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Editing/SFX


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#1 Michael Emmett

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 03:59 PM

Okay, I have a question for all you 35mm people...

If the only SFX/CGI in my movie is titles, then is there another way to add these titles and edit the film rather than using telecine?

For example can you cut the film with siccors to edit, and scratch/superimpose titles onto the film?

I mean if you want the film on DVD you have to put it through telecine at some point, but I'm just curious.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 07:49 PM

Sure, you can edit a movie the old-fashioned way... strike a workprint off of the camera rolls and edit that with a tape splicer. You'll need the whole editing room set-up: rewind benches, trim bins, a flatbed or upright editor, splicer, and some way to ink-number synced dailies rolls with the mag tracks (and a way to get the sound transferred to 35mm mag.)

Then any titles would be shot with a camera (like shooting artwork with words on a blank background), the neg developed and printed, and then this print would be cut into the workprint.

When you are done, a neg cutter matches the edge code info on the work print to the original uncut negative rolls and assembles a conformed negative that matches your edit.

If you are talking about titles over picture, those would have to be done in an optical printer or digitally, and the digital technique would involve scanning film and later recording the final title effects back out to film negative. Then you'd make a workprint, splice that into the workprint, etc.

You could double-expose in-camera white words on a black background over a moving picture so that you end up with white words over the image, but they will look slightly transparent unless they are over a black area in the picture. Otherwise, you need to use an optical printer and create hold-out mattes so that the letters will look solid over a picture background when combined.
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#3 Michael Emmett

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 04:32 AM

Sure, you can edit a movie the old-fashioned way... strike a workprint off of the camera rolls and edit that with a tape splicer. You'll need the whole editing room set-up: rewind benches, trim bins, a flatbed or upright editor, splicer, and some way to ink-number synced dailies rolls with the mag tracks (and a way to get the sound transferred to 35mm mag.)

Then any titles would be shot with a camera (like shooting artwork with words on a blank background), the neg developed and printed, and then this print would be cut into the workprint.

When you are done, a neg cutter matches the edge code info on the work print to the original uncut negative rolls and assembles a conformed negative that matches your edit.

If you are talking about titles over picture, those would have to be done in an optical printer or digitally, and the digital technique would involve scanning film and later recording the final title effects back out to film negative. Then you'd make a workprint, splice that into the workprint, etc.

You could double-expose in-camera white words on a black background over a moving picture so that you end up with white words over the image, but they will look slightly transparent unless they are over a black area in the picture. Otherwise, you need to use an optical printer and create hold-out mattes so that the letters will look solid over a picture background when combined.


Sounds like a lot of work. I guess that's the old-fashioned way.

Would you happen to have an idea about what is more common/more logical for a film with no CGI/only titles: Digital scanning, editing and printing. Or the old fashioned way?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 12:20 AM

If you need a print, the most common method is to transfer the camera neg footage to video and edit on a computer, then take the keycode/time code info from the final EDL (Edit Decision List) over to a negative cutter, who comforms the camera rolls to match the video edit.

Any titles shot or transitional effects (fades or dissolves -- unless you want to do them using the A-B roll method) would have to be done using an optical printer or digitally (scanning, doing the effect, recording back to a film negative) then the neg of that finished effect gets transferred to video w/ timecode, etc. so it can be incorporated into the video edit and EDL. So at that point, the effect or title is treated like camera footage.

The simplest thing if you need a 35mm print would be to shoot in 4-perf 35mm in one of the two standard projection formats: spherical for matted 1.85 projection or anamorphic for 2.40 scope projection. Any other format, like Super-16 or Super-35, will require additional post steps (optical or digital) to convert to one of these two projection formats.

The alternative is what is known as a digital intermediate. Normally you still go about editing the same method (video dailies transfer, NLE editing to generate an EDL) -- the difference is that then, instead of going to a negative cutter, you take the camera rolls to a D.I. facility and they scan the shots off of the camera rolls and then assemble them digitally into an edited version (digital conforming). Then digital color-correction is applied, titles and efx are added, and the final master is recorded out to 35mm, usually onto an internegative.

A lower-budgeted version of a digital intermediate would involve using a transfer to HD as the intermediate stage rather than 2K or 4K data. In this case, you might transfer your original film to HD in the first place and then edit using downconversions to SD (or even edit in HD) -- or you might still just transfer to regular video, edit, and then re-transfer the shots used to HD and then create an edited HD master. Then after color-correction, the HD master is recorded to 35mm.
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#5 Michael Emmett

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 11:16 AM

Thank you David for helping me connect the dots.
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