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


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Old October 17th, 2002, 04:22 PM   #1
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* * Minidv To Digibeta Or Hdcam * *

Help! I haven't even finished the production and I am comfronted with this.

I need to transfer my final Master MiniDV of my short to DigiBeta or HDCAM. It'll be used for exhibition if selected and I don't want to be caught going 'I can't deliver it in that format' What does this entail?

Do production houses handle this? Can I handle it on my own by renting a DigiCam Deck or something to dupe it off my MiniDV. I don't have a lot of money for messing about. What needs to be done?

Anybody know out there what the ballpark figure ($$$) is on this?

Thanks in advance, I am panicked.

Cheers! Down a cold one...

Derrick
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Old October 17th, 2002, 04:38 PM   #2
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Call some post houses and get some quotes. Tell them the length of the original, the format it's on, the format its going to and how many copies you want. Professional dupes will cost less than renting a Digital Beta unit and buying the blank tapes.

Jeff
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Old October 17th, 2002, 08:40 PM   #3
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I didn't know I was going to slam into that one. A knock that will not keep me from a festival.

Thank you for your input.

Its my first short and it means a lot to me...

Cheers!

Derrick
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Old October 17th, 2002, 09:49 PM   #4
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You can always check with Video Transfer in Boston at www.vtiboston.com
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Old October 18th, 2002, 02:14 PM   #5
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not trying to instigate

My one and only experience with a post house and mini-dv turned out to be a dissapointing one.
My story is as follows -
I went to the post house to get my short transfered and duped to 50 vhs tapes. My Mini-dv master was and is perfect, absolutely nothing wrong with it. Well I get my fifty tapes, which I am expecting to be equally perfect as the post house is a professional establishment and unfortunately they are not.
Twice during the course of the 15 minute program there appeared drop-outs. One not so noticable, the second terribly noticable! The second dropout was multiple in nature and spanned a good five or six frames. I was upset, so I approached the post house about what I considered a problem on their end expecting them to just run the tapes again. But they didn't. They said it was probably going to be the best they could do, that mini-dv is prone to drop-outs and that if I wanted them to run them again I would have to pay again.
That pissed me off. So I steamed and fretted about it on this board as well as to my buddies in the field. Pretty much down the middle people were divided, either let it go and consider yourself lucky it was only two drop-outs or to go back and complain some more. I went back to complain some more but did so armed with the knowledge that mini-dv is NOT the best mastering format and IS prone to drop-outs.
Anyway, please don't think I am discrediting post houses as I really don't know enough to, nor am I discrediting mini-dv, I don't know enough about it either.
But this was my solution. I bought a vhs deck and had the post house degauze my fifty tapes for free and made the dupes (perfectly) myself. I ran the short program from my computer through my mini-dv deck to the vhs deck. Voila.
If I were you maybe check to see how much it would cost to rent a digi-beta deck for a day.
Or just brace yourself for what comes back from the post-house, which I hope would be a flawless transfer.
CHet.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 10:53 PM   #6
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If the quality of the dupe is important to you, let professionals do the work. Trying to learn how to operate a digital beta deck is not for the faint of heart. It's not just plug and play. They require set-up and usually much more. Rental rates in most cities are $200 to $250 a day and up. Tape stock is not cheap either, 30 minute Sony tapes are around $30. A one day rental and a couple of tapes could easily run $400. Not to mention the 8 hours you spend reading the manual and trying to get it to record.

Jeff
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Old October 21st, 2002, 11:33 AM   #7
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Yes, I see a lot of possible 'obstacles.'

Chet<--The VHS end I can handle and I am not worried about that. Your advice gives me something I have to watch out for in the final product.

The quotes are coming in around 75-90 plus stock. From MiniDV to DigiBeta...

I guess the next thing to ask is: What is better, DigiBeta or HDCAM?

Jeff<-- Yeah.. Definately regarding the Pros. I have too many other things to think about to thumb through a digibeta manual. Thanks for the reply. If you have an opinion on the above question...

Thanks again!

Cheers!
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