Digital Intermediates for Film and Video  book cover
1st Edition

Digital Intermediates for Film and Video

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ISBN 9780240807027
Published October 19, 2005 by Routledge
566 Pages

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Book Description

The Digital Intermediate process (DI), or conversion of film to digital bits and then back to film again, has great potential to revolutionize the postproduction process. The skill set to photochemically process a movie and pop it into a canister for the postal service to send around to all of the movie houses and the skill set to digitally master and create a file that is distributed globally via the Internet and satellites are completely different. One of these entirely new processes is that of the digital intermediate. The DI has tremendous advantages, ranging from improved quality (first "print" is as good as the last) to cost savings (no re-mastering) to digital distribution (bits and bytes: no film in canisters). The DI influences everything from on set production to the delivery of content to consumers and everything in between.

Digital Intermediates for Film and Video teaches the fundamental concepts and workflow of the digital intermediate process. Covers basics of film first, and then introduces the digital world--including a tutorial on digital images, asset management, online editing, color correction, restoration, film and video output, mastering and quality control.

Jack's clear and easy-to-follow explainiation of Hollywood buzz words and components facilitates the spill over to anyone who has a vested interest in the quality and cost of the movie.

Table of Contents

The Digital Intermediate Paradigm; Video; Photographic Film; Digital Media; Acquisition; Asset Management; Conforming; Color Grading; Retouching and Restoration; Digital Effects and Titles; Output; Quality Control; The Future of Digital Film; Virtual Cinematography; Appx A: References; Glossary; Bibliography, Index

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After working for some time in the field of computer animation, Jack went to work for Kodak's brand-new Cinesite Digital Lab. It was the first of its kind anywhere in the world, the aim being to reproduce all laboratory processes in the digital domain. It remains one of the leading post-production houses that uses digital intermediates. While at Cinesite, Jack worked on HBO's "Band of Brothers," which incorporated 10 hours of finished film, all to be scanned, edited and finished digitally. He was a member of the team that established and designed procedures and protocols which later became industry-standard. His core expertise is in establishing workflows of data management, film restoration, and conforming (making sure the final edit matches exactly what the editor of a film has cut--procedures which have widely been adopted elsewhere. Since leaving Cinesite, Jack has worked on the digital intermediates of many feature films including Miramax's "Cold Mountain."


Though he's contributed to such films as Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto, Fernando Meirelles' The Constant Gardener and Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain, it was his pioneering work on the Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" that brought visual effects artist James Jack to the forefront of his craft. The 10-episode drama pioneered the debut of a new form of technology, one that would change the quality of broadcast film and video forever: The digital intermediate process.

As James describes it, the digital intermediate (or DI) process is essentially an extremely advanced version of Adobe Photoshop. As with Photoshop, it is the process of taking an image from an original source (a piece of film, digital image, or even a paper printout), inputting it into your digital system (either by scanning or copying the file), making changes to the image and then outputting it. Sounds simple, right? That's because of James' ability to break the process down into laymen's terms and explain how DI can be used with any format and on any budget. It's a rare techie out can make the whole moviemaking process easy to understand, but James is one of the chosen few - and it's this talent that makes his book worthwhile.

Lily Percy & Jennifer M. Wood
- MovieMaker Magazine