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Low budget digital cinema "print"


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#1 Chance Shirley

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 01:59 PM

I've always wanted to make a film print of one of my movies and see it on the big screen, but the cost of a single 35mm print has always made that impossible.

Now I'm wondering about the possibility of an upconversion from a 1080p hi-def video master to a 2K digital cinema "print." Which I assume would just be a file on a disk drive formatted properly for playback on one of the modern digital cinema projectors that seem to be showing up in more and more theaters these days.

Anyone done this? If not, does anyone have any ideas as to how feasible and affordable this might or might not be?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 09:16 PM

I've always wanted to make a film print of one of my movies and see it on the big screen, but the cost of a single 35mm print has always made that impossible.

Now I'm wondering about the possibility of an upconversion from a 1080p hi-def video master to a 2K digital cinema "print." Which I assume would just be a file on a disk drive formatted properly for playback on one of the modern digital cinema projectors that seem to be showing up in more and more theaters these days.

Anyone done this? If not, does anyone have any ideas as to how feasible and affordable this might or might not be?



Well, for most DLP screenings, one would probably just bring in an HD deck with a 1080P recording, but sure, you could get the 1080P recording upconverted to 2K.

Today I was doing the opposite, taking a 2K data file at Warner Bros. MPI for "Astronaut Farmer" and converting it to 1080P through their Spectre Data Cine.

Don't know the costs but everything at that level is expensive. I mean, if you shoot in standard 35mm, striking a print shouldn't be more expensive than going through a D.I. and making a 2K file for DLP-Cinema projection!

But if you mean that you shot in 1080P, then most people would just rent a 1080P deck (HDCAM or HD-D5), bring a tape, and use that for a single DLP-Cinema screening somewhere; if you're talking about a digital cinema release, then yes, you'd get the 1080P converted to 2K, DCI-compliant, in whatever delivery format the theater needs/uses.
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#3 David Cox

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 09:12 AM

There wouldn't be much of an "up" in the "upconvert", because a 2K image is 2048 pixels wide not 2048 lines high. So your HD master which is currently 1920 pixels wide would be upconverted to 2048 pixels wide (at most) - an increase of just 6.6%.

Such a small increase could in fact make your images look softer, because each of your 1920 pixels would now have to be interpolated to fit into one of the 2048 pixels.

Best practise would be to playback your HD master into the HD input of a good digital cinema projector. We have done this at the theatre at BAFTA in London, and the results were very impressive.

David Cox
Baraka Post Production Ltd
www.baraka.co.uk
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#4 Chance Shirley

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 10:46 AM

I'm actually looking at a Super 16 project that'll be finished in high-def. I'm not that familiar with the digital cinema displays, but what you say makes sense. If the display is set up for some sort of aux. input, the simplest thing for a one-time showing would be to just rent a deck and plug it in. I'll contact one of our local movie houses at some point and see what kind of inputs they're set up for.

Thanks for the info.

Side note to David -- finally saw the trailer to ASTRONAUT FARMER -- looks great. I can't wait to see it.
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#5 Zachary Vex

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 10:40 PM

Wow, the trailer for Astronaut Farmer looks great to me too. What a great idea for a movie!
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#6 Scott Cohen

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 11:43 PM

There wouldn't be much of an "up" in the "upconvert", because a 2K image is 2048 pixels wide not 2048 lines high. So your HD master which is currently 1920 pixels wide would be upconverted to 2048 pixels wide (at most) - an increase of just 6.6%.

Such a small increase could in fact make your images look softer, because each of your 1920 pixels would now have to be interpolated to fit into one of the 2048 pixels.


Which might actually be nice... give it a more filmic aesthetic.

SC
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#7 Otis Grapsas

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 05:41 AM

1080p should be supported by most cineservers. You just need to convert to a compatible compression format. The Kodak ones are jpeg2000 4:4:4 10bit up to 250mbit and MPEG2 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 up to 80mbit. In MXF.
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