FilmLight Case Study: Mining the archives for First Man

Date: 11/12/2018
FilmLight Case Study: Mining the archives for First Man
The movie First Man dramatises the story of Neil Armstrong’s famous giant leap for mankind. To give it a strong sense of authenticity, Director Damien Chazelle approached NASA to see if there was any archive footage from the Apollo era.
The good news was that NASA offered complete access to their archive material and there was plenty of footage from which to choose. For the Apollo 11 launch they had multiple cameras capturing different engineering details of the Saturn V from different angles. The bad news was that it was in a unique format: an obsolete 10-perf 70mm military stock developed by NASA using Kodak Ektachrome reversal film – the sprocket pitch in particular was incompatible with modern film scanning techniques.
David Keighley, president at IMAX, suggested a prototype scanner at FilmLight might offer a way to transfer the footage. Visual Effects Producer Kevin Elam also found there existed a gate made for a Rank Cintel telecine at the White Sands Missile Range, so whilst this could provide a telecine reference a modern scan quality was still desired.
Kodak developed a special Ektachrome reversal stock for NASA, with an extremely high dynamic range. That meant that all the detail of night-time launches could be captured, with the highlights of the rocket exhaust not burning out the detail of the activity around the launchpad.
Kevin Elam contacted FilmLight to see what could be done.
FilmLight is widely recognised, not just for its colour science, but for its understanding of the medium of film. Established in 2002, FilmLight develops unique colour grading systems, image processing applications and workflow tools for the film and video post production industry. FilmLight's first product was the Northlight film scanner, a motion picture film scanner capable of scanning 16, 35 or 65 mm film formats.
Fortuitously, FilmLight has a continuing research project into advanced film scanning techniques, recognising that archive preservation is going to be a critical issue in the years to come. Archives come in very many formats, the majority long abandoned. But the deteriorating nature of much of the material, though, means that frequently conservationists get just one shot at scanning the film.
So one of the guiding principles of FilmLight’s research project – codename Arclight – is that it should be capable of scanning any piece of film, regardless of gauge or number and position of perforations. This seemed like an ideal test for the development.
Chris Hall leads the project for FilmLight, and he takes up the story. “I was sent a test film, and all I had to do was load it up and define an appropriate format in the software – the dimensions of the film frame and the sprockets,” he said. “The image area then came out as a square frame of just over 7000 lines: actually 7250 x 7250 pixels. That gave a very high-resolution scan of the images.
“While scanning this film, it started out almost completely opaque, but I was relieved to see the image of a rocket, on a launch stage, at night, clearly visible on the monitor.
“Then suddenly the film became almost transparent as the rockets fire,” he said. “The Ektachrome was slightly over-exposed at this point – which is completely understandable considering what it is pointed at. This range of densities is always a challenge for a film scanner, but we are pleased with the image quality capturing the full dynamic range. There was a lot of footage to scan, mostly of the actual launch of Apollo 11 with some shots of the other Apollo launches mixed in.”
In all, FilmLight scanned around 20 minutes of footage for the producers of First Man. The movie’s goal of true authenticity was greatly boosted by the inclusion of this material, and the exercise enhanced FilmLight’s understanding of the challenges around digitising archive footage at the highest possible quality.
# # #
About FilmLight
FilmLight develops unique colour grading systems, image processing applications and workflow tools that are transforming film and video post-production and setting new standards for quality, reliability and performance. The company’s streamlined metadata-based workflows employ robust products with cutting edge creative tools, allowing creative professionals to work at the forefront of the digital media revolution. Founded in 2002, FilmLight’s core business is centred on the innovation, implementation and support of its products—including Baselight, Prelight and Daylight—in leading production companies, post-production facilities and film/TV studios around the world. FilmLight is headquartered in London, where its research, design and manufacturing operations are centred. Sales and support are conducted through regional service centres and qualified partners worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.filmlight.ltd.uk


Tags: FilmLight | First Man | Neil Armstrong | giant leap for mankind | Damien Chazelle | NASA | archive footage | Apollo 11 | Saturn V | David Keighley | IMAX | Kevin Elam | Kodak | Northlight | Arclight | Chris Hall | MKM Marcomms | MKM Marketing Communications
Submitted by MKM (MKM Marketing Communications)
View author's directory page

Related Interviews
  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013


Related Articles
  • Sully - Grading a miracle

    Sully - Grading a miracle

  • Dick looks at the faster future

    Dick looks at the faster future

  • Fixing it in parallel

    Fixing it in parallel

  • Manipulate and Edit

    Manipulate and Edit

  • Modern movie finishing

    Modern movie finishing

  • Avid solutions create a stellar workflow for Mwnci Post Production

    Avid solutions create a stellar workflow for Mwnci Post Production

  • Jamies 30 minute meals are served up

    Jamies 30 minute meals are served up


News
InSync Technology Introduces FrameFormer Frame Rate Converter Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro Mac Users Posted: 13/03/2019
InSync Technology Introduces FrameFormer Frame Rate Converter Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro Mac Users
InSync Technology today announced that the company's FrameFormer motion compensated frame rate converter now is available as a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro Mac users. Simplifying and accelerating deployment through automated settings, FrameFormer provides conversion for all types of content from sub-QCIF up to 8K and beyond.
Tags: InSync Technology | FrameFormer | Frame Rate Converter Plug-in | Adobe Premiere Pro | Mac Users | NAB 2019 | NAB 2019
Submitted by Wall Street Communications
More from this author
Octopus to unveil latest innovations at NAB 2019 Posted: 13/03/2019
Octopus to unveil latest innovations at NAB 2019
The 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas is a very special event for Octopus Newsroom. Octopus will demo the innovative Octopus iReporter app at booth SL7627. This new app converts viewers into potential reporters. Octopus iReporter is equipped with an interactive geo-targeting map to locate people near a breaking event.
Tags: Octopus Newsroom | NRCS | broadcast newsroom systems | Octopus 7 | Octopus 8 | Octopus 8.2 | iPhone-based newsroom system | iPad-based newsroom system | Traco Media Bridge | MOS interface | iReporter | NAB 2019 | NAB 2019
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
ADTH to Demonstrate Latest Advances in Broadcast Media Access, Security and Personalized Advertising at 2019 NAB Show Posted: 13/03/2019
ADTH to Demonstrate Latest Advances in Broadcast Media Access, Security and Personalized Advertising at 2019 NAB Show
Celebrating its quarter-centenary this year, Atlanta DTH (ADTH) will promote the latest additions to its range of broadcast, OTT and IPTV content protection products on booth SU7225 at the April 8th-11th 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas.
Tags: Atlanta DTH | Inc. | broadcast media access | broadcast content security | targeted television advertising | personalised television advertising | personalized television advertising | OTT content protection | IPTV content protection | satellite IR | miniature DTV | NAB 2019 | NAB 2019
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Waverly Utilities selects Amino to provide MoCA-enabled IPTV devices Posted: 13/03/2019
Waverly Utilities selects Amino to provide MoCA-enabled IPTV devices

Amino, the global media and entertainment technology solutions provider, announced today that it has been selected by US telecommunications provider Waverly Utilities to supply Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA)-enabled IPTV devices and AminoOS software that will allow the Iowa multiservice provider to boost efficiency and deliver an enhanced pay-TV video experience.

Tags: Amino | Agile | IPTV | Cable | Multimedia | 4k | video | TV
Submitted by Platform Communications
More from this author
Broadcast Pix Introduces BPswitch IX Integrated Production Switcher with Expanded IP Connectivity at NAB 2019 Posted: 13/03/2019
Broadcast Pix Introduces BPswitch IX Integrated Production Switcher with Expanded IP Connectivity at NAB 2019

Broadcast Pix™ will introduce the newest model in the BPswitch integrated production switcher product family, BPswitch™ IX, at the 2019 NAB Show (Booth SL4210), which runs April 8-11 in Las Vegas, Nev. Designed for productions that rely on IP-based workflows and remote cameras, BPswitch IX features six network inputs that support NDI and RTSP sources.

Tags: Broadcast Pix | NDI | NAB2019 | production switcher
Submitted by Pipeline Communications
More from this author
Custom Consoles Module-R and MediaWall chosen for Azerbaijan Parliamentary Television Posted: 13/03/2019
Custom Consoles Module-R and MediaWall chosen for Azerbaijan Parliamentary Television
Custom Consoles announces the completion of a project for Azerbaijan Parliamentary Television at the National Assembly in Baku. Commissioned by specialist broadcast systems integrator ProMix, based in the same city, the new installation includes three rectangular Module-R technical control desks and a 3.8 metre wide MediaWall monitor display mount.
Tags: Custom Consoles Ltd | broadcast control room furniture | motorised desks | manually-adjustable desks | sound-insulated equipment housings | MediaWall | Media Wall | monitor walls | post-production studio furniture | System Two control room furniture | Module-R | Mod
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Finepoint Reports Highly Successful ISE 2019 Posted: 13/03/2019
Finepoint Reports Highly Successful ISE 2019
Finepoint Broadcast Ltd, a globally active supplier of equipment, systems, rental and technical support services to the broadcast and AV markets, reports a highly successful Integrated Systems Europe show. Held at the Amsterdam RAI from Tuesday February 5th through Friday 8th, the event this year attracted more than 1,296 exhibiting companies and over 80,923 registered attendees.
Tags: Finepoint Broadcast | broadcast equipment rental | broadcast equipment hire service | broadcast camera rental | television production equipment rental | dry hire service-provider | new and used broadcast production equipment | professional audio visual sales and | ISE 2019
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Gogo TV Takes In-Flight Entertainment Experiences to New Heights with AWS Posted: 13/03/2019
Gogo TV Takes In-Flight Entertainment Experiences to New Heights with AWS

Leading in-flight broadband internet provider Gogo recently committed to moving its entire infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS), going all-in on the world’s leading cloud. Gogo is improving in-flight internet and entertainment experiences for millions of passengers around the world, leveraging a range of AWS services, including analytics, serverless, database, and storage. AWS services help the company to develop and deploy applications in hours instead of days, double the number of airlines it supports with its current workforce, and take an idea from concept to production much faster.

Tags: AWS | AWS Elemental | GoGo TV
Submitted by Raz Public Relations
More from this author
Dielectric Designs VHF Antenna System for Sutro Tower Repack Project in Compliance with Stringent Earthquake Code Posted: 13/03/2019
Dielectric Designs VHF Antenna System for Sutro Tower Repack Project in Compliance with Stringent Earthquake Code

As a leading maker of innovative TV/FM broadcast antennas, Dielectric has completed the design of a technically complex, stacked antenna array for San Francisco DTV broadcasters KGO-TV and KRON-TV. The stacked array—a specialty of Dielectric’s—is slated for installation later this year atop Sutro Tower in downtown San Francisco.

Tags: dielectric | repack | antenna | NAB 2019 | NAB 2019
Submitted by Dimension PR
More from this author
Grass Valley Advancing Fan Experience at Live Events with Enhancements to LiveTouch Solution Showcased at NAB Show 2019 Posted: 13/03/2019
Grass Valley Advancing Fan Experience at Live Events with Enhancements to LiveTouch Solution Showcased at NAB Show 2019

Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, today announced even more capability in its powerful live highlights and replay production system, LiveTouch. Debuting on Grass Valley’s NAB booth (#SL106), the latest version incorporates 4K UHD slow-motion replay, direct playout and full super slow-motion support (2x, 3x, 4x, 6x, 8x). The new super slo-mo speeds as well as support for HDR make it ideal for pairing with the high-end capabilities of Grass Valley LDX cameras in either remote or at-home productions.

Tags: Grass Valley | Grass Valley a Belden Brand | NAB Show 2019 | NAB 2019 | NAB 2019
Submitted by Platform Communications
More from this author
Actus Digital Amplifies Compliance and Logging Suite at 2019 NAB Show Posted: 13/03/2019
Actus Digital Amplifies Compliance and Logging Suite at 2019 NAB Show
Actus Digital will bring the latest innovations for its industry-standard compliance monitoring and media intelligence platform to the 2019 NAB Show, where the company will demonstrate how broadcasters and service providers (MVPD, OTT) can expertly manage multiple workflow tasks under the compliance umbrella from a single platform.
Tags: compliance | Actus | logging | broadcast | NAB 2019 | NAB 2019
Submitted by Write Turn Communications
More from this author
Black Box Customer Service Earns Coveted Stevie Award Posted: 12/03/2019
Black Box Customer Service Earns Coveted Stevie Award
Black Box Corporation of Pennsylvania ("Black Box"), an industry-leading provider of signal management and distribution solutions, including high-performance KVM and pro AV, systems, and connectivity and IT infrastructure products, today announced that the company was named a Bronze Award Winner of the 13th annual Stevie® Awards in the Sales & Customer Service category. The awards recognize the achievements of contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals worldwide.
Tags: Black Box | Customer Service | Stevie Award | Outstanding Customer Service | Bronze Award
Submitted by Wall Street Communications
More from this author
LTN Global at the 2019 NAB Show Posted: 12/03/2019
LTN Global at the 2019 NAB Show
The 2019 NAB Show will mark the first major event for LTN Global following the company's acquisition of Niles Media Group, a Kansas City, Missouri-based company specializing in media content creation and TV remote production. With their combined creative and technical resources, LTN Global and Niles are positioned to bring to market new efficiencies and robust end-to-end workflows for content production and delivery.
Tags: LTN Global | 2019 NAB Show | LTN LEAF Integrated Encode/Decode Appliance | HEVC | 1080p60 Support | NAB 2019 | NAB 2019
Submitted by Wall Street Communications
More from this author
Pliant Technologies Features Latest CrewCom and reg; Wireless Intercom System at NAB 2019 Posted: 12/03/2019
Pliant and reg; Technologies and rsquo; Features Latest CrewCom and reg; Wireless  Intercom System at NAB 2019

Pliant Technologies is showcasing the latest updates to its CrewCom wireless intercom system along with its newly enhanced SmartBoom LITE Headset, Drop-in Charger, Fiber Hub and the new FlexLR connector at NAB 2019 (Booth C8548). The newly released CrewCom firmware update includes numerous system improvements as well as the incorporation of new Oceania 900MHz models.

Tags: Pliant Technologies | NAB | NAB 2019 | NAB 2019
Submitted by D. Pagan Communications
More from this author
Triveni Digital Simplifies ATSC 3.0 Service Assurance With New StreamScope XM Verifier Posted: 12/03/2019
Triveni Digital Simplifies ATSC 3.0 Service Assurance With New StreamScope XM Verifier
Triveni Digital today announced that its award-winning StreamScope® XM Verifier software for verifying video, audio, and metadata service quality metrics in ATSC 3.0 environments is now shipping. StreamScope XM Verifier is designed to receive, verify, and record ATSC 3.0 broadcast streams with RF and IP inputs. Protocols such as ROUTE, MMTP, and STLTP are supported. Additionally, users can record and manage PCAP files for playback. With StreamScope XM Verifier, broadcast television station engineers and field staff can get a quick, comprehensive view of multiple ATSC 3.0 services, bringing convenience, affordability, and flexibility to next-generation broadcast television operations.
Tags: Triveni Digital | ATSC 3.0 | StreamScope XM Verifier
Submitted by 202 Communications
More from this author
Pages:   [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >>