March 2013 Meeting

SMPTE Philadelphia Section Meeting Notice

March 12th, 2013

NFL Films
Mount Laurel, NJ

Bob Collom – Operations Manager, NFL Films


Theme: Electronic Cinematography

As digital cameras improve, they are finding more frequent use in motion picture production. This month, we will compare single large sensor cameras and learn about the color grading process that takes place in post.

Presentation 1: Single Chip Camera Evaluation

The Great Camera Shootout of 2011 started as a whim and ended as a monster project involving a staggering 772 people. Robert Primes ASC administered a comprehensive set of tests to single chip cameras readily available in Hollywood in 2011. Primes insisted on complete autonomy and that the evaluation results be freely available to the public.

Primes gathered together elite Hollywood cinematographers Stephen Lighthill ASC, Nancy Schreiber ASC and Matt Siegel. 35mm film was pitted against 11 of the most interesting single chip digital cine cameras available at the time. The cameras were compared for sharpness, low light sensitivity, exposure latitude, color, compression, skin tones and motion artifacts.

The test procedures and results are depicted in three half hour programs. Objective charts and subjective images are shown, with clear explanations that will interest both the devotee and the casual observer. We viewed two of the programs.

Presenter: Steven Tadzynski, Laurel Video Productions



Presentation 2: Color grading of digital cine footage

Wikipedia defines color grading as the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, video image, or still image either electronically, photo-chemically or digitally.

Some of the main functions of digital color grading are to reproduce accurately what was shot, compensate for variations in the material (i.e., film errors, white balance, varying lighting conditions), establish a desired ‘look’, or to enhance or alter the mood of a scene.

In electronic cinematography, the camera can output a signal that has not been compressed or pre-processed, i.e., “raw”. This allows for the adjustment of color, luminance and other aspects afterwards. We saw an example of footage that switches back and forth between raw and graded scenes. Rob Giglio discussed the art and science of color grading, then provided demonstrations in his color suite.

Presenter: Rob Giglio, Senior Colorist, NFL Films

Tours of NFL Films were given.

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