Spring '99




If you have a news item for the FILMLOOK Newsletter, please call us at (818) 845-9200 or E-Mail us at lookinfo@filmlook.com and we'll get it in our next issue.


Faced with the prospect of networks transmitting in high definition and requiring all programming to some day be DTV compatible, producers are now considering the best ways to acquire and post their future projects, while keeping one eye on the lucrative foreign market and cutting costs at the same time. Should projects be shot in film, high definition video, or normal video then upconverted to high definition?

Film is considered the universal format, theoretically compatible with all current and forseeable future display and transmission techniques. It is also the most expensive acquisition format, since stock costs, lab, telecine and editing can easily mount into hundreds of dollars a minute of finished program--costs can quickly escalate if high definition delivery is considered. Even so, posting a film program in high definition will be for a decidedly limited viewing audience since a very small number of consumers have purchased high definition television sets--a fact few advertisers or producers can ignore.

High definition video camera production is another format for producers to consider. But which high definition to use? There is 720p, that requires progressive scan 720 line recorders, switchers, character generators, etc. and cannot be converted easily up from or down to 480i NTSC. Then there is 1080i, which can be down and up converted to and from NTSC but also requires all high definition equipment for recording and editing. There is 480p which will convert to NTSC easily but still requires dedicated equipment and does not provide as dramatic improvement in picture quality as 720 or 1080 lines would. There are many more possible scanning formats permissible in the DTV rulings and nobody, including the networks, are in much agreement on which way to go. Consider also the fact that at this time there is no direct way of converting video camera shot hi-def 720p or 1080i to standard PAL. Also, 1080i video looks very much like standard definition NTSC video after downconversion. The resolution and detail of high definition is now lost to your standard definition audience, the images will move and look exactly like ordinary NTSC video.

When FILMLOOK is applied to standard NTSC video, the characterisitics of film's gray scale, color and movement are presented without the expense or time needed for processing and telecine of film. Also if the 24 fps simulation rate is used, an excellent PAL transfer can be obtained with a 3:2 type converter (built specifically for NTSC film transfers to PAL) at a high-end conversion facility. FILMLOOK processed material will be just as compatible for standards conversion if originally downconverted from a high definition format.



BURBANK--FILMLOOK Inc. President Robert Faber announced that the development of a film image simulation camera, named EF-1TM has been under way for several months. "The camera will simulate film-to-tape origination more accurately than any existing post-production technique", stated Mr. Faber. "It will capture non-interlaced images (progressive scan) and then convert them to interlaced 525/60 or 625/50 (or both simultaneously) simulating typical film gray scale and color, film shutter (approximately 1/50th second) and film image dynamics (2:3 stepping in 60 field video). The engineering prototype will be displayed this spring at NAB'99, booth L18558 in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 19-22. A high definition version will follow. No decision has been made yet on possible licensing or manufacturing. The invention of this camera is the subject of issued patents in the United States and Japan. Patent is pending in Europe."


NEW YORK--Discovery Channel and Lancit Media have produced "Outward Bound," a reality based adventure series shot in video and processed in FILMLOOK. The series features teenagers engaging in everything from whitewater canoeing to rock climbing, all recorded documentary style on Betacam and DV video. The series is currently airing on Discovery.


Some recent projects and clients using FILMLOOK..."Tenacious D" comedy series segments for HBO, also "ABC's Celebrity Weddings In Style," Dakota Films... "Star Wars Special Outtake Footage," MAD tv... "Tomorrowland Vacation Contest," Disneyland Advertising... "Teen Promos" and "Attic Treasures Promos," Trinity Broadcast Network...


LOS ANGELES--Discovery Channel and fleischerfilms have produced "Why Dogs Laugh and Chimpanzees Cry," a two hour documentary centering on animal emotions and intellect. The special combines some film footage as well as interviews and archival footage shot on video and then processed in FILMLOOK.

This is the third documentary special processed by FILMLOOK for producer Carol Fleischer, who was also presented the CableAce award-winning "The Revolutionary War" and "FutureWar" on Discovery. "Why Dogs Laugh and Chimpanzees Cry" is narrated by Sigourney Weaver and will be presented on Mother's Day on the Discovery Channel.


This year FILMLOOK celebrates ten years of service to the broadcast community. The technical achievements and recognition we have earned over the years has made the name FILMLOOK® synonymous with high quality film simulation. We are grateful to our clients for their support and suggestions, and we will continue to push the development of film simulation beyond our current capabilities to better serve our current and future clients' needs.


LOS ANGELES--INTELECOM is using FILMLOOK to assist in giving their video originated series "On Common Ground" the dramatic look and texture of film origination.

Produced and written by Peter Robinson and Glenn Kammen, the series focuses on often riveting conflicts between the local government and resident of a fictional metropolis. The series is shot single-camera style using film style lighting and lens filtration. INTELECOM has used FILMLOOK previously for the PBS series "Crossroads Cafe."


NEW YORK--ESPN is producing "SportsCentury's Fifty Greatest Atheletes," a weekly retrospective of the greatest atheletes ever. The series is an ambitious and often controversial ranking of the fifty most influential sports figures of the 20th century, profiling such sports legends as Chris Evert, Edwin Moses and O.J. Simpson. The interviews and other footage for "SportsCentury" have been shot in Betacam video then processed in FILMLOOK. "Fifty Greatest Atheletes" can be seen every Friday night on ESPN, counting down to #1 on December 31, 1999.


NEW YORK--HBO has produced "Dare to Compete--The Struggle of Women in Sports," an historic documentary chronicling women athletes and their drive for recognition in professional and olympic sports. The documentary combines rare film footage, photos and video interviews of such athletes as Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Chris Evert that were processed in FILMLOOK after postproduction was completed. The documentary is introduced by Hillary Rodham Clinton in a taped opening that was also FILMLOOK processed. "Dare to Compete" airs on HBO throughout the month of March.



© 1999 FILMLOOK Inc. All rights reserved. FILMLOOK is a registered trademark of FILMLOOK Inc.