Digital Imaging Technician: Explore the tools, technology, and science at play in today’s digital cinema cameras

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This workshop is focused on the tools, technology, and science at play in today’s modern digital cinema cameras. Discussions will be in-depth with theory and part practical application to determine how to make the best images possible under the litany of demanding factors at play in production. This workshop is designed for DPs, DITs, ACs, post-production professionals, and anyone else looking to gain a detailed understanding of the current state of the art as it applies to digital cinema.

Through exploration of color science, the theory and reality of color will be extrapolated upon to make better-informed decisions on set and in post-production. We will explore in detail how color is created both in our eyes and in the digital world of sensors. Focusing on key aspects of color space, color gamut, subsampling, bit depth, and understanding luminance students will be shown real-world applications, all with an emphasis on on-set production.

The use of waveforms and vectorscopes on-set will be used to demonstrate the modern tools at the disposal of today’s cinematographers. By giving both a technical and practical knowledge of how to implement waveforms and vectorscopes, students will be prepared when making critical decisions on exposure. Part of this process will also include live demonstrations of matching two different camera systems for color and exposure accuracy.

From small on-camera displays to large home theater systems, most monitors offer some form of calibration adjustment. As part of this workshop, demonstrations on the methods and tools used to calibrate a monitor will be explored. Attention will be given to white point adjustment, gamma, color & contrast adjustment, and the tools used to analyze a monitor’s key functions.

This workshop will also introduce students to the benefits and challenges of Raw and Log recording and their practical applications. Students will be presented with the implications of shooting in different Log modes, the technical and aesthetic decisions that merit choosing certain workflows over others.

Attention will be given to on-set Look-Up-Table (LUT) creation, demonstrating the process for creating and applying a LUT on cameras such as the Arri Alexa, Sony, and Red. Specific focus on the application of these tools on set and through the post-production process will leave students with a detailed understanding of LUT creation and color management.

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Jeffrey Hagerman (Summer Dates)

Jeffrey was an early adopter of digital technologies, which have become so prevalent today. Through this immersion in technology he worked to bridge the gap between the two worlds of set and post. He has worked on a variety of 2D and 3D content using the latest camera systems Arri, Red, Sony and VRI. Early in his career he worked in a lead role shooting and producing content at the independent media outlet, Democracy Now. Recently he has worked as an On Set Colorist for such films and TV shows as Marvel's "DareDevil" series, "Happyish", "Mr. Robot", "Philomena", "Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit", "White House Down", "Disconnect", and "Sisters". Jeffrey's commercial work includes Under Armor, Victoria's Secret, Hugo Boss, Pantine Pro V, as well as music videos for Beyonce, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mariah Carey, Jim Jones, and many more. Recent credits include the Adam Sandler feature Spaceman and season 2 of the Showtime series City on a Hill, on which he was also the director of photography on 4 episodes.

Instructor: Ben Hopkins (fall dates)

Based in Los Angeles, Ben Hopkins has worked as a Digital Imaging Technician since 2010, focusing on television commercials, network promos and 2nd unit / pilot television series. Ben has also worked in features within the specialty of High Speed Phantom Technician and has been an owner/operator of a Phantom Flex4K since 2017. Ben is a member of the local 600 union (IATSE’s International Cinematographer’s Guild - ICG-600) and a member of the Visual Effects Society (VES).