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S8mm to HD: recommend US me labs


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#1 Alex de Campi

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 08:04 AM

I'm shooting a S8mm music video and will have about 2,000 feet of 500T I want scanned to 25p (PAL) HD and laid off direct to drive.

This seems impossible in the UK (where I'm shooting) so am planning to schlep the developed reels back to America and try one of the labs there.

Does anyone have any experience with / recommendations between the following labs, which to the best of my google-fu are the only ones scanning S8mm -> HD? I'd be especially interested if anyone has experience putting PAL / 25p work through.

(I'm being cheeky and mentioning all their published rates, as it's interesting to see the variation)

* Cinelicious (do they do PAL?) HD @ $275/hr

* Lightpress (ex FSFT) who, super-annoyingly, don't have a contact email address anywhere on their website. Anyway, they're $600/hr for HD scanning then another $250/hr for layoff to drive. 50% off for standby rate.

* Pro8mm HD @ $450/hr + $20 extra per hour for PAL

* Colorlab - $750/hr for transfer + $300/hr for uncompressed layoffs to drive

Let me know any experience you all have with these folks, or any other labs that do HD that I might have missed out. On price alone, Cinelicious is the clear winner - and they seem to do a lot of music videos.
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#2 banba ban

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 10:04 AM

I'm shooting a S8mm music video and will have about 2,000 feet of 500T I want scanned to 25p (PAL) HD and laid off direct to drive.

This seems impossible in the UK (where I'm shooting) so am planning to schlep the developed reels back to America and try one of the labs there.

Does anyone have any experience with / recommendations between the following labs, which to the best of my google-fu are the only ones scanning S8mm -> HD? I'd be especially interested if anyone has experience putting PAL / 25p work through.

(I'm being cheeky and mentioning all their published rates, as it's interesting to see the variation)

* Cinelicious (do they do PAL?) HD @ $275/hr

* Lightpress (ex FSFT) who, super-annoyingly, don't have a contact email address anywhere on their website. Anyway, they're $600/hr for HD scanning then another $250/hr for layoff to drive. 50% off for standby rate.

* Pro8mm HD @ $450/hr + $20 extra per hour for PAL

* Colorlab - $750/hr for transfer + $300/hr for uncompressed layoffs to drive

Let me know any experience you all have with these folks, or any other labs that do HD that I might have missed out. On price alone, Cinelicious is the clear winner - and they seem to do a lot of music videos.


Have you spoken to ilab in Soho yet?
I spoke to them a few months ago and they were planning to do S8>HD transfers...

Late last year I had some S8 transferred at Flying Spot in Seattle.
It was all shot 25fps and they transferred it at that speed for me.
The quality of the transfer was fantastic and they were pleasant to deal with and very professional.
Highly recommended.
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#3 Daniel Henriquez Ilic

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:17 PM

Hello,

not in the USA, but here is another option , Park Road Post in New Zealand, Spirit Datacine1 with HDCAM SR deck.

Good luck
Daniel HenrĂ­quez Ilic

www.filmhalogenuros.cl
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 10:02 PM

First off, why are they charging you a PAL fee for HD? HD has nothing to do with PAL other than the framerate, and if you're MOS and going to a hard disk that makes as much difference as a mouseclick and a few keystrokes when you import the stuff into the editor. There's no way they should be charging you extra for 25fps work. Incidentally, do you have a post workflow planned? What formats are you using?

Otherwise, it's just a case of finding a super-8 gate for a Spirit (and taking every other possible step to ensure sharpness, like nice glass and slow stock). I know there is at least one s8 spirit gate in the UK, or rather was a few years ago, but I don't know who owns it. What was then Red told me they could rent one in, but I don't know where from. I presume you've asked around.

On the other hand, I suspect that with that amount of stuff to transfer, especially if you want to take the time to do a nice grade, you may well save money even if you fly to New York or LA and do it. UK transfer houses are so gigantically hyper-expensive that I have no idea how they stay in business. I guess flying more than one person to the US probably just barely balances it out, especially if they're business-class types.

P
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#5 Alex de Campi

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 08:15 AM

I spoke to iLab (I'd done as much research as poss on other threads on this forum and saw them mentioned). Sadly due to their merger with another company, they've decided to indefinitely postpone adding S8 capabilities.

Rushes used to have an S8 Spirit gate but I think they got rid of it. Soho Damages has one, but they can't do tapeless transfer - my bete noir with all UK post facilities.

I live in the US so NZ probably a silly option due to distance even if the service is amazing which, knowing NZ, it probably is. Oh wait! HDCam deck. No thank you. TAPELESS.

DON'T get me started on the extra charges asked by some of the companies above. The PAL HD charge, as noted upthread, makes no bloody sense.

Workflow is telecine to at least 4:2:2 HD then edit in final cut. It's all a bit ghetto (as all my work is), because the vision is a lot more fabulous than the budget.

Flying Spot / Lightpress have lost out simply by being impossible to contact / not providing an email address on their website. I only have a mobile with me, no landline, and I'm not waiting until like 8pm at night and then using up all my PAYG minutes to call Seattle.

I think I'm going with Cinelicious as they are by far the best deal, don't add on silly costs like data layoff fees if you go 4:2:2, and I really like their colorists' work.

Lastly, if we're sort of using this thread to make a big list of S8 -> HD facilities, two more US ones:

Bonolabs: $715/hr TK and drive layoff fee of $3/minute

Mymovietransfer / Debenham media: approx $16 per roll of S8 for SD, $25 for HD (I think, website a bit confusing). Don't seem to ding you for drive layoff.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:20 AM

but they can't do tapeless transfer - my bete noir with all UK post facilities.


Oh, they can, they merely choose not to, because they want to force you to pay for their (frankly unwise) investment in HDCAM so you can benefit from large amounts of lovely, expensive, sony-branded compression.

Workflow is telecine to at least 4:2:2 HD then edit in final cut. It's all a bit ghetto (as all my work is), because the vision is a lot more fabulous than the budget.


Fine, that's exactly how I'm trying to persuade everyone to work. It's cheap in terms of not having to rent deck time, it's technically top quality, and you can cut it on your desktop computer. Why, there's not a single thing to like about data workflows...

Cinelicious... Bonolabs... Mymovietransfer / Debenham media


So what's their equipment?

like their colorists work


Personally I'd be asking for a tech grade, so I could tweak it myself. Although even very high end places don't really understand what that means. I sat at an LA post house a couple of weeks ago watching an at-the-company's-expense retransfer of material from a very high end TV drama because someone didn't understand the words "give me all the information for a later tape-to-tape". Colorists are not to be trusted and of course if you have the unmitigated temerity to complain about them you will sign your own death warrant; they'll ensure you never get what you want.

P
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#7 Freya Black

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:20 AM

I looked into this some years ago. I think the BBC have a S8 gate on an old rank but really as you have to go back to the states you are loads better off transferring there I think even with the low sterling/dollar thing. Telecine in the UK is just very bonkers.

In the states there is also:

http://www.spectrafi...m/Telecine.html

http://www.posthouse.com/

However I think that all the above may still be S.D. only. :(


The good news tho is I have the email for lightpress. It is:

info@lightpress.tv

Flyingspot always used to do great S8 transfers so worth considering.
Not super cheap tho.

I would avoid Pro8.

If 25p transfers are a problem could you not transfer at 24p? Won't your S8 cameras be shooting 24 anyway?
Sounds like a really fun project. Hope it works out good! :)

love

Freya
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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:37 AM

Forgot to say. Phil is right about PAL being nothing to do with H.D. so although we all know what you mean, I would avoid mentioning it to the telecine people as it may confuse them or prompt them to charge you extra for being "special". PAL means Standard Definition 625 lines!

Just ask about 25p H.D. if neccesary.

Also it seems to me like it's a choice between lightpress and cinelicious. I'm really curious about the latter as it seems like they have reasonably straightforward and nice prices and if the quality is nice then it seems they could be a great option for low budget types! :) If you go with them, do let me know what you think.

love

Freya
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#9 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:25 AM

We at Cinelab are doing 25fps Transfer to PAL or 25fps 1080P to hard disk. For S8 it is $0.25/foot to Standard Def in Pal (best light) and a $50.00/hr hard disk fee (in 15min increments based on film run time) or $0.30/foot to High Def in 1080P 25fps with the same $50.00/hr hard disk fee. Scene to scene is set at $200.00 per hour. We have been doing work for some well known clients for national and international distribution.

-Rob-
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#10 Alex de Campi

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:40 AM

We at Cinelab are doing 25fps Transfer to PAL or 25fps 1080P to hard disk. For S8 it is $0.25/foot to Standard Def in Pal (best light) and a $50.00/hr hard disk fee (in 15min increments based on film run time) or $0.30/foot to High Def in 1080P 25fps with the same $50.00/hr hard disk fee. Scene to scene is set at $200.00 per hour. We have been doing work for some well known clients for national and international distribution.

-Rob-


Unfortunately you all did a 25fps S16 -> SD PAL transfer for me a couple years ago when you were very tied up with your own film work, delivered it late (causing us to miss our broadcast deadline) and then for quality reasons we had to have the whole thing re-done by another lab. And getting communication/responses from you all when trying to book the telecine job was nearly impossible. So although I'm sure this was a one-off issue due to your own heavy filming commitments at the time and a lack of anyone else working in telecine, I fear that for me, it's a case of: Cinelab, never again!

Edited by Alex de Campi, 26 May 2009 - 10:43 AM.

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#11 Alex de Campi

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:59 AM

Freya: Hi! ::waves::

Flyingspot is now Lightpress, they changed their name at the beginning of this year.

I'll let you know how it goes with Cinelicious. (And Phil, I take your point about colourists but I'm hoping to remotely collaborate with the colourist on a look for the project via the streaming colourcast live thing they do at the beginning of the session. We'll see. Oh, and Here's a link to Cinelicious' equipment.)

I also just heard back from Rushes in London, they can do tapeless, but not for Super8.
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#12 banba ban

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 11:56 AM

Flying Spot / Lightpress have lost out simply by being impossible to contact / not providing an email address on their website. I only have a mobile with me, no landline, and I'm not waiting until like 8pm at night and then using up all my PAYG minutes to call Seattle.


Light Press have a wealth of contact info:

http://lightpress.tv/contact/

Even a Skype address.

Give them a call.
Good luck!
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#13 Dominic Case

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:37 PM

Flying Spot / Lightpress have lost out simply by being impossible to contact / not providing an email address on their website. I only have a mobile with me, no landline, and I'm not waiting until like 8pm at night and then using up all my PAYG minutes to call Seattle.

Hang on, who's being hard to contact here?

Anyway, like others, I counted 6 email addresses on the contact page on their website.
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#14 Alex de Campi

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 07:04 PM

Lightpress contact: Ah. Oops. I am clearly a spack and not intelligent enough to use the internet. Also, on my 10" screen travelling laptop, the "contact" button falls off the right hand edge of the screen into oblivion. I truly didn't notice it until you all mentioned it - and I navigated all around the stuff at the left and bottom edges of the screen looking for a contact button. ::blushes::

Edited by Alex de Campi, 26 May 2009 - 07:05 PM.

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#15 Will Montgomery

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:29 AM

Flying Spot / Lightpress have lost out simply by being impossible to contact / not providing an email address on their website

Perhaps this should be a new thread, but what is the deal on Flying Spot's change over to "Lightpress?" I have nothing but GREAT experiences with them as FSFT, perhaps a little pricey but wonderful color.
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#16 Tom Law

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 05:43 AM

I'm shooting a S8mm music video and will have about 2,000 feet of 500T I want scanned to 25p (PAL) HD and laid off direct to drive.

This seems impossible in the UK (where I'm shooting) so am planning to schlep the developed reels back to America and try one of the labs there.

Does anyone have any experience with / recommendations between the following labs, which to the best of my google-fu are the only ones scanning S8mm -> HD? I'd be especially interested if anyone has experience putting PAL / 25p work through.

(I'm being cheeky and mentioning all their published rates, as it's interesting to see the variation)

* Cinelicious (do they do PAL?) HD @ $275/hr

* Lightpress (ex FSFT) who, super-annoyingly, don't have a contact email address anywhere on their website. Anyway, they're $600/hr for HD scanning then another $250/hr for layoff to drive. 50% off for standby rate.

* Pro8mm HD @ $450/hr + $20 extra per hour for PAL

* Colorlab - $750/hr for transfer + $300/hr for uncompressed layoffs to drive

Let me know any experience you all have with these folks, or any other labs that do HD that I might have missed out. On price alone, Cinelicious is the clear winner - and they seem to do a lot of music videos.



Widescreen center in the Soho do it, and also TKone do it.
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#17 Alex de Campi

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 10:50 PM

By the way, here's the first finished music video from the shoot I started this thread for - 6 camera super8 shoot, at 25p:
View on Vimeo

Went with Cinelicious, very happy.
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