At this week’s HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Springs, the American Society of Cinematographers premiered its Standard Evaluation Material II (StEM2) challenge — a 16-minutes quick movie that was made to supply a constant baseline whereas evaluating a myriad of various applied sciences and workflows used to supply and show films and episodic sequence, with an eye fixed towards sustaining the filmmakers’ intent.
The check materials might be accessible on an ASC web site, at no cost in roughly 25 theatrical and residential TV codecs, together with mixtures of 2K, 4K and 8K decision; normal and excessive dynamic vary (HDR10 and Dolby Vision); and Dolby Atmos, 7.1, 5.1 and stereo sound. A behind-the-scenes video can be within the works.
The accomplished quick movie was screened in the course of the HPA occasion, whereas the main points of the challenge had been mentioned throughout a panel that includes author/director/producer Jay Holben, producer Wendy Aylsworth, producer and submit supervisor Joachim “JZ” Zell, and second unit director/cinematographer and stunt coordinator Steven Shaw (who additionally has a quick look as a scientist within the quick).
The Mission follows a bunch of scientists aiming to thwart the plans of an evildoer and is highlighted by a automotive chase by the desert, which was shot over 5 days final summer time. This included inside and exterior areas at the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita; ARRI Creative Space in Burbank utilizing its LED wall for digital manufacturing and for video playback for plates for interiors of the automotive chase sequences; and Studio 60 in downtown Los Angeles for extra inside and night time exteriors.
Zell famous that earlier than beginning manufacturing, the ASC’s Motion Imaging Technology Council created a listing of what they hoped to check with the photographs. This included excessive dynamic vary scenes, element in darkish scenes, vast colour gamut components, movement jutter, built-in check charts, in-camera VFX, compression and varied lighting circumstances, and pores and skin tones.
The check additionally concerned a spread of applied sciences, together with varied digital cinema cameras and lenses with metadata capabilities and digital manufacturing strategies.
Shaw emphasised security and “nobody gets hurt on my sets,” including, “we weren’t going to crash any cars, we were just going to do high-speed precision.”
StEM2 represents the identical form of vast initiative because the 2004 manufacturing of the 12-minute StEM quick — a scene from an Italian marriage ceremony in varied lighting circumstances — that was led by the ASC and studio consortium Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), which was used to guage and set technical specs for digital cinema in its early days.
The Mission was produced with backing (financial and/or companies) from 33 studios, expertise firms and different stakeholders, together with a seed grant from Epic MegaGrants, and help from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Science and Technology Council.