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SpyPost in San Francisco


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#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 04:28 AM

I just got a price quote from SpyPost for an HD 1080 transfer of my 16mm footage, and it's pretty attractive. It's only about $20 more than Monaco's SD telecine.

I just wanted to know if anyone here has used their services. The demo reels from their site are impressive, but a testimonial or two would be great.

thanks!
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#2 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 01:32 PM

I think they do Direct to Disk transfers to. Looks like solid company... never used them. Let me know how it goes.
Check this article out. Results are good. http://www.cinematog...gitk/digitk.htm

Edited by Chayse Irvin, 22 December 2006 - 01:33 PM.

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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 05:24 AM

Oh, yeah, I checked on that too. They do do a direct to Hard Drive transfer, which is the only way I'd want to do it. It'll be a while before I get all my footage telecined, but I'll definitely post some results at my discretion as they come in

:)
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 04:42 AM

Sweet! Please keep us informed on how it goes - this sounds very exciting (I've only had my stuff transferred at Monaco so far).

By the way, Monaco now does direct to hard drive as well, but they don't have a modern telecine like the Spirit Datacine. Will you be supervising the transfer or getting a best/one light?
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#5 Bryan Darling

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 02:10 PM

By the way, Monaco now does direct to hard drive as well, but they don't have a modern telecine like the Spirit Datacine.



Last I knew Monaco was transferring to Digital Betacam, I believe, then laying that off onto hard drive.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 03:07 PM

Will you be supervising the transfer or getting a best/one light?


Of course I would prefer to supervise it, but I don't know if I'll be able to afford it :/

The colorist there is pretty good though, so I may just get a best light transfer, timed to the 18% gray card. We'll see, I'm just now starting production, so, baby steps ;)

I'll be taking a course at Monaco this semester, by the way. It's the "Film Finishing & Post Production" course taught by Carlson, I'm REALLY excited about it after it was unfortunately cancelled last semester. Supposedly, this is the exact same course they offer at Academy of Art, only it'll cost me less than $100 :)
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#7 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 06:07 PM

Hey Jonathan,
How do you take classes over at Monaco? What's the registration process for that?

Kev
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#8 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 07:34 PM

I'll be taking a course at Monaco this semester, by the way. It's the "Film Finishing & Post Production" course taught by Carlson, I'm REALLY excited about it after it was unfortunately cancelled last semester. Supposedly, this is the exact same course they offer at Academy of Art, only it'll cost me less than $100 :)


I took that class last fall - I think you'll really enjoy it. John's a great guy and extremely knowledgable - I'm still referring to my notes on workflow issues, how to prepare for telecine sessions, color theory, etc. I was only disappointed that we didn't get to spend more time in the telecine suite - the term project is to produce a film test on DVD, shooting 100' of 16mm and getting a free supervised transfer, then editing in NLE. You can test whatever you want - different film stocks, exposure lattitude, step-printing effects, shutter angle effects, tricolor. I did a comparison between B&W neg and color neg desaturated in telecine, shooting with two cameras side-by-side.

Kevin, the class is through City College - it's pretty much the last class you take after all the pre-reqs: Beg. Production, Beg. Editing, Sound, Adv. Editing, Cinematography, Adv. Cinematography, etc.

Bryan, you could be right about that. A director-friend of mine recently had his senior thesis transferred to hard drive, and he mentioned that it was done at "digibeta quality." How they actually did this, I don't know.

*EDIT: Misspelled your name, Bryan.

Edited by Satsuki Murashige, 29 December 2006 - 07:38 PM.

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#9 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 01:53 AM

i had about 4000 ft of 16mm transferred 1080 to hard drive at spypost. it was all b/w reversal and flat transferred, so i can't really give insight into color performance (i believe they offer 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 10-bit lossless/blackmagic codec), but i can say that the footage is so crisp that you can pretty much count the grain... the spirit exceeded my expectations in this regard-- i would recommend that you opt for at least a little grain reduction (i had none).

their rates are great and they were very accomodating in regards to dealing with the mild headache of all that data (i think it was about 2 terabytes). my next transfer will definitely be with them. the only thing i'd warn is that their estimated file sizes were a lot smaller than the actual, so be prepared to deal with a lot of data.

hope this helps.
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#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 02:03 AM

the class is through City College


Exactly :)

However, I believe the limit this semester is either 15 or 18, and it's already full. So tough luck for anyone else who wants to sign up :(

I suppose you could contact John Carlson and ask him if it's OK to sit in for the first couple classes to see if any spots open up, you never know.

If you wanna get in it next semester, be sure to register as soon as the first day of registration to secure your spot!

That sounds fantastic Jaan! I look forward to having all my footage transferred through them!

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 30 December 2006 - 02:04 AM.

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#11 Mark Lyon

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 04:51 PM

Sorry to be joining the thread late. I've done probably 15 transfers with SpyPost at this point, and I can wholeheartedly recommend them. Chris Martin is a gifted colorist, they've got great equipment, and our business experience with them has been solid. I fly up there for transfers, instead of doing them down here, so that should say something.

Say hi to Chris for me.

Best of luck to you.

Mark Lyon
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#12 Bryan Darling

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 10:35 PM

Having supervised several film transfers myself, I really recommend it- especially if you are just starting out. The flexibility of image control is both versatile and speedier than once it's in your computer using an NLE. It's worth saving up the extra cash. It can be a great learning experience to see how your footage turned out and what look you want to dial in.

If you want to save time shoot your footage as close to your final look as possible with aids such as slates and a Macbeth color chart. Slates will save you a lot of time by providing easy reference points for the start and end of shot corrections. From there you can just do some tweaks here and there. Now if your footage has a lot of problems, a supervised transfer will have more ability to "fix" the footage.

If you are going to go through all the time, effort, and cost of shooting film AND transfer to HD, you really don't want to cheap out at the end. It really makes the difference between an amateur and a finished look- not that a finished amateur look isn't an aesthetic in its own right, just that it too should be a "finished" look.

Edited by Bryan Darling, 30 December 2006 - 10:35 PM.

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#13 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 03:14 AM

Cheers for the advice Bryan. Who knows, perhaps since I'm a "student" and if I bring in enough footage and business for'em, they'll just throw in the supervised transfer ;)

Not crossing my fingers though, ha ha
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Glidecam

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Ritter Battery

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS