Philip Sindall was so nice to forward this link from the Global Cinematography Institute Newsletter. It`s an Interesting POV on modern CGI/Visual Effects‐Driven Cinematography and Awards.

Link to Original HERE

The Global Cinematography Institute Newsletter

New Oscar Category for “Visual Imaging”?

Article by GCI Co-Founder Yuri Neyman, ASC about the potential for new Oscar category reflecting the evolution of visual imagery in film. GCI is preparing students through teaching "Expanded Cinematography"

Global Cinematography Institute is forming a new visual, artistic, and technical phenomenon - Expanded Cinematography

By GCI Co-Founder, Yuri Neyman, ASC:

A couple weeks ago, during the VES (Visual Effects Society) Summit in Los Angeles the panel of AMPAS (Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) Presidents discussed the impact of digital technology on blurring the lines between cinematography and VFX. Now it is often problematic to distinguish in the final image where the work of the cinematographer ends and where the VFX begins and vice versa. And if you add to the “soup” aka “the final image” the input of previsualization team and crews of virtual “lighters” and virtual cinematographers – the issue becomes even more complicated.

The current Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs stated: "Technology is changing the definitions of what we do" and the former Academy president and current co-president of the PGA Hawk Koch suggested that perhaps it’s time to come up with a new category called “Visual Imaging”.

A significant problem was discussed: how much the visual richness of VFX-based films originates from VFX, and how much from the “traditional” cinematography? How it may affect Academy nominations in Cinematography, Visual Effects and other categories, like animation, for the current Oscar front-runner “Gravity”?

The moderator Bill Kroyer, director of digital arts at Chapman University stated: "The action of Sandra [Bullock’s] body is key frame animation [meaning that it was animated by hand], that qualifies Gravity as an animated film."


According to article in “Hollywood Reporter”: Director Alfonso Cuaron has said that roughly 80 percent of Gravity was hand animated in the computer. In fact, when the actors are seen in space, only their faces come from live action photography. The environment, their bodies -- even the visors in front of their faces, is CG. The director also said that Director of Photography, Emmanuel Lubezki was involved in determining the lightning for the entire film, which included going to lead VFX house Framestore to work with the digital artists.

Nevertheless, according to “Hollywood Reporter”, that led the group to raise other questions, for instance: "Did Gravity Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki photograph the film?"

All those kind of discussion not a new for the faculty and students of Global Cinematography Institute where we are teaching the completely new subject “Expanded Cinematography”.

Few months ago, GCI published the Position Paper of the Faculty and Consultants of the Global Cinematography Institute titled “Expanding Cinematography - The Next Stage in the Development of New Visual Aesthetics and the Related Technologies in the Entertainment Industry”. In this document GCI presented its vision of the current stage and future possibilities for the cinematographic profession, and its influence on the whole image making process in the Industry.

No less important is that GCI’s vision of the future of our profession has foundations in the dedication to the “traditional” cinematographer’s artistic values such as light, color, composition, movement that can be expressed not only by photochemical process, but also by means of the latest technologies.

Global Cinematography Institute is an interdisciplinary school, which already instructs at a very high level, and will continue in its role as a creative lab for visual professionals of different disciplines and specialties, e.g., Directors, Cinematographers, Producers, Visual FX Artists, Digital Imaging Technicians, Previs Supervisors, Photographers and many other students from various backgrounds in the industry.

Our purpose is to pursue new forms, styles of education and new solutions to technological changes, as well as the aesthetic ones.

Global Cinematography Institute is forming a new visual, artistic, and technical phenomenon – “Expanded Cinematography”. It is the combination of live and virtual cinematography dominating the visual landscape of today’s image making in motion pictures, television, web-content, gaming and more to be discovered.

Expanded Cinematography is a state of mind, which is recasting the production process around creative choice, rather than developing and working around barriers created by gaps in the ever-evolving technical knowledge.

It creates a new unity of art and technology, the conversion of existing crafts and the activities of cinematography, design, art direction, special effects, visual effects, virtual lighting, previsualization, etc. as well as emerging visual practices into the newly crafted profession -  Artist-Designer-Technologist that is able to comprehend and solve any tasks which modern production can put in front of him or her.

Global Cinematography Institute’s aim is to expand cinematographers horizons into the new virtual-based areas of image-making and to teach them how to work in a positive creative and technical collaboration with their Previs, VFX and Virtual Cinematography colleagues and to reach new heights in the cinematographer’s profession.


About the author:

GCI co-founder Yuri Neyman, ASC is the instructor for "Lighting and Composition" course taught as part of GCI Level 1 and 2. In addition, Yuri facilitates screenings as part of "History of Cinematography" featuring many guest cinematographers who hold a Q & A session about their work, as well as do hands-on workshops with our students on the GCI Practical Stage. Yuri graduated from Moscow`s VGIK. He is best known for his cult classic film Liquid Sky, and modern film noir D.O.A., and also for the patented invention of Gamma and Density`s Co. 3cP System first ever on the set color correction workflow.
Global Cinematography Institute 2013


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