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Movie: SOUTHERN JUSTICE - S16 to DvCAM transfer


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#1 Matt Pacini

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 05:24 PM

I just rented this on NetFlix, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it looked, especially since much of it was shot using an Angeniuex 12-1 lens..
S16 telecine'd to DvCAM as the master.
I'm happy, since I own a DvCAM machine, and now know it will hold up fine for demo purposes at least.
Has anyone else seen this flick?
Pretty good job for a first time director on a small budget.

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#2 Milo Sekulovich

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 02:21 AM

Matt,

I got this flick from my local library and yeah,it looks very,very good.

It was transferred on an Ursa Gold Y-front to DVCam.

The Angenieux zoom that the DP used is not cheap-used it goes for $16,000.

I'm shooting a feature right now in 35mm-tranferred on a Spirit to DVCam-everything looks phenomenal.

What I have encountered is that tech heads can debate and chastise DVCam as a main transfer format with remarks about too much compression,lower bit rates,sub par color sampling and so forth but at the end of the day I use my own eyes. The footage I've shot looks great on DvCam. Do people fully realize just how expensive HD transfers can be? Just to deal with Digibeta can sometimes be cost prohibitive,depending on the production.

All I can tell you is that I will put my 35mm footage transferred to DVcam up against alot of bigger budget 35mm films I've seen on DVD.

All the best,
Milo Sekulovich
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 02:48 AM

The problem with DVCAM isn't so apparent when looking at the original transfers. The problem comes when you have to copy DVCAM to some other format, uncompressing and recompressing the material for any color-correction work. But again, it all depends on how extreme your corrections are as to whether 4:1:1 with high compression is going to limit your ability to adjust the image with a minimal amount of artifacts.

The other issue is simply the idea of transferring and mastering to NTSC, which means you won't get as good a PAL version compared to mastering in HD and downconverting for NTSC and PAL.

In terms of looking at 35mm transferred to DVCAM versus on DVD, of course it's going to look better on DVCAM -- DVD's are even more compressed generally. But DVCAM is not a distribution format.

The problem with highly compressed recording formats are not generally how the original image looks on them, but how well they go through the post chain. High compression, ideally, would be reserved for release formats, not origination formats, i.e the end of the chain, not the head of it.
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#4 Matt Pacini

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 04:12 PM

Good points, about the recompression.
I wasn't so much stating that it's good enough for all mastering, I just would have guessed that a film that went this route wouldn't look good at all, and it looked pretty damn good.
They went from S16 - DvCAm - Final Cut Pro edit, then out to Digibeta, then to DVD.

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#5 Milo Sekulovich

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 03:07 AM

Hi,

I was referring to viewing my 35mm footage telecined to DVCam then burned to DVD. I viewed the footage on DVD.

As far as mastering,yes a higher end format like Digibeta is more appropriate.
I wasn't suggesting DVCam as a mastering format.

My feature will not need extensive color correction,and is not special effects heavy.

One can easily go this route editing on FCP,Vegas,etc.

SOUTHERN JUSTICE was not effects heavy,and it looks very good.

The thing is everything gets compressed when the final release format is DVD,regardless if there was a high def transfer.

So it can be done-telecine to DVcam,edit on FCP or similar system,mastered to Digibeta and released on DVD-and it can still look good.

Milo Sekulovich
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