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Supervised or not from low con IP to video


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#1 Frank Barrera

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 10:11 PM

I shot a short 35MM film that has gone through to a release print on Premire 2393.
We are looking to make a Digi Beta Master for a DVD release. We are thinking:
Strike an IP from the cut negative. Then make video tranfer from the IP. Due to the very low key lighting in the film the lab suggested we do a "low con" IP to retain the intended look when we go to video.

We are on an extremely tight budget and wonder whether or not we can do an un supervised transfer from the low con IP and still maintain the look of our release print. Or is a supervised transfer unavoidable?

Or is it possible to do a supervised transfer from one of our release prints and still maintain our look?

ANy thoughts are welcomed

Thanks
FB
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 11:17 PM

I shot a short 35MM film that has gone through to a release print on Premire 2393.
We are looking to make a Digi Beta Master for a DVD release. We are thinking:
Strike an IP from the cut negative. Then make video tranfer from the IP. Due to the very low key lighting in the film the lab suggested we do a "low con" IP to retain the intended look when we go to video.


There is no such thing as a "low con" IP as opposed to a normal IP -- IP's are already low-con, lower than even a low-con print, which is the other alternative. You can't get any lower-contrast than an IP -- it's pretty close to the gamma of the original negative as is, otherwise you couldn't make release prints from an IP/IN and hope to match the contrast of a print off of the o-neg.

Either your lab meant "low-con IP" as in "the IP is (normally) low-con" or they meant a "low-con print". Low-con prints are much cheaper than IP's but they are not as good -- they are only slightly better than a projection-contrast print, and they are usually made on high-speed continuous contact printers, not step contact printers like the IP might be. An IP would be closest to the quality of the original negative.

The only thing else the lab may be suggesting is to have the printer lights, based on your answer printing, for the color-timed IP be trimmed to put an overall lighter image on the IP with more shadow detail, basically a brighter image on the IP, not a lower-contrast one. This would have more shadow detail at the expense of some bright highlight detail.
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#3 Frank Barrera

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 05:06 AM

Okay so we will get the (normally low con) IP. Would it still be somewhat "acceptable" to do an un-supervised transfer?

Thanks much

FB
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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 05:41 AM

I wouldn't do an unsupervised grade if I could avoid it. But if you have no choice, then that's how it'll be. Could you master grade in the computer slightly?
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#5 Frank Barrera

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 08:08 AM

I wouldn't do an unsupervised grade if I could avoid it. But if you have no choice, then that's how it'll be. Could you master grade in the computer slightly?



Yes we could do a little bit in Final Cut Pro. The truth is that the negative was exactly where we wanted it except for maybe two or three shots. It's aonly a 17 minute film so maybe we could scare up the extra couple of hundred dollars to do the supervised.

Thanks Dave and Adam for your comments.

FN
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#6 Dominic Case

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 08:53 AM

Why go all the way with a "look" - low key lighting -, and then leave the very last stage in the lap of the gods (that is, the lab guys)?

I really think that you are asking for trouble if you don't supervise the final transfer. If it's done as an unsupervised transfer, then it MIGHT be that the lab will follow through properly and the colorist will know what you want. But if they get busy and someone else gets to do the transfer, you can't be sure what you will get. And clearly if you tell them it doesn't need supervising, then that sends a signal to the guy on the desk that you arn't too concerned about the look.

If as you say, the neg is pretty good, and given that the IP will already have the film grade in it, the supervised grade won't take all that much longer. But you will have total confidence in the result.
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#7 Michael Most

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 09:18 AM

Okay so we will get the (normally low con) IP. Would it still be somewhat "acceptable" to do an un-supervised transfer?


I would suggest screening the answer print (you said you're already happy with it) for the colorist who's doing the IP transfer and have him/her take notes. If the colorist is competant, and the IP is printed properly, they should be able to give you a reasonable video translation of the answer print using the IP. You might also want to leave the answer print in their hands to use as a reference over a light box on a rewind bench.
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#8 David Cox

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 06:00 AM

I'm with Dominic - do supervise your transfer. Supervised transfers only take longer if you make them take longer. Be precise with your instructions and all should flow quickly. Dither and procrastinate and your budget will flow away faster!

One important thing to note though: you don't want a 100% accurate transfer of your film. What you want is a 100% accurate translation of the feeling of your film. The difference is this. Your audience will watch your projected film in a dark room. They will watch your film on TV in a light room. This has a huge effect on how people will see your subtle lighting, shadows etc - especially on old plasma screens.

So I strongly suggest a supervised transfer and make your decisions (quickly!) in a grading room that is not significantly darker than a home viewing environment.

Also remember that grading in Final Cut Pro is very limited compared to ?real? grading suites and will be more limited because you will have already set the contrast range in the telecine transfer that the FCP will be working with.

David Cox
Baraka Post Production
www.baraka.co.uk
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#9 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 11:35 AM

A timed IP should be pretty close to the "look" of your answer print. A supervised transfer session should go pretty quickly, with only a few "tweaks" required. But without a supervised transfer session, you don't get to "tweak" the final look, which is important to get the "look" you want in the video release.
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