I'm a software developer type of person who works a lot with systems that stream media (movies, music videos etc) to end-users over various channels. I know a lot about video files and how to play them back and how to deliver them to the viewer and what formats should be used at the delivery end and how to use digital rights management.

However, I know very little about the production side of video handling and would like to learn more, so I can better work with content producers in the software solutions I create. I want to understand what data formats are used by the studios and the reasons behind them, for example. I want to understand what a movie studio sends to a post-processing shop and I want to understand how different content is mixed together.

I want to learn everything from the moment the media data enters the digital world (or perhaps even before that? Is physical analog film still used these days?) up to the moment where I get an encoded video file from the post-processing shop.

What are some good, general resources to use for learning about this? Are there any such resources, or is it all experience and hands-on learning?

1 Answer 1


The best quick, comprehensive, practical introduction to the film pipeline that I know of is the DV Rebel's Guide by Stu Maschwitz. It doesn't cover everything in depth, but it will give you enough terminology to know what else to search for. Film and video have very different workflows, but based on your question, it sounds like that may be part of what you want to know. Because that book is about replicating the film pipeline using digital video, it provides a unique insight into some of the differences.

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