1st Edition

The Filmmaker’s Guide to Digital Imaging for Cinematographers, Digital Imaging Technicians, and Camera Assistants

By Blain Brown Copyright 2015
    310 Pages
    by Routledge

    310 Pages
    by Routledge

    It’s a whole new world for cinematographers, camera assistants, and postproduction artists. New equipment, new methods, and new technologies have to be learned and mastered. New roles such as that of the DIT (Digital Imaging Technician), Digital Loader, and Data Manager are integral to today’s motion picture production process. Take your mastery of these new tools, techniques, and roles to the next level with this cutting-edge roadmap from esteemed author and filmmaker Blain Brown.

    The Filmmaker’s Guide to Digital Imaging covers both the theory and the practice, featuring full-color, in-depth coverage of essential terminology, technology, and industry-standard best-practices. Brown covers new industry-wide production standards such as ASC-CDL and the ACES workflow. Interviews with professional cinematographers and DITs working on Hollywood productions equip you with knowledge that is essential if you want to work in today’s motion picture industry, whether as a cinematographer, DIT, Digital Loader, Data Manager, camera assistant, editor, or VFX artist.

    Topics include:

    • Digital sensors and cameras
    • The structure of digital images
    • Waveform monitors, vectorscopes, and test charts
    • Using linear, gamma, and log encoded video files
    • Exposure techniques for HD and UltraHD
    • Understanding digital color
    • Codecs and file formats
    • The DIT cart
    • Downloading, ingesting, and managing video files
    • Workflow from camera to DIT cart to post
    • Using metadata and timecode

    The companion website (www.focalpress.com/cw/brown) features additional material, including demonstrations and interviews with experienced DITs and cinematographers.

    Introduction Sensors Cameras The Digital Image Measurement Linear, Gamma, Log Exposure Digital Color Codecs Formats Image Control The DIT Cart Data Management Workflow ACES Metadata Timecode Acknowledgements


    Blain Brown is a cinematographer, director and writer based in Los Angeles. He has been the director of photography on features, commercials, music videos, industrials and other types of projects. He has directed and edited features and commercials, worked as a producer and has had three screenplays produced. Educated at Long Island University, Harvard Graduate School of Design and M.I.T, he was a commercial still photographer in New York before getting into film production, which he has been doing for 26 years, starting as an electrician, gaffer, and grip and then as a cinematographer, director, writer, and producer. His previous books include:

    • Cinematography: Theory and Practice
    • Motion Picture and Video Lighting
    • The Filmmakers Pocket Reference

    "It's been a painful transition from film to digital for many cinematographers. Brown takes the mystery out of it and presents the technical aspects of this change seamlessly. It is, after all, about art!"

    - Judy Irola, ASC, Conrad Hall Chair in Cinematography and Color Timing, USC School of Cinematic Arts

    "As a practicing cinematographer who also teaches, I consider The Filmmaker’s Guide to Digital Imaging essential reading for my students. Blain Brown demystifies the technical processes of digital cinematography from the most basic to the more complex. Given the recent rapid development in this field, working professionals too will find this is a must-have guide. I'm one of them." 

    - Anthony Jannelli, Head of Graduate Cinematography, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

    "Read this book and not only will you know what photons do, you’ll be able to make them dance to your tune. Whether you are a working cinematographer, camera assistant, or postproduction artist, or if want to pursue one of these careers, you will learn both theory and practical techniques in these pages."

    - Leo Sopicki, Blogcritics.org