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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:40 PM   #1
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From HDV to the Big Screen.

Okay, like many of my fellow DV Info'ers I am planning to take my footage from Mini DV to the Big Screen. Can any of you pro's out there give me some insight as well as a workflow on the Telecine process from start to finish(please include any insight you may have from previous experience). I've searched but can't find a thread on this. If there is one can you, oh mighty wrangler, direct me to it. Thx.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 04:35 AM   #2
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Hi,

Is it one time deal or you got distribution deal?

7 years ago I just took my sony vx 1000 and hooked directly to projector in movie theatre.

You can also play from DVD

it was one screening only - zero problems

Mike
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Old April 9th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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It would be for a distribution deal. Being miniDV It wouldn't go through Telecine. But, what is the process?
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Old April 14th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #4
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Lee,

What are you talking about, a blow up to 35mm?

You really need to get in contact directly with the house that will do the blow up? You might want to talk to these people for example: www.dvfilm.com. They're in your area (or at least in your state). I've seen the results of their work from miniDV and it's pretty good.

However you might want to concentrate on getting a distribution deal first. Once you've secured that then worry about the blow up. In the mean time just prepare the best 24p master you can, with a good color correction pass and full sound mix.

One thing I will say is really you needed to start asking questions like this before you started shooting. The whole workflow is pretty involved and complex. You could do worse than go back and start reading many of the posts on Mike Curtis' HD for Indies Blog if only to get a sense of what you do and don't already know.
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Old April 14th, 2008, 09:20 PM   #5
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Thanks Dylan... I haven't shot my footage yet, I am gathering info and trying to determine the best workflow. The plan is to take the footage and enter it into the indie festival circuit. I was trying to gain wisdom without having to go through the mistakes myself... Trying to avoid any possible telecine horror stories.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 06:29 AM   #6
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Then that's great, this is exactly the right time to start asking questions. The trick is to sort out your post production route as soon as possible. What you're talking about is not a telecine, that's transferring file to video, not vice versa! That alone suggests you're quite new to this and so I suggest hiring someone who can talk you through the whole process, which Mike Curtis from HD for Indies used to do, I don't know if he's given consultancy up now he's moved to LA with his Red One.

This is something I've thrown together from what I know, but it's by no means an exhaustive list of things you have to know.
  • Basically now choose your aspect ratio: easy really, it's almost go to be 16:9. but get a true 16:9 camera, not a not a crop and stretch one. Shoot everything 16:9!
  • Choose your shooting format: miniDV, HDV or DVCproHD; pick one and to stick to it. You can mix and match later but it can cause you grief (and possibly money to fix) later on.
  • Pick your frame rate. This depends on the camera. If it has a true 24p (or 23.976p) mode I'd go with that, but if you're shooting with a camera that doesn't support 24p (say only 50i or 60i) still, just choose one frame rate and use it always. Mixing and matching will always cause you misery and cost you time (and probably money) to fix. Don't mix and match faux 24 (as in Sony's Cineframe on the FX1/0Z1) with true 24 (like the Canons), it's just as problematic as true 24p and 60i (or 30p). Which frame rate is best for you would probably depend on the post people you're working with. If you do shoot 60i talk to the post people and and let them tell you what to do.
  • If you do shoot 50i/60i then have a plan for what stage it will converted to 24p (if necessary) and whole will take responsibility for that.
  • Sit down and work out a flow chart of each stage of post production. Who will edit it, on what software in what format? To what formats will they output? Who will do the sound mix. where? What format will they expect delivered to them? To what will they output? Where will you do the colour grade? Same questions? What format will they expect delivered to them? What will they then give to you?
  • Who will output to what format for festival distribution? HDCAM is probably as good as a film print in most cases. Get a list of the festivals you expect to submit to and find out their entry requirements. Some places still want a BetaSP tape, so be prepared to make a few of those too. Some are happy with a DVD!
  • Talk to all these people before you start shooting to make sure what you're going to do is compatible with their workflow. The flow chart should contain company names and if possible individual contacts that you can go back to if you (or someone else in the chain) has a query.

Anyway, the most important piece of advice is get your post workflow sorted out as soon as possible. It's not really a case of getting good advice, it's a case of knowing who is going to be responsible at what stage and what they are going to receive and then deliver, right down the the format/codec of the video and audio itself.
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