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Is the end of printing nigh


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#1 Steve Farman UK Neg Cutter

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 02:29 AM

Hi

I am a negative cutter, in the 90's I had 13 negative cutter working for me @ Technicolor, now I work from home on my own and only do a job a month.

I cut negative from EDL's for conform and or printing, athough the last feature I did was for Ken Loach and that was done using a cutting copy !

If i was not doing it from home i would of packed up in July, so if I do pack it in, does that mean chemical printing from cut negatives will also stop, as none of the labs offer negative cutting.

I have the promise of some work later in year, but i have to survive till then.

Cv, Batman Begins, Kingdom of Heaven, King Auther, Midsommer Murders, Doc Martin, Troy, Slumdog Millionaire, Route Irish Etc Etc.

Cheers

Steve Farman
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 02:01 PM

Printing will continue for a while, but primarily from Digital Intermediates rather than cut negative. The worldwide installed base of film projectors is huge, and will continue to require prints. The studios now have DI rather than neg cutting in their pattern budgets. As digital projection rolls out, even pictures that cut the neg will also have to have a digital version.



-- J.S.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 04:10 PM

Steve, I feel your pain, but I fear this is sadly inevitable.

Unfortunately with the industry in the state it's in, and the economy in the state it's in on top of that, I hardly know what to suggest.
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:54 PM

Mo Henry was the top negative cutter here for many years. She now has some sort of negative archive management service, and contracts with three of the major studios. Even on DI shows, the neg still has to end up somewhere.




-- J.S.
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#5 Brian Rose

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:59 PM

Yeah, it would seem to me that as long as a picture is shot on film, it'll need a negative cutter, if for nothing else, for the sake of archival purposes. Suppose they want to take it out to do a new scan when the technology changes. They'd have to have a cut, conformed neg, or else they'd face having to track down the individual shots and rescan and combine them!

No, cutters will be around as long as film is, there's just gonna be fewer and fewer of them :(
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:13 PM

Suppose they want to take it out to do a new scan when the technology changes. They'd have to have a cut, conformed neg, or else they'd face having to track down the individual shots and rescan and combine them!


That's been done. Another approach is to pull the selects from flash frame to flash frame, and separate them from the B-neg for re-transfer. It's cleaner and safer than trying to fine cut the neg, especially on TV shows, where the editors don't worry about handles and re-using shots.




-- J.S.
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 05:38 PM

Most modern scanners are more than capable of going through a camera roll to an EDL and scanning only what's required.
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#8 John Sprung

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 08:31 PM

Most modern scanners are more than capable of going through a camera roll to an EDL and scanning only what's required.


True, but best not to say it too loudly -- Steve needs the work. ;-)

Also said very quietly: Depending on the ratio they shot and the cost of storage, it may or may not make sense to pull selects.




-- J.S.
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#9 Dominic Case

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:17 PM

Realistically,Steve, I think it's time to re-invent yourself. I don't think there is a living for neg cutters anywhere anymore. The basic task of pulling complete takes (flash-to-flash) is something that average lab technicians are usually asked to do, not needing the very fine handling skills and consummate accuracy and infallibility of a neg matcher.

The last bastion of careful negative handling will be (well, virtually is) film archives, both in the government or museum sector and in the studios. I suspect we'll be seeing a mass migration of film handlers in that direction: best get there before the stampede.
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#10 Steve Farman UK Neg Cutter

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 06:36 PM

Yes I know its nearly time to hang up the sissors, but with Ken Loach still cutting on steinbeck with print rushes ( Route Irish cut by me for printing) and with slate pulls still being required by the major studios for archive i think there still some life in having a neg cutter about.

I think the thing I need to promote is that when things go bad in the rushes TK process the whole conform process goes to hell, had a job the other month, were some neg was telecined twice in a roll and other rolls had some neg missed out altogether, so the film roll lenghts did not match the master tape roll lengths hence a conform from the editor EDL would of been very painful.

I default logged the the negative to match the incorrect NTSC TK transfers so the editors EDL matched the negative logs in our system, then i translated the edtors NTSC EDL's in keycodes, then cut the negative slates into edit order, relogged the slates to a new 24P timecode and then created conform 24P edl's which worked just fine in the conform after the DI scan.

That what will be missed as much as cutting negative for printing.

But thanks for the kind words.

Steve F
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#11 Dominic Case

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 04:14 PM

You're right, there is still work left for people to sort out the numbers when other people screw up transfers or logging.

But it's soul-destroying work, and you rarely get proper recognition for sorting out disasters. At best the show ends up the way it was meant to. Usually you are brought in after things have gone wrong, and in theory you can charge what you like, as there aren't many people around who have a clue how to do this sort of stuff. In practice you're on a bit of the budget that doesn't really exist, and no-one even understands what needs to be done anyway.

I did this in the 90s. There weren't many phone calls that didn't feature the numbers 24 and 25 (we're in PAL land too!). I'm happy not to be doing it now.

Bring back the exercise books and scissors, I say! ;-)
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#12 Dean Vian

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:01 PM

i think it will be standard to have prints made for archival reasons and also there will always be retrospective cinemas. I would think it maybe a good skill to have for the future.
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#13 John Sprung

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 01:22 AM

Sequential separations are what you want these days for archival permanence. There are some new variations on that on the horizon.




-- J.S.
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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 09:48 AM

I think there's always going to be a need for people who know how to handle film without destroying it - I suspect that a few of the top people, such as Steve, should be perfectly OK until the interest in the archive drops off to nothing. And that'll be a while.

P
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