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Anyone know Spectra's average turnaround time?


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#1 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:51 PM

I have only dealt with them once before on a test roll and I didn't think it was very long. But I sent them another test roll for my current camera and they haven't debited my card yet so I know they haven't sent it back.

 

Anyone know what their usual turnaround time would be for a "rank a roll" deal?


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#2 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 02:32 PM

Any luck yet? 

 

I can't tell you for sure, but I can tell you my experiences and their "general rules" of operation. 

 

It really only depends on the stock and the length of the footage, because they do processing in batches weekly, and with minimums of 300' per order for 16mm.  So if you shot 400' of a common negative stock, you'd be absolutely in the clear for that week...if you got it in there on say, a Monday....Friday = next week etc.  They aren't open weekends, so I gues you could miss it by a day and wait a whole other week if unlucky.  But usually a week for processing negative. 

 

On the flipside of that, if you did the "rank-a-roll" with 100' of reversal, they are definitely waiting to "piggy-back" your order onto other "random" 100' orders....and/or reversal order frankly.   They've told me this can take up to three weeks (I believe).  They always seem to take around 7-10 days for me, regardless of order size, but I always get it scanned elswhere, so the "rank-a-roll" involves that extra process of telecine too...and I have a hunch they may be waiting to scan things in a similar fashion as I've just outlined above...like some "rank-a-roll" grouping of projects done in one shot, aside from "normal" projects, since it's a sorta "quick deal" process...this is just my guess though on the telecine part and based on what they do with the processing....


Edited by Matthew B Clark, 01 May 2014 - 02:33 PM.

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#3 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 02:48 PM

Yes, I just got an email with a tracking number so hopefully Ill get it in the mail by Saturday. I had phoned them last week and told them I didn't mind paying the minimum price but he assured me that I could "piggy back" and it wouldnt take very much longer so I did. He told he how good of a deal I was getting and it's the best anywhere. 

 

I thought to myself "I paid $134 to have 100' of 16mm processed and transferred as standard def for less than 3 minutes of footage and that's a good deal?"

 

Such is the life of someone who shoots on film. :(


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#4 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 03:31 PM

Ouch.  Man...what about the old, "please sir, how about a free test scan?" plea?  I've been lucky a couple of times so far paying a grand total of $19 in just film processing. 

 

There are a few very nice folks who'll throw my stuff up on their machines during their down-time, send low res files for me to do very simple and basic viewing over the web.  I also get the sense that some people do see it as a bit of a moral issue...not to say running a business and sticking to your guns on pricing is "immoral", but I defintiely think that there is a soft-spot amongst filmmakers where if you actually come off as a reasonably legit person who is actually broke, and actually needs to test his camera with an actual intention of giving them more work, then some of these people will actually pop it on their scanner for you during lunch, knowing they could crush you for $100 in between color-grading a $50,000 job or just "let it fly" for you.  In other words, I think there's a big difference between a film school doof calling up looking for "free stuff" and a genuinely interested, independent filmmaker looking for real answers to real problems.  I think they can tell that too.

 

Now, the low res is ultimately useless, but it's totally fair play.  I don't want to cheat them either, and I express that on the phone with them.  What they send more than meets my needs for very broad testing of lens action and film stock purchases, or camera fundtions, whatever.  And costs $19.


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#5 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 05:15 PM

Would something like this be of use in camera evaluations?

 

https://www.dropbox....alSample_S8.mov

 

We currently offer this kind of low-res, low cost (960x720) scan to film archives for evaluating shrunken and damaged film that they can't otherwise view on projectors or other sprocket-driven devices. It's overscanned so you can see the full frame, and it occurs to me that this might be of use in camera test reels as well.

 

What do you guys think?


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#6 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 06:18 PM

Perry, for some reason, my system cannot play that file. Maybe I nee a codec I don't have.


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#7 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 06:28 PM

It's a Quicktime ProRes file, but it's only 2 frames, so it doesn't really "play" per se. It's just to show the layout. If you can see the image, you get the idea.

 

-perry


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#8 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 06:39 PM

As long as it gets people a chance to see if there are registration or jutter issues then I guess it would be mighty useful for a camera test.


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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:40 AM

Camera tests were always free telecine at &Transfer in Dallas. These days a company has to charge at least something. Another victim of the loss in processing/transfer volume.


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