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One Light vs. Supervised Transfer


Dan Salzmann
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Just finished work on a 20 minute film and the producer is now balking on the supervised transfer (that was agreed on in prep) in favour of a one-light.

Fiction, moody, not naturalistic, lots of set-ups, 7218, atmospheric type of thing and I need to make a case for a supervised transfer to said producer who does not have a lot of experience.

I have always gotten more satisfying results grading directly from camera original than from a tape to tape grade from a one-light. Seems like less artifacts or something.

Can any forum members give me some HARD WHY facts to help me build my case to the suddenly tighter than tight purse strings.

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They would miss out on the free coffee, cake and hot telecine assistants! Also they would not be able to say in a loud voice in the street "Nope can't make your party - got to go to the GRADING of my film"

 

Depending how much you shot - a one light to create an EDL might be money well spent - cause then you can go in an telecine only the parts you need. But make sure you apply the same settings to identical scenes that you are not going to use - cause the editor will always decide to use something not on the EDL - after you have done the telecine.

 

But think like a producer - it is only about Return on Investment - Art is a disease for them. Repeat this to get into their mindset "DON'T care what your stupid project is about - blah blah art? WHAT is my RETURN?!"

 

So if for X$ in Telecine you can make the project so much better then there is a much higher chance of it selling for more.

Take a digital photo then show him http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view?id=65948&forward=

 

the TK difference is what you pay for. It makes your product better then the others- and sells for more and more money for them

 

But make sure you agree a total price and not a per hour. Make sure you price includes everything (Stock, VT time, prep, cleaning etc) - but don't get paranoid either with the post producer.

 

Telecine can improve the look of a shot, reframe a shot, focus an area, fix a problem, add a mood, soften an area etc etc

 

my 2 cents (0.8p and dropping...)

 

Rolfe

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Just finished work on a 20 minute film and the producer is now balking on the supervised transfer (that was agreed on in prep) in favour of a one-light.

 

 

A good alternative would be to have a "flat" best light transfer done to D5 (for HD) or Digi-Beta (for SD) and then when you finish your edit bring the master tape back to your colorist for a Tape-to-Tape final color finish.

 

Less cost for your producer and a proper color session for you....

 

 

-Rob-

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Best light goes on a scene by scene basis and gives a general correction correlated to what you say the scene should be (i.e. "golden tone") whereas a one light will only transfer the film directly from the neg to tape without anyone looking at it for exposure/color/ect. That's how i always rationalized it.

So a best light puts the image into it's "Best Light," read: looks better so as to spend less time later on in your editing correcting "mistakes."

 

Or you can just tell them that a supervised transfer will open up aesthetic possibilities that could not be realized elsewise. Further, it will allow you to present the highest quality image in terms of it's look so as to open the piece up for more marketing due to a heightened production value.

At least that's what i say when I'm trying to get a supervised. Works 7 times out of 10. . .

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Yes but can you give me some solid arguments for a best light?

Why is it better than a one-light with a tape to tape finish?

 

Hi Dan,

 

A supervised best light transfer will give you a very good result, as what is recorded to tape is very close to what you want. I often go back to the best light for my showreel shots because once they have been re graded in 8bit then things tend to look like video color wise. HDCAM SR 4:4:4 is 10 bit and can retain most of the information, so can ve very successfully re graded. I can't say the same of DigiBeta.

 

On a larger project I would recommend doing a one light pass. Once the offline edit is done do a new Telecine of the selected takes and shot to shot grading. This is the best way IMHO.

 

Stephen

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Hi all. for the new guy or student filmmaker out there reading this thread.

For me, if I'm going from Film to MiniDV for my transfer, like for Super 8 for example. I always go BEST LIGHT. With MiniDV you can't adjust the look to much before the image breaks down. If you go uncompressed to Disk you have a lot more info and you can Grade the image to your liking. I learned this the hard way $3,000.00 + of 16mm to Mini DV that looked like crap except for one shot here or there that looked great. In reality the transfer was quite flat and I could have corrected the look at a higher quality Master format. The confusing thing for me at the time was the Work Print of the same Neg looked fantastic. I started using a different Lab and that also provided me better results.

just my opinion at the very low end of one light vs. Supervised or Best light transfer.

 

Toby

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  • 4 weeks later...
Hi Dan,

 

....can retain most of the information, so can ve very successfully re graded. I can't say the same of DigiBeta.

Stephen

Really? :(

I have been told that a tape to tape grade of 10 bit digibeta would be acceptable and was planning on pursuing this route when there are no funds for a full attended grade on the telecine.

Maybe that is just compared to beta SP?

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