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S16 film to Telecine


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#1 Andy Karkut

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:22 AM

We are students about to shoot our first S16 short film project.

Whenever we shot stuff at school, we would send the negative to FotoKem to be processed -- then we'd get the original negative and workprint back and we'd watch our stuff projected. Our school has always paid for this.

Now that we are shooting and paying for our own thing, I wanted to know if a workprint is really needed, considering we plan to do a 1080p Telecine (at another post house) once the neg has been processed by FotoKem. Are there any advantages to the workprint?

Should I just instruct the lab to PREP FOR TELECINE on the camera report? (again, FotoKem will not be doing the telecine; it is another post house).

Thank you.

Edited by Andrew Kassagi, 12 June 2009 - 02:24 AM.

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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:49 AM

I shoot S16 using Fotokem as well. I just put "Prep for TC" on the camera report. If you are transferring to Tape (and possibly then to Hard Drive) why would you need a work print?.... you don't. We transfer from S16 Neg to HD Cam SR.... then have that dumped to a Hard Drive in Apple ProRes HQ. We then vault the Tape as 'back up'....
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:56 AM

Exactly what David said.
In fact, and I'm not sure if they do this, but might we worth while to check if FotoKem can do a best-light transfer for you, save having to move the negative around; and granted you'd be just looking @ what's on the neg, so you have to ask how much Color Correction are you going to be doing?
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 07:39 AM

It is more efficient and saves time & $ if you go ahead and send it to your Post House (I don't use Fotokem either for TC).. have them do the transfer.. edit.. then Color Correct Tape to Tape your 'Selects'. I am lucky in that (producing) commercials my selected clips are very short.. I mean , in the end it can only be :30 seconds so I am actually able to have my Color Corrected Selects posted on a FTP server in ProRes HQ and then pull them down using Fetch that day! This is awesome as I don't have to wait for fed ex to deliver another tape or hard drive.

1. Develop Neg

2. Transfer Neg to HDCam SR

3. Transfer HDCam SR to Hard Drive as ProResHQ

4. Edit

5. Email the time codes of the Selects back to the Post House.

6. Have Selects (only) Color Corrected going from the HDCam SR to another HDCam SR.

7. Dump the final Color Corrected Selects on a FTP Site. (or maybe in your case onto the Hard Drive again)

8. Re-conform.



Now, one note.. you have a 'bit' more flexibility going back to the Neg (again) for your Color Corrected Selects, however, if you have a great Colorist and get a QUALITY first transfer, it is not necessary and color correcting Tape to Tape will work great. My initial transfer is somewhere between a One Light and a Supervised Transfer... they clean it up leaving room for maneuvering later in Tape to Tape... the more you put that S16 neg up the more dirt it will acquire and the more DSR (Digital Clean Up) you will need.

Best of Luck!
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 09:20 AM

Workprints are a great learning tool but, unfortunately, they just aren't needed in the modern day post-production world.

Besides, how many S16 projectors are there out there these days anyway, two?

I'd only get them if I had a big client that wanted to see them. I'd only pay for the popcorn and the projectionist, in that case ;)

Even big 35mm movies, which are finished on film, have mostly abandoned, if not entirely, getting "dailies" of the footage they shoot, opting instead for HD or even sometimes SD video transfers.

So, I agree, keep it simple. I'm compulsive about moving film around, especially in the mail, so I'd never have the two shipped in the same package, have them hold it at the lab (even better using the same lab for TK) and only shipped back when you have the finished tape in your hand.
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#6 David Rakoczy

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:18 AM

I would not be concerned with keeping the transfer 'in-house' at the Lab (a matter of fact I would be concerned with a labs transfer... sorry labs)... but ... 99.7% of what Fotokem develops is picked up the next day by a Post House for transfer elsewhere. All my Neg, Master HDCamSR transfers and Color Corrects are vaulted at my post house...
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:29 AM

I would not be concerned with keeping the transfer 'in-house' at the Lab (a matter of fact I would be concerned with a labs transfer... sorry labs)... but ... 99.7% of what Fotokem develops is picked up the next day by a Post House for transfer elsewhere. All my Neg, Master HDCamSR transfers and Color Corrects are vaulted at my post house...


As long as it is a film runner and not a scuzzy postal deliverer (sorry postal deliverers ;-) ) then it is alright. Film running is a noble profession, not to be dismissed or undervalued.

Your production is only as safe as the film runner who delivers it all.

F*ck-tard at the airport that was twiddling his thumbs while they x-rayed all the film for an episode of "Lost"? Not a good film runner :lol:

If I were to mail film, which I seldomly seldomly do, I would make sure it never goes aboard an airplane (if the plane crashes, film is toast), crosses an ocean, or leaves the ground.

I liberally cover the box with "DO NOT X-RAY STICKERS", insure the hell out of it, and get all of the rip-off confirmations. THere's more of a psychological impression made with the carriers here, when they see the box is insured for thousands of dollars, has delivery confirmation, and has a perishable, heat sensitive, light sensitive, x-ray sensitive, shock-sensitive material inside of it that is on a deadline.
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#8 David Rakoczy

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:50 AM

Agreed... though, I have been shipping Film for 15 years via Fed Ex (with NO X-RAY Labels on each side) and have never had a problem... knocking on wood :lol: ... remember Karl, you could also have a heart attack or get hit by that preverbal bus and never even need the Neg :P
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#9 Andy Karkut

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:32 PM

Thank you for such great responses. This is such a great forum!

For the Telecine, we are thinking about using Cinelicious, and they have a Direct to Drive option (Diamond Clear HD, 1080p). In this case, would I still need to ask FotoKem to transfer to HDCAM SR? As you can see we are looking to keep our data after neg processing 'tapeless,' will be editing in FCP and put the short film on DVDs.

Lastly, is there are price difference between a one-light and a best-light transfer? So you know, FotoKem is charging a student price of $0.10 per ft. for processing.

Thanks again.
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#10 David Rakoczy

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 04:03 PM

No you won't need HDCam SR... in this case Fotokem won't be transferring anything. Best lights.. or Supervised Sessions, as they are often called, are a bit more as the Colorist is stopping and adjusting.. not just dialing in your color chart and letting it run for better or for worse....
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#11 David Rakoczy

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 02:22 PM

Ya know... I got to thinking more about transferring at a Lab... Fotokem (who I have used exclusively for processing for over 20 years) in particular... so I did a bit of research and found (to my surprise) how many TC Suites they have built... as well as the Shows they have done... (MI-3, the new Star Trek, Californication.. etc...) so I have to apologize to Fotokem (and any other lab who does great TC work)... At the time (18 years ago) when I was considering using a Lab to transfer my footage they weren't really set up like the big Post Houses... obviously, times have changed.

Though I have used Fotokem (exclusively) for processing for over 20 years and will continue to do so, I will continue to use my outside post house because I have used the same Colorist for 15 years... but by all means .. take a look at their work (or any Labs TC work) and don't count them out...
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