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Histograms for Dummies & Experts

Get the basics as well as in depth on the Histogram – one of the most often used tools for judging exposure and color cast in digital filmmaking.

Histogram

What is a Histogram?

The histogram is a representation of the number of pixels at a specific brightness indicated by the height of the line scaling from dark pixels on the left (shadows) through all the brightness levels (mid-tones) to bright pixels on the right (highlights).

The histogram is usually computed after color interpolation and the gamma/ISO curve is applied to the image so it represents what appears on the monitor.

When you change your ISO – the histogram will change it’s representation – even though what the camera records will be the same.

On Scarlet/Epic-MX/Epic Dragon – when in RAW view – the cameras monitor paths and histogram are now* locked to ISO 800. RED could (and hopefully will) optimize how the histogram is mapped when in RAW view as the RAW view’s purpose is to try to give the most unprocessed representation of what the camera is capturing – which is a bit of a challenge since the camera is capturing and recording linear light.

* In DSMC firmware builds v5.1.47 and later – RED has re-calibrated the RAW view mode to RLF (REDlogfilm), RC2 (REDcolor2), 5600K, 800 ISO, 0 TINT.

Can you describe it more technically?

To generate a histogram the camera looks at each pixel in the image and increases a counter in a list from 0 (Black) to 4096 (bright) corresponding to the brightness.

The values in this list are then normalized by the maximum value to the display height and width and drawn from dark (left) to bright (right) using the value in the list to draw the height of the line.

Off Hollywood Reporter | Read the Full Article

Loving The Alien. The Shooting Of ‘Under The Skin’

Take a Hollywood starlet and get her to drive around the streets of Glasgow in a black wig and a van with eight hidden cameras inside talking to real people and asking them to climb aboard. No not a new reality programme but a new movie from Jonathan Glazer.

The film’s camera style is all ‘about witnessing’,” says  Under The Skin Director Jonathan Glazer. “The camera’s not excited. You know. This allows the alien to witness things we do and watching her reaction to those things.” If you were the DoP of this movie you might think this type of comment could limit your own vision of the movie. 

As it turned out the ‘witnessing’ took the form of eight specially designed cameras hidden in a van to covertly capture conversation between the star Scarlett Johanssen and unsuspecting man she picks up. The One-cam (see the box out for more details) shot a third of the movie and had to knit cinematically with the current favourite choice of movie makers, the Arri Alexa.

Dirty Looks, the London colour grading studio specialising in Baselight grading for independent movies, carried out the finish of Under the Skin. Visual effects were completed by Dirty Looks’ creative partner, One of Us; sharing the same building made collaboration even easier to realise the director’s vision.

Definition Magazine | Read the Full Article

under-the-skin

Adapting a Book Into a Screenplay

Daniel Manus looks at what it takes to adapt a novel into a sellable screenplay.

Adapting a Screenplay

Writing novels and writing screenplays require two very different skill sets, both learnable with time and practice. And with the flourishing amount of books turned into films these days, it’s something you should probably look into.

Before you try adapting a book into a screenplay – your own book or someone else’s – you need to know the difference between the markets.

First, online estimates say there are over 250,000 books published every year worldwide. In contrast, there are only about 270 movies released every year domestically, and much fewer scripts actually sold (and FAR fewer sold for real money). So, just using those numbers, it is about ONE THOUSAND times more difficult to sell a screenplay than to get a book published – and quite frankly, it’s probably even harder than that.

The book market is widespread and has many niches. There are hundreds of publishers and each have a different type of project they’d like to publish. There are only 7 studios and they all want exactly the same thing. Most books just aren’t adaptable – or rather – they SHOULDN’T be adapted. Most people’s true stories AREN’T cinematically interesting or commercial. You have to be realistic about your material and realize if that biography about the man who created the soybean you wrote – is really commercial or visual or cinematic enough to be worthy of an adaptation (it isn’t). Novels can be 200-500 pages while screenplays are usually 85-130 pages. Therefore, novels can give a much more detailed, intricate description and explanation about stories, settings and characters and really explore – in words – what the characters are thinking, imagining, pondering, remembering, feeling, etc.

ScriptMag | Read the Full Article

Do Film Buffs Make Better Filmmakers?

Martin Scorsese, Quinton Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Jim Jarmusch, Chris Nolan, Michael Haneke, Win Wenders, Jean Luc Godard etc. all film buffs, but does it have anything to do with their success?

Film Buffs

As pointless of a question it may seem, it is one that has been roaming around several cinephile circuits for a while now and one I have been contemplating myself.

I think the more practical question would be “what advantages would a film buff have that a casual enthusiast wouldn’t?”

Obviously an awareness of a mediums history would be beneficial in all crafts, even if the reimbursements are hedonistic. However you could assume one of the most effective conducts that help comprehend the functionality of cinematic technique, is to understand why the techniques were used in the first place.

It could be compared to how contemporary biologists, geneticists and palaeontologists research into the evolutionary history of the natural world. They attempt to understand an organism or a specific biological function by outlining how it reached its status in the first place. Natural selection and cinema are very similar in regards to their gradual trial and error practises (techniques that worked, continued and the ones that did not fell into extinction). Of course this is an over simplification of both natural selection and cinema, but what should be taken from this is the notion that to gain a better understanding you must be aware of the experiments of the past.

I believe the reason most dialogue sequences shares resemblances (the over the shoulder sequences is a prime example) is a result of film-makers adhering to a contemporary convention. It is not about the effect over the shoulder sequences create, but an act of conforming to a film making consensus. How can cinema be fully utilised and evolve if film-makers are not conscious of their own techniques effects?

As pointless of a question it may seem, it is one that has been roaming around several cinephile circuits for a while now and one I have been contemplating myself.

I think the more practical question would be “what advantages would a film buff have that a casual enthusiast wouldn’t?”

Obviously an awareness of a mediums history would be beneficial in all crafts, even if the reimbursements are hedonistic. However you could assume one of the most effective conducts that help comprehend the functionality of cinematic technique, is to understand why the techniques were used in the first place.

It could be compared to how contemporary biologists, geneticists and palaeontologists research into the evolutionary history of the natural world. They attempt to understand an organism or a specific biological function by outlining how it reached its status in the first place. Natural selection and cinema are very similar in regards to their gradual trial and error practises (techniques that worked, continued and the ones that did not fell into extinction). Of course this is an over simplification of both natural selection and cinema, but what should be taken from this is the notion that to gain a better understanding you must be aware of the experiments of the past.

I believe the reason most dialogue sequences shares resemblances (the over the shoulder sequences is a prime example) is a result of film-makers adhering to a contemporary convention. It is not about the effect over the shoulder sequences create, but an act of conforming to a film making consensus. How can cinema be fully utilised and evolve if film-makers are not conscious of their own techniques effects?

Black Country Cinema | Read the Full Article

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