Author Archives: ShotOnWhat?

July Status Updates

Great news!

Adding new movies to the system is now working again. So you can update and add new movies and television shows. Be sure to add your behind the scenes photos.

So we can gladly say all systems are operational again!

We invite you to ‘Go Ad-Free‘ at ShotOnWhat? and help us add new movies! We added a new feature to allow you to view all the sites free of ads. Go here to sign up, it’s only two bucks a month!

We are now working through the backlog of movie updates in the system and slowly continuing to improve mobile phone and tablet use.

Help us keep up the pace, please take a moment to contribute to the fund that will help us pay for servers, programmers and data entry.

Follow & Share us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Help spread the word about and be sure to tell everyone you know to add information about projects they worked on.

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More Updates

Status Updates – May 19, 2019

This week we got the Poster Uploader working again. We also fixed a few bugs with Titles, Pagination and the Sort Tools. We’ve also started publishing the over 200 updates loaded in the system.

Also working on the setting up auto-postings for social media, so be sure to follow us to get the latest updates and images!

We are doing a lot of performance adjustments, so the site may be unavailable for a few seconds while a process or two reloads. Just check back literally in a moment and things should be normal again. It is a new server, so it requires a little tuning to make it happy. We are trying to make the site as fast as possible, but we have a lot going on with our posts, so that takes a lot processing to create a page.

Help us keep up the pace, please take a moment to contribute to the fund that will help us pay for servers, programmers and data entry.

Follow & Share us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Help spread the word about and be sure to tell everyone you know to add information about projects they worked on.

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ShotOnWhat? Status May 2019

Stage 1 is now complete!

We would like to thank everyone for the donations. We have moved the site over to new server and re-factored a lot of the code to bring it into compliance.

We still have a bunch of stuff that still needs fixing, and we are working diligently to get those upgraded. At the time of this post, you can now add behind the scenes images to and the update system is now working again. We still have some issues with adding new projects to ShotOnWhat? but we anticipate those should be solved soon.

Help us keep up the pace, please take a moment to contribute to the fund that will help us pay for servers, programmers and data entry.

Follow & Share us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Help spread the word about and be sure to tell everyone you know to add information about projects they worked on.

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Why large-format 14K is the perfect future

The Alexa 65 is part of the push for large format shooting, but raw resolution is also still important Arri

Replay: At the recent Camerimage in Poland, top DOPs explained why higher resolutions are absolutely neccesary, and it isn’t always for the reasons that we are traditionally lead to believe.

Film festivals, particularly those with strong industry support, are often the best places to judge emerging trends. Camerimage, the Polish festival celebrating the work of cinematographers, is a particularly good gauge of the way things are going with camera technology. This year, bigger images were a dominant theme.

“Most people can’t tell the difference between 2K and 4K at more than eight feet,” said DP Stephen Goldblatt (Lethal Weapon 2, Batman Forever) in his Canon workshop on the third morning of the festival.

But that afternoon, in a Red seminar, Markus Förderer (Independence Day: Resurgence) expressed excitement about 8K. “If you pair it with soft lenses you get smooth, natural images,” he opined.

Unsurprisingly, the speakers at Panavision’s “The Beauty of 8K Large Format” seminar the next day were also enthusiastic. The session was promoting the new DXL camera, which boasts a 46mm Red Vista Vision sensor. The panellists agreed that, on the face of it, the human eye’s resolution of one arc-minute makes images over 2-4K seem redundant. But they explained that hyper-acuity — the result of the retina’s honeycomb pattern as well as the processing carried out in the brain — gives us a greater precision of sight, validating higher image resolutions.

14K is the perfect resolution

Amongst Panavision’s speakers was the company’s head of optics, Dan Sasaki, a man frequently mentioned in the pages of American Cinematographer, refurbishing vintage glass for The Hateful Eight, engineering specific lens flares for Saving Private Ryan, or even building new lenses entirely for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Sasaki’s message was this: “Acquisition resolution is more important than exhibition resolution.” He gave the example of a Hasselblad digital medium format photo viewed on Instagram. You can still tell it was originated in high-resolution because of the dynamic range, bit depth, perspective and depth of field.

Sasaki practically eulogised the Hasselblad, which has the world’s biggest digital sensor. He sees it as the ideal that all digital imaging should aspire to. Why? Because its 100 megapixels (about 14K in cinema terms) match the 100 million rods and cones in the human eye.

Smoothness, not sharpness

The panellists were also keen to dispel the myth that higher resolutions are sharper. This might have been true of early HD cameras, which employed in-camera sharpening, but not anymore. High resolutions are in fact smoother than lower ones, a fact which Sasaki demonstrated with two images of a circle. The first was super-low-res, like an eighties video game — sharp and blocky. The second was higher-res, and with more pixels to describe the curves, it was clearly smoother.

Smoother images, and smoother curves particularly, apparently enhance the impression of depth. “More resolution evokes the imagination of the brain,” as Light Iron’s senior colourist Ian Vertovec put it. Förderer had expressed a similar sentiment in his panel: “A 4K DCP shows you more of the performance, on a subconscious level than seeing a 2K DCP.”

Vertovec went on to explain how high-resolution acquisition provides more opportunities in post production. He described an 8/7/6 workflow: 8K capture with a 7K extraction area within that, downscaled to 6K for mastering. Footage from David Fincher’s Mindhunter series was shown, revealing the extra image outside the 7K extraction. This was used for the camera stabilisation which Fincher wanted to be applied to almost every shot and digital bowing to simulate the look of anamorphic glass.

The need for better glass

Of course, larger sensors require lenses with larger image circles to cover them (though Christopher Probst noted in the Red seminar that many Super-35 lenses of a 50mm focal length or greater have sufficient coverage). A stroll through the exhibition stalls at Camerimage showed that most of the major lens manufacturers are vying for a piece of this new market, from the Hawk65s to the Cooke S7s.

CW Sonderoptic, the company behind Leica, presented a panel to promote their new Thalia series for 65mm cinematography. The centrepiece was a short film, Jardin d’hiver, shot by Darius Khondji (Seven, Delicatessen) on an Alexa 65. Khondji reportedly tried all of his usual filters and rejected them all as unnecessary. “As soon as you put the lens on, there’s already some magic that’s happening,” explained Khondji’s son Alexandre, who directed the short.

It’s not just new lenses that provide possibilities. Förderer pointed out that we’re at a sweet spot in time where we have high-resolution cinematography, but not so high that there isn’t plenty of existing glass out there to cover it. Full-frame 35mm stills lenses often provide a big enough image circle to cover larger digital sensors, giving DPs a huge array of optics to choose from. Probst told how Greig Fraser (Rogue One) once carried a bag full of his favourite old lenses on set, choosing one with an appropriate look, then setting his Red’s resolution to whatever that lens could cover.

3D is faltering, high frame rates are unpopular and many DPs are sceptical about high dynamic range, but in the ongoing quest to improve the quality of moving images, it seems certain that we’ll be seeing much more of large sensor cinematography.

via RedShark News – Why large-format 14K is the perfect future.

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ShotOnWhat? Becomes Production Industry’s Go-To Site For Tech Data

BURBANK, California (Mar. 8, 2016) – Motion picture and television professionals hungry to know what gear was used to shoot the latest Star Wars epic or Netflix’s hottest new show are quickly turning ShotOnWhat? into one of the production industry’s most popular destinations on the web. The production and post production database site, which includes detailed information on everything from the camera lenses to the sound equipment to the visual effects software used to produce particular movies and TV shows, has pushed past 100,000 page views per month. And site founder James LaViola predicts that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“The response from the professional community has been overwhelming,” LaViola says. “If you want to know the names of the stars and crews of a movie, you can look that up on other major movie websites. But if you want to know what cameras, lenses and other gear were used to make that movie, you go to ShotOnWhat? For cinematographers, editors, colorists and other pros, technical details related to production and post production are very important. We’ve built a database where all that information is freely and easily accessible.”

Steven Poster ASC, President of International Cinematographers Guild calls ShotOnWhat? an indispensable tool. “ShotOnWhat? takes off where IMDB stops,” he observes. “It is a technical reference to everything about how movies are made, far above any other.”

ShotOnWhat? collects data submitted by crew members and others about gear, technology and processes used in movie and television productions. The information is verified, classified, indexed and made available through the site. Since its launch in 2012, the site has gathered information on more than 20,000 TV and movie productions. That includes data on more than 3500 items in 85 categories, with new data added at an accelerating pace.

In terms of its depth of information on filmmaking technology, there’s nothing like it. And, it’s not just information related to current and recent films. ShotOnWhat? makes a concerted effort to gather data on movies of the past by encouraging older and retired pros to share their recollections and submit data, as well as film historians. That makes the site valuable not only as a production planning tool but as a rich repository of information about movie-making’s past.

“If we don’t capture this information, it is likely to be lost forever,” notes LaViola. “No one else is collecting information about how early movies were made and the tools that were invented or pioneered on individual productions.”

ShotOnWhat? recently spawned a companion site ShotOnSet!, a collection of thousands of behind-the-scenes photography from TV and movie sets. Both sites are built through communal collaboration with expenses met through manufacturer participation and sponsorships, advertising and donations.

In its little more than three years of existence, ShotOnWhat? has developed into an invaluable resource and planning tool. “Cinematographers who want to emulate the look of a particular movie scene come to our site to find out what cameras and lenses were used,” LaViola explains.

Similarly, the site has drawn praise from technology manufacturers. “If you’re a dolly manufacturer, you can quickly find out which movies have used your product,” LaViola observes. “That information was previously unavailable. It’s a great marketing tool.” LaViola adds that the site has also built a dedicated following among researchers, film students and movie buffs.

LaViola has plans to expand the site and increase its features. One planned upgrade would connect location data to Google Street View so that visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the places where a movie was shot.

While the site’s database is expanding quickly, site visits are growing even faster. LaViola expects the number of visitors to the site to more than quadruple this year. “As traffic increases, we’re getting more interest from advertisers and investors,” LaViola says. “That in turn will help us further develop the site and add more of the features our users are clamoring for.”

About ShotOnWhat?
ShotOnWhat? is dedicated to preserving detailed data about production and post production aspects of motion picture and television production. It includes technical information about cameras, lenses, gear, post, sound, VFX and other associated elements, processes and notations. Information is verified, searchable and cross referenced. Since its launch in 2012, ShotOnWhat? has become an essential resource for professionals, researchers, students, and movie-buffs alike.

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ShotOnWhat? Announces New Features for the Motion Picture and Television Production Industry

ShotOnWhat? Announces New Features for the Motion Picture and Television Production Industry

BURBANK, California (June 7, 2013) – The recent release of ShotOnWhat? beta .3 includes new features designed to enhance both the breadth and depth of information and the ease of use by contributors to this ever-growing compendium of information related to production and post-production aspects of filmmaking. ShotOnWhat? has added many new categories to the system, including Camera Rental, Audio Facilities, Monitoring, Grip & Lighting Companies to name a few. 

An important new feature just added, Groups, allows equipment and other tools used during filming to be associated and annotated which provides insight into the solutions chosen by production for a specific look, effect or process.

Created to be the central repository and historical archive about equipment, processes, stories and facts of the technical aspects of the movie industry, ShotOnWhat? is currently collecting 75 categories of information, from the simplest aspect of a production to the variety of complex solutions for the entertainment production industry. 

As people continue to find how useful ShotOnWhat? has become, more and more professionals are making contributions to the archive. This collaborative and sustained value comes from the participation by experienced and seasoned craftsmen with rich history and great memories to share with future generations.

Get involved in ShotOnWhat? today.

About ShotOnWhat?

Making its debut in late 2012, ShotOnWhat? is the only in-depth production and post-production knowledgeBase for the industry, developed to fill a much needed gap for the technical side of the industry. ShotOnWhat? has created the most extensive and comprehensive framework for the collection of often unrecorded technical information related to the creation of entertainment programming; a reference site for in-depth recording and research of the relationship between the final delivered product and the many associated processes and products used during filming and post-production.


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