The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry
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Star Trek
CAS Part 1
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ASC Close-Up
DVD Playback
“I think all the tests are going to be valuable, but mine was kind of brutal, and I’m happy about that,” he adds.


Although every test was designed to challenge the cameras in various ways, the object was not to “break” them. Clark notes that during post at LaserPacific, where color correction was done on an Autodesk Lustre by Mike Sowa, every effort was made to give the cameras the chance to look their best. “If we have to give a camera more time in post, we’ll do that, but all of that work will be documented,” says Clark.

Stump says close attention will be paid to what it takes for the material to fit well into the standardized workflow established for the tests. “That’s a really effective learning scenario: how do we fit this square peg into the lab’s round hole? I’m trying to listen through the wall into the projection booth and into the machine room and throughout the halls of LaserPacific as they chase what kind of signal we’ve brought them from any particular camera!”

He adds that it isn’t only the potential users of these cameras who are learning from the tests. “The manufacturers who participated are learning as much about the workflows as we are,” he says. “Few of them have had the opportunity to chase one of their shoots all the way through to a finished piece of film. I think we’re going to see a lot of modifications and upgrades come from this testing.”

Clark says he hopes the tests will make filmmakers more aware of how critical the overall workflow is. “Making a film isn’t just about picking a camera and shooting,” he says. “How are you going to finish it? Is it going to end up as a compromise that you didn’t anticipate but have to live with? The important thing is to make an informed choice when you pick your camera. Then, you can apply your aesthetic.”

Given that digital technologies are constantly evolving, McCreary says she hopes the Camera-Assessment Series will be an ongoing process rather than a one-off event. “You eat an elephant one bite at a time,” she says.

A report about the CAS test results will be published in our September issue.


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