ASC, PGA Test Sony F65, Canon EOS C300 at Warners

8:11 PM PST 03/24/2012 by Carolyn Giardina
Industry professionals receive training on the Sony F65 earlier this year.

Assessment Series, shot at Warner Bros., also examines digital cinematography cameras including ARRI Alexa Studio, Red Epic and Sony F3.

Participants from the Producers Guild, American Society of Cinematographers and all aspects of the production community converged on the Warner Bros. lot on Saturday, for the first of a two-day shoot for a project dubbed the "Image Control Assessment Series."

Organized by the ASC and PGA, this large industry effort was started to examine the latest digital cinematography cameras and the related digital workflows. This will incorporate the use of AMPAS’ developing Academy Color Encoding Specification (ACES), which is aimed at maintaining consistent color throughout production.

Over this weekend, the group will test five of the latest digital cinematography cameras—ARRI’s Alexa Studio, Canon’s C300, Red’s Epic, Sony’s PMW-F3 and Sony’s F65—as well as an ARRI 435 film camera.

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On Saturday, each was used to shoot an identical scene, set in a diner during the ‘40s. The group is scheduled to shoot an outdoor night scene called ‘Cinema Italiano’ on Sunday, using each of the same six cameras.

With the support of IA, DGA and the Teamsters, all participants volunteered their time in the industry-wide effort.

“We are taking our future in our hands and pushing (the technology) forward,” said David Stump, chair of the ASC Technology Committee’s camera sub-committee. “(For the cinematographers), it is partly about learning about each individual camera. We are also interested in propelling adoption of the ACES workflow."

Revelations Entertainment co-founder Lori McCreary, who is founder of the motion picture technology council and a board member of the PGA, explained that for producers, this series explores if  “we can vet and come together as an industry with a unified workflow from camera capture through post, DVD and Blu-Ray. It will help me as a producer to manage a film.”

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She told The Hollywood Reporter:  “I think only through efforts like this, where everyone is looking at the bigger picture, can we really move the industry forward in a way that benefits everyone.”

This is the second time the organizations got together for such an initiative. In 2009, a ‘Camera Assessment Series' shoot was organized by the PGA and ASC on the Universal lot, including setups at Jaws Lake and Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane sets. There, the group tested the ARRI D21, Panasonic HPX3700, Sony F23, Sony F35, Panavision Genesis, Thomson Viper, Red One, and the ARRI 435 film camera.

After this weekend, the new series will proceed to postproduction. It is scheduled to premiere June 9 at the PGA’s Produced By conference.

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