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Pre-roll

Published : 7th July 2004


>>I remember doing low budget features where the Nagra supposedly needed ten seconds of pre-roll for the time code to work on someone's editing system. Seemed like every take took forever to get going >>

It is not that the mixer's deck needs that much time to get up to speed on the set, it is that he is recording the pre-roll necessary to make the telecine system work.

The importance of enough pre-roll for video transfer can not be overemphasized. When we are transferring sync footage we have the Telecine, the playback DAT, one or more video record decks, and sometimes an additional DAT record deck. The adequate pre-roll on the location sound allows all these machines to get up to speed and lock before the edit. If there is not enough continuous timecode on the audio DAT, the system doesn't have enough time to do this. It aborts the edit and tries again.

You can trim in the timecode by guesswork, but it often takes two or three tries. It can add a couple of minutes to each edit. At 4 dollars a minute for average one light time, it really adds up fast. Six seconds is pretty much the minimum. It can be done with less, but most telecine colourists prefer six to eight.

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



I know that pre-roll is important...but when you are hand-holding a large film camera and you have your body poised to leap on the action call...those 6 to 8 seconds seem like an eternity in HELL!!!

Add 25 set-ups with 3 to 8 takes each...then multiply by 8 seconds…you get my drift!

Maybe on hand-hold days, just leave the dam 4 oz. DAT machine running all day!!!

Cheers,
Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
US based DP
www.barklage.com



>...then multiply by 8 seconds...you get my drift!
>Maybe on hand-hold days, just leave the dam 4 oz. DAT machine >running all day!!!

....and thatâ's why I wrote earlier something about AD's knowing what they're doing. They just need to time roll sound correctly and you can do your thing right after slating is done.

Difficult?

I don't think so.

4 oz DAT machine?

Unfortunately not.

Been there,
Karl Lohninger
DS, etc., Los Angeles