ICG President Steven Poster Urges Color Management Development

International Cinematographers Guild president and director of photography Steven Poster urged the production industry to develop a color management system for use from principal photography to home entertainment deliverables, Thursday at the Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat in Palm Springs.

Today a plethora of digital cameras, formats, and postproduction systems have complicated the ability of filmmakers to maintain consistent color. “An end to end, device independent color management system that delivers nearly a transparent process to the artist is the Holy Grail,” Poster said.

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“As an industry we need to develop a process, just like Digital Cinema Initiatives (the industry consortium that developed the digital cinema specification), to truly define what it takes as a business model to deliver from the set those components that we all need to make the movies, television shows and TV commercials that are the life blood of our industry.”

Poster suggested that such a development effort involve the studios and key industry organizations.

“I can see that it is really a possibility,” he said, acknowledging that today there are complex and nonstandardized technology options available. “As a director of photography, I’m hired to deliver a photographic style that helps the director tell the story. Delivery means initiating a data flow that begins at the camera’s sensor and continues thought post to the motion picture or television screen and then onto Blu-Ray, DVD and Netflix as it travels toward the studio’s archives. This data stream, flowing from the camera, should be optimized in ways that serve everyone who has an interest in the frame—which is just about everyone.”

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During the session, Poster reported that the ICG will offer training on Sony’s new F65 4K digital camera and the related workflow methods. The F65 began shipping in January and has had an enthusiastic response from the production industry.

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