Jump to content


Photo

2 Perf DI or 4 Perf Contact


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Arthur Love

Arthur Love

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Electrician

Posted 28 January 2011 - 07:58 PM

Hello,

I am working on a project that we are planning on getting a 35mm print from. We're thinking either a 2 Perf DI or shooting 4 Perf. I would prefer to shoot 4 Perf Anamorphic and not to do the DI for quality purposes, but what are the options now? Are there still ways to get prints without using a DI? Is this accomplished with negative cutting or some other method? How does this compare cost-wise to doing it 2 Perf with a DI?

Thank you.

-Arthur
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 January 2011 - 08:07 PM

Hello,

I am working on a project that we are planning on getting a 35mm print from. We're thinking either a 2 Perf DI or shooting 4 Perf. I would prefer to shoot 4 Perf Anamorphic and not to do the DI for quality purposes, but what are the options now? Are there still ways to get prints without using a DI? Is this accomplished with negative cutting or some other method? How does this compare cost-wise to doing it 2 Perf with a DI?

Thank you.

-Arthur


Sort of depends on your shooting ratio, because 2-perf is half the costs of 4-perf in terms of stock and processing, though even with that savings, a typical D.I. runs around $100,000 for a feature film, and I doubt that your savings by shooting in 2-perf is giving you an extra $100,000 to play with...

Sure, you can shoot 4-perf 35mm anamorphic, cut neg, contact print, etc. and it will be cheaper than a D.I.

On the other hand, if you need an HD master of your movie at some point, you will be spending maybe $50,000 at the high end -- to make a color-timed I.P. off of your cut negative (maybe about $10,000 for a feature) and then transferring that to HD (maybe about $40,000 for five days in a color-correction bay). So doing a D.I. does cover part of those digital mastering costs for home video.
  • 0

#3 Arthur Love

Arthur Love

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Electrician

Posted 28 January 2011 - 08:25 PM

Sort of depends on your shooting ratio, because 2-perf is half the costs of 4-perf in terms of stock and processing, though even with that savings, a typical D.I. runs around $100,000 for a feature film, and I doubt that your savings by shooting in 2-perf is giving you an extra $100,000 to play with...

Sure, you can shoot 4-perf 35mm anamorphic, cut neg, contact print, etc. and it will be cheaper than a D.I.

On the other hand, if you need an HD master of your movie at some point, you will be spending maybe $50,000 at the high end -- to make a color-timed I.P. off of your cut negative (maybe about $10,000 for a feature) and then transferring that to HD (maybe about $40,000 for five days in a color-correction bay). So doing a D.I. does cover part of those digital mastering costs for home video.


Thanks, that answers a lot. I have one other question though, when doing the photochemical route, what is a ballpark for the pricing? Say it's the same hypothetical feature as the $100,000 DI, no VFX. Also, where does one go to find a negative cutter? Film labs?

Thank you so much.
  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 January 2011 - 08:49 PM

Thanks, that answers a lot. I have one other question though, when doing the photochemical route, what is a ballpark for the pricing? Say it's the same hypothetical feature as the $100,000 DI, no VFX. Also, where does one go to find a negative cutter? Film labs?

Thank you so much.


It's been awhile since I've looked up any prices for answer printing a 35mm negative. My wild guess would be around $10,000 to do all the work, neg cut and three answer print passes for a 4-perf 35mm feature??? Not sure what the sound work would cost, mixing, making the printmaster and optical neg for audio, etc.
  • 0

#5 Fred Neilsen

Fred Neilsen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 82 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 28 January 2011 - 08:54 PM

Thanks, that answers a lot. I have one other question though, when doing the photochemical route, what is a ballpark for the pricing? Say it's the same hypothetical feature as the $100,000 DI, no VFX. Also, where does one go to find a negative cutter? Film labs?

Thank you so much.


Have you read Dov S-S. Simens' "From Reel to Deal"? It dedicates about 50 pages to acquiring a photochemical release print.

There is a hypothetical topsheet at the end of the book, it quotes the following: Optical sound transfer: 2000-3000, Titles: 1500-3000, Negative Cutting: 5000-6500, Answer Prints (x2, 1st and 2nd attempt) 8000-15000.

Remember that these are discount rates with the higher rate being easily gettable (like a 3 day week) and the lower rate requiring a bit of begging and luck (eg: a 2 day week)
  • 0

#6 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:02 PM

Have you read Dov S-S. Simens' "From Reel to Deal"? It dedicates about 50 pages to acquiring a photochemical release print.

There is a hypothetical topsheet at the end of the book, it quotes the following: Optical sound transfer: 2000-3000, Titles: 1500-3000, Negative Cutting: 5000-6500, Answer Prints (x2, 1st and 2nd attempt) 8000-15000.

Remember that these are discount rates with the higher rate being easily gettable (like a 3 day week) and the lower rate requiring a bit of begging and luck (eg: a 2 day week)


A bit higher than my guess, so probably you should budget at least $20,000 or so.
  • 0

#7 Dominic Case

Dominic Case
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1357 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:24 PM

Also, where does one go to find a negative cutter? Film labs?


Depends where you are. Your film lab would be the place to start for recommendations, but few labs have ever employed fine-cut neg matchers, who tended to work independently. And there are now very very few still in business.

Don't confuse basic neg cutting (splicing camera takes together) with fine frame-exact negative matching, which calls for a much higher level of skill and care - especially for a 4-perf anamorphic negative with its extra-narrow frame lines. A badly-spliced negative could ruin your film.

I'm sure there is plenty in Dov Simens' book that is still very valuable: but since 2003, DI postproduction has moved from being the exception to being the rule, and this has brought many changes in the landscape.
  • 0

#8 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 28 January 2011 - 10:02 PM

I remember seeing movies, big budget films like "The Alamo" where you could see splices every time they cut from scene to scene. It must be incredibly difficult to make an invisible splice with such a small amount of distance between 'scope frames.



As far as DIs becoming the norm, that is almost an understatement. As far as Hollywood goes (with apologies to independents and foreign filmmakers, like Rich) I don't think there was a single movie released in 2010, besides "Inception" that was cut. neg. Please correct me if I'm wrong. As far as 2009 goes, "Extract?" I'd love to hear of others, but I honestly can't think of any. The 2K DI is ubiquitous, and the infrastructure that was mainstream just six years ago is rapidly falling apart. I bet it won't be long before Kodak and Fuji discontinue even their intermediate stocks designed for optical/contact printing. The arrival of that new Vision2 or Vision3 DI stock from Kodak last year seems to be an acknowledgement of that. When the labs switch over and all start buying it, I doubt they'll have enough orders to continue making the older optical version.



David: Why would a timed interpositive take so long to color correct? I understand that the color balance won't be perfect and you have to compress the dynamic range somewhat for television viewing, but five days? You're already locking in a lot of the look in the interpositive itself.

Edited by K Borowski, 28 January 2011 - 10:06 PM.

  • 0

#9 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:58 AM

David: Why would a timed interpositive take so long to color correct? I understand that the color balance won't be perfect and you have to compress the dynamic range somewhat for television viewing, but five days? You're already locking in a lot of the look in the interpositive itself.


You could probably do it in two days for a feature if you really went fast, but remember that first every cut has to be marked (automarking it not perfect), and the low-contrast nature of Interpositives means that you still see a lot of flaws (color shifts, black level shifts) normally buried in the high contrast of print stock. Plus it's the nature of digital color-correction to fix things that you couldn't fix in a simple photochemical timing, and who never makes a mistake? And there are creative rethinks that happen.

A scene with a lot of rapid cuts can be quite tedious to time even if each correction is minor.

Then it usually takes a half-day to create the final video master from all the corrections, since this is a real-time process (you have to watch a two-hour movie while it is being laid down to tape, reel by reel) and often there are stops and starts to make last-minute fixes. So that last day of the process is partly taken up by the layback to tape.

And thinks often look different in Rec.709 color space. I remember when I did the transfer of "Northfork" to tape, I noticed green grass growing through the snow that wasn't visible on the big screen in a print -- probably because green tends to pop more in video than it does on a print. So I had to isolate all the areas with green fuzz and pull out that color.

A transfer from a low-con print often goes faster simply because it has more contrast than an interpositive, so it looks sort of like the print did on the screen but you have less flexibility to adjust any mistakes. And it's a bit softer, I think interpositives are made on a step printer and prints are made on a continuous contact printer.
  • 0

#10 Simon Wyss

Simon Wyss
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1406 posts
  • Other
  • Basel, Switzerland

Posted 29 January 2011 - 05:54 AM

Arthur, CinemaScope is the tricky format in terms of assembly. Dominic Case did already point it out. I my eyes the only neat way to splice a -scope original is in at least two rolls, the so-called checkerboard method. That way you will make disappear the splices entirely and never hear a displeasing word from projectionists.

If you have time, go classic. A cutting room is much cheaper than a DI. To find a lab and a negative cutter can change your life. Invest in wo/man, not in machine.
  • 0

#11 Arthur Love

Arthur Love

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Electrician

Posted 11 September 2011 - 07:40 PM

Sorry about bringing up this old post again, but we're actually getting close to shooting something and I have a couple more questions. Not a feature, but a short. Sort of a way to practice for the feature.

I'm pretty sure we're going to go Anamorphic/Photochemical finish.

One question I have is how necessary is the IP/IN? Wouldn't it be cheaper to do strike a print from the negative, especially if there's only going to be a couple (most likely one) prints? What would that restrict us from?

Also, since we're shooting on recans, is there a keycode issue?

Lastly, to avoid doing telecine twice, I'm thinking of scanning our negative at HD in a flat pass for the picture edit as well as our HD master, and then transcoding from there to other deliverables. Based on talking to a few places, the difference between the cost of an SD and HD telecine is not that much, plus we'd avoid the cost of print dailies. I imagine we could even do burned in timecode+keycode where the letterbox bars are and then just matte over them for the HD master.

Thank you for your time.

-Arthur
  • 0

#12 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 September 2011 - 07:59 PM

Sorry about bringing up this old post again, but we're actually getting close to shooting something and I have a couple more questions. Not a feature, but a short. Sort of a way to practice for the feature.

I'm pretty sure we're going to go Anamorphic/Photochemical finish.

One question I have is how necessary is the IP/IN? Wouldn't it be cheaper to do strike a print from the negative, especially if there's only going to be a couple (most likely one) prints? What would that restrict us from?

Also, since we're shooting on recans, is there a keycode issue?

Lastly, to avoid doing telecine twice, I'm thinking of scanning our negative at HD in a flat pass for the picture edit as well as our HD master, and then transcoding from there to other deliverables. Based on talking to a few places, the difference between the cost of an SD and HD telecine is not that much, plus we'd avoid the cost of print dailies. I imagine we could even do burned in timecode+keycode where the letterbox bars are and then just matte over them for the HD master.


No, you can safely strike a dozen prints or so from the original negative, though it's always advisable to make an I.P. as a protection copy as soon as the answer printing is done before striking "show prints" off of the OCN.

Typically for a photochemical finish, this color-timed I.P. would also be used for the final transfer to HD, since it would go faster in color correction than working from OCN in the telecine bay. Plus the problem at that point is that your negative has splices in it, it may even be an A-B rolled negative.

But in your case, the only problem is that you are color-correcting it twice, once for the print, and once again from the original negative transfer, which is fine, it just adds more time in the color-correction suite.

Anyway, I recommend you still make the I.P. after the answer printing is done, just to have a copy of the negative for safety reasons. But the truth is, plenty of short films just make prints off of the OCN.
I don't see any keycode issues from using recan stock.
  • 0

#13 Arthur Love

Arthur Love

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Electrician

Posted 12 September 2011 - 04:16 AM

Thank you for your help, this is really painting a clearer picture of the whole process. One last question, related to your last post, would you say its necessary to do an A/B roll for cinemascope? Or can you get away with a single roll? Perhaps it's based on whoever the negative cutter is?

You've been beyond helpful.

-Arthur
  • 0

#14 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 September 2011 - 09:36 PM

Thank you for your help, this is really painting a clearer picture of the whole process. One last question, related to your last post, would you say its necessary to do an A/B roll for cinemascope? Or can you get away with a single roll? Perhaps it's based on whoever the negative cutter is?

You've been beyond helpful.

-Arthur


I believe scope can be straight cut but you have to use a scope splicer because the frame lines are so thin -- you'd use A-B roll only for sections when you wanted lab dissolves and fades, etc. instead of opticals. Talk to an experienced negative cutter, one who has done anamorphic movies.
  • 0

#15 Dirk DeJonghe

Dirk DeJonghe
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 605 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Kortrijk,Belgium

Posted 14 September 2011 - 12:29 AM

For single-roll splicing CScope negative you want to use the Hammann cleaver/splicer and a negative cutter with some practice on it. Keep in mind that on traditional contact prints, you can't really hide the lightchanges during printing and sometimes a colorflash will be visible on part of the first frame of a new shot.

No connection with Hammann except as a long-time satisfied user; here
  • 0

#16 Arthur Love

Arthur Love

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Electrician

Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:49 PM

Thank you, you've been greatly helpful.

-Arthur
  • 0


Technodolly

CineLab

CineTape

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Opal

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Opal

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

FJS International, LLC