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Which is cheaper?


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#1 Paul Bruening

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 01:13 PM

While offering a dubious suggestion on another thread it occurred to me that I don't know the current costs of 35mm, HD telecine to hard drive or DVD versus 35mm one-light print, dailies. I'm just wondering in terms of seeing what you've shot and not for any other purposes. What are the current numbers on these two paths? Can someone break it down to the "per frame out of 24 fps" level? If not, are there some handy, "by the foot" prices?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 01:40 PM

Despite this being the age of the internet, labs and post houses are more loathe than ever to publish rates, they want you to talk to a sales rep instead. But here is some info, maybe old:
http://www.colorlab....elist.html#cncp

.33/ft for a best-lite 35mm workprint, so $330 for 1000' (which is like 11 minutes, but let's round things to 10 minutes...)

Telecine prices are by time it takes to do the transfer (plus type of machine used, recorder used, color-corrector used, etc.), but the rates are all over the map and highly dependent on deals you make. Let's say I make up a random figure like $400/hr. for HD dailies, so $200 for a half-hour and $100 for fifteen minutes. Let's say that every ten minutes of footage takes 15 minutes to transfer when you deal with loading the machine, doing some basic adjustments, etc.

That would suggest that answer printing may cost you about $300 for every ten minutes of footage versus $100 for an HD transfer.

But like I said, the transfer rates are all over the map and I may be guessing way too high or too low. I've certainly seen HD telecine prices listed more in the $500 to $700 per hour range. That would start to make to comparable in costs to workprinting.

Also, like I said, transfer rates very by things like Spirit vs. Millenium-TK, HDCAM-SR vs. HD-D5 vs. hard drive, DaVinci vs. Pogle, etc. but are ultimately controlled by the time it take to color-correct the footage.
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