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Old August 26th, 2003, 03:32 PM   #1
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DV -> Film

Hey all, just curious about something. The production we're going to do will take advantage of the XL1S' frame movie mode. In the future, if and when we decide to transfer to film, will the dropping of every 5th frame detract a lot from the look of the product?

I know it's probably going to be an expensive process in and of itself, but do any of you have first hand accounts of how DV footage looks when transferred to film? Anything I should know in advance?

Thanks!

-Rob
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Old August 26th, 2003, 04:23 PM   #2
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If it's still showing (maybe too late) you should see "28 Days Later". It was shot with PAL XL-1s'es in frame mode. I was pretty impressed with the way it looked on the big screen. Do a search here at DVinfo.net, you'll find lots of discussion plus links to articles, including one in American Cinematographer with tech info.
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Old August 26th, 2003, 04:39 PM   #3
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Rob: I'd think that dropping every fifth frame would introduce a strobing type effect on footage with a fair amount of motion - namely pan shots.

The ideal solution here is to create a 24fps sequence using the 30fps frames using some inteligent frame synthesis program.
(ie, a program/plugin to recreate/interpolate the frames)
I have used Twixtor to convert to 24p and it gives very impressive results. You get crisp frames since its algorithms apparently don't do a lot of neighboring pixel blur.

However, when using without guidance (such as foreground masks), it won't work as well on footage with a lot of motion going on.

As far as what you should know in advance, I'd say to be careful about panning speed, and whipping the camera around quickly. This will help out when transferring to a lower frame rate.

Anyhow, that's all about the framerate, motion, and such.

Looking at your second to last question, are you talking about resolution/clarity as well?

As you know, film resolution is unbeatable simply because it isn't digital. What I mean is, the tonal range of image capture due to chemical processes is far superior to a 720x480 group of pixels.
However, as the guys here would tell you, there have been DV to 35mm film transfers that looked decent. These were done using XL1s and similar 3ccd cameras. (The Panasonic DVX-100 repordedly delivers a crisp image.)

I'd say that you would get a somewhat blurry image when the footage is seen projected on a big screen.
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Old August 26th, 2003, 05:33 PM   #4
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efilm in hollywood is the best place to get a DV --> film transfer. I'm guessing they charge a lot. Anyways, you can probably ask what the best way to shoot for a film transfer. They probably transfer from 30fps to 24fps doing something like what Twixtor does.

see http://www.editorsguild.com/newslett...technical.html
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Old August 26th, 2003, 08:33 PM   #5
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If you plan to transfer to film than you should find a post house and ask them how they prefer you shoot. Some say NTSC 60i (normal movie mode) others say PAL Frame Mode. To get the best out of a DV-film transfer you should shoot for film from the very begining not attempt a transfer as an afterthought.
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Old August 26th, 2003, 09:40 PM   #6
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Well guys, those are some very good points.

I'm kind of torn with a few issues though.

1. The production is geared toward broadcast television, that being the ideal outlet for the work. -HOWEVER-, we want to be open to running it at film festivals and from what I've seen, many of them prefer film.

2. Shooting on NTSC at 30fps frame mode would most likely be ideal for broadcast. Shooting at PAL 25fps frame mode would probably be ideal for film. Do I have to make a tough decision here or is there a miracle solution for both?

If there's a huge issue then I'd say I'd drop the film issue. Those festivals that wouldn't accept DV or some other form of digital might have to be scrapped.

I think I'd rather have a "broadcast-able" production. Maybe I just answered my own question...but I'd love to hear any and all additional input on the matter as we are deep in prepro and now is the time to talk about these issues! : )
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Old August 27th, 2003, 08:37 AM   #7
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To go to 35mm from dv it's about $300 per minute. Does that help?
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Old August 27th, 2003, 08:50 AM   #8
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Rob - Let's see...Windows Calculator...300*60...this doesn't seem so bad, hit equals and.... : ( )

Pretty big number. I think our "Misc." tally in the budget just skyrocketed. Definitely need to think that one over. Thanks for the valuable insight!!
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