Responding to industry demand, new standards have been accepted so that UK broadcasters can now accept programmes in the Super 16mm format for broadcast on HD channels.
This move comes after a campaign led by Directors UK to advocate that filmmakers should be able to make a choice to shoot and deliver on both film and digital formats. The lobbying was supported by the likes of Kodak, Deluxe, Panavision, i-Dailies, Cinelab, and the British Society of Cinematographers.
The BBC has reviewed its delivery requirements after the BBC HD channel was closed and BBC One and Two launched in HD. (BBC Three and Four HD channels will accept the new standards when they launch.)
The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has published a new supplement to its delivery document, giving details of how Super 16mm acquired programme should be used by all the DPP broadcasters: BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, S4C, BSkyB and BT Sport.
Alan Yentob, BBC’s Creative Director said: “I am delighted we have been able to resolve the issues around Super 16 on HD channels on behalf of the creative community and to do so with the full support of all UK broadcasters. It’s a great result.”
Andy Quested, Head of Technology, BBC HD & UHDTV said: “The DPP Super 16mm document is a supplement to the main common technical standards and is for programmes that have been commissioned to shoot on Super 16mm film. It outlines the process that has been agreed with Directors UK after seeing the results of tests that were carried out by BBC R&D.”
Iain Softley [pictured], chair of Directors UK’s Film Committee, added: “Our campaign was about ensuring that filmmakers have the freedom to make the right choice - whether film or digital - for their projects, and it was clear that this had wide support from filmmakers and the industry. The new delivery standards will protect creative choice for directors and I am delighted they have been agreed by all the leading UK broadcasters.”
The DPP was established in 2011 to set standards, provide information and share best practices.