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timecode on non TC cam


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#1 ecozyz

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 09:16 AM

I got a non-sync s16 camera. ( an a-cam )
Its great etc.
But Im going to shoot a pop-clip, and needs TC ( SMTPE ) on the film.
The idea is to rent a plate/scriptboy with visual TC on it.
Any good ideas, how to save money etc..
( can you build one your self? can you buy a very cheap one, and not rent...?)
The idea is to play the music from tape With TC and the point the cam to the plate on all starts/stops..
still there might be som sync problems, since theres absolut NO sync on this cam, but thats expected...
Tom
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 10:11 AM

I got a non-sync s16 camera. ( an a-cam )
Its great etc.
But Im going to shoot a pop-clip, and needs TC ( SMTPE ) on the film.
The idea is to rent a plate/scriptboy with visual TC on it.
Any good ideas, how to save money etc..
( can you build one your self? can you buy a very cheap one, and not rent...?)
The idea is to play the music from tape With TC and the point the cam to the plate on all starts/stops..
still there might be som sync problems, since theres absolut NO sync on this cam, but thats expected...
Tom


If I'm understanding this correctly (and I might not be), I think you're saying that you are going to shoot a music video using a non-sync film camera and you are interested in finding a way to sync the film footage with the soundtrack which has a timecode track married to it?

Well, you're on the right track knowing that you need some visual cue on film which tells the editor where the soundtrack begins relative to the image on film. However, if you are using a non-sync camera, that "sync" may only be useful for a few seconds at best. You'll have a starting point, but that's really all it will be good for until you're forced to cut away once sync is gone. Only testing will tell you how long you'll have before the appearance of sync goes away.

As for actually achieving a timecode slate, you really need to just rent one. Assuming you have the technology in place to lay SMPTE timecode down on your soundtrack, it shouldn't be a huge stretch to rent a timecode slate for the length of your production schedule. As you mentioned, you'll point the camera at the slate at the beginning of each take that requires some kind of sync with the soundtrack.

Of course the other option is to find a sync film camera or use a professional video camera with timecode IN capability. In that case you would use your soundtrack playback deck as the timecode source which would drive the timecode on your camera (with an attached BNC). Then you should have NO trouble with sync at any time.
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#3 Don Brown

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 01:37 PM

I got a non-sync s16 camera. ( an a-cam )
Its great etc.
But Im going to shoot a pop-clip, and needs TC ( SMTPE ) on the film.
The idea is to rent a plate/scriptboy with visual TC on it.
Any good ideas, how to save money etc..
( can you build one your self? can you buy a very cheap one, and not rent...?)
The idea is to play the music from tape With TC and the point the cam to the plate on all starts/stops..
still there might be som sync problems, since theres absolut NO sync on this cam, but thats expected...
Tom

Is this the Ikonoskop A Cam you are using if so it runs at sync speed
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#4 Hal Smith

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 01:50 PM

I got a non-sync s16 camera. ( an a-cam )
Its great etc.
...
Tom

If you don't have a tape machine lined up, look into the Tascam DTRS multi-tracks. The DA-98 has time code functions built-in, the DA-88 has TC with an SY-88 card. With 8 tracks to play with you could even record scratch tracks on the set as well as play back pre-recorded tracks.
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#5 David W Scott

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 02:30 PM

If you're shooting on an a-cam, and asking about building your own TC slate, I doubt this production has the budget to either rent a TC-jammable camera or a fancy TC audio deck.

Let me suggest something much simpler and more accessible:

Use a laptop for your on-set music playback.

- Rip the CD to your laptop
- Play the file back from your non-linear editing software or from an audio player
- At the head of each shot, instead of slating with a TC slate, shoot the TC numbers off the laptop screen

There are additional advantages to using a laptop for playback:

- You can set markers, and easily jump around to different sections of the song
- No waiting for the CD to cue
- You always know that the starting point is accurate and consistent
- It's EASY to do off-speed effects (like playing your music back at double-speed, and shooting overcranked at 48 fps, for that dreamy slo-mo look that stays in lip synch.)

Or, don't sweat it. Even some professional music video director/editors just synch their footage by hand, with no TC at all.

Edited by David W Scott, 06 September 2006 - 02:32 PM.

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#6 Michael Collier

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 07:24 PM

What about making a special DVD with the song (used for playback) and the TC fullscreen in the video locked together in the DVD. Then you can just shoot the screen (I am presuming it could be done on a clamshell LCD/DVD combo) then your out maybe 150 for the unit and 50 cents for the DVD. That is the cheapest easiest way I can think of to do it.

You can also put sync pulses at 1khz ever second or so and record the output to opticle track (if possible on your camera) You can even put the song on the left track, sync pulses + song in the right track. Playback for talent on the left (so they don't get distracted by constant beeping) and playback to camera from the left. Then in post with the same song in the timeline you can sync every shot to within 1 second (and how much could a wild cam drift in 1 second?)

Edit***sorry david, I just read your post and realized how similar my idea is to yours. I will leave mine up for the left/right tip, which would work on either a DVD player or a Laptop. both would be simple, its just a matter of convinience.
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