Insights From 'American Cinematographer' Magazine - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 10-18-2014, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Insights From 'American Cinematographer' Magazine

I have been subscribing to 'American Cinematographer' for several years now. It has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation of how cinematic images are envisioned, produced, and communicated. The October issue may be the best one I've read thus far. It is dedicated to the late Gordon Willis, ASC, best known as the Director of Photography (aka: DP, or cinematographer) for 'The Godfather' trilogy, many of Woody Allen's movies, and many others. Included are brief comments from motion imaging professionals who knew and worked with Mr. Willis over his illustrious career. One such comment deals with an issue periodically discussed in this section of the forum. Just how involved are cinematographers in the final stages of approval for optical disc versions of their work?

From pages 56 and 57:

"Garrett Smith (ASC associate; former vice president of digital mastering operations at Paramount Pictures):
Through the Nineties we did the three Godfather films a couple times- standard def and then HD- and we also did the DVD of The Parallax View. He didn't like L.A. and Paramount wasn't going to send me to Massachusetts where he lived, so we worked out ways for him to watch a version of something on his TV at home and communicate his ideas to me by phone or, later, by email.
We would make different versions, on tape or later laser disc and eventually on DVD, and ship them to his house where he could watch on a well-calibrated TV. He would look at the different elements and different versions of what my colorist had done in telecine and tell me what he thought. He'd sit there in his office in film terminology. 'I need a point of density.' And I would then translate that into telecine terms: lift, gamma, gain and chroma. For Godfather III, he saw a version that he liked, but he said, 'There's just a little too much ink on the rollers.' I did another pass with a little bit less saturation and he was happy with that. In the nineties nobody used the term 'look-up table,' but I was a human look-up table. That's how we communicated...."

Single issues can be acquired at: www.theasc.com. I highly recommend this October, 2014, issue, for cinephiles and imaging excellence advocates.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.
A Lion AV Consultants affiliate

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
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post #2 of 2 Old 10-18-2014, 01:26 PM
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Cool. ...Thx for sharing.
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