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Max. length of lab rolls?


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#1 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 11:38 PM

Hi guys,

I've just finished shooting a short film on 16mm. The negative is on its way to Fotokem in a few hours and I'm typing up my color timing notes right now. We're getting 16mm workprints and also a telecine prep. The supervised telecine will be done within the next few weeks at Monaco Labs in SF.

We have five camera rolls: (1) 370? + (2) 350? + (3) 400? + (4) 50? + (5) 250? = total 1,420?, all 7217.

I want to instruct the lab to combine as many of the camera rolls together as possible so that the printing and especially the telecine session is as efficient as possible. My question is: what is the maximum amount of footage one can put on a lab roll? 1200'? 2000'? Should I ask Fotokem to separate my footage into 2 lab rolls instead of 1?

Thanks in advance!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 12:15 AM

I don't really see an advantage to splicing the rolls together -- 10 minutes of footage at a time on the machine is fine, putting up a new roll doesn't take much time. You perhaps could get the 50' roll spliced onto the 250' roll though but normally you'd just leave the camera rolls separate.
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 12:31 AM

Thanks for the quick reply David.

I figured that with approximately 40 minutes of footage, every minute saved in the telecine suite would be a good thing. The director can't afford more than 2 1/2 hours of telecine time, and that includes changing each lab roll on the machine, rewinding, lay-off time, etc. So I wanted to save him as much telecine time as possible for making creating decisions, and not waiting around for technical reasons.

Maybe getting CRs 1, 2 combined into lab roll #1 and CRs 3,4,5 into lab roll #2 would be the best compromise: around 700' each, still easily projectable and only one roll change in telecine.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 01:26 AM

If it's a relatively slow day for telecine at Monaco, I'm pretty sure they can preload two of the machines at once and just switch between them instead of taking the extra time during the session to change.

Of course, you should ask Carlson about it :)
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 01:55 AM

If it's a relatively slow day for telecine at Monaco, I'm pretty sure they can preload two of the machines at once and just switch between them instead of taking the extra time during the session to change.

I wasn't aware they could do this. I'll definitely ask him about that, thanks Jon. You did an amazing job 1st'ing on the shoot, BTW. Just wanted to say thanks again for your professionalism and friendship on set, it made all the difference during some dark days. :)

Edited by Satsuki Murashige, 14 January 2008 - 01:56 AM.

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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 02:41 AM

I remember during Carlson's class once he was able to switch between telecine's from one room, it's just a matter of whether one is already in use or not I guess.

You're welcome Satsuki. There were some tough lighting situations and decisions that you had to make all throughout, and I think it's going to turn out pretty nice. All in all, it was a pretty chill set, so it was actually really refreshing to work on it. So, hey, anytime :)
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#7 Brian Pritchard

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 05:21 AM

I don't really see an advantage to splicing the rolls together -- 10 minutes of footage at a time on the machine is fine, putting up a new roll doesn't take much time. You perhaps could get the 50' roll spliced onto the 250' roll though but normally you'd just leave the camera rolls separate.

A lab will always join up camera rolls into large rolls fro printing. It does depend on individual labs on what size rolls of stock they use. It would usually be 2000ft rolls. It takes about 30ft of leader to print a roll which you have to pay for, so joining them up saves stock and lace up time for the lab. The same applies to telecine where you will have to pay for the lace up time.

In the past labs would employ people to remove NG takes and join up the good takes before printing, again to say costs. It is a long time since I heard of that happening.
Brian
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#8 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 01:03 PM

In general I think 1200' is the max for camera negative assembly and 800' is a nice size for transfer purposes. Sometimes we will assemble alternating 1200' and 800' flats for dailies transfer in order to fit the dailies with keycode onto 64min DvCam's or betaSp...with the most efficiency. When a flat of 16mm gets bigger than 1200' it becomes a bit more difficult to handle and you have the danger of dishing it.

With 16mm prints it is not uncommon to get 1600' or 2000' flats for transfer, many educational films are of this size.

-Rob-
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#9 John Sprung

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 02:43 PM

Telecine machines can generally take up to 2000 ft, but we archive everything in 1000 ft lab boxes, so we generally make up rolls of 1000 ft. or less. That's for 35mm. In 16mm, rolls of 2000 ft are getting kinda dangerous to handle. The telecine house can splice things together, they often have to add leaders, and they usually clean the film. Personally, I'd splice it into two rolls, 700 and 720 ft.




-- J.S.
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#10 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 05:22 PM

Thanks for all the advice guys!

I've instructed Fotokem to make 2 lab rolls, 700' and 720'. That should save us some time and money in printing and transferring the footage. Again, thanks for all the info, I very much appreciate it.
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#11 Jim Carlile

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 03:07 AM

In the past labs would employ people to remove NG takes and join up the good takes before printing, again to say costs. It is a long time since I heard of that happening.
Brian


That was in the good old days of 'real' dailies, like "cut,'" "print that," etc. etc. Nobody printed bad takes unless you wanted the producers to fire you.
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