications
        1. 29.1.1 The top handle
        2. 29.1.2 The viewfinder support
        3. 29.1.3 The viewfinder
        4. 29.1.4 The camera front plate and lens mount
        5. 29.1.5 The camera base plate
        6. 29.1.6 The voltage distribution box
      2. 29.2 Internal modifications: the internal filter
      3. 29.3 Electronic modifications
        1. 29.3.1 Red amplification
        2. 29.3.2 Electronic definition enhancement
      4. 29.4 Why Panavision HD?
    2. 30 The Sony HDW F750/F730 HD camera
      1. 30.1 Frame rates
      2. 30.2 The camera body
      3. 30.3 Add-in boards etc.
      4. 30.4 Image control via the menus
        1. 30.4.1 Multi matrix
        2. 30.4.2 Auto tracing white balance
        3. 30.4.3 Colour temperature control
        4. 30.4.4 Selectable gamma curves
        5. 30.4.5 RGB gamma balance
        6. 30.4.6 Variable black gamma range
        7. 30.4.7 Black stretch
        8. 30.4.8 Adaptive highlight control (auto knee mode)
        9. 30.4.9 Knee saturation function
        10. 30.4.10 The triple skin tone detail control
        11. 30.4.11 Level depend detail
      5. 30.5 Meta-data handling
      6. 30.6 The Sony Tele-File system
      7. 30.7 The optional HD SDI adapter
      8. 30.8 An overview
    3. 31 The Thomson Viper HD camera
      1. 31.1 The camera body
      2. 31.2 Outputs from the camera
      3. 31.3 Recording a FilmStream signal
      4. 31.4 The director’s friend
      5. 31.5 The beam splitter
      6. 31.6 The Viper’s CCD array
      7. 31.7 The mechanical shutter
      8. 31.8 Frame rates
      9. 31.9 Resolution
      10. 31.10 The camera’s processor configuration
      11. 31.11 The camera back
      12. 31.12 The arguments for a logarithmic recording format
      13. 31.13 Lenses for the Viper
      14. 31.14 Monitors for the Viper
      15. 31.15 Camera accessories
      16. 31.16 Shipping the Viper
    4. 32 The Sony HDW F500 VTR
      1. 32.1 An overview
      2. 32.2 Editing and playback
      3. 32.3 Simultaneous playback
      4. 32.4 Slow motion replay
      5. 32.5 High speed picture search
      6. 32.6 Digital jog sound
      7. 32.7 Vertical interval time code (VITC) read/write
      8. 32.8 The control panel
      9. 32.9 Remote control
      10. 32.10 In/out capacity
      11. 32.11 Optional plug-in boards
      12. 32.12 Cassettes
      13. 32.13 Changing the frame rate
      14. 32.14 Available frame rates
      15. 32.15 Power supplies
    5. 33 The Sony HDW F900 menus
      1. 33.1 Using the menus
        1. 33.1.1 The layout of the menus
        2. 33.1.2 Using the menus – some warnings
      2. 33.2 The Operations Menu
        1. 33.2.1 VF DISPLAY page
        2. 33.2.2 ‘!’ IND page
        3. 33.2.3 MARKER page
        4. 33.2.3.1 MARKER
        5. 33.2.3.2 CENTER
        6. 33.2.3.3 SAFETY ZONE
        7. 33.2.3.4 EFFECT
        8. 33.2.3.5 ASPECT MODE
        9. 33.2.3.6 MASK
        10. 33.2.4 GAIN SW page
        11. 33.2.5 ZEBRA/VF DTL page
        12. 33.2.6 AUTO IRIS page
        13. 33.2.7 BATT ALARM page
        14. 33.2.8 OTHERS page
        15. 33.2.9 OPERATOR FILE page
        16. 33.2.10 LENS FILE page
      3. 33.3 The Paint Menu
        1. 33.3.1 SW STATUS page
        2. 33.3.2 VIDEO LEVEL page
        3. 33.3.3 GAMMA page
        4. 33.3.4 BLK GAMMA page
        5. 33.3.5 LOW KEY SAT page
        6. 33.3.6 KNEE page
        7. 33.3.7 DETAIL 1 page
        8. 33.3.8 DETAIL 2 page
        9. 33.3.9 SKIN DETAIL page
        10. 33.3.10 USER MATRIX page
        11. 33.3.11 MULTI MATRIX page
        12. 33.3.12 SHUTTER page
        13. 33.3.13 SCENE FILE page
      4. 33.4 The Maintenance, File and Diagnostic Menus
        1. 33.4.1 Page M7
  19. Index