ASC Technology Committee Progress Report 2007

Report Authors
Curtis Clark, ASC; David Reisner; Dave Stump, ASC; Lou Levinson; Joshua Pines; Gary Demos; Ana Benitez; Marty Olistein; Glenn
Kennel; Alan Hart; Don Eklund 

ASC Technology Committee Officers  

Chair: Curtis Clark, ASC
Steering Committee Chair: Daryn Okada, ASC
Vice-Chair: Richard Edlund, ASC
Vice-Chair: Steven Poster, ASC
Secretary: David Reisner

Throughout its illustrious 88-year history, the American Society of
Cinematographers has been the primary place where the art and technology
of the cinematographic process meet. Since its inception, the ASC has
consistently worked with the motion picture industry to advance state-of-the-art
filmmaking and to share the knowledge gained for the benefit of our industry.

Since its formation in January 2003, the ASC Technology Committee
has included leading cinematographers, motion picture technologists,
manufacturers, service providers, studio-production and post-production
representatives, as well as production designers, editors, and producers to help
identify, understand, and find solutions that address filmmakers' needs and
enable them to better practice their art and craft of motion picture production
in this era of radical technological transformation. The ASC Technology
Committee works in collaboration with the Art Directors Guild Technology
Committee, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Science and
Technology Council, the Producers Guild of America Motion Picture Technology
Council, and the Fraunhoffer Institute for Integrated Circuits.

Since our 2006 Progress Report for SMPTE, the ASC Technology Committee
has been increasingly active on the frontline of a range of technology
developments as described in our Subcommittee reports detailed below.
The following summary of key activities demonstrates our Technology
Committee's central focus on viewing the various technology developments
as interdependent components that are integral to workflow deployment. The
success of their deployment can only be ultimately evaluated as a function of their ability to facilitate more effective and efficient production and post-
production workflow implementations.

The ASC COL (Color Decision List), which our prolifically energetic Digital
Intermediate Subcommittee has been developing over the past two years,
has achieved broad support from vendors of both software and hardware-
based systems, along with broad support from service providers. The ASC
COL enables primary color corrections to be exchanged between different
applications and facilities running on different platforms. The ASC COL
incorporates color correction data interchange via XML, CMX, ALE, and FLEx. 

The official release version 1.0 of the ASC COL spec is scheduled to be published
for open implementation by the end of June 2007.

Our Advanced Imaging Subcommittee has continued its important research work
on the characteristics of trichromatic-three primary-color systems, like RGB
and X'Y'Z'. It has recently tackled the challenging task of evaluating the quality
and consistency of color reproduction between different vendor models of plasma,
LCD, and DLP high-definition monitors.

Our Digital Display Subcommittee is incorporating the important work done by
the Advanced Imaging Subcommittee into its practical task of mapping the color
calibration of digital displays for production and post-production, including both
monitors and projectors while defining the display requirements for each step in
the workflow process from pre-visualization to dailies, previews, 01 and final film,
digital, and home video deliverables.

Our new Non-Theatrical Display Subcommittee is investigating image reproduction
issues pertaining to the new array of HD consumer flat panel displays (plasma,
LCD, DLP), as well as evaluating Blu-ray and HD-DVD input sources generated
from HD masters.

Our Metadata Subcommittee has been specifying requirements and proposing
recommendations for interoperable metadata exchange in motion picture workflow
and defining the essential metadata language suitable for cinematographers and
other production artists. It is working closely with AMPAS Sci-Tech Council in
pursuing these objectives and its work is being coordinated with the SMPTE RP
210 metadata initiative.

Our Camera Sub-committee has continued to refine the proposed Camera
Assessment Series (CAS), which is being closely coordinated with the work done
by AMPAS Sci-Tech Council. It is also continuing to define vital cinematographer
user requirements that are influencing design specs for the new generation of
digital motion picture cameras.

Our Workflow Subcommittee is closely collaborating with the Camera Sub-
committee in planning the ASC component of the CAS shoot and also establishing
workflow implementation for the results. In addition, members from the Producers
Guild Workflow Committee will assist in producing and coordinating the shoot. The
ADG Technology Committee is collaborating on the CAS project by providing art
direction. An important objective of our Workflow Subcommittee is to establish best
practice recommendations and guidelines for practical workflow implementation.

Our Digital Preservation Subcommittee continues to explore the immensely
challenging options being proposed for archiving and preservation.

During the past year, our Technology Committee has embarked on groundbreaking
publication projects, including a three-part series of special supplements for the
American Cinematographer magazine in conjunction with the Art Directors Guild
Technology Committee, which explores the impact digital imaging technologies are having on the creative collaboration process between the cinematographer,
production designer, visual effects supervisor, and the directors with whom they
work. Also, our new Digital Primer project is being readied for publication.

Looking forward our Technology Committee is planning two new Subcommittees
that will address two increasingly prevalent and important additions to digital
motion picture workflow: pre-visualization (both 2-D and 3-D) and 3-D stereoscopic
production .