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Do labs usually make things right when they goof?


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#1 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 06:46 PM

I had mentioned in a previous thread that Spectra sent me my HD transfer in the form of a Prores 422 HQ file that wouldn't open on my system. Thinking it was my fault (and also because Spectra says they "cannot take responsibility for PC users who cannot open or edit their footage") due to a codec issue or something, I went and purchased a Mac to see once and for all if it really was my fault. This was a new Mac from the store and I installed the trial of Final Cut Pro X (which I know should be able to open these files since this is essentially what Prores was made for) and it does not recognize the file.

 

Suffice to say I will be taking the Mac back since I found out what I needed to know.

 

But my question is...will Spectra (or labs in general) accept responsibility for their mistake? I paid $150 for this scan (just a simple 100' roll) so I could test my camera but also get my workflow in order. This is obviously not my fault so it seems right that Spectra will make this right.

 

Anyone have any experience with if labs will fix their mistakes or shift blame and I'll have to eat the cost (and spread bad PR along the way?)


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#2 Chris Burke

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 09:15 PM

Any business should make good on a defective product or service, they want you to come back. The file may be corrupted or some such thing cuz ProRes is usually quite a reliable codec. I would ask for an uncompressed 10 bit file, that should trans-code to anything you want.


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#3 Chris Millar

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 09:43 PM

>>off topic alert<<

 

It's not exactly good business practise or I guess 'nice' to purchase something just to use it for half a day then return it either.

 

Perhaps I'm peculiar in this?

 

I've noticed this practise when visiting USA on a few occasions. A chain electronics store I bought a hard disk from had a specific returns queue that had more floor/line space allocated to it than the purchasing queue - and lo and behold, it was full. If memory serves me correctly, it was lined with huge bags of M&M's in case you were so prompted to make an impulse returning your product, er, 'purchase' - i.e. your refund would be reduced.

 

Obviously not like this everywhere in the states, and examples can be found elsewhere...  Just, in my opinion, the tendency is a bit more pronounced.


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#4 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 10:14 PM

>>off topic alert<<

 

It's not exactly good business practise or I guess 'nice' to purchase something just to use it for half a day then return it either.

 

Perhaps I'm peculiar in this?

Not that I owe you an explanation on this but I intended to keep it if the file worked as I assumed I would need it for my workflow with them. But it still didnt work and I have moved on to wanting to edit via PC with Avid since I have been playing around with 2k scans on the internet and I like the flow of working with TIFF files instead.

 

But overall, I would appreciate if you could either 1) help me with my issue or 2) keep your issues of morality to yourself.


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#5 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 10:22 PM

 I would ask for an uncompressed 10 bit file, that should trans-code to anything you want.

I would like this but it would be a 20 GB file and the deal I got was only on Disc, not on hard drive.


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#6 Giray Izcan

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 10:35 PM

Google software to convert Mac files to windows, so this way, you can open Mac based files on your pc. I worked with Spectra, I had to do that.
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#7 Chris Millar

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 10:37 PM

my question is...will Spectra (or labs in general) accept responsibility for their mistake?

 

In lieu of not keeping your issues with morality to yourself I'd suggest asking them that question  ;)


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#8 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 10:50 PM

 

In lieu of not keeping your issues with morality to yourself I'd suggest asking them that question  ;)

What is your purpose on this thread again? What I do as far as returning a computer has nothing to do with whether a lab produces what they promise. The film community is small so we benefit from knowing who gives good service and who doesn't. Also, I was inquiring into if anyone else had problems with them or someone else and how it is generally handled.

 

I reiterate the point that if you cannot be helpful on the thread I started, please refrain from busting my chops because it is uncalled for and it makes you look like a donkey.


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#9 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 10:50 PM

Google software to convert Mac files to windows, so this way, you can open Mac based files on your pc. I worked with Spectra, I had to do that.

Giray, I tried that but nothing recognizes this file...not even ffmpeg.


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#10 Giray Izcan

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 10:59 PM

Matthew,
I remember trying a few times to open files even with that software. I had to hit refresh button a few times, restart my pc etc. It Mau be kind of tricky. I guess give them a call tomorrow, and try to get an answer from them. Spectra produces pretty decent results imho. Bu the way, regarding Chris, I agree with you. It's completely irrelevant, probably another Yank hating guy from wherever that bashes on America. I would just ignore him, and would let him bark I suppose. Maybe eventually he would just get the point, and stop.
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#11 Chris Millar

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 11:00 PM

Alright, to answer your question directly - and as Chris has already pointed out:

 

In my experience, labs do usually make things right when they goof.

 

Secondly, I have no 'purpose' other than, I guess, just shooting the breeze - being 'forum-ey'...

 

My advice is: you ask them about your issue directly.

 

And furthermore, ask yourself (and please don't feel compelled to report back the answer): Did you really need to apply moral leverage of your own, in public, to get Giray or whoever from Spectra to chime in? 

 

;)


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#12 Giray Izcan

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 11:04 PM

From Spectra? That makes a lot of sense, haha.
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#13 Chris Millar

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 11:04 PM

Giray,

 

Not a yank hater. 

 

But yeah, fair enough - sorry to drag it this way so I'm outta this thread.

 

and "Worked with Spectra" can sometimes be interpreted as well, with, as in alongside, same vested interests ...


Edited by Chris Millar, 18 May 2014 - 11:07 PM.

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#14 Giray Izcan

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 11:06 PM

Chris,
It's ok. I'm sorry. No reason to elevate the argument. I apologize if I offended you.
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#15 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 11:07 PM

Matthew,
I remember trying a few times to open files even with that software. I had to hit refresh button a few times, restart my pc etc. It Mau be kind of tricky. I guess give them a call tomorrow, and try to get an answer from them. Spectra produces pretty decent results imho. Bu the way, regarding Chris, I agree with you. It's completely irrelevant, probably another Yank hating guy from wherever that bashes on America. I would just ignore him, and would let him bark I suppose. Maybe eventually he would just get the point, and stop.

I did try to open it using FCP which I cannot understand why it wouldnt work. That is what leads me to believe there is something wrong with the file. I will call Spectra tomorrow.

 

I realize that I should give them the chance to make it right, and I am. I am not angry about this but am a bit disappointed. I paid for 400' minimum for 100' processing to avoid piggybacking which took 3 weeks the first time. I did this so I could get my scan back to verify that my camera is fixed before the shoot. This is just another delay and that is why I am frustrated. I guess one is not entitled the luxury of ever being frustrated.


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#16 Giray Izcan

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 11:37 PM

Instead of Spectra, you can get 2k scans at Cinelab for the price of HD telecine from Spectra.
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#17 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 11:39 PM

Instead of Spectra, you can get 2k scans at Cinelab for the price of HD telecine from Spectra.

Yeah, I need to talk to Rob about that. 


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#18 Giray Izcan

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 11:54 PM

Rob is way cool. Probably, one of the moat indie-friendly guys out there. Or, do photochemical finish. Photochemical finish has better blacks for sure.
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#19 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 01:36 AM

You should contact the lab if there's an issue. An editor friend who had a lot of experience dealing with top UK labs says that although they could "lie" i.e try to put the blame somewhere else at times, but in the end, if something is their fault they would usually make good. This could easily have involved the cost of making a new print which was an out of pocket expense to the lab. More complex for a lab would be some issue in developing the negative and any remedial work that may be involved.

 

I can't see a lab refusing to do another transfer run because the previous file they sent was corrupted. It's something that will occasionally happen and should be a part of their quality assurance, although things do slip through.

 

Labs are usually helpful and i suspect these days are trying to be well in with all customers. 


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#20 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 02:40 AM

If you received a Prores file on a DVD ask for another copy of the file on another disk or stick. Nobody transfers Prores directly to DVD so they probably still have it on their computer somewhere. We usually keep transfers(simple rushes) for at least a month before erasing. What happens all the time: customer receives a Mac formatted Hard disk as requested by editor. Producer puts it on his Win computer. Computer says: "disk is not formatted do you want to format yes/no?"

You can imagine what happens in some cases; obviously not possible on a dvd.


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