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Joe Cream

HD Telecine

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I'm producing a feature that shot on Super 16. We shot about 60,000 feet of film, and have about 60 flats of negative in storage. The final edit has around 1200 cuts. This is my first film originated project, so bear with me if I'm asking obvious questions.

 

Background: We did a cheap telecine to DVCAM for editing, and had our post house do the Cinematools database, etc. (In retrospect, it would have been better to do all of our dailies in HDCAM-SR and then edit from downconverts.)

The DP and director are not planning to go crazy with power windows or anything in the final transfer so we were planning to do a supervised telecine for the final product. We'd like to finish on HDCAM-SR, and I had a few questions about possible workflows:

 

- Do we need to have our negative cut before doing a new HD 4:4:4 telecine session? Or would the telecine operator be able to just find the needed clips from our flats using the keycodes? (Or would we just end up sitting there forever...)

 

- Another possibility I heard about is having the lab pull the used takes from the negative and assembling them for telecine. Is this worth doing or is there a down side?

 

-Anyone experienced with this kind of workflow have any advice on how much time to budget for the telecine session?

 

After we conform using CT and FCP, and add a few FX and transitions, we were planning to do whatever final tweaks needed at a post house that uses Color, and then dump to tape, DPX sequence for filmout, etc.

 

Thanks in advance for your advice

Edited by Joe Cream

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Probably assembling a scan flats, like you suggested is the better way to go. The colorist can select the exact frame of each shot via the cut list you will provided from CT. This will cut down on the number of flats and work that she or he has to do in the tk suite. That is where the money adds up.

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Telecine often bills by the hour. Cutting the negatives into a sequence of only the needed takes will save you money on the transfer. Whether it is better is a toss-up kind of question. Some people think the negs are too precious to cut and will pay for the extra time. From what you've said, sounds like saving money is your priority.

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I've been in the same situation before, (but with less film), not much money so we did our edit on DVCAM, then do a select takes transfer from to HD. I went through Postworks NY to do it, we just sent them our Final Cut file with all the footage and the flats, they extracted an EDL from the FCP file, and did then transferred those takes only. Everything worked out well I thought, and it saved a bit of money. It was pretty seamless from what I could tell.

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Guest tylerhawes

No, don't cut your negative. Yes it will save some telecine time, but it will also cost some and you can never go back if you make a mistake. Just telecine selects on Spirit 2K > HDCAM-SR 4:4:4 in log setup, conform and color. We've done this on several theatrical features and the workflow is high quailty, predictable, and left everyone satisfied.

 

I encourage you to contact us for finishing. Besides having experience with the Spirit 2K > SR workflow for DI (we are properly setup for 4:4:4 log which most places are not), we are one of the only theatrical DI facilities using Color with Truelight color management in a projection environment. In short we can grade for film out and bake that look (with appropriate adaptation to the changed colorspace) into any HDTV, TV, or other deliverable - and when you do your filmout it is all ready to go without another pass.

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I encourage you to contact us for finishing. Besides having experience with the Spirit 2K > SR workflow for DI (we are properly setup for 4:4:4 log which most places are not), we are one of the only theatrical DI facilities using Color with Truelight color management in a projection environment. In short we can grade for film out and bake that look (with appropriate adaptation to the changed colorspace) into any HDTV, TV, or other deliverable - and when you do your filmout it is all ready to go without another pass.

 

Tyler, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but if you want to advertise here, you should purchase an ad. I'm sure cinematography.com would be happy to sell you space on the side of the page.

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Guest tylerhawes

Sorry, didn't mean to offend. I'll pass along the advertising idea...

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I've always thought about just cutting the negative flash-to-flash and tape splicing it together. That's a good way to save $$$, all they gotta do is roll the shots then. You're not in danger of getting in trouble if you change your mind. To rent a tape splicer and rewind table is fairly inexpensive I think.

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At the very least you should make cement splices, ultrasonic cleaning machines and scanners/telecines don't like tape splices where the glue starts to ooze out and sticks to the film.

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