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"Digital Cinema Solutions"
The making of a documentary
by James Mathers

I've been around this business for more years than I sometimes like to admit. A lot has changed in our industry and in the world over those years, but the motion picture camera is pretty much the same as the kind I grew up with. Sure, we now have zoom lenses and Steadicam, and there have been great refinements in motion picture film stocks, but for better or worse the photochemical process has remained relatively unchanged. Now, quite suddenly it seems, we are deluged with a flood of new digital tools and techniques that are available to help us tell our stories. With top Filmmakers and major studios, as well as many up and coming independents venturing to use these for cinematic image acquisition, there has been a tremendous interest generated in this area. In an effort to keep up with it all, many of us eager to stay on the cutting edge of technology have been looking for all the information we can absorb; and I would venture to say that is the reason you are now reading this website.

This thirst for information led me to propose a documentary to try to objectively explore the whole world of production and post. I wanted to cut through all the hype and sales pitches to cull the information we all need to make informed decisions about shooting digital. In order to get the straight answers, I decided to interview fellow filmmakers who had actually been through this process for both feature and television production: Producers, Directors, Production Managers, Cinematographers, and Editors. I also wanted to speak to representatives of labs and rental houses but with particular care not to favor any one brand or format over another.

James Mathers with Allen Daviau, ASC.

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