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Film trailers before DIs - how many generations away from the camera negative?


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#1 Karim D. Ghantous

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 11:15 PM

I have a small collection of 35mm trailers, most of which would have been struck from film 'masters' as opposed to being digitally printed (or a 'film out'). So I wonder, would they be the same number of generations away from the camera negative as the release prints are?

 

My oldest trailer, FWIW, is one of the first two Indiana Jones films (I forget which). My newest is, I think, Titanic.

 

Speaking of Titanic, and keeping in mind Jurassic Park, those films had lots of VFX shots, which involved scanning the film, then doing a film-out. I wonder if the trailers for films like these would have been edited digitally and printed with something like an Arrilaser? Or would they have been done the traditional way?


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 08:47 AM

I remember doing a movie where the marketing department asked for an IP to be struck from the original negative before we were finished answer printing it, and then they cut an IN from that to print trailers from, the the trailers were the same generation as the release prints (o-neg --> IP --> IN --> print).

 

In the early days of D.I.'s, some trailers I believe were film-outs from an HD transfer, maybe a transfer of an IP struck from the cut negative.


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#3 Dominic Case

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 03:45 AM

Hi - I don't visit cinematography.com very often now, but just happened on this question.

 

David Mullen - as always - remembers well.  In fact it was often common to make an IP before the answer print was finalised - or immediately afterwards. That IP would become the master from which Dupe Negatives were made for the release print run. But also a the IP would be used to print a number of short sections (on an optical step printer) that included all the shots for the trailer. This might be frame accurate, yielding a one-piece trailer negative, or possibly, if full takes were printed to minimise handling damage to the IP, then the dupe neg would have to be fine-cut.

 

However, since as many trailer copies would be required as prints of the feature itself, it would not be unusual for the trailer to go through two more generations to produce additional dupe negatives for bulk printing.

 

In earlier times it was common to make the trailer from out-takes, so it would follow exactly the same work-flow as the feature: edit work print, match-cut the original negative, then make an IP and an DN. However, later there was a requirement that the trailer only included material that was in the actual feature (to avoid accusations of false representation). Now it is quite common to shoot and release trailers during (or even before) production on the main picture but the questions of generations of film, and of exact shots, are either meaningless or irrelevant!

 

Finally, I can't be certain, but I am pretty sure that Titanic's trailers would have been made in a moe traditional way - but yes, film-outs from a digital master using an EDL and film recorder would have come in soon after that.

 

 

 


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 08:06 AM

You would think that if the marketing department got their own IP they could strike multiple dupe negs from it for making thousands of prints, but that would require that they cut their IP rather than the dupe neg...
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