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Super 8 Workflow - SD transfer for off-line, then HD of Spliced Rushes


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#1 Ashley Michael Briggs

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:25 AM

Hello,

My first post. Hopefully it's a decent one....

Looking to shoot 2x 8mm shorts next week. Got hold of a Canon 814XLS and off to Spain to shoot. Just working out the finance, and thus am looking into my workflow.

Does this sound reasonable:

Shoot film
Process film with a cheap, domestic SD telecine. (I'm in the UK)
Cut the footage 24fps off-line in FCP until my heart is content.
Hand splice the rushes as per the master off-line (with respect to obvious restrictions to 'cuts' only etc, and possibly not perfectly frame accurate) into 1 master movie.
Telecine this master super8 film using an expensive/professional HD, probably with a decent 'clean and prep' prior. (Ie, with one of the companies in the US)

OR

Do I trim the rushes to a series of 'shots' and splice them together roughly for the HD telecine and then re-cut in FCP as an on-line.

With this technique I hope to shoot at a ratio of say 5:1 (or worse) and save money on the expensive HD transfers.

Any comments would be really appreciated. (No sound btw)

With thanks, Ash.
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#2 Rafael Rivera

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:57 PM

Both strategies sound reasonable and it may just come down to budget issues, i.e., how much raw footage you shoot, total cost of sd transfer vs hd, wether you kept a camera log to help choosing selects, etc. Personally I'd be inclined to do strategy 1 if a lot of film is shot, and strategy 2 otherwise.

Do contact the transfer houses and ask about types of splices, some places only take cement splices, and about length of leader.

Wish you good luck and post some shots when you get a chance.
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#3 Pavan Deep

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 04:37 AM

I wouldn't cut the film at all, the frame is small and will scratch easiliy and if you're shooting negative you really shouldn't touch the film. In my experience everything depends on what the intended film is for. If this is your first experience with Super 8 I'd shoot, have it 'properly' telecined and then edit it. The biggest cost factor is getting your film to digital. You could have your film scanned on a frame-by-frame-scanner, there' are a few of us in the UK who use this technology to scan films, ity's cheaper and produces very good results comparable to 'high end' machines, the only drawback is they're slower. If you are in the UK an SD 'proper' transfer of your Super 8 will look great.

P


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#4 Ashley Michael Briggs

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 11:20 AM

Hi Rafael and Pav and other's that have read this.

So the situation is;

Shot 7x Kodak Vision3 200T and 2x Trix super8 rolls. I've kept notes but that offer's no help really here - all films need to be processed.

I expect I've shot at a ration of 1:5, thus getting a top dollar transfer of the whole lot might not be financially effective. I've also done the major naughty and shot on an untested camera, having only limited super8 experience several years back - but I'm confident everything and me was working ok.

In an ideal world I'd pop into London and get them processed by a trusted lab with an HD telecine and then edit away until my hearts content. But seeing as there's no HD telecine in the UK.... hmmm. Do I post the un-processed films out to some random guys in NY, LA, Germany or Holland and get them to do it all remotely or go with an SD in the UK?

Maybe the best is to get a local process and SD and then see if it's worth a HD master at a later date. Thoughts?

Cheers...
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#5 John Woods

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 12:53 PM

Pay the money for an HD transfer of all the footage, there are many quality places to use in Europe, you'll get your film back on HD with no regrets. Do the SD thing if you think you'd be content to keep the film SD, otherwise you're paying to get the film transferred twice and then you have to spend time re-cutting the HD footage.

The other option is to invest in an HD S8 transfer machine, do it yourself and then corner the lucrative English S8 to HD market!
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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 09:34 AM

I would agree with John. That many rolls you are probably looking at two hours in a high-end HD telecine suite. If you were in the U.S. I'd suggest Cinelicious or Lightpress but I'm sure there are some great UK based houses as well.

The advantage is that you'll have the color nailed perfectly when you leave the transfer suite and won't have to mess with it later (unless you want to.) Plus cutting film is a real pain and much easier with a keystroke than a razor. So for 400 euros or so you can have all of your footage transferred to beautiful, perfectly colored HD.

You never know when you may want a different clip or a burn in that the end of a reel or something...best to have it all available if budget allows. If this was a feature then I'd suggest going the SD route, editing, then brining in only the cuts you need in HD...but a short like this it will save you time and energy just transferring it all and editing in HD.
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#7 Rafael Rivera

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 01:48 AM

In most cases, the budget dictates workflow. So contact labs/facilities, tell them the details, see if they can match your requirements and ask them for their thoughts, most will be happy to share potential strategies.

Now, in terms of logistics, a closer facility is much easier to visit and to interact with than one across multiple borders - just a thought.

In any case, best of luck and do post more as you go along.
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