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One Light Edit Back To Neg For CC

Published : 11th November 2004

>Recently there was a thread about shooting on film for a video finish which included a telecine to Digital Beta with a slaved DVCam copy for editing on a home computer, conforming the Digibeta to the EDL, and ending with tape to tape color correction on Digibeta.

>One of the alternatives suggested was to do a one light, low quality -- presumably to DVCam, transfer for the edit. Then telecine only the shots used to Digital Beta from the original camera negative. The first method I am somewhat familiar with.

>My question is how does going back to the Neg. after editing work in terms of the edit? Do you transfer only the exact frames used or the entire take? Is it necessary to conform or adjust any editing points after this final color correction or do you leave the transfer house with a final master? How does the soundtrack work into this method?

>Could this possibly lead to a better, maybe cheaper product on productions with high shooting ratios?

>Thanks.

>Nick Anthony


class="Paragraph">>One of the alternatives suggested was to do a one light, low quality -- >presumably to DVCam, transfer for the edit...Could this possibly lead to >a better, maybe cheaper product on productions with high shooting >ratios?

>No, this generally leads to cash strapped productions deciding that the one light transfer was good enough for the finished project and that there's no need to go back and retransfer.

>Jessica Gallant
Los Angeles based Director of Photography
West Coast Systems Administrator, Cinematography Mailing List
http://www.cinematography.net


class="Paragraph">>No, this generally leads to cash strapped productions deciding that the >one light transfer was good enough for the finished project and that >there's no need to go back and retransfer.

>I had a friend for whom I shot second unit on a low-budget feature years ago. He received one-light video dailies during production. When it came time to grade the final print the producers were unhappy that the print didn't look like the dailies they'd been watching for weeks in the editing room.

>One light video dailies are always dangerous, in my opinion. Some producers will decide the look is good enough, and some will get used to the look and react unpleasantly when you try to change it for the better. And some will simply say, "Sorry, we don't have the money to fix it anymore."

>Art Adams, DP
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"
http://www.artadams.net/


class="Paragraph">>My question is how does going back to the Neg. after editing work in >terms of the edit? Do you transfer only the exact frames used or the >entire take?

>Generally you bring a cleaned EDL to the final transfer in numerical order. Put the reels of cleaned negative back on the telecine. Zero the hour on the punch at the head of the reel and spin down to the first edit in point.

>Transfer the entire piece of the edit using the in and out points with 5 to 10 second handles to your master format, ie Digibeta. The Digi beta is cut in an online bay back to the exact edit points from the EDL. The sound is handled separately. Then if tape to tape is necessary, and it shouldn't be if you have carefully graded in the final, you have the edited master for the tape to tape.

>In reality fairly simple.

>Ed Coleman - SuperDailies
Cinematographer Supervised Video Dailies
http://www.superdailies.com


>Ed Coleman wrote :

class="Paragraph">>Then if tape to tape is necessary, and it shouldn't be if you have >carefully graded in the final

>Except that if you use this method for a Longform piece, you have no
continuity when you're color correcting. Since continuity is at least as important as color choices on individual shots in Longform, it is at least somewhat likely that a bit of "smoothing out" will be useful following the online assembly. This method works for commercials in part because continuity is not key in that environment, at least in many cases, and it's an environment where you might spend 10 minutes or more on one shot.

>In a Longform piece, you might spend more like 1 minute per shot, and be more concerned with matching than you are with individual elements of that particular shot.

>Mike Most
VFX Supervisor
IATSE Local 600
Los Angeles


class="Paragraph">>Do you transfer only the exact frames used or the entire take?

>This method has been in regular use for TV commercials (shot on 35mm film) for many years. (Way before DV.) First transfer would be for offline editing. Then the EDL is used to cut down the camera neg to full takes (the "select" roll) which is re-transferred with a full grade. The neg cutter has software (eg Excalibur, OSC/R etc) to trace the EDL forwards to match the timecodes for the re-transfer. The new EDL is used for a final online conform.

>The negative is handled in full takes to avoid cutting or splicing close to wanted frames. Full takes are transferred to preserve the integrity of the new timecode (unless you are scanning for digital effects and paying by the frame)

>It's certainly a cheaper method as the full finish (Digibeta and colour correction) is only needed for the finished footage not the entire camera rolls. Only problem is that the editor doesn't see a good quality transfer and may cut in bad shots.

>Dominic Case
Atlab Australia


class="style7">>Then if tape to tape is necessary, and it shouldn't be if you have >carefully graded in the final, except that if you use this method for a >Longform piece, you have no continuity when you're color correcting.

>Point well taken.

>Ed Coleman - SuperDailies
Cinematographer Supervised Video Dailies


>Dominic Case writes :

class="style7">>Only problem is that the editor doesn't see a good quality transfer and >may cut in bad shots.

>Unless, of course, SuperDailies had done the dailies.

>Ed Coleman - SuperDailies
Cinematographer Supervised Video Dailies
http://www.superdailies.com