ISO standards keep films rolling so you can enjoy your favorite movies
It is a small world – well, thanks to standardization it is – and the film industry is an excellent example of a global industry that has managed to keep its world very small indeed.
Standards play a crucial part throughout the numerous stages of the complex, and often international, motion picture supply chain. A film can be shot in one country, edited in another, sound mixed in yet another, and then the masterpiece exhibited in many of the 140 000-or-so cinema screens worldwide with no technical need for local conversion whatsoever.
And this is very important : whilst there is invariably nothing more precious to film-makers than the integrity by which their artistry is exhibited, it is the producers and distributors who are particularly interested in minimizing the costs in achieving this! Standards play a crucial part in minimizing these costs; moreover, standards play a crucial part in maximizing that artistic integrity by specifying performance characteristics of the numerous systems and materials used in the total supply chain from production through to exhibition.
ISO/TC 36, Cinematography, is all about the standardization of definitions, dimensions, methods of measurement and test, and performance characteristics relating to materials and apparatus used in silent and sound motion picture photography; in sound recording and reproduction related thereto; in the installation and characteristics of projection and sound reproduction. One of the first cinematographic achievements : Lumiere’s “Arrival of a train at La Ciotat Station” (1895). equipment; in laboratory work; and in standards relating to sound and picture films used in television.
It is quite a scope and since its inception in 1947, ISO/TC 36 has published in excess of 100 standards that have removed and are expected to continue to remove technical barriers to trade, and to enable open markets in various regions of the world.