Steve Yedlin, ASC Offers Unique Take on Image Prep

An image from Steve Yedlin, ASC’s 2015 Display Prep Demo.
An image from Steve Yedlin, ASC’s 2015 Display Prep Demo.

Cinematographer Steve Yedlin, ASC has released a short primer for filmmakers on strategic approaches to strengthening their photographic authorship across the image chain. The document, entitled On Color Science, is a follow-up to the 7-minute Display Prep Demo he released last year, mastered for both theatrical and consumer formats.

Steve Yedlin, ASC
Steve Yedlin, ASC

The new text is available at

The Demo was presented at Camerimage 2015 and to the French Association of Directors of Photography in Paris in January 2016. It is available at

Yedin is best known for his long-time collaboration with director Rian Johnson, for whom he has photographed Brick (2005), Brothers Bloom (2008), Looper (2012) and the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII.

His new primer aims to inspire more direct engagement by filmmakers with the algorithms that define their photographic look and to illuminate the often uncredited contribution to cinematic artistry of such mathematical transformations.

Yedlin was motivated to write the primer after receiving an influx of inquiries about the Demo, which enjoyed a localized flurry of social media attention in January when Johnson made a series of posts about it on Twitter. At that time, the Demo was usually circulated along with the text of a discussion between Yedlin and filmmaker Mario Carvalhal, which Johnson called “an amazing dialog” in the tweets.

The Yedlin/Carvalhal dialog is available at and the Johnson Twitter episode was chronicled by Todd Vaziri here:

While the new On Color Science primer expands substantially on the underpinnings of the Demo and the Carvalhal dialog, it attempts to remain widely accessible by avoiding procedural details. Yedlin says he hopes the text “can be an inspiration to filmmakers: a reminder that we can be authors instead of shoppers.”

Johnson called it “a lighthouse in the current stormy state of motion picture imaging.”


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