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16mm to 2k


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#1 Stu McOmie

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 01:28 PM

Hi,

I'm hoping to shoot 16mm within the next 6 months, for digital intermediate. I've got access to a camera and SD telecine, but ideally I'd like a 2k scan.

The problem is I'm a student and most if not all of my money will be going on stock and processing in addition to lights and the like. I've only got about £1000 to spend on the whole production.

I'll probably be shooting 2000 - 2500 ft (funds permitting)

Does anybody know of somewhere that'll do reasonably cheap (or free after hours??) for students?

I may be able to work out some kind of trade of equipment usage or something in exchange...


Thanks in advance!!

Stu
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#2 Elliot Rudmann

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:36 PM

Getting 2k scans isn't cheap, you're looking at prices (at least in the US) from $1.25 to $3/foot if you're lucky (£ .76 to 1.83/foot approximately) and that might not even include color correction and the time they'll charge you for file-creation or tape-layoff. I'm not sure what the prices are in the UK but your best bet is to call some post houses, get rates, and try your hardest to bargain with them. If £1000 is all you have then I'd say 2k scans (or even an HD telecine) is unfortunately out of your league, unless you get really lucky of course. Even an SD transfer will put a large dent in your wallet so this is something you need to consider when budgeting out your film projects. Film is expensive, a good film transfer is even more expensive. Good luck!
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 09:08 AM

Getting 2k scans isn't cheap, you're looking at prices (at least in the US) from $1.25 to $3/foot if you're lucky (£ .76 to 1.83/foot approximately) and that might not even include color correction and the time they'll charge you for file-creation or tape-layoff. I'm not sure what the prices are in the UK but your best bet is to call some post houses, get rates, and try your hardest to bargain with them. If £1000 is all you have then I'd say 2k scans (or even an HD telecine) is unfortunately out of your league, unless you get really lucky of course. Even an SD transfer will put a large dent in your wallet so this is something you need to consider when budgeting out your film projects. Film is expensive, a good film transfer is even more expensive. Good luck!




Have it scanned here in the US. What was stated above are prices from "some" places about 9 to 18 months ago. In the days of global economic depression, many outfits are offering very competitive rates for indie and student films. 2500 feet of film isn't that much at all. I would recommend scanning all of it as 2k dpx files on a hard drive. There are two places in my town that I can recommend. PM me for details.

Another route is that you do a one light with keycode and timecode burn in. Do your offline and spit out an EDL or ALE and scan selects only. Today, more and more places will do a flat scan straight to drive, foregoing a very expensive color correction suite, making the pricing very attractive. They can scan an EDL with out much trouble. So it won't cost more do to operator costs like a CC suite.

The big question you have is are you willing to ship your negative overseas. If the insurance in addtion to everything else is is affordable, I'd say do it. You might be paying less that 1kUS for 2500 feet of film> 2k dpx > hard drive. A free app like Graphics converter can do a one light, convert dpx to QT batch, with about 8 or 9 clicks of the mouse. It is not anywhere as hard as some folks make it out to be. 2k dpx workflows are becoming quite common and subsequently cheaper and easier. Like I said, PM me for more info.

Edited by Chris Burke, 21 September 2009 - 09:12 AM.

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#4 Elliot Rudmann

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 10:48 AM

What was stated above are prices from "some" places about 9 to 18 months ago.


Chris, as an individual who works at a DI company, I can say for certain that those are recent prices for 2k scanning for typical film projects. However, companies like ours will not turn down film jobs from students or lower-budget projects particularly in this economic climate, so we are willing to negotiate better prices, how much depends on the post house. I was merely informing him that these were approximate rates that he should expect to hear.

Otherwise, like Chris said, scanning 2k dpx files straight to hard disk with a flat log-linear pass will be the least expensive route. But you should expect to do some color correction yourself as it's an equivalent to a one-light pass and may not make every shot look perfect.
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#5 Tom Hepburn

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 11:24 AM

Chris, as an individual who works at a DI company, I can say for certain that those are recent prices for 2k scanning for typical film projects. However, companies like ours will not turn down film jobs from students or lower-budget projects particularly in this economic climate, so we are willing to negotiate better prices, how much depends on the post house. I was merely informing him that these were approximate rates that he should expect to hear.

Otherwise, like Chris said, scanning 2k dpx files straight to hard disk with a flat log-linear pass will be the least expensive route. But you should expect to do some color correction yourself as it's an equivalent to a one-light pass and may not make every shot look perfect.


I can say that Elliot's company does great work and has awesome customer service! I have had super16 transferred to HD (1920x1080).

Tom
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#6 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 12:52 PM

We are offering 16mm 2K scans at $1.00 per foot for commercial clients and $0.50/foot for students. These are ungraded DPX files straight to disk. We also offer best light graded for $1.50/foot for commercial or $0.75/foot for students. Scans done on a new P+S Technik Steady-Frame scanner.

This infor is not on the Cinelab web site yet but should be by this week some time.

-Rob-
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#7 Stu McOmie

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 09:04 AM

Thanks for the replies.

Yeah, a flat scan to dpx is what I'd like... I'm going to firstly telecine it in SD (I've got free use of a Marconi and Bosch) and do an EDL, so that should help somewhat. I'm fine with having to do careful correction in post later, that's okay.

I'm not too sure about sending my film to the US though, unless it'll be sizeably cheaper - how safe would it be, I mean would customs open the package and totally bugger it all?

I hadn't factored in EDL into thinking about costs before.... I can easily do that on the Marconi (it's got a funky memory system thingy), and even edit down the film physically, so I only send what needs to be scanned. Do modern machines handle film with edits (tape, not cement obviously)

That way I could send, for example just one 800ft or 1000ft reel, and at $0.50/ft, I could afford it...

Thoughts?
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#8 Elliot Rudmann

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 02:46 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Yeah, a flat scan to dpx is what I'd like... I'm going to firstly telecine it in SD (I've got free use of a Marconi and Bosch) and do an EDL, so that should help somewhat. I'm fine with having to do careful correction in post later, that's okay.

I'm not too sure about sending my film to the US though, unless it'll be sizeably cheaper - how safe would it be, I mean would customs open the package and totally bugger it all?

I hadn't factored in EDL into thinking about costs before.... I can easily do that on the Marconi (it's got a funky memory system thingy), and even edit down the film physically, so I only send what needs to be scanned. Do modern machines handle film with edits (tape, not cement obviously)

That way I could send, for example just one 800ft or 1000ft reel, and at $0.50/ft, I could afford it...

Thoughts?


I think if you send a package internationally and claim it as a "gift" customs typically don't bother scrutinizing it. This is just what I've heard and I can't claim it as fact.

Whatever you do, don't cut the negative yourself after you've had it telecined!!! Because then your EDL is useless.

During your transfer you could get a flexfile w/a keycode list and then pay the lab to cut down all the rolls and splice together your final keycode selects, which is more money you probably shouldn't spend. It would just be easier to send the full rolls that have the shots you want scanned especially if you're going to be only shooting 2500 ft, which could probably be combined into just two 1250 ft lab rolls (traditional lab rolls are 1200 ft). Using your EDL with source timecode, post houses here could just scan select takes on each roll with handles. If you're going to end up going with this SD transfer>offline edit>export EDL>DI Scan>online-edit route, it may be easier to keep everything local, especially if your final cut is very short. Just call up some post houses and find out what rates you can work with. I would ditch the idea of cutting down your negative though.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 03:34 PM

Do not attempt to shoot 2000ft of 16 for an HD finish for £1000 in the UK - you'll be cutting so many corners you won't end up with a good result anyway. You will honestly get better results from renting a good HD video camera (you could take an F900 out for that money quite happily).

You will almost certainly do better sending the neg to the US. If you're going to spend more than about three hours in the suite you'll actually save money flying to New York to do it (yes, seriously), though this won't apply to you. Don't get me wrong, you can get work done at the very highest levels in London but it will cost you dearly.

Processing will be cheaper in the US too, and I would be fairly comfortable with the assumption that even customs aren't dumb enough to open a package marked "exposed high speed film - light sensitive - do not open or X-ray".

P
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#10 Stu McOmie

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 03:59 PM

Do not attempt to shoot 2000ft of 16 for an HD finish for £1000 in the UK - you'll be cutting so many corners you won't end up with a good result anyway. You will honestly get better results from renting a good HD video camera (you could take an F900 out for that money quite happily).

You will almost certainly do better sending the neg to the US. If you're going to spend more than about three hours in the suite you'll actually save money flying to New York to do it (yes, seriously), though this won't apply to you. Don't get me wrong, you can get work done at the very highest levels in London but it will cost you dearly.

Processing will be cheaper in the US too, and I would be fairly comfortable with the assumption that even customs aren't dumb enough to open a package marked "exposed high speed film - light sensitive - do not open or X-ray".

P


Well, the whole project is about learning to shoot on film, so if I use digital there's no point to doing it in the first place... I've plenty of experience with using various flavours of HD cameras, and I'm sick of them!! I don't think I'll be cutting many corners - the only real limitation is how much I can afford to spend on the stock/process/scan - I've got the use of an Arriflex, lighting + sound gear, proper post facilites.... etc, so preparing the footage is pretty much my only area of expense.

I could fly to the US, would cost around £250 I guess to get to NY and back - and I do have a bit more money in the budget now. :P

I'm pretty confident I can afford it if I can get it done for under £500... I guess I'll just have to go round all the post houses in London and see what they can offer. SD>offline>EDL>DI>online does make a lot of sense, and yeah it would be tricky to do it posting stuff off to the US.
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#11 Chris Burke

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 12:07 PM

Well, the whole project is about learning to shoot on film, so if I use digital there's no point to doing it in the first place... I've plenty of experience with using various flavours of HD cameras, and I'm sick of them!! I don't think I'll be cutting many corners - the only real limitation is how much I can afford to spend on the stock/process/scan - I've got the use of an Arriflex, lighting + sound gear, proper post facilites.... etc, so preparing the footage is pretty much my only area of expense.

I could fly to the US, would cost around £250 I guess to get to NY and back - and I do have a bit more money in the budget now. :P

I'm pretty confident I can afford it if I can get it done for under £500... I guess I'll just have to go round all the post houses in London and see what they can offer. SD>offline>EDL>DI>online does make a lot of sense, and yeah it would be tricky to do it posting stuff off to the US.


Although I am always trying to help out my local lab and transfer houses, I agree that keeping it local to you will probably be the least stressful, which counts for a lot. your choice of offline>edl>online is the best one. It has worked for decades for countless thousands of productions, why shouldn't it work for you. With an EDL, it will be a piece of cake for any post house. A word of advice though, if the post house is charging you by the hour, not by the foot, then do the math. It may be cheaper for you to do a flat scan of all your flats rather than by edl, because of the time it takes the operator to change flats. Your project is so small, that it probably won't take that long at all. But ask around. Are you only shooting 2500' of film, or is there a chance that this might turn into a larger number when ALL photography is done.

On a closing note, DON'T CUT YOUR NEGATIVE. Do it for a feature, not a short. It will raise the cost and risk damaging your negative.
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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Tai Audio

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

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