Category Archives: What We Face

Different things…with an emphasis on ‘different’.

Academy to mandate theatrical expansions for best picture contenders starting in 2024 | News | Screen



In a move that will require distributors to plan wider and longer theatrical releases, the Academy has issued new rules starting next season that will ensure companies expand a best picture contender’s theatrical footprint no later than 45 days after the initial qualifying release.

In a bid to support theatre-going, new requirements by the board starting with the 97th Academy Awards honouring films released in 2024 mean that once a film has received its initial one-week theatrical release in one of six qualifying US markets, it must meet certain additional theatrical standards for best picture eligibility:

  • Expanded theatrical run of seven days, consecutive or non-consecutive, in 10 of the top 50 US markets, no later than 45 days after the initial release in 2024;
  • For late-in-the-year films with expansions after January 10, 2025, distributors must submit release plans to the Academy for verification;
  • Release plans for late-in-the-year films must include a planned expanded theatrical run, as described above, to be completed no later than January 24, 2025;
  • Non-US territory releases can count towards two of the 10 markets; and
  • Qualifying non-US markets include the top 15 international theatrical markets plus the home territory for the film.

The Academy will review the new requirements, as it does all eligibility rules, on an ongoing basis. Eligibility for achievements in the various discipline categories will not be impacted by the new requirements.

The new measures follow Academy conversations with distributors of all sizes and are in synch with the Academy’s belief that a vibrant theatrical sector is crucial to the well-being of the industry.

While the new requirements will extend theatrical runs by at least seven days they do not mandate distributors to keep films in theatres for 45 days; rather the companies must put their films in 10 markets within 45 days of release and could in theory open a film in 10 or more markets straight away.

The expansion requirement may be challenging to smaller distributors, which is why the Academy has announced the measures this week to give distributors time to plan 2024 releases. There are no restrictions on films subsequently getting a re-release more than 45 days after the initial launch date. Distributors often do this after the Oscar nominations are announced.

Distributors of late-year releases would have less than 45 days in which to expand their films’ theatrical footprints given the January 24 2025 cut-off.

While the rule change is not about the length of a theatrical run, it also remains to be seen how it will impact the streamers’ theatrical engagement.

For this season at least, Amazon Studios has shown it is committed to a considerable exclusive theatrical release as it did with Air, which got a 30-day exclusive theatrical run and played on more than 3,500 screens before it arrived on Prime Video.

Screen understands Apple is planning 45-day exclusive runs on its upcoming Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott epics Killers Of The Flower Moon (with Paramount) and Napoleon (with Sony).

Netflix does not always give a film a long theatrical run and last year the streamer put Rian Johnson’s whodunnit Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in theatres for one week before the platform debut. Executive chairman Reed Hastings explained that while he was aware the company was leaving money on the table by foregoing a longer theatrical release, it was promotional tactic in service to Netflix subscribers and Netflix had no plans to build a theatrical business.

What remained unclear at time of writing was how smaller distributors that lack spending power – particularly those handling international feature film contenders whose producers or national film bodies cannot commit to a substantial release – will afford to expand their initial theatrical footprint.

It was also unclear which source will define the top 15 international theatrical markets. Screen understands the Academy will adapt as market ranking fluctuates.

“As we do every year, we have been reviewing and assessing our theatrical eligibility requirements for the Oscars,” said Academy CEO Bill Kramer and president Janet Yang. “In support of our mission to celebrate and honor the arts and sciences of moviemaking, it is our hope that this expanded theatrical footprint will increase the visibility of films worldwide and encourage audiences to experience our artform in a theatrical setting. Based on many conversations with industry partners, we feel that this evolution benefits film artists and movie lovers alike.”

UNIC’s 2023 Annual Report Published at CineEurope





CineEurope 2023, Barcelona: 20 June 2023 – The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the trade association representing cinema operators and their national associations across 39 European territories, has today published its Annual Report on key cinema trends in the region in 2022/23.


Arthouse Cinema Group – CICAE – Calls for Support After Funding Cuts

CICAE calls for support after Creative Europe – MEDIA cuts funding for the only international training for arthouse cinemas

– The association claims their course for young cinema professionals will not be able to be continued without the main funder

CICAE Logo – Confederation Internationale des Cinemas d'art et E'essai

The International Arthouse Cinema Association CICAE is calling for support after Creative Europe – MEDIA cut funding for the only international training for arthouse cinemas. In 2004, the association established an international training course for young cinema professionals from Europe and many other countries to strengthen and build their skills, develop new ideas and create new business models for the cinema of the future in an ever-changing media world. For the period 2023-2025, the MEDIA programme of the European Union has withdrawn its support for this initiative.

According to the association, “Without the main funder, the training course will not be able to be continued. And this at a time when cinema urgently needs new impulses for the future after three years of the pandemic and rising energy costs.”

CICAE has issued a call for action, which you can read below:

“The business model of cinemas is evolving, as is the behaviour of its audience. Events, programme diversity and new marketing strategies are becoming just as important as investments in digital and ecological modernisation.

“All of this is embodied in the Arthouse Cinema Training, which has trained and further educated almost 1,000 cinema operators and film professionals over the years so that they can successfully establish the cinema as a permanent place of encounter in the neighbourhood in a rapidly changing society,” the association adds in their press release.

“Professionalisation, innovation and networking are the keys to the necessary change in our industry. Through the Arthouse Cinema Training, a network of alumni has been created to foster the ideas of the European Union and the MEDIA network in their everyday work, such as increasing audiences’ interest in and knowledge of European films and audiovisual work, and promoting competitiveness, scalability, cooperation, innovation and sustainability in the European audiovisual sector.

“The training programme remains the only international training scheme that is specifically, explicitly and individually tailored to the needs of the independent exhibition industry. Unlike other market participants, such as creatives and producers, there are neither targeted national training programmes nor many opportunities for international meetings for the arthouse exhibition industry.

“With the discontinuation of EU funding, there is a serious risk of losing a painstakingly built network and support structures developed over many years, which strengthened the role of arthouse cinemas, and which contributed to the dissemination and visibility of the diversity of European filmmaking.

“In her State of the Union address in September, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, declared 2023 to be the ‘European Year of Competences’. These are exactly the competences we need for European cinema because the shortage of skilled workers is also affecting movie theatres.

“We need a new generation of courageous cinema operators who also trust in the power of cinema and will stand up for film and art diversity, and thus also for democratic values in Europe.

“We need the Arthouse Cinema Training to continue having exhibitors doing the essential work of showcasing and creating visibility for a rich, beautiful and daring European cinema.”


CineEurope 2022, Barcelona: 21 June 2022 – The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the trade association representing cinema operators and their national associations across 39 European territories, has today published its Annual Report on key cinema trends in the region in 2021/22.

The report – available online here – provides an in-depth look at recent trends and developments in the European cinema industry, one of the most diverse, innovative and dynamic in the World.

Having faced the unprecedented challenges of the COVID pandemic, 2021 saw cinemas across the globe move swiftly along the road to recovery. European cinema admissions increased by an estimated 36.4 per cent in 2021, with almost 590 million visits across the region. Box office reached €3.7 billion, an increase of 40.8 per cent on the previous year. At EU level – including the UK – close to 400 million tickets were sold in cinemas, worth an estimated €3.0 billion at the box office – an increase of 31.1 per cent and 38.4 per cent respectively. All this when most screens across the region were shut for the first six months of the year and operating for the remainder under limited occupancy and/or additional restrictions.

The relevance of local European releases was never clearer than during these challenging times, with countries such as
France (40.6 per cent), the
Czech Republic (38.3 per cent),
Serbia (37 per cent),
Denmark (37 per cent) and
Norway (28.1 per cent)
leading the way in terms of national films’ market share. In 2021, several European and International titles managed to break box office records at national and international level, all the more astonishing given their challenging release context.

The hugely impressive figures featured in the UNIC report – and the predictions for 2022 – provide ample demonstration of the resilience of the cinema sector, underpinned by the insatiable public appetite for the cinema-going experience. With the cinema industry now firmly set on the path of recovery, we are confident that it will get back to the record- breaking results of 2019.

Commenting on the report’s publication, UNIC President Phil Clapp said:

“While the numbers shown here for 2021 are very positive, it remains the case that these remain challenging times for the European cinema sector. As a consequence, all industry stakeholders and policy-makers need to continue to pursue efforts aimed at ensuring the survival of local cinemas, whatever their size and location.

The only way to achieve this is to focus on ensuring both sustainability for all stakeholders in the value chain as well as the availability of films to the benefit of audiences.

2022 will be a pivotal year for the industry. UNIC members are confident that the cinema industry will come back stronger from this crisis, and that, as before, the audience will continue to enjoy films together, on the Big Screen.”

Many of the trends examined in the Annual Report will also be discussed during the week at CineEurope, UNIC’s official convention and Europe’s premier gathering of cinema exhibition professionals from the region and beyond.

Notes for editors

The 2022 UNIC Annual Report is available online here.

The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC)

The Union Internationale des Cinémas/International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) represents the interests of cinema trade associations and cinema operators covering 39 countries in Europe and neighbouring regions.


CineEurope 2022 is taking place 20-23 June at the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain. CineEurope is the longest running and most successful European convention and trade show for major, regional, and independent cinema professionals. CineEurope will feature exclusive screenings and product presentations of upcoming films, sponsored events, timely and informative seminars, and the CineEurope Trade Show. CineEurope is the Official Convention of the Union Internationale des Cinémas/International Union of Cinemas (UNIC).

The Film Expo Group

The Film Expo Group is the premier organizer of events in the motion picture industry. The Film Expo Group produces CineEurope, held in Barcelona; ShowEast, held in Miami; and CineAsia, held in Bangkok.

Further enquiries

[email protected] / +32 488 08 51 95 | @CineEurope | @UNIC_Cinemas

Union Internationale des Cinémas | International Union of Cinemas | UNIC
Av. des Arts 10-11 boîte 11 | 1210 Brussels (Saint-Josse-ten-Noode) | Belgium 
Twitter: @UNIC_Cinemas | Facebook: @UNIC.Cinemas


There’s a funny thing on the internet that lets people in public service jobs know how to deal with those who are disabled – those poor disabled people who have no ability to use Braille or sign language in this case!

What to Do when You Meet a Sighted Person

“Sighted people tend to be very proud and will not ask directly for assistance. Be gentle, yet firm.”

“Calmly alert the sighted person to his or her surroundings by speaking slowly, in a normal tone of voice. There is no need to raise your voice when addressing a sighted person.”

OK;  jokes aside. We are in a service business, and we get a lot of practice dealing with people who can walk strait to the proper line without assistance, but we don’t get a lot of practice dealing with people who need different kinds of assistance.

Does that blind person get a benefit from using Closed Caption equipment? Uhm…probably not. Audio Description equipment? Yes! Probably, yes. Should you ask? Good idea. 

There are a couple good reasons to ask. One, it helps with the first basic communication point: everyone gets to know that they are being paid attention to. Two, people jump to the wrong conclusion sometimes. I may think that you are looking at your ticket to find the auditorium number, but you are looking to see if you have the right date.

When someone needs to use the Accessibility Equipment, they may think that

  • you are an expert and that
  • the equipment has been tested recently and that
  • the batteries are fully charged and that
  • the projectionist has made the playlist perfectly, including the captions and narration tracks and that
  • the accessibility hardware in the projection booth is turned on and tested

And, of course you are an expert…or want to be…but no matter how hard you study the equipment you don’t seem to get enough practice. And you are never around on SlowTuesday when the practice sessions are.

<Work in Progress – tell us your stories until we get this done…>

Tips for Working with People (clients and workmates) with Specific Needs

Follow the tips below when working with people with specific needs:

  • Use common sense. Remember a client or workmate is a person first, the specific need comes second.
  • Avoid being patronizing. Show the person the same courtesy and respect you expect to receive from others.
  • Be considerate and patient. Try to anticipate what the person’s needs might be,  without being too presumptive or obsequious. Offer assistance if needed without forcing yourself on them.
  • Be patient if he or she needs more time to communicate or accomplish a task.
  • Communicate with the person. Some people with specific needs may have an assistant or companion with them. Look at and speak directly to the person, rather than the assistant.
  • Make certain that your posted signs help the person with specific needs to find the most accessible way to get to the room where they can get the service they require.

Working with People with Limited Mobility

When working with people with mobility issues:

  • Do not push or touch a person’s wheelchair without his or her consent. People using adaptive equipment often consider the equipment as part of their personal space.
  • Ask before helping. Grabbing a person’s elbow may throw the person off balance. A person with mobility impairments might lean on a door while opening it. Quickly opening the door may cause the person to fall. 
  • Secure mats, rugs, and cords to the floor or move them out of the way. This will help prevent tripping.
  • Keep floors dry.
  • Keep ramps and wheelchair accessible doors unlocked and free of clutter.

Working with People with Speech or Hearing Impairments

When working with people with speech difficulties or who are deaf or hard of hearing:

  • Allow a person who cannot speak to write his or her request. Read the statement or request out loud.
  • Follow the person’s cues. This will help to determine whether speaking, gestures, or writing is the most effective method of communication.
  • If speaking, speak calmly, slowly, and directly to the person. Do not shout. Your facial expressions, gestures, and body movements help in understanding. Face the person at all times.
  • Rephrase, rather than repeat, sentences that the person does not understand.

Working with People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

When working with people with speech difficulties or  who are blind or partially sighted:

  • Identify yourself as a cinema employee. Do this as soon as you come in contact with the patron. Offer your arm, rather than taking the person’s arm when assisting.  Help the person avoid obstacles in the path of travel by being specific when giving verbal directions.
  • If the person has a service animal, walk on the opposite side of the person, away from the service animal . Do not pet or interact with the service animal without the owner’s permission.
  • Describe what you are doing as you are doing it. If walking away from a person who is blind or partially sighted, let him or her know. This prevents the situation where they continue talking to no one.

10) What Does It Mean: Scope and Flat?

Hey! Hi. This page is was duplicated at the Training Courses site, with new edits, at:What Does It Mean: Scope and Flat?

Please use this new site, since it will be the most up to date and it will come with new features. Thanks!


The first question: Why Do We Care?

Every Answer begins the same way: There are many things that can go wrong with the presentation of the moving picture.

In this case, we are working with the shape of the picture. Movies evolved from almost square to very wide.

This topic is a little tricky. Even if the shape is wrong – too narrow or too short – at least the image is on the screen. In some cases, the images may look OK if you just glance at the image. But there are things to look for.

Will the audience care? Many will. They will think that the screen looks too small, or the image looks too small. (Nobody ever complains about too big!) They may complain that the people on screen are too thin, or too fat.

Buzzwords: “Scope” “Flat” “Format” “Constant Height” “Constant Width” “Aspect Ratio” “Two-Three-Five” “One-Eight-Five” (written 2.39 or 1.85 and 2.39:1 or 1.85:1). We will show the definition of these terms with examples. Don’t look them up now – they have too many meanings and most explanations are more complicated than we need to be.

The Complication: There are 2 correct forms for an image on the screen. Even in the same facility, some auditoriums may be one type, and other auditoriums may be the other type!

Masking and Curtains in a Cinema Auditorium

Potential Points of Failure: Screen. Curtains. Motors for Curtains. Cord for Curtains. Masking. Motors for masking. Chains for masking. Automation Electronics. Projector. Automation setting on Playlist. Instructions that tell which setting to put into the playlist!

Don’t let this get too complicated. We are only talking about the size of the rectangle of the movie on the screen.

Movies are created in 2 different shapes. The measurements for both of them is just about 2 times as large side to side (the width) compared to the dimension from top to bottom (the height). For example, the following picture shows this concept of a rectangle that is 2 times wide and 1 times high.

A pretend cinema screen two times wide and one times high

A simple way to write this is ‘2 to 1’ or ‘2:1’, which means 2 units in one direction compared to 1 unit in another direction.)

The important things to remember is:

There are two formats

One format is slightly smaller than 2 times wide and 1 times tall – that format is called Flat.

One format is slightly wider than 2 times wide and 1 times tall – that format is called Scope.

Here is a picture of those 2 formats placed with our 2 to 1 picture.

Two to One, with Flat and Scope

The choice for this happens very early in the movie making process – probably during the first hours of conversation between the producer and director, or sometimes the director and the cinematographer. Will we shoot this movie wide or do we shoot this movie tall?

Of course, they don’t use those terms. Art and Science are never that simple – there are always special words, or words with special meanings. They choose between “Scope” or “Flat”.

There is no rule that says a movie should be one way or the other. Sometimes a director will only work in one form, then suprise you by making a movie in another. Or, sometimes people will say that all action movies are in Scope. But a little research will show that isn’t always true.

Anyway, after the director’s decision, every scene of that movie will be shot through a lens that is in that form – what is called a format. And of course, the last lens of the movie process – the lens that is attached to your projector – will make the movie appear in that format on your screen.

Here be dragons!Maybe you remember those old maps with the ship at the edge near the sign that says: Warning – Here Be Dragons~! Well…Warning — Here Be Maths~! …and, yes, we promised to keep math to a minimum. But there will be drawings too, with arrows and bright colors. So, be brave. Continue reading 10) What Does It Mean: Scope and Flat?

mp4 Samples of Managers Walk Through Series DCPs

The following mp4 files are taken from the same sources as the free DCPs available for the non-technical cinema manager, the ones used to check the cinema auditorium. The only difference is that the sub-titles are burned into these QuickTime files. In the DCPs, the sub-titles are a file that the server and projector use to create the sub-titles. Perhaps the higher compression shows bands in the greys as well, but on the big screen they should look and sound fabulous.

This first sample is derived from the site, to give a bit of interesting “other” after using the Align1 and Faces1 DCPs. Continue reading mp4 Samples of Managers Walk Through Series DCPs

7) Measuring Light

Hey! Hi. This page is was duplicated at the Training Courses site, with new edits, at: Measuring Light

Please use this new site, since it will be the most up to date and it will come with new features. Thanks!

Imagine that you have joined a  non-technical employee Quality Assurance Project. You might have many goals: I want to learn a bit more about the technology of movies, or, I want to be part of a well trained team that keeps customers happy… and you might have many different purposes for those goals: If I can help create happy customers, they come back more often…or, if I have good control of the basic skills, I can use them to get even more important skills, becoming more valueable to my team and company. To accomplish these goals and achieve these purposes, there are many things that need to be done.

Of course, your goals and purposes must align with the quality policies set by the CEO of the company (Cheif Executive Officer). The CEO might say that your small village theater can only get so much money for seat and carpet replacement and do the best with what we have, but we are not a premium movie palace. Or, the CEO might say, spare no expense, this is the Flagship Theater for the entire chain and it has to be the best. Or, something in between.

Usually there is a way to be true to your aspirations and stay within the boundries set by the boss. No matter what, the boss would never want us to compromise safety, or show a bad image on the screen, or let the sound get full of distortion. They probably want to make sure that each patron is satisfied with what the facility and what the staff have to offer, even if it can’t be the perfect place. So this includes wanting an educated staff that is able to communicate intelligently with patron and tech staff.

And that is what we are going to do, a little at a time – learn to communicate about the performance of the facility with the patrons, a little at a time. In this section we are going to learn about measuring light levels with simple equipment …your iPhone, right?

So, if at first you don’t have the organizational support to download DCPs onto a USB drive, then get the DCPs into the Media Player/Projector system right now – you can still download some audio and light measuring tools, and experiment with them until you can use them easily in a dark room.   Continue reading 7) Measuring Light

9) What’s It Mean? Distortion?

Hey! Hi. This page is was duplicated at the Training Courses site, with new edits, at: What’s It Mean? Distortion?

Please use this new site, since it will be the most up to date and it will come with new features. Thanks!

Let’s do this again, go through a term that everybody uses but which has a different meaning depending on who you talk to. We care about the particular meaning that will correctly get an idea across to the Tech Team. We have to describe a problem so it can solved quickly and well.

Distortion – For our purpose, distortion is the term that describes the imperfect recreation of the original sound of the motion picture. There are other definitions and uses, including the use with picture details such as ‘brightness and contrast problems’ or ‘focus problems’ or different kinds of color and screen problems.

Sound problems can be detailed too – for example, ‘too loud!’, or ‘too soft in one area of the room or one set of frequencies, like the ‘bass being too low’ or ‘a rattle that occurs when a loud noise happens onscreen’. But for many sounds we cab just say it is ‘distorted’ and let the tech figure the exact cause.

Here is a sample of 3 bell sounds. The 2nd is purposely made jagged, and the 3rd imitates a blanket on the bell. Most people would call the 2nd one distorted, and the 3rd one muted.

Another difference between sound distortion and picture distortion is that we generally know what a face or pair of shoes should look. But we don’t know how the warp plasma-drive should sound when it is having problems, or how rich an orchestra is supposed to sound in the side speakers – maybe they are supposed to be lower on one side or the other.

We really don’t have a way to know if something is being played back correctly. Maybe the director wanted the sound to be “dark” or “jagged”. We in the cinema were not there for the recording or post production mix. But generally we can presume that gross cracking and ugly sounds are not right.

Here’s a speaker that tried too hard, broke apart, and will now sound horrible – gross cracking and ugly (if it makes sounds at all!)


If you ask any sound mixer, they will say something like, “We mix the dialog so that it sounds like the natural level for the person speaking in the scene. Then we mix the music and sound effects around that so that everything can be heard.”

Statistically, something like 80 or 85% of the dialog comes from the center speaker. The rest is mixed in the center and left or the center and right speakers.

So, we know that if the dialog doesn’t sound natural and if it is coming from one of the side surround channels, that something is probably wrong – and should be reported.

What does it mean, ‘natural’?

That is a great question and the answer is amazingly simple and amazingly complex.

Human languages are incredibly complex. There are some parts of words that you can throw away and no one notices.

but there are some sounds that, if they go missing, the word doesn’t sound like a word – or maybe it could be one of 20 words.

8) What’s It Mean? Contrast…

Hey! Hi. This page has been duplicated and updated at the Training Courses site: What’s It Mean? Contrast…

Please use this new site, since it will be the most up to date and it will come with new features. Thanks!

As usual, the first question for every “What Does It Mean” topic is: Why Do We Care?

Every Answer begins the same: there are many things that can go wrong with the presentation of the moving picture. In this case, we are working with how much dark and how much bright there is on the screen.

This one is a very tricky. The image is onscreen. In most cases, the images may look OK if you just glance at the image, or if you don’t know what to look for.

Will the audience care? Maybe not. They don’t know what “Correct” is.  They will think that the picture lacks “Pop”, or some other quality. But if you don’t know that the black suit is really supposed to have fine light blue lines in it, then the black suit might look OK.

Buzzwords: “Black Levels”, “Crushed Black Level”, “No Greys”, “Gamma Problem”, “Brightness”.

We will show the definition of these terms with examples of how they apply to our situation as someone who is checking the quality of the picture. Don’t look them up now since they have many meanings and most are more complicated than we need.

Complication: Almost all cinema projectors have a problem creating perfect blacks. But there is a range of deep blacks and deep grays that they should create without problem.

And white too! Perfect white is never shown – it would ruin your eye’s ability to notice differences between things when the picture is too bright.

Which is the problem with Contrast…too bright, you can’t see details in the darks. Too dark – muddy – you can’t see the detail in the bright.

There needs to be a good range – when you look in the dark, in the shadows, there should be richness in the dark reds and and dark blues and and dark greens and and greys. And when there is is bright scene, there should be good pastel colors too.

Another problem is – We don’t always know what the artist wanted – a lot of movies are ‘moody’ and ‘dark’. But even dark movies shouldn’t be mushy.

Potential Points of Failure: Bad setup on the Projector. Wrong Lens. Port Window, if very dirty. Old screen. Dirty screen.

Look at these three versions of the same winter scene at Yosemite Falls in California.

In the first one, you can see the amazing falls against the crisp rocks, and the golden hour sun is beautifully lighting up the mountaintop.

In the 2nd one you can almost taste the frost from the frozen lake. The air is so crisp and clear that you can see several layers through the trunks of the trees. If you hadn’t already seen the gold in the mountains, the 2nd picture would be OK.

The 3rd is in between…not as on fire, not as clear through the tree trunks…dark in fact. The falls don’t stand out as sharply against the rocks.

By now you may have guessed, the 3rd one is the one that the artist created. The difference in the three is entirely the level of Contrast.

Low Contrast

So. What is Contrast?

Simply, in the cinema, there is a level of white and a level of black. Outside, on a sunny day, the level of bright can be 30,000 or perhaps up to 120,000 at the brightest day at the brightest time in the brightest place…and reflections on cars…they can be 10’s of thousands of bright too! And, the level of black? Wow, a dark night sky in a forest when you can’t see the hand in front of your face – a single candle will seem very bright indeed. Let’s call a candle at arms length 1. Move the candle away and it becomes .1 and .01 and .001. In theory, our eyes can still see that candle on a perfectly dark and clear night when it is many miles (or kilometers) away.

Move the candle close to you, or put several candles in your hand…or a light that has the power of several hundred candles …well, at some point you get too much light in your eyes and, in protection, they shut. And inside the eyes, in protection, there is a protection mechanism as well.

But let’s not get off the point: Contrast is the difference between the highest level of bright and the lowest level of dark. If black is 1 and white is 2,000, then we say the contrast is 2000 to 1. It is written like this – 2000:1. When it is written like that, it is called the Contrast Ratio.

Why do you need to know that?

You want to have a good feeling about your ability to notice good and bad contrast. And, most importantly, how to tell the technician what you see when there is a problem.

We give a little more detail about these things in Part 2, with more examples.

But first, take a break. The exercise for this lesson is to look in shadows while you are living life.

Notice: there are important details to see in the shadows. Look under tables. Look into the dark and notice how colors shift down to black. You might have to purposely shade your eyes from a bright light.

And: Notice how there are things to see even in light that is almost too bright to look at. The colors will be softer in bright light, even for the same shoe or car or face that was a deep rich color when you saw it in the dark.

When you have experience and a good feeling for these ideas of Contras, click into Contrast – Part 2

Photo by Rodrigo Soares on Unsplash

A little intro music…

Hey~! We’re here with an idea that you might like to have some tools, tools that might help create a better experience of your audience members, tools that will help you find errors before they do.