DEEP FILM Access Project

DEEP FILM Access Project (DFAP)

The DEEP FILM Access Project (DFAP) aims to unlock latent opportunities that exist within big and complex data sets generated by industrial digital film production.  

Filmmaking as a process recently reached a scale and complexity where a new on-set 'data wrangling' role has emerged to manage the data generated by the camera(s) alone - further complicated by inter-relating Computer Generated Imagery and shooting in Stereoscopic 3D.

Even small independent productions film on multiple cameras, increasing linearly the volume of raw material and exponentially the inter-relations between data items. Furthermore, data generated by the creative process, such as director and crew notations on quality, on the logistics and organisation of each shot, on props information and more, is recorded separately from camera data.

Actors Elle and Alice filmed by Robbie 

Currently, the archival conventions for all this data contains duplication and opportunities for error; it also makes it impossible to search different kinds of data in an integrated way.  

As film completes its transition from photo-chemical to digital, new archival methods and processes are needed toc ope with the data which also offers the potential for novel in-depth analysis of the film making process and results.  

DFAP will develop an integrated process and framework for the management of all of the assets created by digital feature film production. First, we will design classifications and definitions that will standardise the description, layering and interlinking of data assets and enable them to be openly accessible online. Then, we will define a way in which this information can be integrated with the records made by all those who work on the making of the film (actors, crew, etc). Consequently, it will be possible to jointly interrogate the data generated by the cameras and the data generated by the creative process.

Sally Alice and Elle 

DFAP will explore the range of questions that this joint interrogation opens up, and how these questions might lead to film production data being used in new ways, across academic disciplines and industry professions, to challenge and expand existing knowledge and practices. The new approach developed by DFAP will be tested and evaluated using British film director Sally Potter's latest release, Ginger & Rosa (2012), as a pilot. A period feature shot entirely on location in the UK, with a 3.5 million pound budget and a crew of over 155 members, it is almost entirely digital in all aspects. It provides an emblematic example of an industrial digital feature film production in contemporary Britain.

DFAP will use the pilot to gain a sense scale and to define what its integrated system would require to be applied to other projects and materials.  

The findings and outcomes of DFAP will be presented in peer reviewed journals and conferences. A project website will document the project as it develops, as well as its findings. In addition, the integrated dataset created as a result of the Ginger & Rosa pilot will be made openly accessible via Sally Potter's online archive.  

For more information about the project you can read our news article on the research.

Funders and partners