Grass Valley Captures Academy Award

Camera ushered in modern era of digital capture and production

First introduced by Grass Valley in 2002, the Viper FilmStream camera represents a significant milestone in the industry as the first production model digital cinematography camera that most closely emulated a traditional film workflow, providing the highest quality digital images at the time.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is recognizing the lasting impact of the Viper FilmStream camera with a Scientific and Technical Award at a ceremony in Beverly Hills on February 11. The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards are given annually for accomplishments that contribute to the progress of the motion picture industry.

“The Viper FilmStream camera was the first camera to use raw digital images directly from the sensor without any processing,” said Marco Lopez, president, Grass Valley. “Because of this, it was just like capturing from a film negative, without any ‘destructive’ permanent processing that would limit quality and range of correction in post-production. The real benefit was that the director and cinematographer could — for the first time — preview a scene immediately following the take, and confirm that each scene was exactly as desired before moving on to the next take. This reduced stress on set and was a massive step forward in film production.”

With the Viper FilmStream camera, film crews were able to enjoy longer shooting times than with film, immediately review full-resolution images to determine successful capture, make more than one master copy to prevent loss or damage, assign four different modes of digital capture on one camera, capture raw images while providing corrected output for monitoring, and move the post-production workflow onto the production set.






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