Jump to content


Photo

What is the post-production work-flow for film?


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Nooman Naqvi

Nooman Naqvi
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 91 posts
  • Student
  • Chicago

Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:23 PM

What is the post-production process-flow for 35mm (film)?

Is it:

1. Film development after shoot.
2. Film is scanned via a telecine machine. (whats the medium)?
3. Scanned film is edited on a computer. (what software)?
4. Film is written to 35mm reel for theatrical screening.? (what type/make/model of reel)?


A confused film student :(
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 18 May 2006 - 06:35 PM

I would read a book on the subject because that's what it would take to list all the variations possible. Try Dominic Case's book, "Film Technology in Post Production".

Some variations:

1) process the negative
2) make a positive workprint off of the negative, cut it on a film editing machine (Moviola, etc.)
3) have negative cutter cut ("conform") the negative rolls to match the workprint edit
4) strike prints off of the cut negative (answer printing to color-time image shot-by-shot, etc.)

1) process the negative
2) transfer the negative to standard video with keycode information
3) edit the video on a computer system, generate an EDL (edit decision list)
4) give the negative rolls to a negative cutter, who cuts the negative to match the EDL from the video edit
5) strike prints off of the cut negative
- OR -
4) based on EDL, scan/retransfer select portions of negative rolls to a high-rez digital format
5) create an edited digital master from these scans
6) digitally color-correct edited digital master
7) record digital files to 35mm negative / internegative
8) strike prints off of new negative / internegative

I'm skipping a lot of steps, like making large prints orders using the IP/IN process... and haven't addressed sound.
  • 0

#3 John Pytlak RIP

John Pytlak RIP

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 3499 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Rochester, NY 14650-1922

Posted 18 May 2006 - 09:22 PM

What is the post-production process-flow for 35mm (film)?

Is it:

1. Film development after shoot.
2. Film is scanned via a telecine machine. (whats the medium)?
3. Scanned film is edited on a computer. (what software)?
4. Film is written to 35mm reel for theatrical screening.? (what type/make/model of reel)?
A confused film student :(


Kodak has some good tutorials about the "imaging chain" and workflow:

http://www.kodak.com...ainDetect.shtml

http://www.kodak.com....1.4.19.6&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...1/dealing.shtml

http://www.laserpaci...Production2.pdf

Likewise the ACVL Handbook is an excellent resource:

http://www.acvl.org/...nual/index.html
  • 0

#4 Richard Vialet

Richard Vialet
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 18 May 2006 - 09:42 PM

this may sound stupid but David you implied that the color-timing happened during the intermediate (positive) stage (hence with the name digital intermediate)...i mean i know the term "printer lights" has the term "print" in it but i always assumed that you mainly used them for color-correction when printing to the interpositive and then you strike an timed IN master from that and then make your release prints...

can you expand on the timing stage a little more, and what is the purpose of the intermediate?

Also a question that has been nagging at me: when timing in a DI, do cinematographers generally still rely on specialized printer-lights or do things like skip-bleach processes on the prints after the fact, or generally, is it the norm to just get the whole look in the DI?

sorry if this is too many pregnant questions...!

Im sorry i made a mistake on my last post and i couldnt figure out how to edit it...i meant to say that David implied that the correction happens in the PRINTING STAGE and that I assumed that it happened in the INTERMEDIATE stage

im sorry for the confusion and i hope you can still answer my questions

this may sound stupid but David you implied that the color-timing happened during the printing stage. I always assumed that it happened during the intermediate (positive) stage (hence with the name digital intermediate)...i mean i know the term "printer lights" has the term "print" in it but i always assumed that you mainly used them for color-correction when printing to the interpositive and then you strike an timed IN master from that and then make your release prints...
can you expand on the timing stage a little more, and what is the purpose of the intermediate?
Also a question that has been nagging at me: when timing in a DI, do cinematographers generally still rely on specialized printer-lights or do things like skip-bleach processes on the prints after the fact, or generally, is it the norm to just get the whole look in the DI?
sorry if this is too many pregnant questions...!


Im so sorry as you can see im trying to edit my post and im just doing a HORRENDOUS job of it!!:(
  • 0

#5 Richard Vialet

Richard Vialet
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 18 May 2006 - 09:56 PM

this may sound stupid but David you implied that the color-timing happened during the intermediate (positive) stage (hence with the name digital intermediate)...i mean i know the term "printer lights" has the term "print" in it but i always assumed that you mainly used them for color-correction when printing to the interpositive and then you strike an timed IN master from that and then make your release prints...

can you expand on the timing stage a little more, and what is the purpose of the intermediate?

Also a question that has been nagging at me: when timing in a DI, do cinematographers generally still rely on specialized printer-lights or do things like skip-bleach processes on the prints after the fact, or generally, is it the norm to just get the whole look in the DI?

sorry if this is too many pregnant questions...!
  • 0

#6 John Pytlak RIP

John Pytlak RIP

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 3499 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Rochester, NY 14650-1922

Posted 18 May 2006 - 10:17 PM

I think most of those questions are answered in the links I provided. Also, Focal Press and other publishers have some excellent tutorial books on post production (e.g., the books by our own Dominic Case):

http://www.sarai.net...ages/biblio.htm

http://www.amazon.co...glance&n=283155

https://www.studentf.../home.php?cat=3
  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 18 May 2006 - 10:47 PM

If you are talking about timing on FILM, the three printer lights can be manipulated to control density and color when making any film element from another film element, but most commonly, it happens when making prints off of the original negative, since the original negative has no corrections yet built into it. So you make a series of prints called "answer prints" off of the negative, varying the printer lights when making the print to create a final balanced image on the print.

You can then make more prints off of the original negative using those sets of printer light numbers. At some point, you will also add the soundtracks (optical & digital) to the prints, now called "composite prints."

Using these sets of printer light numbers, you can also create a color-timed image onto intermediate dupe stock -- since this is from the original negative, the image on the intermediate stock becomes a positive, so it's called an interpositive (I.P.)

So now you have some color-timed prints off of the original negative, and a color-timed I.P. made off of the original negative. From this I.P., you copy the image onto intermediate dupe stock again, but now it becomes a negative image, or internegative (I.N.) Since the image has already been color-timed, the I.N. will be printed from the I.P. using one set of printer lights for the whole roll ("one light"). And then prints can be made off of the I.N. also at one-light, although you could start the answer printing process all over again and change the printer lights shot-by-shot, but then you will be paying more to make each print off of the I.N., as opposed to making one-light prints off of the I.N.

For digital intermediates, you normally start by scanning original negative, which has no corrections built into it, so all the color-correction is done digitally.

For home video transfers of movies finished photochemically, you usually use the color-timed I.P. for the final video transfer, since it is close in quality to the original negative, but it is color-timed, so the transfer process goes faster (you still need to digitally color-correct shot-by-shot, but it goes faster because the shots are closer to the final look.)

Since D.I.'s are already quite expensive, it is hard to get a studio to consider also doing a special photochemical process to each release print, although it is possible of course. You can simulate a silver retention process digitally, but doing a silver retention process to a print causes the D-max to be higher than normally possible, creating "super blacks", blacker than the print stock can normally create.

Also, the goal of a D.I. is to be able to out a negative that can be printed at one-light, especially if the output is going to be on Estar stock so that large numbers of release prints can be made -- which need to be one-light prints to be fast and affordable. Otherwise, if the film-out still needs to be color-timed shot-by-shot, more than likely the studio would create a color-timed I.P. from this output negative, so that the I.N. and release prints can all be one-lighted.

"Jarhead" did a partial skip-bleach to the original negative, which was then scanned at 4K for the D.I. -- so the look was part photochemical and part due to the D.I.

In terms of using an ENR-type process for all the release prints for something that when through a D.I.. more likely is that the ENR desaturated, contrasty look would be designed into the D.I. and if deeper blacks were wanted for the prints, the filmmakers would try to convince the distributor to at least use a print stock with a high D-max, like Vision Premier or the new Fuji XD print stock. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a movie that went through a D.I. that also used a silver retention process for the release prints. Some movies may have done a partial skip-bleach to an I.P. though -- I know that "Daredevil" tested that.
  • 0

#8 Richard Vialet

Richard Vialet
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 19 May 2006 - 08:56 AM

Thanks David! That was the best answer anyone has ever given me to my questions! I'm gonna save this page for reference purposes in the future. The new SHADOWBOXER trailer looks great by the way.
  • 0

#9 Nooman Naqvi

Nooman Naqvi
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 91 posts
  • Student
  • Chicago

Posted 19 May 2006 - 03:26 PM

Thank you guys. This is tremendous help. and I will definately buy Dominic Case's book.

One last question. The final product (reel) that is shipped to the theaters for screening, what film stock is that? Is it positive stock or is it simply known as "Print Films"?


example?

http://www.kodak.com...d=0.1.4.8&lc=en

or

http://www.fujifilmu...603437&product=
  • 0

#10 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 19 May 2006 - 05:53 PM

Same thing, print or positive film.

Not to be confused with reversal film.

It's confusing because other than reversal, all film is "negative" -- it produces the opposite in density of the generation it is copied from. So print stock basically creates a negative image of a negative, thus a positive image. Intermediate stock for I.P.'s and I.N.'s is the same stock, just that if you expose a negative onto it, you get a positive image, but if you expose a positive image onto it, you get a negative image.

The main difference between an interpositive and a print is that the interpositive is very low in contrast (so as to not cause an increase in contrast as the original negative gets duplicated) and has the orange color-mask of a negative, whereas print stock has a very high contrast (so that the blacks look black enough when projected onto a white screen) and has no orange color-mask.
  • 0


Abel Cine

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

CineTape

Tai Audio

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Opal

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Metropolis Post