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Spec Spot on 16mm post workflow options


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#1 Noah Posnick

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 02:47 PM

I am directing a spec spot and my DP wants to shoot 16mm color reversal with 35mm lenses. Anyway, my question is about the post workflow. The goal and end result of this spec commercial is for my reel. It will be seen on a DVD and on the internet. I'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible. After the films shot I have to have the negative processed and then a supervised telecine to get my film in video format to edit? Do I get it transfered to DVcam? BetaSP? Digibeta? Would I be able to edit footage captured from Digibeta without any special capture card, etc.? As you can tell, I don't know much about the film post workflow, so any info would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 Matt Workman

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:48 PM

Hey Noah,

I'm shooting a super16 music video soon and I had very simliar questions. I think this question has been posted over 1 million times. :blink:

Seeing that you are in NYC, there are plenty of labs. You can also call upon the sacred "student rates." Which they may waive if you ask for a supervised telecine.

If you have a nice G5 tower with 2+ gigs of RAM and a 2 stripped RAID you can edit 10-bit uncompressed SD, or digibeta footage. You won't be able to view it on an SDI monitor without a card..or a monitor but if you do a supervised tele-cine you won't have to tweak much anyway.

If you know you are only going to SD then print to Digibeta, either tapes or have it tranfered to hard drive. Don't get only DVCAM, unless you really don't have the budget. Digibeta has a lot more data.

If you don't have a nice G5 workstation, then have the footage transfered through a Kona/Decklink card (not firewire) and then use Media Manager in FCP or Compressor to make offline dubs, at NTSC DV settings. Do your editting and then uprez to 10-bit to print back onto Digibeta, Compress for DVD, web, etc.

After a lot of researching and calling labs I recommend a Spirit to SD transfer. If you have the money you can do a supervised transfer but a scene-to-scene is much cheaper.

Cheers,

Matt
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#3 Noah Posnick

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:59 PM

Thanks Matt, didn't even realize I could have the lab transfer footage to a harddrive. I'll look into it, but I think I'm going to have the footage transfered to both Digibeta and DVCAM. I'll edit with DVCAM - that should be enough for outputting to the web/dvd. If I ever need higher res for aicp or the telly awards (unlikely, but possible) then I'll shell out the money to have a digibeta online done, but for now, I think DVCAM is fine. I'll call up the lab at moving images and see what they have to say and find out different rates. Thanks.
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#4 dr_gonzo

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 02:07 PM

Thanks Matt, didn't even realize I could have the lab transfer footage to a harddrive. I'll look into it, but I think I'm going to have the footage transfered to both Digibeta and DVCAM. I'll edit with DVCAM - that should be enough for outputting to the web/dvd. If I ever need higher res for aicp or the telly awards (unlikely, but possible) then I'll shell out the money to have a digibeta online done, but for now, I think DVCAM is fine. I'll call up the lab at moving images and see what they have to say and find out different rates. Thanks.



Noah keep us updated...Im pondering the same thing at the moment.

Im thinking Du Art to process my negative and then take it over to Post Works (where all of the moving images people moved to after their company was sold) for my Digi Beta transfer.

I also never heard of a lab capturing your footage to your drive. I was going nuts trying to find a place where i can cheaply capture from a digi beta deck.
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#5 dr_gonzo

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 06:26 PM

Noah keep us updated...Im pondering the same thing at the moment.

Im thinking Du Art to process my negative and then take it over to Post Works (where all of the moving images people moved to after their company was sold) for my Digi Beta transfer.

I also never heard of a lab capturing your footage to your drive. I was going nuts trying to find a place where i can cheaply capture from a digi beta deck.



Check out Post Works www.pwny.com I just talked to them about doing my transfer to digi beta and they gave me a great rate!!!!
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#6 Michael Most

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 08:38 PM

Thanks Matt, didn't even realize I could have the lab transfer footage to a harddrive. I'll look into it, but I think I'm going to have the footage transfered to both Digibeta and DVCAM. I'll edit with DVCAM - that should be enough for outputting to the web/dvd.


If you are using a Macintosh with Final Cut, I would suggest having it digitized using DVCPro50 rather than going the DVCam route. The DV50 format easily works from a single drive, is very compact, and retains most of the quality of DigiBeta. If the transfer facility is set up to do the digitizing for you, and they are using a Mac to do it, they can do it to DV50 format without any problem. You'll get a much better result.
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#7 dr_gonzo

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:21 AM

If you are using a Macintosh with Final Cut, I would suggest having it digitized using DVCPro50 rather than going the DVCam route. The DV50 format easily works from a single drive, is very compact, and retains most of the quality of DigiBeta. If the transfer facility is set up to do the digitizing for you, and they are using a Mac to do it, they can do it to DV50 format without any problem. You'll get a much better result.


I was looking at tapestockonline.com to buy my stock for my transfer...is there any difference between the blue lidden DVC Pro 50 Panasonic tapes and the yellow lidded DVC Pro 66 min Panasonic tapes? The 66 min tapes are faaaaaaar cheaper...but do I get what I pay for???
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#8 Noah Posnick

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:27 AM

Not sure about the tape stock. I don't want to go the DVCPRO50 route because then I'd just have to rent another deck, the main point of going offline with DVCAM is the ability to capture without getting a new deck. While I know the colorspace and such is better on DVCPRO50, if I'm going to online with digibeta, there's no need for it.
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#9 Kar Wai Ng

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:50 AM

I don't want to go the DVCPRO50 route because then I'd just have to rent another deck, the main point of going offline with DVCAM is the ability to capture without getting a new deck.


I think Michael was suggesting getting DVCPRO50 captured to a hard drive for you, without needing to rent a deck (get the post house to do this), and using this as your online, without having to deal with Digibeta. I'm exploring this possibility myself since it's much better than DV25, yet still retains a FCP-friendly workflow without having to do a dedicated digibeta online.
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#10 dr_gonzo

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 12:07 PM

I think Michael was suggesting getting DVCPRO50 captured to a hard drive for you, without needing to rent a deck (get the post house to do this), and using this as your online, without having to deal with Digibeta. I'm exploring this possibility myself since it's much better than DV25, yet still retains a FCP-friendly workflow without having to do a dedicated digibeta online.


I recently bought a 500 GB hard drive to edit my new film, and was surprised to discover when it came in the mail that it only ran with USB. Is this going to be a huge problem when I edit in FCP from my digibeta or DVCpro transfer.

Also is DVCpro50 really that much better than DigiBeta if I have to online it in the end anyway?
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#11 Joshua Reis

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 02:45 PM

Hi, if you are shooting Super 16, I have a few suggestions, first regarding workflow, if you do go to hard drive, I strongly recommend that you got to a tape format - if standard definition go with Digital Betacam. DVCAM clones for the offline edit are acceptable, but the digi is for online and archival of the footage. Also, I am guessing that you will be framing 1.78 (16:9) or 1.85..if that is the case, ask for an anamorphic transfer. This way you will be able to produce a widescreen master (without letterbox) for DVD. The widescreen tapes will give you more lines of resolution, better encoding results, a sharper image versus doing a 4:3 letterbox transfer. It will also give you acceptable results if you need to to an upconvert to 720P for future Blu Ray reel. of course, if you can afford it, record out to D5 or SR, but I'm sure thats way over your budget. Also, when you edit, edit at the native framerate 25 or 24fps. This way you will be able to make a progressive scan DVD. I do nearly all my projects for my clients and people alwys compliment on how sharp and clean everything looks. Most people beleive the footage is 35mm, not Super 16. As the DP I supervise the post workflow and make sure the quality/aesthetic of the camera negative is carried through to the final delivery. Best of luck.

Regards,
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#12 Michael Most

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 08:52 PM

if you do go to hard drive, I strongly recommend that you got to a tape format - if standard definition go with Digital Betacam.


I agree with this. I wasn't suggesting foregoing a tape transfer. I was suggesting using DVCPro50 instead of DVCPro25 when digitizing. I was further suggesting that having the digitizing done at the facility level will eliminate the need for a deck to ingest it. And that by going with this format, you will get 90% of the quality advantages of "uncompressed" SD without having to alter the equipment needs, and without having to go back for an online finish.
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#13 dr_gonzo

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:10 PM

I agree with this. I wasn't suggesting foregoing a tape transfer. I was suggesting using DVCPro50 instead of DVCPro25 when digitizing. I was further suggesting that having the digitizing done at the facility level will eliminate the need for a deck to ingest it. And that by going with this format, you will get 90% of the quality advantages of "uncompressed" SD without having to alter the equipment needs, and without having to go back for an online finish.



How much space are we talking to digitize uncompressed to a hard drive? Ive got 3680 feet of film to transfer to my 500 gb drive...
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