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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Independent HD Feature Film Deliverables

When independent filmmakers finally get their film sold through a distributor they are often faced with a daunting list of deliverables. PPD has been working with independent producer Judd Tilyard of Dimeworth Films to prepare all the deliverables for their 88 min. HD Feature “Battleground”.  It was shot on Red Camera and edited on Sony Vegas. Judd gave PPD a fully rendered QuickTime movie (1080p23.98) with an image ratio of 2:53:1. The film needed a minor change to the credits which editor Michael Burshtyn carried out. Then we added textless elements, a trailer and 10 tracks of audio to the timeline, (including the 5.1 stems). There was a concern regarding video and audio levels on the original QuickTime movie; using our HD Harris Scope we were able to adjust levels to Broadcast Safe Standards as required before creating the other versions. 

The deliverables called for three versions of the film in both North American and European broadcast standards. To achieve this we panned and scanned the film for both a 16:9 full-frame version and a 4:3 full-frame version. PAL transcoded dubs of each format were also created.  In the end we delivered three versions of the movie, (including textless elements and a trailer), on HDCAM-SR at 23.98 and 25, on Digital Betacam at 29.97 and 25, and on DVDs at 23.98 and 25. 

Judd commented that he was “thrilled with the great service, prices and technical expertise at PPD!”.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Using Carbon Copy Cloner to copy camera original footage

At Post Producers Digital we've been using this great Mac OSX shareware application to help safely copy large files from one drive to another. Using 'Carbon Copy Cloner' is proving to be faster than copying via the Finder, it can be stopped and started, and it'll verify the integrity of the copied files.

Here's the numbered steps on how to copy files from one drive to another. With these customized settings the application will not erase any files on the destination drive. If it finds a conflict with any files containing identical names but different dates or sizes it'll move them into a subfolder to be dealt with by you afterward.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

PPD Provides Digital Dailies For TV Series

Post Producers Digital is providing the digital dailies for a 13-episode TV series currently in production. The client's DOP is shooting with dual Sony F3 cameras (PMW-F3) recording to off-board nanoFlash recorders. This setup allows the uncompressed video to bypass the camera's internal circuitry and be saved as high bit rate, high quality QuickTime files. Additionally the cameras are using a new feature known as “S-Log gamma mode” that boosts the dynamic range of the video, allowing between 1.5 and 2 stops of extra light to be recorded.

As an all-digital tapeless project, a massive volume of video files are generated; these need to be offloaded quickly and safely. While on location throughout Canada and the US, a pair of Nexto portable backup devices provide the solution for storing camera-original footage.

Back in Toronto, the Nexto files are archived to LTO-4, (a high-speed backup system with a capacity of 800GB per cartridge)  as well as to an external hard drive. This hard drive is then delivered to PPD for overnight processing where the footage is converted for Avid offline editing and QuickTime screeners are generated with burnt-in timecode. The next morning at the production office the screeners can be watched on any computer, allowing staff to create detailed notes for the editors.

Unlike traditional offline footage which is scaled down and of low quality, PPD’s conversion process allows offline editing with full-size HD images of near full-quality, while still providing fast, immediate playback and multiple real-time tracks with no rendering.