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DI-Optical Budget


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#1 Miguel Bunster

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 08:44 PM

Hi

I have the following question.
I am going in to my thesis soon and we are planing to shoot 35mm-1.85 Aspect ratio and finish on film.
I am looking in to DI for diferent reasons but now in theory I would like your opinion in the following. If by any chance we get a free DI, would we actually save money as oposed of going optical. If we go optical we will not go through IN-IP process becasue we are not making more than 3-5 copies. This option was recommended by the lab to save money, and as well we have a nice discount.
before we start aproching DI places I would like to know you opnion on this.
Many Thanks
Miguel
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 08:55 PM

If you're not going to do a D.I., then DON'T shoot in Super-35 1.85, just shoot in standard 1.85 and then you can make contact prints without an optical printer.

If you're not sure if you're going to do a D.I., then DON'T shoot in Super-35 1.85 either for the same reasons.

If you are definitely going to do a D.I., then you might as well shoot in Super-35 1.85.

Using an optical printer to make direct prints off of an original negative is a major pain-in-the-a--. You're dealing with a spliced original that may need to be zero cut, and all the color & density adjustments have to be made at the same time.

PLEASE don't shoot in Super-35 1.85 unless you're absolutely sure you are doing a D.I. Because if you do this optically, you will not see any improvement over standard 1.85 contact prints but you will have spent a lot more money and done things in the most complicated way possible with a greater chance of error. DON'T DO IT.

I don't know if I can be any more emphatic.
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#3 Miguel Bunster

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 09:15 PM

David,

Emphatic it was and message got to its destination. Thanks once again!

I expresed my self wrong. We will contact print and I am not planing to shoot super 35 not matter what because even if we get a DI deal "you never know" so I am planing to shoot 1.85.
But in case we get a free DI would it save money going that way or not really. In any case we will finish on film.
Miguel

Ps: I want to use the DI not only for money reasons.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 09:43 PM

Well, obviously if something is free, it is saving you money over something that is not free. Otherwise, D.I.'s almost always cost more than traditional film finish, whether optical or contact-printed.
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#5 Dominic Case

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 10:12 PM

If I understand the question, you are asking whether it will be cheaper to do direct copntact printing from the original or to make your prints from a DI, assuming that the DI will be free of charge.

In other words, are there likely to be any hidden costs incurred in the DI pathway that you won't have the direct way. Or vice versa, is a DI actually saving you on any costs by avoiding the need for them.

The answer depends entirely on at least two things. One is: exactly what other services does your supposed "free" DI cover? Neg cutting would be different for example.

The other is: what do you aim to do in the DI? Often you can achieve more powerful colour correction digitally, allowing you to spend less time dealing with lighting problems on set. This can constitute a cost saving (a) if you have a large paid crew waiting for setups, and (B) if this level of colour correction is included in your "free" DI services.

If you have a few "effects" in the film that could be done as opticals or digitals (is this why you refer to going optical?), then that isn't a DI. It's a few digital opticals or a few optical opticals, in either case they would be cut into the original neg.

But if the alternative to the DI is simply printing off the original negative, then I can't understand why you want to go via a DI at all. At best the images would be as good as the original. Depending on the DI path, they could be a lot worse.

Nor why anyone would offer you a free DI. A discounted DI as its a student production, maybe. But free?
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