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ASC Publishes 8th Edition of Popular Film Manual

Authoritative source of technical information is a widely used reference (January 14, 2002)
The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has just published the 8th edition of The ASC Film Manual, an authoritative source of technical information that is a widely used reference around the world.

"Our purpose is to provide a single source of information that current and future cinematographers and other filmmakers can rely on," says ASC President Steven Poster. "ASC published its first film manual in 1930 (then called The Cinematographic Annual). This is the first new edition since 1993. It contains updated and new information about the art and craft of cinematography that was written and reviewed by the world's leading experts."

There are 40 chapters and more than 100 tables and charts in the 929-page manual. Each chapter is authored by a renowned expert on the subject. Topics include comparisons of film formats, advice on choosing lenses and filters, techniques for emulsion testing, detailed description of lab procedures, information about lighting, camera stabilization and movement, front projection, motion control and other visual effects techniques, computer graphics, aerial and underwater cinematography, how to expose film in infrared and ultra-violet light, digital film mastering and much more.

ASC associate member Rob Hummel, a senior vice president at Warner Bros. Studios, edited the 8th edition of The ASC Film Manual. Hummel is uniquely qualified to edit this book. He began his career working closely with cinematographers in production while a representative of Technicolor Laboratories. He has held positions in visual effects, postproduction for Walt Disney Pictures, Imagineering's Theme Park Productions, Disney and DreamWorks Animation, International Post Production, among others. He is an active member of SMPTE, and serves on the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee of the Motion Picture Academy.

"Cinematography is an art form," says Hummel, "and as with any art form, the artist must understand the technology to realize his vision. The ASC Film Manual has always been at the cinematographer's side in helping bridge the gap between the art of cinematography and its technical applications. The manual helps the cinematographer master a complex and constantly evolving craft, which now crosses freely between film and digital boundaries. This edition has recaptured the best information from earlier ASC Film Manuals."

There are new chapters covering such topics as high-definition telecine mastering and digital film postproduction.

Two prominent cinematographers, Stephen Burum, ASC (The Untouchables, Hoffa, Mission Impossible) and Richard Crudo, ASC (American Buffalo, Outside Providence, American Pie) collaborated with Hummel on the selection of content.

"Everyone involved with this edition worked at ensuring the manual accurately covered the broad scope of information required not only by the experienced cinematographer in the field, but for students of the craft as well," adds Hummel.

They also reviewed every article for accuracy and relevance. Burum contributed a chapter entitled "A Jumpstart Guide for the Student Cinematographer."

"This is the first reformatting of the manual in many years," says Burum. "It is the chronicle of our craft. As Gordon Willis (ASC) said, 'There is no art without craft.'"

Crudo adds, "This publication will be particularly useful for current and future cinematographers, however, we believe it is a also a relevant guide for anyone who is involved in any aspect of filmmaking."

The American Society of Cinematographers was founded in 1919 for the purpose of advancing the art and craft of filmmaking. Membership is by invitation only based on the individual's body of narrative film work. Currently, there are 230 active cinematographer members who come from nearly 20 countries, as well as more than 100 associate members who work in allied professions. Individual copies of the 8th edition of The ASC Film Manual retail for $99.95. Discounts are available for quantity purchases by film schools and to film students and industry professionals.

To order, or for more information, visit the ASC website at and go to ASC Online Store, call 323-969-4333 or fax 323-876-4973.

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