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35mm Release Prints


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#1 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 07:04 PM

What is the cost of, say, a 110 minute long feature 35mm release print? I know it varies by lab, negotiation skills, etc. But just in general, any "average" amount? I once read somewhere that it around $25-$30 per minute of run time... Is this somewhat correct?

Thanks,
Landon
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 09:21 PM

Well, a laser recorder transfer from digital to 35mm IN for a feature can cost around $50,000.

As for making contact prints off of a color-corrected dupe neg for release prints, I think they average about $2000 per 35mm print, but it really depends on the volume you order.

Release printing is only part of the costs. If you are doing a traditional photochemical finish, you've got neg cutting and answer printing, not to mention the sound work, creating an optical neg, etc. And if you're making a lot of prints (over a dozen, let's say), then you have the costs of making an IP and then a dupe neg, which you then make your prints off of.

If you are doing a D.I., then you have the costs of scanning, conforming, adding efx and transitions, color-correction, and film recording. Then the costs of making a check print off of the IN created, and then the costs of release prints, plus the sound costs.
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#3 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:11 PM

I have a quote from a company here that had a ArriLaser. For a IN it was $438.89 per min for a total 39,500.00 for the film.
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 11:26 AM

Seriously, as a film snob/film purist, you should try to get a file made for one of those Christy preview projectors or for a 2K projector.

It has never made sence to me spending the oodles of money necessary for a video to film transfer, unless you are actually doing a theatrical release, in which case you'll need about 2000 prints (plus an actuall distribution deal) which, at $2000 a pop, would set you back $4,000,000.

Hope this puts things in perspective, i.e. that it is totally out of your price range, and is a total waste of film, frankly. There's really no truth to the theory that digital transfered to film looks better, unless you consider looking less like digital better, which it is not; you're seeing analog generation loss of digital files.
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#5 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 01:27 PM

I have no intention of making 2,000 release prints. At least not until I descide to start my own Warners Bros... Hey, it could happen :huh: ;)

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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 07:20 PM

I have no intention of making 2,000 release prints. At least not until I descide to start my own Warners Bros... Hey, it could happen :huh: ;)

Landon


Landon, I am not trying to belittle or paternize you, just to suggest that, if you had such money, you'd be absolutely wasting it making release prints unless someone gave you the film and equipment and chemistry with which to do it for free.

~KB
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#7 Paul Bruening

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 07:39 PM

Hey Karl,

His question is legit if his strategy is limited festival release or a four-wall marketing approach. Chances are his early productions won't be worth going to print. However, he might knock out a little gem worth a projector. It happens every once in a while. If that were the case, how-to-get-to-projection-print becomes a concern.

It's probably a little cheaper to do a workprint in DV. Then conform the negs on your kitchen table just like Mad Max. The lab can do a contact print of your AB rolls with another pass for the ortho-sound roll. Depending on your strategy, you can get a reversal IN and then go straight to positive. Whether that's cheaper than going IP-IN-print depends on your haggling skills with the lab. The cheapest cost to one-only projection print that I could come up with with the guys at Summit in Pittsburgh was $10,000. That was about four years ago. So, the price is probably more like $12,000 to $14,000, now. That was a direct to projection positive from negative AB rolls and ortho. That's a risky approach but still the cheapest way to one-only projection print.
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 08:15 PM

Hey Karl,

His question is legit if his strategy is limited festival release or a four-wall marketing approach. Chances are his early productions won't be worth going to print. However, he might knock out a little gem worth a projector. It happens every once in a while. If that were the case, how-to-get-to-projection-print becomes a concern.

It's probably a little cheaper to do a workprint in DV. Then conform the negs on your kitchen table just like Mad Max. The lab can do a contact print of your AB rolls with another pass for the ortho-sound roll. Depending on your strategy, you can get a reversal IN and then go straight to positive. Whether that's cheaper than going IP-IN-print depends on your haggling skills with the lab. The cheapest cost to one-only projection print that I could come up with with the guys at Summit in Pittsburgh was $10,000. That was about four years ago. So, the price is probably more like $12,000 to $14,000, now. That was a direct to projection positive from negative AB rolls and ortho. That's a risky approach but still the cheapest way to one-only projection print.


Paul, you're still talking about spending over $10K for a film of which you then only have a single copy. One projector mishap and you've lost a sizeable chunk of that money. I could probably scrounge up enough to make at least a 16mm-originated print for ten large (at least B&W, doing my own processing). I'm just saying that blowing up to 35mm at this stage in the game (with widespread digital projection reaching theatres) is a total waste of money.

While sure, it might be fun to have a workprint made and edit it on one's kitchen table, it's only fun when it's NOT your only copy and it's NOT a representation of over $10,000 of your own hard-earned money. I think you are waxing nostalgic for the process and not considering the work and logistics of the approach you describe. Regardless of the fun, editing film is tedious, time consuming, and hazard-prone. I know, I have to do it, and the allure quickly wears off (not enough to make me hate film, it's still better than staring at one of these damned screens all day ;) ) I mostly do editing and conforming of medium format still negatives, not much 8- and 16mm stuff, but let me tell you I have nightmares about ruining rolls of film or scratching rolls of film all the time; handling film and protecting it from damage is probably one of the most stressful parts of the job. When you're dealing with more than 100 feet of film that can unspool all over the floor, the problem increases exponentially proportionate to the length. I am not trying to criticize you, just cautioning you that you should not romanticize film editing to an impressionable teen or twenty-something who hasn't actually done it and has no idea of the tedia entailed in going that route.

Even Sundance has DLP now, no? It isn't the days where only 35mm is accepted in festivals, and this is digital material he's starting with. Unless Landon has a film that is really really really well done that he feels is worth investing the money to try to sell to a studio, this sort of presentation is unadvisable.

I'd recommend that you invest the money you'd have for making a print into lights, equipment, and chipping money to your crew, as a much better investment, Landon. Save film for when you can afford to shoot on film, hopefully on someone else's dime :D
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 08:49 PM

One other point of clarification, the money that David and I have been throwing about, $2,000 per print is a high-volume price. The work that a lab does to set up for printing would obviously need to be recouped regardless of the number of prints, so that is where you run into a price of say $10-14 thousand that Paul throws out. Now, that is the price for the PRINT. You still need to have your negative made, which is 39 five to 50 thousand unless you can find someone willing to do it for cheaper than what David and Chayse have seen. All said and done, assuming you don't have enough volume to necessitate needing a master positive and internegatives, you're looking at $30-65 thousand to have a single print made, which you could have instead put in to actually shooting on film yourself. It'd probably be CHEAPER to shoot on 35mm negative and get to print than it is to transfer tape to film at these prices, assuming you can get a good deal on filmstock and lab work. Say you can get ends for an average of 20c a foot (reasonable with 500T stock). Shooting 5:1, and with a 10c/foot deal on processing, you can shoot a 90-min. movie (90ft./min assumed) for about $12,150. Let's round up to $13,000 with slates and ends and loading header and footer.

Now, if you're smart, you can work out a deal on a workprint or video transfer for the dailies. Let's say another $10 grand. Edit that yourself, be careful and cut the negative yourself, and anotehr $10 grand and you're out for $30 grand. That's still a lot, but at least it is doable, and you've shot 35mm so it actually looks good.

Now, realistically, you still need to rent lights and camera and find a crew and scrape up a whole bunch of deals to get a movie made for this much, but, cutting corners and cutting deals, you can get a finished film print for less than this whole video-to-film transfer and it will certainly look better.
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#10 Paul Bruening

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 12:48 AM

I'm not sure that any of us actually answered his question. It's about 16 cents to 31 cents per foot to have a neg contact printed, that's with the cost of the print stock and the cost of processing the print stock. That's with no other services. But, there's always other services. You've got color correcting, an orthochromatic print for sound transfer, IPs and INs, yada, yada, yada. The thing is, you spend a small pile of money just getting ready to make a print and that's with an all optical path. Then you buy the prints. General budgeting puts prints at roughly $2,000.00 for each distribution print. Less prints puts that price higher. More puts it, not much, lower.

I hope that included some useful info, here or there.
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#11 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 12:03 AM

Hey Karl,
The cheapest cost to one-only projection print that I could come up with with the guys at Summit in Pittsburgh was $10,000. That was about four years ago. So, the price is probably more like $12,000 to $14,000, now. That was a direct to projection positive from negative AB rolls and ortho. That's a risky approach but still the cheapest way to one-only projection print.


90 minute 35mm feature projected at 24 FPS or 90 feet per minute equals 8100 feet of film. 12,000 divided by 8100 equals $1.48 a foot.....I went to collage :rolleyes:
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#12 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 02:28 PM

Depending on your strategy, you can get a reversal IN and then go straight to positive. Whether that's cheaper than going IP-IN-print depends on your haggling skills with the lab. The cheapest cost to one-only projection print that I could come up with with the guys at Summit in Pittsburgh was $10,000. That was about four years ago. So, the price is probably more like $12,000 to $14,000, now. That was a direct to projection positive from negative AB rolls and ortho. That's a risky approach but still the cheapest way to one-only projection print.


CRI was discontinued ages ago.

Summit is gone too.

But are you talking about an optical blow up from Techniscope?
Optical printing is alot more expensive than continuous contact.
There was probably a sur charge for anamorphic printing.

Incidentally, Summit was using WRS' equipment, renting them from Napor. The anamorphic lens on their printer was a B&L CinemaScope camera attachment from around 1954.

& you are the first person I've heard refer to a track neg as an ortho.
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#13 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 06:52 PM

The reason I ask is because DV Film quotes $25/ per run-time minute for a release print with there CRT recorder. But I was wondering if a Arrilaser print would cost more than this?

Thanks,
Landon
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 07:38 PM

The reason I ask is because DV Film quotes $25/ per run-time minute for a release print with there CRT recorder. But I was wondering if a Arrilaser print would cost more than this?

Thanks,
Landon


CRT and laser recorders usually go to negative or internegative stock, and then you make a print from that. Generally this is a good idea because each subsequent print is cheap compared to recording direct to print stock each time (which I don't believe a CRT recorder can do.)

I find that CRT recorder prices tend to be half that of laser recorder prices.

You sure they didn't quote you $250/minute? Because $25,000 for a 100 minute movie sound about right for a CRT transfer, if not on the low side. $25/minute would only be $2,500 for the whole movie, which seems low.

Looking here:
http://dvfilm.com/faq.htm

How much does it cost to transfer to film?

For short films, about $350/minute for 35mm; sound, negatives, and print all included. $250/minute for 16mm. A feature-length transfer to 35mm can be as low as $20,000 (75 min) or $13,000 for 16mm (75 min). Also see our prices page, and try our JavaScript rate calculator.

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#15 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 12:23 AM

But I was referring to each additional release print AFTER the transfer. The Initial Transfer from HD to film is $250 per minute, but for each additional print made after the film out, it's $25 per running minute.

I'm trying to think though, I'm guessing that the price would not change much no matter what recording method, since the print is actually printed from stock to stock, and not from recorder to stock for each release print.

Man thats confusing :blink:

As always, thanks for the help guys.
Landon
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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 12:40 AM

There are some rates here:
http://www.colorlab....elist.html#cncp

If you go down the list to "release printing from an I.N." (which is usually the output of a laser recorder), their rates for 35mm, figuring a 10,000' release print, would be $4,400 for one, $4,100 for 2 to 10 prints, and less if you print more than 10.

So $.25/foot for a release print is a good deal (i.e. $2,500 for a 10,000' movie).

Of course, there are other costs, like for sound.
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#17 Paul Bruening

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 05:35 PM

Man thats confusing :blink:


Post can get hairy. This is a good place to get help on a strategy. The labs will steer you to a job that yields them profits. Completely understandable as they are a business. Yet, there are ways to save here and there. Even get to a projectable print in shorter and less costly ways. Keep in mind that professionals here may know a strategy that will serve you well but, have to mind their current and potential relationships with labs. You should probably PM them over the tricks they have. Good luck with an achievable strategy.
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