Chapter 2. Digital Cinematography

In this chapter

Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Video
Frame Rate and Video Standards
Video on Your Computer, Pixel Aspect Ratio
Why It All Matters in DVD Production
Swing-out Monitor, Viewfinder, or External NTSC Field Monitor
Working with a Viewfinder: Color Versus Black and White

Working in film and video is by definition a technical process: a filmmaker uses the technology of cinema to realize her ideas and share them with an audience.

As a filmmaker using digital video, you have a significant range of technical options. While these choices and details may seem overwhelming at first, they’re important to think about because each decision ultimately shapes the outcome of your film. The choices you make while planning and shooting a film determine the options available in postproduction, and choices in postproduction either limit or expand your distribution options. A solid understanding of digital filmmaking’s nuts and bolts can go a long way toward helping you achieve your creative vision.

The first step is defining the technical standards for your project. This section provides an overview of aspect ratio, frame rates, and video standards, and addresses the impact each choice has on the final version of your production.

Aspect Ratio

It’s no secret that a television screen is a different shape than the screen in a movie theater. Both are rectangles, but the traditional shape of a television is closer to square, and a movie screen is significantly ...

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