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MiniDV, EDL's, D5, Digi-beta? HELP!


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#1 Sol Train Saihati

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 08:40 PM

Hello all! Just finished shooting another S16 short and now I'm moving on to the wide world of telecine. Read nearly every post on here and still can't quite find the solution I'm looking for.

Please let me know if this route makes any sense:

1. Develop neg & One light transfer to miniDV (~100mins footage).

2. Digitize the minidv footage to Adobe Prem Pro.

3. Edit up in Premiere and transfer the final cut (~15mins) back to MiniDV w/timecode.

4. Return to the lab with the MiniDV and EDL.

5. Grade the neccessary original footage from the neg with a colourist.

6. Transfer the final graded cut to a better format: (but which one?! (Digi Beta?))

7. Lay the soundtrack back on to the better format.

Is this a sensible workflow, or complete jibberish? Am I even on the right track here? :blink:

I've transferred S16 to MiniDV before and the results have been extremely dodgy, especially on the big screen, so I'm in search of a higher quality final result. We don't have massive amounts of money to throw at this thing, but would be ecstatic with anything better than a one light to MiniDV!

Aggressively pursuing my cinematographic education, (with a big thankyou to everyone on this forum) I am beginning to understand the inherent rewards of following a project through into post. In much the same way as a photographer who makes his own prints, the degree to which you can control the image after it is exposed to te negative truly has no limits. I'd hate to throw away any potential this piece has at the final hurdle; a phenomenon I continually witness in the short film world.

Ultimately this film will be sent in for festival submission; what format(s) are they typically screening with these days? It would be nice to get a couple of dozen quality DVD's out too, what's the most efficient path here, bearing in mind we're on a budget?

Options. Options! Options?
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#2 J. Lamar King

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 11:48 PM

The reason you can't find a firm answer is because there isn't one. Sure there are technical issues but it comes down to budget. You need to crunch some numbers with the recommendation of your post house to find out which route is the most feasable.

Personally, I prefer TK'ing in one supervised session going to DVCPro-HD on a hard-drive and editing on a Mac in a situation like this. Because this allows you to Online your project as much as possible on your own equipment and not wind up editing at the post house on their expensive equipment.

Edited by J. Lamar King, 22 May 2005 - 11:51 PM.

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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 12:11 AM

The high-end festivals are starting to screen HD so if you are going to retransfer selects anyway, you might consider transferring to 24P HD-D5 or something.

The other option, if you don't have a ton of footage, is transfer everything one-light to 24P HD-D5, make a Mini-DV downconversion for editing, then go back an online the HD tapes to create an HD master, then do a tape-to-tape color-correction session in HD. Expensive though.

If you are going to stay in SD, Digital Betacam is a good choice. Again, you could consider transferring all the footage to Digital Betacam, making Mini-DV copies for editing, then going back and doing an online somewhere in Digital Betacam. Another option is DVCPRO50, which is near Digital Betacam in quality. You might be able to update your editing system to digitize, edit, color-correct in DVCPRO50 (50 Mb/sec, as opposed to Mini-DV's 25 Mb/sec.)
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#4 David Cox

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 08:23 AM

Please let me know if this route makes any sense:

1. Develop neg & One light transfer to miniDV (~100mins footage).

2. Digitize the minidv footage to Adobe Prem Pro.

3. Edit up in Premiere and transfer the final cut (~15mins) back to MiniDV w/timecode.

4. Return to the lab with the MiniDV and EDL.

5. Grade the neccessary original footage from the neg with a colourist.

6. Transfer the final graded cut to a better format: (but which one?! (Digi Beta?))

7. Lay the soundtrack back on to the better format.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hello,

Yes your work flow is fine except you might have missed one step between 6 and 7. Normally, you would transfer your rushes to the quality format of your choice and then go into an online / effects editing suite to conform the new rushes to your EDL, add transitions, titles, effects, fixes etc. This is because you would most likely not be transferring a cut neg, more likely you will be transferring selected scenes with handles (extra seconds before and after your scene). The sound layback can be done during the online too.

As for tape formats, from the one-light transfer the only requirement is that you use a cheap and convenient format that can carry timecode and you can see the images for cutting. So this might be miniDV, DV, Beta SP etc. Whatever?s cheapest for you.

For your final transfer, Digi Beta is probably the best and most universal if you are creating a standard definition final. For HD, either HD-D5 or HD CAM SR are preferable over the other, more compressed formats such as HD-CAM and DVCproHD.

As for the comment about ending up in a post house and using their expensive machines, I can tell you as a post house owner that the biggest expense is in the talent of the operator / editor not in the machines. Try not to fall into the trap of shooting a great looking film that falls apart due to amateurish post production.
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#5 J. Lamar King

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 11:15 PM

As for the comment about ending up in a post house and using their expensive machines, I can tell you as a post house owner that the biggest expense is in the talent of the operator / editor not in the machines. Try not to fall into the trap of shooting a great looking film that falls apart due to amateurish post production.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I never recommended anybody use amateurish post production. There are many very talented Professional free-lancers out there.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 06:48 AM

Hi,

> I can tell you as a post house owner that the biggest expense is in the talent of the
> operator / editor not in the machines.

This is interesting. Perhaps as the owner of a post house you can tell me why it is that such facilities in London are between two and four times more expensive than they are in, say, New York? There's vastly more disparity than the exchange rate would account for. If I'm transferring more than about half an hour of stuff, it's quite literally cheaper to fly to New York and do it, if it's standard def. If you want HD, in London it is so absurdly expensive that I wonder why you even bother buying the kit; who can possibly afford it?

Phil

Edited by Phil Rhodes, 30 May 2005 - 06:49 AM.

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#7 Sol Train Saihati

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 11:32 AM

I just paid the equivalent of over $1000 for 2270 feet of S16 to be developed with a one light to Mini-Dv in London, should I book my flight to NY now? What kind of rate am I looking at for a supervised transfer of the selects to Digi Beta or HD D5 in NY as opposed to London for ~ 15 mins screen time? I have already been inundated with hidden costs. :blink: Can anybody reccomend any London facilities outside of Soho Images or Technicolor for reasonably priced post work or do I really have to fly out just to prevent being royally ripped off? The pound note is pushing me around again!
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#8 Michael Most

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 12:25 PM

Perhaps as the owner of a post house you can tell me why it is that such facilities in London are between two and four times more expensive than they are in, say, New York?


Uhhhhhh........ Competition?

I would venture to say that the lowest prices for high end post production are likely in Los Angeles. Coincidentally, there are also far more high end post houses in Los Angeles than anywhere else in the world. The local pricing structure of anything in a free market economy is always based on what the market will bear, and competition. This includes both services and talent.
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#9 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 04:59 AM

My recommendation (I have done loads of these budget shorts now)

Shoot neg
buy DV tape and Digibeta tape from Stanley productions etc
dev negative at Soho Images (one light) to miniDV with burnt in timecode
take DV away and edit on any program that can output an EDL in CMX format

when complete
check edl in notepad make sure it looks correct
check edl timecode against burnt in time code on DV tape

Get music and Audio sorted
get reference images for colour from magazines etc
Call post houses for a deal (most will do a huge deal - call the smaller companies RED, Condor etc - inlcude TK and final conform etc)
explain your situation - your ability to get it transferred by a junior or 2am transfer
Take EDL and neg (collect and sign at Soho images) to post house
Get reference photos | images for colour
Give neg to TK staff
Enjoy TK
Layoff
Move to final edit , audio, titles etc on inferno, flame, smoke etc
final conform to Digibeta
collect Neg and Digibeta
Run over to Stanley Prod and make a back up copy of the digi

So basically you want your stock from the stockists, not from the post houses
You want neg done properly but only the neg
You want the post house to do your titles, conform, TK etc
Do what you can - edit, titles (layoff in TGA format)
You want to make sure you are prep'ed and don't waste time trying to figure out what shade of red you want his hands to be
Make sure you know your final format at the beginning - cause it is going to cost if you want to take SD PAL to HD 720 etc

Or fly to LA and do the same at Dr Rawstock, Fotokem :)

thanks

Rolfe
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#10 David Cox

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 07:10 AM

Hi,

> I can tell you as a post house owner that the biggest expense is in the talent of the
> operator / editor not in the machines.

This is interesting. Perhaps as the owner of a post house you can tell me why it is that such facilities in London are between two and four times more expensive than they are in, say, New York? There's vastly more disparity than the exchange rate would account for. If I'm transferring more than about half an hour of stuff, it's quite literally cheaper to fly to New York and do it, if it's standard def. If you want HD, in London it is so absurdly expensive that I wonder why you even bother buying the kit; who can possibly afford it?

Phil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Phil,

Well apart from Soho property prices and the fact that top compositors and editors do earn a little more here (due to £'s and $'s), the only thing I can suggest is you're going to the wrong places! Our HD and higher res rates are comparable with similar LA facilities - even with the weak dollar.

Of course we could really reduce rates if we get college leavers with "a degree in post production" to work for minimum wage, rather than using people with a lot of experience in post production who (annoyingly) want more than minimum wage! I won't name the post production companies that fall into the former group :-)
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