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advice on prices / transfers


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#1 Curtis Bouvier

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 12:45 AM

Ok so I had everything planned out price wise for the purchase of the film, developing and having it transfered only to be stopped cold by this HDCam SR business...

Four 100 foot rolls is about 10 minutes worth of footage, so basically an 8-10 minute short film.

the price of 4 x 100 foot rolls is about $200 (canadian dollars)

the price of having these 4 developed is about $100

the price of transfering 4 rolls to HDcam or HDcam SR is about $450 (www.studiopost.com) from edmonton, alberta charges about $450 an hour in quarterly segments. 100 feet of film takes about 15 minutes to transfer. resulting in $112 per 100 feet.

anyway it all adds up to about $1000 with shipping and costs of tape.

I have no problem paying $1000 for amazing kodak Film quality, 1920x1080 footage. as opposed to the alternative of shooting with ntsc interlaced garbage (sorry for the strong words but I cannot express how much I dispise interlaced 30fps footage from ameture cameras, even the 1080i ones)

Unfortunatly my transfer house only records to HDcam Tape... which does not support true 1920x1080, it's more like 1440x1080 or somthing? and theres some loss of quality, and the color ratios are a bit lower from what I read on wikipedia. but that's besides the point anyway.

They are using a C-Reality scanner from cintel. from what I've been told, They dont have the resource to record directly to a external hard drive.

The point being is these SR decks cost some $40,000.00? and about $1500.00 a DAY to rent??? jesus....

just the thought of having to pay this kind of money just to get 10 minutes of footage digital is downright obsurd. Having film footage transfered, should be digital entirely in the first place or am I wrong here?

Does any one know if there are any transfer houses that do a good job scanning film at 1920x1080.. and save it to a hard drive instead of this hdcam tape business....?

I've never made a short film before, I've done lots of tests in the past, I am getting ready for my big debute special. My debute short film WILL be shot with kodak film, I need the field of depth offered by high end lenses, I need the variable frame rates more than anything, and I have access to an Arriflex SRIII super 16mm film camera. I can't pass this oppurtunity up. HDcam is the only thing currently stopping me.

any advice on getting around HDcam SR prices while maintaining high definition 1080p?

thanks in advance!
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#2 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 02:06 AM

Four 100 foot rolls is about 10 minutes worth of footage, so basically an 8-10 minute short film.


Does this imply you are shooting at 1:1 ratio? Is that even possible? I'd expect to shoot nearly an hour of footage for a 10 minute short, or at least 4:1. More power to you if you can do it in less.
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#3 Mark Lyon

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:50 PM

If you can stand HDCAM (vs. SR), you can transfer to that, then rent a cheaper play-back deck to capture your footage for editing. Expect to pay more like $300/day for an HDCAM playback deck. This is the way I often work with Super16 footage. Quality is excellent. HDCAM SR would be nice if you plan on going back to 35mm film for projection of your finished product, but HDCAM itself may well be adequate for digital playback.

You'll want to do some tests, since this is quite subjective, and also dependent on the type of scenes you're shooting.

Also, what's your shooting ratio? I'd expect to shoot at least 1000 feet of film for an 8-minute short. Again, this depends on your plan for the film.

Best of luck with it.
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#4 Curtis Bouvier

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 02:23 PM

If you can stand HDCAM (vs. SR), you can transfer to that, then rent a cheaper play-back deck to capture your footage for editing. Expect to pay more like $300/day for an HDCAM playback deck. This is the way I often work with Super16 footage. Quality is excellent. HDCAM SR would be nice if you plan on going back to 35mm film for projection of your finished product, but HDCAM itself may well be adequate for digital playback.

You'll want to do some tests, since this is quite subjective, and also dependent on the type of scenes you're shooting.

Also, what's your shooting ratio? I'd expect to shoot at least 1000 feet of film for an 8-minute short. Again, this depends on your plan for the film.

Best of luck with it.



I plan on shooting a rough version of the movie with tape, to see what looks good and what doesn't. obviously this would all be done in a bare room with just a few chairs and tables, maybe a few props, nothing serious tho.

but once I can see what everything looks like on the screen, what doesn't look good etc, I can reshoot the real deal with location, pro everything going all out. and hoping everything turns out. =D

the only thing I can think of is the actors making mistakes or anything of that nature. I might actually need a few extra rolls of film just incase, hopefully I wouldnt need them tho. I would allow myself to go as high as $1500 for film costs (with developing and transfers)

Edited by Curtis Bouvier, 15 April 2007 - 02:26 PM.

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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:13 PM

Why do you need HDCAM-SR? Are you transferring the footage to 35mm digitally?

What is the destination (delivery, presentation, etc.) format for this footage?
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#6 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:15 PM

I would recommend pixelharvest.com in LA they will give you a real pin-registered 2K scan with a IR pass on disk for $0.02 per frame or so. Skip video all together and go straight to data. Figure around $350 for the scan, we have sent them 35mm we processed for a NY client but they do 16mm as well.

-Rob-
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#7 Curtis Bouvier

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:15 AM

Why do you need HDCAM-SR? Are you transferring the footage to 35mm digitally?

What is the destination (delivery, presentation, etc.) format for this footage?


The distination is digital, maybe in the long run perhapse 35mm,, blow up. I just want the option to be there if that ever does happen, and I am just picky in general about quality, blame adobe photoshop for that haha.., i've been dealing with pro photography for a while now.

I just want a True 1920x1080, nothing stretched, compressed or reduced etc. :D
---------------------------------------
Robert, thats exactly what I would love, somthing just straight to hard drive, then I can back everything up on Blue Ray discs. I don't really see the need for tape when external hard drives are as cheap as ever and blue ray discs are right around the corner, especially if the tape deck is gonna cost $40,000 retail or $1500 a day to rent :ph34r: lol

Just a quick question, it seems that most outfits scan to tape, is this some sort of limitation of bandwidth passing on the scanners or is tape just the prefered medium these days? I never was quite sure as to why this was so. anyhow thanks for the info guys, I can't tell you how much i've learned from this forum over the last few months. wish there was a cheers icon haha
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 03:26 AM

I wouldn't dismiss HDCAM before you have a chance to check it out. You need a lot more than a Wikipedia blurb to evaluate something like this. The difference with HDCAM-SR only really becomes important once you start manipulating the image in post or if you're definitely blowing up to 35mm. In any kind of digital presentation including the web, DVD or even HD display HDCAM holds up just fine. The 1440 pixel dimension doesn't make as much of a difference as the color subsampling, and even that is relatively invisible until you start keying or doing heavy color-correction.

You also have to think about the post side of things -- do you have a plan to handle the amount of data, and the codec, of HDCAM SR? You'll have to pick some kind of codec, even if it's "uncompressed 10 bit."

I can understand wanting to take advantage of film, but your "field of depth" argument doesn't make much sense in this case. The depth of field of 16mm is not significantly different from that of 2/3" chip HD cameras that record to HDCAM or HDCAM SR. You could conceivably shoot on a Sony F-900 for close to the price that you're looking at for film, depending on your shoot duration and shooting ratio. Or a Panasonic Varicam for the variable frame rates, at a resolution that appears similar to Super 16. But I understand if you simply prefer the look of film for this project.

Remember that the facilities that perform these transfers are businesses that have to pay for the hardware needed to do the transfers. Tape-based recording has been the mainstream for a long time, and most business invest in gear they know they can pay off over the long term based on past and projected demand. Direct-to-disk is relatively new, especially for those businesses that are still paying off their tape decks. And in the industry (the one that does the volume to pay the bills), tape-based post is still quite common.
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#9 John Mastrogiacomo

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 04:30 AM

I would recommend pixelharvest.com in LA they will give you a real pin-registered 2K scan with a IR pass on disk for $0.02 per frame or so. Skip video all together and go straight to data. Figure around $350 for the scan, we have sent them 35mm we processed for a NY client but they do 16mm as well.

-Rob-

Use their price quote on their website. For 1,200' of 16mm it is more like .10 frame. Maybe .02 frame if you scan 1,000,00 feet. :angry: :angry:
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#10 Curtis Bouvier

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 06:06 AM

your more than likely correct Mr. Nash, I havn't seen standard hd cam, infact I think it's the only way to go for the time being, my short wont be shot for a year or so tho, not sure how much will change by then. but it's good to keep a good base of knowledge for all of these mediums.

I had a look at that LA studio that does hard drive transfers and thats way out of my budget. I think it said somthing like $650 for 100 feet of film to be transfered.... :blink: not sure if that was wrong or not..

I work a standard factory job for the time being and I plan on spending about 5 grand on my debute short film in a year. I'd like to keep the film total less than $1500. I guess will just have to wait and see what time allows for me. All I can do for the time being is just research and research, get smarter B)
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#11 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 01:42 PM

Use their price quote on their website. For 1,200' of 16mm it is more like .10 frame. Maybe .02 frame if you scan 1,000,00 feet. :angry: :angry:



Whoops, last time we did something with them was a sizable 35mm job and the scan was something like $0.02/frame.

Sorry.

Try National in Boston or Flying spot in Seattle both have Thompson Shadow telecines and both go to hard disk for a reasonable price.

www.nationalboston.com
www.fsft.com

-Rob-
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#12 David Sweetman

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 02:42 PM

If you give them a drive at the post house they should be able to log and capture the footage with avid or fcp and hand it to you on the drive. It's not direct-to-disk because it still goes through tape but it should be less than renting a drive. Something to ask about anyway.
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