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Color Correction by Pro8mm vs Frame Discreet


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#1 Mark Sperry

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:07 PM

I've been working on a wedding film I shot recently and I used two labs for transfer this time around. Pro8mm and Frame Discreet. I bought a 6 roll package from Pro8mm and had some odd rolls that I sent in to Niagara Custom Lab and then on to Frame Discreet. I think I can say now that I will not be using Pro8mm in the future unless I have to. Take a look at the differences in color correction from the transfers.


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Pro8mm vs Frame Discreet by marksperry, on Flickr

Now I should note that this was Kodak 250D and 100D (left to right). However the differences between negative and color stock don't account for an abundance for cyan for no reason. This is the same day, the same wedding, etc... Just minutes apart. For all the money Pro8mm wants, I don't really understand why I should bother with them anymore.

I wrote to them and they said they don't know what happened, but they'd be happy to rescan the film. This is not an "I don't know what happened" situation. This is a "we didn't care" situation.
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#2 Matt Stevens

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:10 AM

Wow. That is THE definition of Pro8mm's attitude. They simply do not give a sh**. They line up and sort of color correct the first shot and then let it ride. There is no way they do scene to scene color correction. They do a one light, pure and simple.

They just shoot themselves in the foot again and again and again. I have one more paid for HD transfer with them and am thinking I should just shoot some NYC landmarks. Nothing important. Why bother? They will just screw me.
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#3 Will Montgomery

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:58 AM

Ah, you got the b-team. I have this theory that there is an A and a B team at Pro8mm. In my theory the B-team works overnights and they feed them cheese puffs and orange soda all night (which doubles as their compensation package) to get the work they don't care about done.

I have actually seen good work done there, so it is possible, just unlikely or at least a crap shoot.
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#4 Mark Sperry

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:20 PM

Yeah it's totally a one light transfer and the didn't even do a proper job with the first shot! I'm so annoyed with them right now. Not. Looking. Back.
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#5 Matt Stevens

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

Mark, you should spread the word and make sure to email them each and ever link so they know it. You can even do a YouTube video. They deserve the humiliation as it is the only way they will ever understand that they are beyond pathetic.
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#6 David Cunningham

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

The short of it with Pro8mm is that the work is good as long as you've got Phil in the mix. Ever since I bitched once about an issue everything has gone well and Phil has personally been in many email responses.

They are very dedicated to the medium and it's support.

But, I do think the A team and B team thing is correct. Sometimes their work is amazing. Other times... eh.
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#7 Devon Burns

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:18 AM

It seems like some broken logic to me, if pro8mm is on its best day dodgy unless Phil is personally overseeing the work being done, why not just save yourselves the hassle and go through Frame Discreet. They've always done amazing work for me, even doing some colouring on some low budg music videos. If you haven't tried them out, you should definitely consider it.
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#8 Larry Wilson

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:15 PM

I have always been leery of going through Pro8mm because everything that comes out of them has this bizzare color cast. At first I attributed to the possibility that they use short-ends, but this even seems to happen with Kodak-branded stocks. That's why I go through Frame Discreet or Spectra.


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#9 Justin Lovell

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 11:34 PM

Hey guys,

Thanks for all the kind words. We're just a small operation driven by cinematographers and filmmakers who love film.

Thanks to all the support scanning, we just did a major upgrade and invested in the lasergraphics 5k scanstation 8/16/35. I've never seen images this stable and this easy to grade without any scanner noise. Ridiculously sharp. Flat out blew my mind.

I can't stop dreaming about the scanstation even after I go home from the studio. Keep hearing the sexy purrr of the film transport..

Justin Lovell
Assoc CSC Cinematographer
Www.framediscreet.com transfers / grading
WWW.JUSTINLOVELL.COM reel
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#10 David Cunningham

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 08:33 AM

Hey justin. Glad to hear you went with the ScanStation. It's a great machine that just cannot be beat in the super 8 format.

Sorry we never hooked up by phone as we had planned but it looks like you went with what I would have suggested anyhow. Great to see.
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#11 Justin Lovell

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 10:21 PM

No sweat David.

Appreciate you taking the time to share knowledge with me earlier. I spent 2 days in LA with the lasergraphics engineers and I pushed them with all kinds of different challenging over/under exposed, shrunken and faded films.. Hoping to find flaws in their system. Test after test, unlike other scanners I had tested, these guys surpassed all my expectations.

Justin Lovell
Assoc CSC Cinematographer
WWW.FRAMEDISCREET.COM transfers / grading
WWW.JUSTINLOVELL.COM reel
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Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

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Abel Cine

The Slider

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Glidecam