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16mm Post Workflow Help


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#1 David Sweetman

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 01:56 AM

I am in mid-to-late pre-production for a 25-30 minute 16mm short I am shooting this summer. We will be submitting to festivals. A film print is out of the question, considering our budget. I would like to retain as much resolution as possible.

This means instead of my original plan of going to SD, I would like to, if possible, cut in HD. I'd have to buy Avid Xpress HD (i can get it very cheap); my current version is Pro.

I'm supposed to meet with the post house sometime next week. But I'd like to go in knowing something, at least ball-park figures...

1. What is the best HD format to telecine to?
2. How much to hire a deck? How are decks hired generally, is it a daily rate?
3. What formats will festivals take (what should I finish on)?

this is my first major 16mm short, so I'll probably have a few more questions pertaining to it...thanks in advance for any replies (I realize that anyone who will answer probably answers these kind of questions a lot...so thanks for putting up with me)
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:40 AM

I am in mid-to-late pre-production for a 25-30 minute 16mm short I am shooting this summer. We will be submitting to festivals. A film print is out of the question, considering our budget. I would like to retain as much resolution as possible.

This means instead of my original plan of going to SD, I would like to, if possible, cut in HD. I'd have to buy Avid Xpress HD (i can get it very cheap); my current version is Pro.

I'm supposed to meet with the post house sometime next week. But I'd like to go in knowing something, at least ball-park figures...

1. What is the best HD format to telecine to?
2. How much to hire a deck? How are decks hired generally, is it a daily rate?
3. What formats will festivals take (what should I finish on)?

this is my first major 16mm short, so I'll probably have a few more questions pertaining to it...thanks in advance for any replies (I realize that anyone who will answer probably answers these kind of questions a lot...so thanks for putting up with me)


David,

All good questions. Here is where I would start. Figure out what festivals you want to enter. Do your homework now and it will save you a bundle in the long run. Look at your film, what is the genre, how long is it. Thirty minutes is pretty long for a short. If you can't cut it, make sure every one of those thirty minutes is filled with what I call, "What's gonna happen next?" moments.

Then figure out what festivals you would like to enter. Some festivals won't take shorts that long. Find the ones that will, and ones that accept the genre you have created. Then get a hold of their entry forms. The form will clearly state what "presentation" format they will accept. Each festival is different. Try to find one "presentation" format that will cover most of the festivals you are interested in. And go from there.

There are multiple flavors of HD right now. And just having Avid Xpress HD does not mean your computer is going to have the storage capacity and computing power to process HD material. A good 16:9 SD may be a better bet, depending on your computer set up. Many festivals are accepting 16:9 SD DVD's for digital projection.

-Tim
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#3 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 09:21 AM

I've been doing research for a feature and I've determined the most economical way to do HD on a low budget (presuming already that you have the 16/S16 equipment already) would be to shoot film, cut on SD video, matchback the negative, and telecine an interpositive. I used some ball park numbers from Colorlab www.colorlab.com and it looks to me that's the best way to go about it siince puttiing together a home PC HD setup or having everything xtrnsferred to HD w/ a future online would be muy expensive. Plus you'd be ready for a 35mm blow up if the chance ever happened. I ran this scenario by Victory studios in Seattle and they gave it a thumbs up if that's worth anything to you.
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#4 etiennecaron

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 10:03 AM

Hi,

I'm at the same position right now. I'm gonna be editer for a first short made in S16mm by a young filmmaker.

Here the price for the post that the Lab (Montreal, CA) bring me :

1- FILM PROCESS
2400' of 16MM + cleaning = 384.00$

total = 384$

2- RUSHES TRANSFERT
Film transfert techlight 16mm SD = 720.00$
Synchro SD = 108$
Betacam SP's tape (30 min.) = 25$
Disquette 3.5" = 2$

total = 855$

3- MASTERING SD (ONLINE)
FCP Online SD (4 hours) = 500$
Color correcting SD (4 hours) = 800$
Titles creation (4 hours) = 400$
One Digital betacam's tape = 38$

total = 1738$

GRAND TOTAL = 2977$

Thats way too much for the production, because the budget of that short (around 20 min.) is 5,000 $ So i plan to do:

1- A 16mm techlight rushes transfert in DVCPROHD. (with timecode and keykode burn in the black stripe area)
2- Edit the whole movie ONLINE in FCP able to handle the workflow. (with a AJA Kona 2's card)
3- Color Correct in Apple's Shake or whatever on my computer.
4- Mask the timecode and keykode to do a SD output in plan to burn DVDs for film festivals application.
5a- If accept, send the DVCPROHD version of the movie to a post house that will transfert to a HD's tape for digital projection.
5b- If accept to a any major film festival like Sundance, Canne, Clermont ferrand or whatever... beg for more money and send the EDL's cut list to the lab and re-do a film transfert techlight with the only shoot needed in HDCAM SR or a 35mm blow up.

I'm totally green and only edit DV movies for friends... would like to know if my workflow make sens ? Do i will have more trouble then the normal flow (offline in DV)? Will cost too much ?

nyways, will call the lab to have some price...

thanks...
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#5 David Sweetman

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 09:50 PM

Thanks for all the replies, it has helped a lot. So I guess cutting in HD is out - we just don't have the budget. I do already have the 16mm equipment, we're shooting on an Arri 16bl. I really like the idea of cutting SD then conforming the negative, but the problem is we'll have quite a few composites, as well as a decent amount of image correction - my edits are usually worked to no end with 10+ video tracks.

So now I'm more or less set on cutting and finishing SD, pending my meet with the post house.
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#6 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 11:23 PM

Thanks for all the replies, it has helped a lot. So I guess cutting in HD is out - we just don't have the budget. I do already have the 16mm equipment, we're shooting on an Arri 16bl. I really like the idea of cutting SD then conforming the negative, but the problem is we'll have quite a few composites, as well as a decent amount of image correction - my edits are usually worked to no end with 10+ video tracks.


I suggest rethinking any fx/image manipulation into things that can be done in-camera or through special processing i.e. bleach bypass, etc. If you want to crazy w/opticals, the costs are going to baloon right up.
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#7 David Sweetman

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 11:43 PM

I suggest rethinking any fx/image manipulation into things that can be done in-camera or through special processing i.e. bleach bypass, etc. If you want to crazy w/opticals, the costs are going to baloon right up.


Oh, no I'm talking about doing all that with my own NLE.

For example, gunshots - logistically, we can't use actual firearms, but I can composite convincing flashes, smoke, and the rest right in Avid, or if I have to I can do it in Combustion. I've got some spankin' ideas for a night time shootout as well. Which is my point -- it's free if I do it myself on my desktop, that's why I can't conform the negative. We need the freedom to composite -- we couldn't tell this story without that ability. Also, I'm shooting 4:3 but will crop to 16:9 or perhaps 1.85:1. I'm going to do this in the NLE as well, because then I have the extra image information if I need to mend the framing.

This is exactly how I've always worked when I originate on DV, the only difference now is the 16mm origination format and the telecine process. After that, it will be all familiar territory, because I plan to stay in SD.

Edited by David Sweetman, 25 May 2006 - 11:45 PM.

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#8 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 01:26 PM

This is exactly how I've always worked when I originate on DV, the only difference now is the 16mm origination format and the telecine process. After that, it will be all familiar territory, because I plan to stay in SD.


Oh yeah, then go nuts. For the budget I'm researching, it's going to have to be cuts-only and in-camera. Regarding guns, we'll probably end up getting some japanese MSG model guns to use since they have muzzle flash, smoke, and shell ejection.
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#9 Chris_Burket

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 11:13 PM

Oh, no I'm talking about doing all that with my own NLE.

For example, gunshots - logistically, we can't use actual firearms, but I can composite convincing flashes, smoke, and the rest right in Avid, or if I have to I can do it in Combustion. I've got some spankin' ideas for a night time shootout as well. Which is my point -- it's free if I do it myself on my desktop, that's why I can't conform the negative. We need the freedom to composite -- we couldn't tell this story without that ability. Also, I'm shooting 4:3 but will crop to 16:9 or perhaps 1.85:1. I'm going to do this in the NLE as well, because then I have the extra image information if I need to mend the framing.

This is exactly how I've always worked when I originate on DV, the only difference now is the 16mm origination format and the telecine process. After that, it will be all familiar territory, because I plan to stay in SD.


First off, don't go HD until you've been accepted into a festival that will project your HD tape (most use HDCam from what I've heard). One way to do this would be to telecine to HDCam and DVCam simultaneously. Then edit DVCam and send to festivals. if they accept it for HD, do an online. If you can't afford HD telecine, then just telecine to DVCam, but GET A FLEX file with key numbers, and burn them in the black area as well. Then if you go HD, you can export a cut list and transfer your good takes in HD, then do an online.

PS Someone mentioned getting key numbers and timecode burned into DVCPro HD tape in the "black area". You can't do since that tape format is a 16:9 format. There is no black area that I have ever seen. You could do this if you transfer simo, and burn it into the black letterbox area of the downconvert.
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#10 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 12:04 AM

First off, don't go HD until you've been accepted into a festival that will project your HD tape (most use HDCam from what I've heard). One way to do this would be to telecine to HDCam and DVCam simultaneously. Then edit DVCam and send to festivals. if they accept it for HD, do an online. If you can't afford HD telecine, then just telecine to DVCam, but GET A FLEX file with key numbers, and burn them in the black area as well. Then if you go HD, you can export a cut list and transfer your good takes in HD, then do an online.

PS Someone mentioned getting key numbers and timecode burned into DVCPro HD tape in the "black area". You can't do since that tape format is a 16:9 format. There is no black area that I have ever seen. You could do this if you transfer simo, and burn it into the black letterbox area of the downconvert.


Or, you could just telecine to Digibeta, edit in Digibeta and submit to festivals in Digibeta - I always follow the KISS principle whenever I can)
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