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Real-World Advice Will Highlight DP Workshop

It’s one thing to stop by a booth, talk to the manufacturer of a product and try to decide if it’s the right one for your broadcasting operation back home.

(click thumbnail)Ben KozuchIt’s one thing to stop by a booth, talk to the manufacturer of a product and try to decide if it’s the right one for your broadcasting operation back home.

It’s an entirely different experience to spend some time examining the product, listen to a real-world user discuss the uses of it and then make an informed decision.

The two-day Director of Photography Workshop, Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15, will offer the latter through an intensive series of sessions designed for professional directors of photography (DP) and assistant camera operators.

Conducted by top industry directors of photography, the workshop will cover hands-on information about today’s leading HD cameras as well as cutting-edge technologies such as tapeless recording using both disk drives and card-based solid-state media.


“We offered some camera sessions as part of last year’s Post Production World Conference,” said Ben Kozuch, owner of Future Media Concepts and conference chair. “They proved so popular that this year we decided to introduce a whole workshop dedicated to providing an in-depth look at the leading HD cameras being used by today’s top directors of photography.”

The workshop will focus on two main topics: the cameras themselves and everything associated with them needed to get the most out of their performance including recording, monitoring and calibrating.

“Of course you can see these cameras on the show floor, but these workshops will provide an hour-and-a-half discussion of individual cameras conducted by professionals who are actually using them on real-world productions,” Kozuch said. “Instead of hearing a sales pitch from the manufacturers, these working DPs will be able to provide an objective view about why they are using a particular camera and relate the tips and tricks they have learned to maximize its performance in the field.”

This weekend conference will help attendees who are considering purchasing one of these cameras by giving them an opportunity to compare and contrast significant features of the leading models before the exhibition floor opens.

In addition, the discussion of new recording and monitoring options will help integrate these cameras into practical production workflows that are currently being adopted on sets around the world.


One director of photography, Steven G. Fracol, SOC, who is the owner of New Vision Pictures Inc., has 21 years behind the lens of film/HD cameras as both a cinematographer and Steadicam operator. He will host the 11:45 a.m. Sunday session, “Exploring Field Production with Panasonic HD,” providing an overview of cameras from Panasonic, including the popular VariCam.

“During that session, we’ll be discussing nuts-and-bolts issues including overcranking and undercranking, speed, motion and shutter settings, and how the camera works best with its recommend settings for both film and video,” Fracol said.

Fracol will also be involved with two other sessions. One is Sunday’s 9 a.m. exploration of “Steadicam Techniques for HD Production,” during which he will explain what a DP should expect from a Steadicam operator.

He will look at understanding HD-SDI, the ability to work with RGB and other topics, such as format downconversion, that an operator should know. He will also participate in the “DP’s Roundtable” panel discussion that will cap Sunday’s schedule.

“Everybody in our business would like to be able to take a simple little pill that would let them fully understand HD,” Fracol said. “But what we are really faced with is an arsenal of tools that people need to absorb in order to get the best performance out of high-definition production. Increasingly, directors of photography need to understand the whole HD workflow in advance to best meet the needs of today’s producers.”


Attendees to the Director of Photography Workshop will also be able to hear the two keynote speakers from the Post Production World Conference who will discuss the creative challenges of HD from the post-production point of view.

On Saturday at 10:30 a.m., Steven Rosenblum, A.C.E., will discuss his work editing “Blood Diamond,” and on Sunday morning, same time, James Thomas will share his experiences cutting the hit comedy, “Borat, Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

“This new DP Workshop series of seminars will be a chance for those who are used to shooting in standard definition and need to transition into HD,” said NAB2007 Post Production Conference Technical Chairman, Gary Adcock, who owns the HD and film post-production and consulting firm, Studio37. “These sessions will be a unique opportunity for both up-and-coming filmmakers as well as experienced DPs to learn the latest about the high-end HD tools they will be using.”