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Transfer from 16mm to...?


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#1 Owen Tanner

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 06:17 AM

Hi there everyone, I have a few questions which hopefully someone can help me with!

I'm currently in my 3rd and final year of a Film degree in the UK and I'm working on my final piece, so I want to go out with the best quality work I can.

I'm working on a documentary short of 10-15mins, shot on Bolex (adapted for super16) with Fuji Eterna 250D and 500D. There is no sync sound or talking heads (if that makes sense!), all voice over.

The documentary follows a 'low impact' village and the community who live there. Basically these 15 people own about 40 acres of woodland between them, have built all their house from materials of the forest, they grow their own food, make their own electricity (wind and solar power) and get all their fresh water from a spring on their land. I'm looking at their different philosophies on sustainable living and how their community life differs from my own. I'm very much used to living in the city and being able to pop to the shop to get my vegetables rather than relying on my neighbors harvest.

So I am going to live with them and learn how to work on their organic farms, doing as much work as possible to pay them back for letting me film and interview them.

Anyway now the actual question! Whenever I have shot film previously my budget has only permitted transfers to DVCAM tapes, obviously in SD. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on alternative transfer methods? We will be editing on Final Cut and our equipment in this regard is quite limited. Our only tape decks are DVCAM/HDV.

I don't need massive uncompressed raw files or anything like that but something higher quality than DVCAM would be good. Going to grade it in Color to give it a look inspired by some of the 35mm velvia stills I took last time I was there.

I was wondering if there were any possible ways of getting a HD transfer onto a hard drive in a format that doesn't require massive amounts of computer power to edit? Any particular codecs? Is it even worth getting a HD transfer if I'm going to output to SD?

I'm still inexperienced at this side of things so some kind of 'telecine for dummies' advice would be good. Really looking to get the highest quality transfer that I can actually use!

If anyone can point me in the direction of any online articles/books on this topic that would be really helpful. Anyway hope that makes sense and I'll try and give some more details if it helps. Thanks for reading.

(ps I've included a link to one of those velvia stills I was talking about so you can see the look I want to go for) http://www.flickr.co...N05/3327461945/

Owen Tanner
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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 08:12 AM

Sure. Transfer your 16mm to HDCam (D5). Then have them (Data Manage) the D5 onto a Hard Drive as Pro Res HQ NTSC because you really don't need to spend all that time crunching HD if it is a SD project.

You (could) work in Pro Res HQ HD and down convert in Final Cut.
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 12:35 PM

Sure. Transfer your 16mm to HDCam (D5). Then have them (Data Manage) the D5 onto a Hard Drive as Pro Res HQ NTSC because you really don't need to spend all that time crunching HD if it is a SD project.

You (could) work in Pro Res HQ HD and down convert in Final Cut.


I think they use PAL in the UK.

And yes, starting with an HD telecine to HDCAM / D5 ingesting to FCP as PRORES422 HQ from 16 and outputing to SD eventually will make the end product better looking than merely transferring to SD.
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Aerial Filmworks

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