Buy, Sell Or Hold?

Has the 3D road run its course?

A few years ago, I attended a 3D conference where DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg delivered a keynote speech in which he declared the latest incarnation of digital 3D to be as revolutionary to motion pictures as the advent of sound and color. Whether or not you agree with this viewpoint, one thing for sure is that 3D HD has come a long way... Read more

The Death Of The HD DSLR?

Not a chance!

In the past few issues of HDVP, we’ve showcased the latest large-sensor camcorders that many experts are calling HD DSLR killers. Camcorders like the Panasonic AG-AF100 and Sony NEX-FS100U contain large-sized CMOS sensors like HD DSLRs, but unlike them, they contain professional LCD/viewfinders for monitoring and can record pro-quality sound,... Read more

The Director Of Sound

For indie film, sound is usually the first department that’s overlooked

It’s perhaps surprising how often sound management is overlooked during independent and low-budget productions. Of course, if the funding and/or head count is limited, then a designated director of sound (DS)—the audio equivalent of the more familiar director of photography or cinematographer, who oversees lighting and camera—seems like an inevitable... Read more

Keep It In Neutral

Are variable ND filters the best solution for movies?

“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Ben Parker to his nephew Peter Parker, aka SpiderMan. This often-quoted line also can be attributed to the current slate of large CMOS sensors being implemented in the latest HD DSLR cameras. Even though we have these big sensors that can capture cinematic-looking images, there are new technical... Read more

Clean Pictures

What are native ISOs, and do they really exist?

A topic that’s frequently being discussed on HD DSLR blogs and workshops is native ISOs. In photography, ISO is the current standard for measuring film speed, and it’s drawn from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). For digital camera systems, a color image file will assign an ISO setting that will have the same light value... Read more

To Light Or Not To Light

That is the question

As have cameras, lighting gear and techniques have changed through-out the history of moviemaking. In the silent days of cinema, cinematographers rolled extremely slow film stocks on large hand-cranked movie cameras. To light interior scenes, the crew had to make do with gigantic arc lamps that took more than one person to move and could easily fry... Read more

Baked Goods

Fixing it in post isn’t always your best option, especially with H.264

“Let’s just fix it in post” is a statement often heard on sets these days. With nearly all 35mm films going to DI and most high-end digital systems capturing in RAW, a cinematographer will take the occasional shortcut, knowing full well that he or she can make fine adjustments in post. But what if you’re shooting with a non-RAW codec or a highly... Read more

Image Control

An introduction to waveform monitors and why they’re essential

Myth: Once you have a waveform, you’re safe. NOT! In past issues, I’ve talked about luma signals (the brightness component of electronic images) and color-difference components (the color information without the brightness—a strange concept for many of us). I’ve mentioned the transcoding equations that allow us to convert between the red, green... Read more

Clean Machine

Does it take a big machine to play back live HD?

In my last column, I described the process of getting clips in many different formats onto a single timeline for playback in a live show. The event was an awards presentation for a film festival and involved live announcers, playback of the above-mentioned clips, static graphics and previously edited segments. In the past, I’ve used a multiprocessor... Read more


Since the days of analog vidoe, metadata has come a long way

Myth: Metadata is a new concept. In today’s digital video world, video data and sometimes audio data are necessary elements of a video clip, but many other pieces of information can make that clip more useful, easier to manipulate, and ultimately, more valuable over the life of the clip. Every collected piece of video data has a useful life; sometimes... Read more