Is the act of selecting suitable exposure values for printing the different scenes of a motion picture film. Commonly, in original negatives, densities due to exposure will vary considerably. These variations would make viewing of an unaltered print difficult because the range of brightness from one scene to the next would disturb the viewers concept of flow, they would be continuously gaping or squinting. To combat this each scene of a film is ‘graded’, either by eye or on a machine called an analyser. To end up with a print that is easy to watch, the printing technician will apply the different light intensities (called ‘lights’ eg. ‘light 25’, ‘light 15’ etc) that the Grader has determined, for each scene. In colour the exposure is adjusted for the three primary colours (RGB) independently and expressed as ’25-25-25’ or ’34-30-32’ etc for the RGB values.
One hopes to end up with a balanced print that is easy to view from a full sun beach scene to the darkened alley scene that may follow it. Grading is an art form and most commercial release productions will have gone through many grading sessions before the final release grading lights are come up with.
These lights or exposure values are then charted or stored as frame count cueing data in the analyser and used for the printing of the release prints.
In the U.S.A. it is called ‘timing’ or occasionally; ‘lighting’.