The DI, Luddites and Other Musings

This article was written for the American Cinematographer magazine, Oct. 2008, in response to an opinion previously published in this magazine on the DI process.

As a film-school student, I sought any and all information I could gather from everywhere and anywhere. American Cinematographer was a primary authority because the information in its pages came through the patronage of the American Society of Cinematographers. It is the same today.

From my many sources, I learned a lens operated to its best advantage at an aperture of T4-5.6. I learned lighting involved the use of a keylight, a backlight, a fill light, an eyelight and something referred to as a kicker. I learned my negative needed to be meticulously exposed so as to print at a mid-light of 25, and that a true cinematographer used Brute Arcs to light a set and a geared head (operated by a specialist) to achieve smooth camera-panning shots.

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