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Could you help me figure this out?


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#1 Francis Elvans

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:03 AM

Hi there,

I have been involved in still photography for a while, using mostly film. I always planned to move along to motion picture and a couple of months ago decided this should be sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately despite alot of reading there are one or two things I'm not quite sure about, I apologise for the perhaps silly questions.

Considering that I am a student (needless to say not a film student) and therefore don't have a good budget what is the best value for money and easiest to hadle telecine transfer? All I wish to do at this early stage is shoot film and edit in an editing program myself on a computer (I will probably get Avid for this, though ive just heard about the infinitely cheaper lightworks)and end up with a final product that is just a digital file that I could transfer myself if I wished onto a dvd or other appropriate format. From what I gather the telecined material can come in the form of various kinds of tape, but how do I then get this onto my computer? That involves another stage which I would rather do without. I have also read that it can come in the form of a 'DNxHD' is this a digital file that can go straight to my editing program without a tape? Do all telecine labs offer this?

It may be that your suggestion involves some compromise in the visual quality of the outcome at the advantage of ease and price, if this is so please can you tell me what the most ideal process would be, since I have seen some breathtaking examples of 16mm and would like to achieve that level when I need to.

If you can mention any specific labs with regards to format I am in London, well I will be anyway.

Many thanks for the help, Ive enjoyed reading this forum for quite sometime now,

Francis
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:53 PM

Francis; I'm not sure where you are located, but most post houses have a direct to HD option as DNXHD or ProRes, per your instructions. I've suggested "scanyourfilm," in chicago for the last 2 S16mm shorts I've been on and I should have results from the shoots sometime... haven't seen nothing yet, but the price is hard to beat and there are no "hidden fees." It's $.01 per ft for HD and .02$ for 2K. You get back a "flat scan," which is all the information on the neg they can fit in the file to grade later on. I went with ProRes4444 for these productions as it's a meaty file which people an still edit @ home. Also, speak with the labs you'll be working with and see if you can get a deal. Worst they can say is no.
If you go to tape you would need to get a suite equipeped to handle that format with decks and deck control. Generally this is HDCam or HDCamSR for HD material and can be quite problematic. However, a post house would generally handle this "intermediate" step for you if you asked them for a final delivery as a file. Each post house will be differant, though, so you need to call around and get quotes and workflows. Just tell them what you wish to accomplish and they will make suggestions based upon your budget.

Good luck
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#3 Francis Elvans

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 10:56 AM

Thanks for the reply Adrian.

I contacted scanyourfilm and thankfully they receive and post to the UK, it will still be cheaper than an HD telecine from a london lab I think so many thanks for that tip off!

I had another question which is: If I wish to record a soundtrack seperately from the camera (as the camera will likely have no sound output) is it really just as simple as recording it onto a track, imputing into an editor (NLE?) and matching them up on the timeline. I understand the sync might stray off but this could be accounted for in the editor could it not? What is the best program for sound recording? If I had Avid could I just record onto that and mix the sound and visuals without having to import sound which has been recorded on a seperate program?

Thankyou for your time, I hope these do not seem to elementary questions,

Francis
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 12:04 PM

Ok; as for sound recording, here is what we do when we do double system on the cheap. You get a recorder, like an H4N from Zoon; for a few hundred with XLR inputs. I believe you want to do 48Khz for Audio as a .wav file. Some recorders do have frame rates, but as I'm not an audio person per say, I'm not sure if the Zoon does. I do know we have used the H4N before, and I do have one, just never needed to use it.Obviously too you roll the sound before rolling camera as it's much cheaper.....

On the day, you need a slate :

Posted Image

with all the pertinent information. And the way you line it up is the smack it once the camera is rolling as such:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=sDRgNYFNo_I

I would leave the cursing out.. I prefer military alphabet, but up to you.
Now, the audio will record the sound and the film the image. In the NLE on the waveform you'll see, once imported, the "smack" on the wave like this: (image from audacity as I don't have an NLE on this particular computer, but should look the same)
slate1.jpg




and you'd line up that "smack's" highest point with the image of the slate on the film right when it closes. You should now be in sync. And it should hold for most typical duration shots.

Hope that makes sense and my pleasure sending you scanyourfilm. I'm looking forward to getting my first few shots back from 'em.
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