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Telecine in the UK


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#1 Sophia Antonatou Brereton

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:41 PM

Hi all,

I'm a film student trying to organize some s16mm to be developed and telecined in the UK from 4 different projects.
I've called or sent the labs emails and I have had some generous student discounts from some of them. We have basically no budget at the moment for the films ie our pockets-bank overdrafts so price has always been an issue and the discussions in the past between all the directors and cinematographers had been to go for the cheapest option.
Now we have two extremely similar offers from two labs so price isn't the decisive factor.
Looking through past posts about telecine in the UK seems to get more than a few complaints about being bad and compared with a general consensus from people across the pond about if it's cheap is bad, I'm starting to wonder how to base our decision.
As we will not be going back to print on film or grade it again the telecine would be a rather decisive factor of how the films would look, and with no money or time to do again elsewhere if it doesn't work out, we can't really afford to take too much of a gamble.
so I'm looking for reviews/feedback from people that have used labs in the UK, both good and bad, and both for developing and telecine.
If you don't want to name names on the forum then I'd happily provide an email address.

Thanks in advance :)

Sophia
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#2 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 04:26 AM

Dont use Technicolour UK.
If its 35mm go Deluxe. If its s16mm try ilab or Soho Labs. If you're worried about anything just be sure to get a superivsed one light so that you'resitting in on the TK.
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#3 Ian Cooper

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 04:43 AM

Dont use Technicolour UK.
If its 35mm go Deluxe. If its s16mm try ilab or Soho Labs. If you're worried about anything just be sure to get a superivsed one light so that you'resitting in on the TK.


Interesting your feelings about Technicolor, having previously used Todd-AO up until their demise, the last lab I sent material to was Technicolor. I found them most helpful and not particularly expensive. I didn't have any problems and the output from their 'Spirit' looked (to me) better than the Ursa "Todd" were using. I suspect I'll give "iLab" a try next time I'm sending stuff off.
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#4 Sophia Antonatou Brereton

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 06:15 AM

AS I previously said it is s16mm.

actually we are not considering Technicolor as one of the other students has heard negative things about them.
Having worked in a photographic lab I can say that it's very easy to do ok work, but not so easy to do impressive work.
mistakes can happen even with the best of them.
I'm more interested in consistency and labs that people were impressed by their work.

I'm never quite sure what to make of people saying 'they were really helpful' does that mean they explained things well and had a good disposition or they did something they don't normally do...

thanks for the replies so far.
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#5 Serge Teulon

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:08 PM

I've developed 16 and 35 at ilab. They both came out great.

Edited by Serge Teulon, 18 February 2009 - 01:08 PM.

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#6 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 02:04 PM

I've developed 16 and 35 at ilab. They both came out great.


The great thing about iLab is they are very welcoming to young filmmakers and student types and will have time for you and will not make you feel like a nuisance which some other larger, more faceless labs sometimes make you feel.

I believe technicolor is uprooting presently so maybe they will get back their standards when settled down again.
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#7 rob spence

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 07:50 AM

I reccomend i-lab too...they are great to work with
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#8 Nigel Smith

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 03:48 PM

having previously used Todd-AO up until their demise

Hi Ian
Todd AO was owned by Ascent Media, as was Soho images, Rushes, and St Anne's.
They merged Todd AO with Soho Images when the Camden lease came up, and Soho Film Lab was born.
Most of the Todd AO TK staff are now at Soho, so the service is as good.
The old Soho Images Student deals are also still going strong. They have also rebranded Saint Anne's as Ascent 142.

iLab seem ok and do good deals for my students. However they made a dangerous cock-up on one job last October.
6 rolls of S16mm TKed to Digibeta with Beta SP clones for offline.
Only they just copied the Digibetas picture and sound to beta SP without cloning the timecode.
Lucky we spotted the mistake before the offline assembly edit got very far so not to big a job to fix.
Otherwise the online would have been a disaster.
TBF they were very apologetic and redid the tapes pronto.

Back in the day I used Bucks, and Filmatic in Notting Hill for B&W.
Now I believe Soho Film Lab are the only people doing B&W, and that is only once a week.
Sigh.
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#9 Freya Black

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 04:40 PM

Back in the day I used Bucks, and Filmatic in Notting Hill for B&W.
Now I believe Soho Film Lab are the only people doing B&W, and that is only once a week.
Sigh.



Nowhere do B&W neg in 16mm. They have the continuous process machine that LUX used to use:

http://www.no-w-here...=...etail&id=81

love

Freya
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#10 Ian Cooper

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:47 AM

Hi Ian
Todd AO was owned by Ascent Media, as was Soho images, Rushes, and St Anne's.
They merged Todd AO with Soho Images when the Camden lease came up, and Soho Film Lab was born.
Most of the Todd AO TK staff are now at Soho, so the service is as good.
The old Soho Images Student deals are also still going strong. They have also rebranded Saint Anne's as Ascent 142...


Ok, I accept that perhaps the spirit of Todd-AO lives on, and it was all a consolodating exercise by the parent company. But the name has gone, their address has gone, and their service/price altered at the same time.

I've come away slightly unsure about the Tk machines used now. When I enquired of Todd-AO I was told they used "Ursa Diamond", when I enquired at the newly formed Soho FilmLab I was told "Ursa Gold". To be honest I don't really know what the exact difference is, I get the impression 'diamond' is an upgrade on the 'gold'. In practice I suspect both would be more than adequate for my purposes.

In 'Todd' days I would have material Tk'ed to BetaSP and they would provide either a DVD or MiniDV dub as well free of charge. Now they're Soho FilmLab I was quoted an additional charge per ft for a viewing copy on MiniDV. The cost of process & Tk I was quoted also went up 4 pence per ft with the reorganisation.

I've no doubt Soho FilmLab is as good, if not better than Todd-AO. I'm glad to hear most of the staff survived the transfer, but from my position their pricing structure (and possibly machinery used) certainly changed. Very much in their favour is that their pricing for process and work print means their minimum order value equates to just 100ft of film - so I'll certainly be using them to run a quick test through the camera when I'm not fussed about Tk.
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 06:57 AM

A Diamond is indeed an upgrade on a Gold, but I'm really not sure what the difference is. A Gold is already an upgrade on a normal Ursa, which replaced the older Rank III type.

P
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#12 Nigel Smith

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 08:14 AM

Ok, I accept that perhaps the spirit of Todd-AO lives on, and it was all a consolodating exercise by the parent company. But the name has gone, their address has gone, and their service/price altered at the same time.

I've come away slightly unsure about the Tk machines used now. When I enquired of Todd-AO I was told they used "Ursa Diamond", when I enquired at the newly formed Soho FilmLab I was told "Ursa Gold". To be honest I don't really know what the exact difference is, I get the impression 'diamond' is an upgrade on the 'gold'. In practice I suspect both would be more than adequate for my purposes.

In 'Todd' days I would have material Tk'ed to BetaSP and they would provide either a DVD or MiniDV dub as well free of charge. Now they're Soho FilmLab I was quoted an additional charge per ft for a viewing copy on MiniDV. The cost of process & Tk I was quoted also went up 4 pence per ft with the reorganisation.

I've no doubt Soho FilmLab is as good, if not better than Todd-AO. I'm glad to hear most of the staff survived the transfer, but from my position their pricing structure (and possibly machinery used) certainly changed. Very much in their favour is that their pricing for process and work print means their minimum order value equates to just 100ft of film - so I'll certainly be using them to run a quick test through the camera when I'm not fussed about Tk.


I generally use them for S16mm neg processing, sync sound [from DAT] and one light TK to Beta SP.
Since moving the price I pay has gone down by 1p per foot!
However the 'free' DVD BITC copies seem to have dried up.
Also DVCAM now has a 6p per foot premium, like Digibeta, although mini-dv is still the same price as Beta SP.
You are right that the new smaller minimum order value is good news though :)
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#13 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 09:54 AM

Is it possible to get a high res scan/ uncompressed to a file(s) on DVD disc(s)? My film would be about 2 minutes long... But I dont want to go put it to Digi beta, because then I would have to get the footage to my computer, which I dont necessarily have access too. I could put it to a hard drive I suppose, but logistically thinking - posting some DVD's around the country is alot more feasible...

This a possibility or no?
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