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s16mm transfert 2 DVCPRO HD ?


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#1 etiennecaron

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 11:00 AM

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 DVCAM)? Will cost too much ?

nyways, will call the lab to have some price... just wanted to know if i'm right to do that.

thanks...

Edited by etiennecaron, 25 May 2006 - 11:03 AM.

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#2 Joshua Reis

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 12:16 PM

The DVCPRO HD workflow should be fairly straight forward in FCP. I think a VTR, the AJ-HD1200A can be rented around $400-$600 per day. its a bit pricey, but being able to edit in 720P and have somethign that you can dubb to HDCAM for festivals is a nice bonus. obviously you wouldn't want this to be more master since you would want to eventauly coem from a 1080P source. If the rental of the VTR is too costly, then DVCAM (vs. beta SP) would be the way to go. Also consider doing anamorphic dailies since you are shooting Super 16 (1.66-1.85) which will give you a nice source for making a widescreen DVD for festivals.
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#3 Michael Most

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 05:02 PM

1- A 16mm techlight rushes transfert in DVCPROHD. (with timecode and keykode burn in the black stripe area)


There is no way that I know of to transfer 24 frame material with frame flags into a DVCPro HD machine, so you will not be able to do a 24 frame edit. What is normally done if you want DVCPro HD as a cutting format is a transfer to a 24p capable format like HDCam, followed by digtizing directly into a Final Cut system via a Blackmagic or AJA card. This gets you files that are 24fps, encoded with the DVCPro HD codec. Some facilities claim to do this "directly to disk," but the truth is that there aren't a whole lot of devices that can control a computer as they would a tape machine, so transferring with accurate keycode and timecode numbers becomes impossible. As far as burnins, there is no "black stripe area" in a "normal" S16mm to HD transfer because the aspect ratio is 16:9. The only way you would have a "black stripe area" is if you're intending to frame as 2.35:1 and masking during the transfer.

2- Edit the whole movie ONLINE in FCP able to handle the workflow. (with a AJA Kona 2's card)


If what you mean is cut using the DVCPro HD files, you don't need any card for that.


4- Mask the timecode and keykode to do a SD output in plan to burn DVDs for film festivals application.


See above.

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.


Burn in windows are not possible due to what I mentioned above. What you need to do (even if you did have burnin windows) is to get files from the transfer facility (Flex, ALE, FTL, all of these are acceptable) and use them to create a Cinema Tools database. You then connect the clips to the database entries and Cinema Tools produces pull and cut lists for you.

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 DVCAM)?


Yes, you will. I would strongly suggest involving someone who has done this before if you don't want even more problems.

Will cost too much ?


If anything more than "free" equals "too much," then yes. If you want to do something, you have to figure out how much it's going to cost and then decide whether you can afford it. You can't do anything you want simply because you want to.
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 05:20 PM

What is normally done if you want DVCPro HD as a cutting format is a transfer to a 24p capable format like HDCam, followed by digtizing directly into a Final Cut system via a Blackmagic or AJA card. This gets you files that are 24fps, encoded with the DVCPro HD codec.


While we're at it, will the DVCPRO HD codec maintain the full 1080 pixels at 24P, or must it drop the resolution down to 720/24P? Or do you have to input the signal as 1080i if you want to keep the resolution? I've never been clear on this.
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#5 Michael Most

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 07:57 PM

While we're at it, will the DVCPRO HD codec maintain the full 1080 pixels at 24P, or must it drop the resolution down to 720/24P? Or do you have to input the signal as 1080i if you want to keep the resolution? I've never been clear on this.


There is no such thing as a 1080p DVCPro HD codec. Panasonic has never released one. So what both Blackmagic and AJA do when you specify 1080p is use the 1080i codec and put the same material on both fields, then run the material at the proper frame rate - 23.98, in most cases. I am quite certain that they prefilter, much like HDCam, so they do not carry the original 1920 horizontal pixels, but the prefiltering is quite good, as is the codec.
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 09:29 PM

So what both Blackmagic and AJA do when you specify 1080p is use the 1080i codec and put the same material on both fields, then run the material at the proper frame rate - 23.98, in most cases.

Thanks Mike.

When you say "same material," do you mean the original frame is split into sets of alternating scan lines and laid down in two fields (akin to Progressive Segmented Frames)? Or is it literally the same scan lines in both fields, in which case half the vertical resolution would be thrown away from the original frame?

Thanks, and bear with me. I'm still trying to learn the compromises of DVCPro HD as an online format, compared to HDCAM.
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#7 Dan Goulder

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 09:47 AM

Thanks, and bear with me. I'm still trying to learn the compromises of DVCPro HD as an online format, compared to HDCAM.

HDCAM is a bit less compressed, running at approximately 135mps vs. 100mps for DVCPro HD. However, DVCPro HD is much easier to work with in terms of hardware requirements, such as real time playback off a firewire drive, while HDCAM needs to be ingested to an uncompressed preset, thus typically requiring an 8-drive SATA RAID, or one comprised of 4-to-6 SCSI drives.

The AJA DVCPro HD 1080P codec performs quite well, and doesn't actually need the hardware card to function.
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#8 etiennecaron

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 11:57 AM

There is no way that I know of to transfer 24 frame material with frame flags into a DVCPro HD machine, so you will not be able to do a 24 frame edit. What is normally done if you want DVCPro HD as a cutting format is a transfer to a 24p capable format like HDCam, followed by digtizing directly into a Final Cut system via a Blackmagic or AJA card.



Thanks for the andswer... but my final goal is film festival projection that allow digital screening and guess that it will be alright to do a straigh telecine to DvcproHD, even if its not 100% 24fps compatible.

I want to do the Online process at home for low cost... thinks is its not a standard to have a Panasonic DvcproHD deck at lab service here in Montreal Canada... there is no demand and they do not have one... got to rent it, still really expensive at the end.

fillmaking is expensive from A to Z...

thanks again.
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#9 Michael Most

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 05:00 PM

thinks is its not a standard to have a Panasonic DvcproHD deck at lab service here in Montreal Canada... there is no demand and they do not have one... got to rent it, still really expensive at the end.


There is little demand for it anywhere as a recording device, primarily because 720p/60 is not a common mastering format. The primary use of the DVCProHD tape format is when shooting with a Varicam, which uses it as an onboard recording format. Most facilities that have one use it for transferring and format converting material that comes in from Varicam productions.

fillmaking is expensive from A to Z...


And your point is...???
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#10 Michael Most

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 05:21 PM

Thanks, and bear with me. I'm still trying to learn the compromises of DVCPro HD as an online format, compared to HDCAM.


I don't know anyone who uses DVCPro HD as an online format. For one thing, it's exclusively a 60p recording format when used with a tape transport, which makes it oddball in the world of mastering. The only place you might use it in an online environment is when dealing with material originally recorded on it, such as that shot with a Varicam, and "cross converting" it to a "proper" mastering format, like 1080p/24, or in some cases 1080i/60.

Compared to HDCam, it uses smaller tape, so it is not quite as physically robust. It also uses a higher compression ratio, although this is mitigated to some degree by the fact that it also uses 4:2:2 sampling, whereas HDCam uses the equivalent of about 3:1:1. So for green or blue screen work, it has some advantages, although the lower resolution masks this somewhat. Personally, I wouldn't really recommend either format for serious green or blue screen work, but sometimes you have to make do. Its real advantage is that Panasonic made the codec available to third parties like Apple and Avid, allowing them to incorporate it into their editing software and allow users to cut using the "native," compressed files directly, with decompression for display happening on the fly. Sony only licensed the HDCam codec to Discreet, and it was at a time when editing compressed video was not nearly as accepted as it is now. As a result, the only device still on the market that can edit HDCam natively is Sony's own Xpri.
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#11 etiennecaron

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 08:39 AM

QUOTE

fillmaking is expensive from A to Z...

And your point is...???



Its been 7 years that i'm working on movie set and i know that everyone want to make money and things are expensive... from the neighbors who want "extra" charge because he ear that the production got a lot of money to the simple "Wood clip" became expensive when it get the "made for film production".

The point of DvcproHD is i'm allowed to do the Online process at home and will save money at the end. I'm not a post-production guru since its my really first project in s16mm editing. So when i explain to the lab that the film got a 5,000$ budget (2,000$ in post) who came directly from the director's pocket (because she live with her parents since 2 years to save money), they dont tell me the cheapest workflow to go for not busting the budget and since editing is the last wagon of the train... i dont want to tell my director that she dont have enough money to do the "Online" in HDCAM at the end and got nothing to show !

And got the feeling that the lab want to do money... as everyone i know... but by making money by selling tapes and try to find way to tell me that i absolutly got to use their "online" editing suite because it will pay the expensive HD VTR. When i ask for transfert directly to hard disk, they said they can do that, but its only for their editers at the "intern" of the company. What piss me off, is the lab know we got to find this money, because its the last stage of 12 months of hard work from the first day of the script to the last day when we will ouput a master in HD... the lab know that filmmakers are crazy people who are not afraid to sell their car and house to make their dreams come true...

nyways, will follow your advice because it make sens... make a DVD from the DVcam transfert and wait to see if the film find is way to festival and see if we can have access to money via public institution who give money to cultural project.

thanks again for the advices.

fillmaking is expensive from A to Z... because she's a whore ! ;-)
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#12 Michael Nash

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 04:11 PM

If you feel the lab isn't being fair with you and your circumstance, then find another lab. Even if it's not close to where you're shooting. People ship film across the country or the world all the time. Shop around for transfer facilities as well. And don't buy the tape stock from the lab or transfer facilty if you think it's been marked up too much. You can get tape stock lots of places at cheaper prices.

Labs and facilities will often try to cut a deal with productions to keep the workflow in house, so they can at least make a small percentage on each step rather than a larger percentage on just one step. But if they're not working with you, then there's no reason to keep your business there.
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#13 Michael Most

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 04:13 PM

And got the feeling that the lab want to do money... as everyone i know... but by making money by selling tapes and try to find way to tell me that i absolutly got to use their "online" editing suite because it will pay the expensive HD VTR. When i ask for transfert directly to hard disk, they said they can do that, but its only for their editers at the "intern" of the company. What piss me off, is the lab know we got to find this money, because its the last stage of 12 months of hard work from the first day of the script to the last day when we will ouput a master in HD... the lab know that filmmakers are crazy people who are not afraid to sell their car and house to make their dreams come true...


It's a little difficult to understand your English, but as I understand it, you're saying that you believe that labs and professional post companies are somehow out to deny your "dreams" and screw you out of money you really don't have to spend. You're implying that they are somehow large companies that are rolling in money and trying to break you.

When I put it this way, I hope it sounds as silly to you as it sounds to me. A business is a business. Businesses exist for the purpose of making money. If they don't make money, they cease to exist. They are not in business as a public service to starving "filmmakers." They are there to provide expertise and service that they are able to provide because of their experience, and they are offering these services so that their customers can get their projects done correctly and delivered correctly. They accept the responsibility of providing personnel that are experienced and talented, and producing a technically proper product based on whatever delivery requirements are specified. If you don't want to take advantage of those services, or can't afford to, it's not their responsibility to give it to you for free. There are numerous ways to do anything in the post business, and facilities are set up based on the methods they have found to work reliably and efficiently. If your project is essentially a "do it yourself" type of project, you can figure out how to do it, and that can be any way you want. But to take the attitude that a respectable business is trying to screw you simply because they're asking for a reasonable fee for their services is to be blind to the realities of the real world. Nobody is "entitled" to what can be an expensive hobby. And no post company is trying to take advantage of poor "filmmakers" who can't afford the services they're offering in the first place. The post business is a notoriously low profit business to begin with. Those that give things away don't continue to exist very long. It is also generally the case that those clients that have the least money available, and try to negotiate "killer" deals, are usually the ones who are the most demanding, inexperienced, and troublesome once the work actually beings. That's one of the reasons why many established post companies will try to not take that work in the first place.
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#14 etiennecaron

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 11:44 PM

First= English is my second language
Second= Lab would have the best of both world (analog and digital) by allowing film transfert to HDD in whatever format you want (tapes is dead btw, NOT FILM) and in this case, people will shoot more s16mm and 35mm and not go half-HD with HDV cameras or real HD stuff.
Third= Totally agreed with you about the business situation... but you got to be ahead of your time. Lab sould hear what customers want, not what SONY or whatever big company want them to do... Direct to disk just like Bonolabs do! Thats all i want... got to know what is the price for DvcproHD transfert there, but i'm sure at the end its more cheaper and it doesnt sound like begging... just receiving the technology available of 2006 ;-)

à la prochaine...

It's a little difficult to understand your English, but as I understand it, you're saying that you believe that labs and professional post companies are somehow out to deny your "dreams" and screw you out of money you really don't have to spend. You're implying that they are somehow large companies that are rolling in money and trying to break you.

When I put it this way, I hope it sounds as silly to you as it sounds to me. A business is a business. Businesses exist for the purpose of making money. If they don't make money, they cease to exist. They are not in business as a public service to starving "filmmakers."


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#15 Michael Most

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 09:02 AM

Second= Lab would have the best of both world (analog and digital) by allowing film transfert to HDD in whatever format you want (tapes is dead btw, NOT FILM) and in this case, people will shoot more s16mm and 35mm and not go half-HD with HDV cameras or real HD stuff.


Please re-read my original post. It has nothing to do with "allowing" anything. It has to do with the practicality of doing it. You need to have some kind of tracking codes (either keycode or timecode) in order to edit and have that edit be repeatable. You also should have some kind of backup, because disks crash and people unintentionally delete files they shouldn't. This happens all the time, and without some kind of original code on the transfer there isn't any simple way of retransferring to match the original - not to mention a way to track the film for possible assembly or electronic scan and conform. In order to do any of this, you need to have two things: some kind of standard for media files, and some device that can record to those files and be controlled from a telecine controller (i.e., an editing system). The "standards" for media files are even more complex than those for videotape. And everyone seems to think that whatever they're asking for is the "industry standard." I work in the industry, and I can tell you there is no standard. There are people here asking for transfer "direct to HDV." I'd like for someone who's asking for that to tell me exactly how to do it, because I don't know of any. The equipment doesn't exist. There is no HDV recorder that has an HD-SDI input, which is what would be required. But nobody here wants to hear any of that - they just assume that anything can become anything else, because it's "digital."

Third= Totally agreed with you about the business situation... but you got to be ahead of your time. Lab sould hear what customers want, not what SONY or whatever big company want them to do... Direct to disk just like Bonolabs do! Thats all i want... got to know what is the price for DvcproHD transfert there, but i'm sure at the end its more cheaper and it doesnt sound like begging... just receiving the technology available of 2006 ;-)


What "independent" customers want is everything done to their specific oddball specification for free. Labs hear that all the time. That's why they come up with ways to do what they do that are reliable, repeatable, and can produce whatever product they need to produce. If you do things "just like Bonolabs do," you will get transfers done on a less than state-of-the-art machine, with minimal color correction, no sound sync, no time code, no keycode, no Flex or ALE files, and no way to reassemble or retransfer with any kind of repeatability. The primary motivation for disk transfers here is that the customer doesn't have to spend any money for a videotape machine. That should tell you something. In the professional world, the reason for it is to save the assistant editor and the editor time in digitizing, so that they can look at the dailies on a scene by scene basis and start cutting immediately. It has nothing to do with lack of funds (everything is transferred to HD videotape and finished in an onliine environment) and everything to do with efficiency and short turnarounds. If the "independents" were paying as much of the facility's bills as the professionals, there might be, shall we say, a bit more motivation to change the methodology, even if it meant less reliability. But that's not the case. Video facilities are like any other business: you give the customers what they want, as you said. But the customers you cater to are those who work with you, understand what a fair pricing structure is, and help to keep your business afloat and healthy. The "independents" are generally not those customers, whether you want to believe that or not. In spite of that, most facilities (including the one I work for) do try to accommodate anyone who walks in the door. But we can't give things away for free, and quite frankly, when individual client requests go against the mainstream of what we do and how we do it, it costs us more than using our existing, proven workflow and methods, and with little to no real benefit. So we try to adapt those to produce whatever product we're being asked to produce. Neither Sony nor any other manufacturer dictates to facilities how to do their work. There are infrastructures that are already set up, and the more a facility can utilize that infrastructure, the smoother things run and the more solvent the facility can remain. You don't suddenly throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment that does it's job just fine simply because a small portion of your customer base, one that is providing very little profit for your business, thinks you should. And even if you did, the equipment that represents the largest part of the cost of fim transfer is not the videotape machine. It's the telecine, and all the support equipment needed to make it work. A typical HD telecine installation - just the telecine, scopes, monitoring, a controller/color corrector/editor, a room to house it in, a control room to monitor in, power to make it run, and air conditioning/environment to keep it at a healthy temperature - will cost, on the low end, about $2 million, at least if you want to use current "state of the art" devices - which seem to be the only ones people want to accept. Do the math.
What sounds "simple" to you is not simple. I don't necessarily expect you to understand that, I just want you to know it.
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