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Kodak Unveils HD System for Television Production at NAB

System couples latest film and hybrid technologies to save time and trim costs (April 14, 2005)

Eastman Kodak Company has unveiled a Super 16 mm film system designed for cost-effective production of content in either standard- or high-definition television format here at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference. The KODAK VISION2 HD System packages a new type of film with advanced hybrid motion imaging processing technology utilizing proprietary Kodak color science.

"Our scientists designed this system to leverage breakthroughs in emulsion and film scanning technologies," says Robert Mayson, general manager of Image Capture and vice president of Kodak's Entertainment Imaging Division. "It enables cinematographers to maximize the unique production values and superior quality of a film look with the flexibility of using 16 mm cameras. The hybrid system allows filmmakers to maximize the efficiency of the motion picture workflow with today's advanced technologies from pre- to postproduction."

The new system combines KODAK VISION2 HD Color Scan Film 7299 with a KODAK VISION2 HD Digital Processor. The latter is a new postproduction tool used to adjust digital files of scanned film to emulate the tone and color imaging characteristics of many current KODAK color negative films.

Cinematographers can choose to rate the scan-only film for an exposure index (E.I.) of either 500 or 320. The new film offers an extended dynamic range and broader exposure latitude coupled with the sharpness and fine grain imaging characteristics similar to the 500-speed KODAK VISION2 5218/7218 Color Negative Film.

In addition to mimicking the imaging characteristics of different emulsions, the system compensates for under- and over-exposure, as well as for variations in color temperatures. Mayson notes that it isn't necessary to use color correction filters on camera lenses when shooting in natural or artificial daylight.

"We have received enthusiastic feedback from cinematographers who have tested the new system," he reports. "They see it as a viable option for producing television documentaries and narrative programs with high production values at affordable costs."

Mayson notes that efficiencies of the system include working with a single, multi-purpose film that inherently reduces short-ends and time needed for magazine changes. The system also provides creative control of the "look" throughout the workflow from preproduction through postproduction. The postproduction facility specified by a filmmaker will be provided with a KODAK VISION2 HD Digital Processor. A set of 640 pre-set look-up tables (LUTs) is used during telecine transfer to emulate the imaging characteristics of most current KODAK VISION and VISION2 stocks and some of the older EASTMAN EXR films.

"The KODAK VISION2 HD Digital Processor makes postproduction more efficient by enabling the colorist to find the ideal starting point for a transfer more quickly," Mayson observes. The scanned images are between one light and best light quality. Those images can either be used as dailies, or an additional primary or secondary color correction session can be scheduled. KODAK Display Manager Software, a component of the system, provides consistent and accurate monitor calibration, so everyone, including the director, editor and cinematographer, sees exactly the same images.

A version of the KODAK Look Manager System can be used as an optional component with this system, allowing cinematographers to previsualize looks in video space during preproduction including emulating different filters, lenses, films and postproduction processes. They, in effect, create a recipe that can be shared with other members of the creative team, including the director, camera crew, film lab, dailies timer and colorist, who will time the program. The recipe for the desired look can be sent to post where it can be quickly and consistently re-created.

"We believe the KODAK VISION2 HD System provides a compelling alternative for producers who want a film-look on an HD budget," Mayson concludes. "It offers the additional advantage of originating your programs on a proven archival medium that is future proof, which can pay dividends even if the produced content isn't aired in HD format today."

Mayson adds that the new HD film system is not a replacement for either the 35 mm format or the current line of KODAK color negative films. "This is simply another tool that gives producers more options and more flexibility," he says.

The KODAK VISION2 HD System and KODAK VISION2 HD Color Scan Film are currently available. For more information, visit, or contact your local Kodak office.

About Kodak's Entertainment Imaging Division
Kodak's Entertainment Imaging Division is the world-class leader in providing film, digital and hybrid motion imaging products, services, and technology for the television, feature film, commercial, music video, and documentary industries.

For more information visit


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