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Super 16 Dailies/Cost Effective Post


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#1 James Mann

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:25 AM

I am prepping a low budget Super16 feature. It is a five week shoot and we would like to have dailies to watch each week.

The last S16 feature I did, we got a "one light" transfer to SD (mini dv) and then got those put onto DVD for easy viewing. It was a good and cheap way (.12/foot total including processing...yeah for real) to do some quality control on the image.

Before that shoot began, I was aware that there was a 2k scan lined up for when we finished. That was also very discounted, so the idea of cost effectiveness was not an issue.

All of that being said, I am meeting with a local lab/transfer house in the next few days and want to discuss the possibility of doing our initial transfer to HD (D-5? HDCAM SR? Some other format?) and getting our DVDs off of that.

I figure this would save us some money down the road of having to transfer everything again in order to edit (and have the time code numbers match up. Because HD and SD would have non matching TC right?).

Then at some point we would do an online and a "tape to tape" correction. And come out with an HD (D5, HDCAM) master.

And then if a film out ever came up, go the poor man's route and do it off the HD master.

How is my thinking here? Feel free to tell me I am wrong about stuff. Also, what would be the best HD format (especially if we want to protect for a poor man's film out)?

Thanks

James
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#2 tylerhawes

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 10:55 AM

Here is what I would do:

1. Transfer all dailies to HDCAM-SR using log or a log-like curve (we use an extended dynamic range log curve that makes better use of the SR's range). This can give you virtually all the quality of telecine to data, so you are not really compromising when it comes time for the DI finish.

2. Capture from the SR tapes to your editing format of choice, ideally with a Log>Lin LUT applied on the input. If using Final Cut Pro, capture to DVCPRO-HD. If using Avid, capture to DNXHD (the lower quality settings are fine).

3. Now edit your film in this high-quality compressed HD format. The high resolution lets you better spot focus issues and gaffes.

4. With picture locked, your DI house (such as ourselves ;) can now reconform to your SR tapes and have a fully uncompressed 10-bit log picture online to grade from.

We do this all the time and the results definitely rival a traditional 2K finish. The only real difference, subjectively, is that a good scanner is slightly sharper and there is a very slight amount of noise on the telecine (we use Spirit 2K). However, it is really a matter of preference, as a great many directors actually prefer the flattering look of the Spirit over a scan.

This workflow will be even more cost effective for you if the dailies are actually weeklies, like you say.

If you're considering post in LA, please talk to us. We have done many Super 16 features using the SR workflow and can demonstrate the quality.
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#3 James Mann

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 03:14 PM

Tyler

Thanks for your input. When we get back to Los Angeles (which is where we will be posting, though not shooting) I will will definitely look you guys up. Have another project that is getting ready to strike a print from the HD master. Will get them in touch with you...

Thanks Again,

James.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 11:37 PM

Tyler

Thanks for your input. When we get back to Los Angeles (which is where we will be posting, though not shooting) I will will definitely look you guys up. Have another project that is getting ready to strike a print from the HD master. Will get them in touch with you...

Thanks Again,

James.


What's up James? Nice to see another person I know hanging out here a bit. How is post on Blue doing?

Hit me up if you need an AC, I'm really not that good a grip anyway. :P It sounds like your shoot will happen right about the time I get off of the show I'm doing now.
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