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REDLog or REDGamma

Published : 18th December 2010

Hi everyone,

A post house has requested one of my projects to give them a ProRes Quicktime with an XML for final Color Grading. Project was shot on RED with an MX sensor. We were prepared to deliver R3D's for colour, but they prefer Quicktimes (using a DaVinci system). It's for an HD finish.

Should we transcode the files with REDLog or REDGamma gamma space? I know REDLog will preserve more dynamic range, but is REDGamma throwing that much away? Isn't REDGamma using more of the available bits by not squashing everything into the middle of the scale?

We can't figure out if you can import an XML to REDCine-X to do this, so we're planning to do the transcode with Apple Color because it seems to be the most streamlined workflow for us. I'm concerned about preserving quality this way.

Any thoughts?
Thanks,

Graham Futerfas
Director of Photography
Los Angeles, CA
www.GFuterfas.com

 


 

Graham Futerfas wrote:

>> Should we transcode the files with REDLog or REDGamma gamma space? I know REDLog will >>preserve more dynamic range, but is REDGamma throwing that much away? Isn't REDGamma >>using more of the available bits by not squashing everything into the middle of the scale?

In REDCine-X, producing transcodes with CameraRGB / REDLog or with REDColor / REDLog gives outstanding latitude - not quite, but almost as much as the RAW file itself. These files look a bit flat, milky, etc. (kind of like Log-C) but they retain an enormous amount of information that can be brought out in grading. I find that for high-end grading applications, this is the way to go. I hardly ever miss not having the RAW files themselves, except for the utmost extreme grading situations.

Using a combo of REDColor / REDGamma is surprisingly not that bad either. Does it retain all of the information that REDLog retains? No... But it does retain a pretty good amount, while still magically looking "right" for whomever has to watch the files in the edit suite, dailies DVD, etc. Because of this, a lot of my clients choose to 'compromise' and simply finish with REDColor / REDGamma, as they find it to be good enough. Certainly, it's just as grade-able, if not more so, than any other HD format out there. And it looks pretty right out of the box.

> We can't figure out if you can import an XML to REDCine-X to do this, so we're planning to do the transcode with Apple Color because it seems to be the most streamlined workflow for us. I'm concerned about preserving quality this way.

Personally, I would use REDCine-X rather than Color to perform the transcodes. You still have more control over the RAW processing and technical grading of the R3Ds in REDCine-X than you do in Color. I think of Color predominately as a finishing tool - not a transcoding tool. Soon, you will also have the option of using Storm, which I think will be the best choice once it's out of its Beta program.

As for the XML, you can indeed import an FCP XML file into REDCine-X, but I'll be honest with you, I have not personally done enough testing with this workflow to recommend it yet - or not. It would be great if somebody who's done a lot of XML importing can chime in about its functionality within REDCine-X.

Best,

Jordan Livingston
Digital Imaging Technician
www.DIGILOID.com


Graham Futerfas wrote:

>> Should we transcode the files with REDLog or REDGamma gamma space? I know REDLog will >>preserve more dynamic range, but is REDGamma throwing that much away?

Answer #1 (the correct one):

You should ask the people who are doing the work and not people on CML who aren't.

Answer #2 (the less correct but probably more pertinent one):

Redgamma essentially gives all footage a bright, cheery, colourful appearance that is very appropriate in some cases and very limiting and incorrect in others. The Rec709 gamma LUT is probably the best alternative for a video finish because it doesn't push the highlights the way Redgamma does, and thus give the colourist something more akin to what they are probably used to from film to tape dailies, but this is all material dependent. As an example, this year I was doing the grading on two primarily Red shot series - The Gates, and Covert Affairs. Because I was working on Baselight, I was able to use the R3d files directly, but you still have to set the basic metadata for RGB image interpretation (you can change it on a per shot basis, though).

On The Gates, I used camera metadata (I always do this, even when a DIT provides an RSX, because it's the only way I can ensure that I'm dealing directly with what was shot, I use the offline version as a visual reference) and set the interpretation to Redcolor as the colour matrix and Rec709 as the gamma LUT. This gave me a very good and accurate starting point on a show that was largely pretty dark. On Covert Affairs, I used Redcolor and Redgamma, because as a USA Network show, it is supposed to be bright and colourful, and Redgamma gives you this, so it represented a more appropriate and accurate starting point. Redlog is interesting in the same way that Sony's S-log and Panavision Panalog are, as a way of crunching as much information as possible into a 10 bit container using a mild log curve. But unlike, say, Arri's LogC, it is not based on any real standard and is therefore doing its level allotment based on maintaining good precision for the lower 8 stops and less precision for the upper 4.

So if you've got a good deal of information in the highlights that you want to be able to differentiate, it likely wouldn't be the best choice. On the other hand, it doesn't force a predefined development curve on you in the way that Rec709 and especially Redgamma do, so if you want to play with the image, particularly in the lowlights, it has some advantages.

I would advise you to use Answer #1, though.

Mike Most
Colourist/Technologist
Next Element by Deluxe
Burbank, CA.


I've been using Color for some RED tests and I'm discovering that since the RED plugin hasn't been updated (I'm told this has more to do with Apple than RED) I can get some weird results when pushing footage to extremes.

RedCine-X is buggy as hell but I'm with Jordan: probably best to go with the latest technology.

And I agree about RedLog. If you look at how ProRes4444 LogC stores information compared with Arri's Rec709 implementation LogC uses a lot fewer bits unless you're really pushing the limits´┐Żand it grades just fine. I would expect Rec709 to be similar.

I remember asking someone about S-Log and inquiring if there were grading problems because the bulk of the information ends up dead smack in the center of the curve. The response: "This is based on the Cineon curve. You've been watching it for years and you've never complained before..." Fair enough.

-----------------------

Art Adams | Director of Photography
San Francisco Bay Area
showreel -> www.artadams.net
trade writing -> art.provideocoalition.com


Art Adams wrote :

>> I remember asking someone about S-Log ...The response: "This is based on the Cineon curve. >>You've been watching it for years and you've never complained before..." Fair enough.

Except that S-log is not based on Cineon. And neither is Redlog or Panalog.

Arri's LogC is, though, as is Red's recently released RedlogFilm.

And you've never been watching Cineon unless you happen to like looking at film scans without a proper lookup table.

Mike Most
Colourist/Technologist
Next Element by Deluxe
Burbank, CA.


>>A post house has requested one of my projects to give them a ProRes Quicktime with an XML for >>final Color Grading. Project was shot on RED with an MX sensor. We were prepared to deliver >>R3D's for colour, but they prefer Quicktimes (using a DaVinci system). It's for an HD finish.

I'd like to pose a more general question.

How many have found themselves jumping through hoops and having to do what is, essentially, post house transcoding work on pre-delivered original footage because the post people are too busy, or too lazy, or (insert your very own reason here) to do the work themselves?

In Graham's instance, Red clearly can't record in ProRes.

Since when has it become the shooter's (or in general, production's) responsibility to convert footage to something post is comfortable with when the original production equipment is not set up to record in that format?

I'm running into this more and more, and with bigger post houses as well, not just some guy with a Mac in his mom's basement.

So...is this the wave of the future?

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California


>> How many have found themselves jumping through hoops and having to do what is, essentially, >>post house transcoding work on pre-delivered original footage because the post people are too >>busy, or too lazy, or (insert your very own reason here) to do the work themselves?

Might be that production cut a deal with the post house to deliver a specific format for post. Post won't transcode for free unless it's part of the deal. A film transfer facility would charge more to develop and transfer rather than just transfer - for those of you who remember film based imaging ;-)

Clark

Clark E. Bierbaum
Colourist / Post Consultant
Garnet Development, Incorporated
Charlotte, NC


"Film"? What's "Film"?


> > for those of you who remember film based imaging

Best,
Christopher Scott Knell
firelinestudios
Burbank, ca


Bob Kertesz wrote:

>> post house transcoding work on pre-delivered original footage because the post people are too >>busy, or too lazy, or (insert your very own reason here) to do the work themselves?

(inserted own reason): ...unwilling to do stuff that takes time, people, and equipment for free.

If a client is willing to pay for the time and equipment for the post facility to do transcoding, almost any post facility is more than willing to do it, regardless of your rather flippant suggestion that this has anything at all to do with laziness or scheduling.

Of course, speaking for my own employer, we don't either require or want original materials to be transcoded to anything in most cases. We just want the original files, and we both conform and grade directly from them. One of the things I really like about the way we're set up is that it was done with an eye towards a world in which file formats come and go, and in which multiple file formats on a single project are a practical reality. So if we have a show that was shot on a combination of, say, Red, Canon, Iconix, and GoPro cameras (that actually happened, believe it or not), we can use all of those formats in a single conformed timeline, and grade from them as well, transcoding only for the final graded render. Of course, this is only possible with a smart combination of in-house developed software, a conforming and grading system that supports a lot of native formats and is quick to support new ones, and, ahem, a bit of experience and expertise.

Michael Most
Colourist/Technologist
Next Element by Deluxe
Burbank, CA.


>> "Film"? What's "Film"?

Just watched some film clips at the Academy. Still, nothing comes close IMO.

Cheers,


Ramona


Ramona Howard
Oakdale, Ca 95361
209 847-7812 ext 104
www.spectsoft.com


 

Film is a quantum mechanical, opto-chemical, multi-layered sensor with approximately 74-mega-photonsite capture locations with sensitivities capable of differentiating between 15-20 stops from the incident scene.


The sensor costs $0.031 per frame and can be stored with the image intact for 20 to 100 years. Images from the sensor can be copied at a rate of 400 frames per second onto another reproduction medium.

Try it, you'll like it

Jim Houston
Pasadena, CA


Yeah it was cool to do those shows, we also played in Paraguay of all places.

All the shooting kept me from doing more gigs

John Babl
DP
Miami


>> How many have found themselves jumping through hoops and having to do what is, essentially, >>post house transcoding work on pre-delivered original footage because the post people are too >>busy, or too lazy, or (insert your very own reason here) to do the work themselves?

I've noticed more and more that the post houses cut a deal so low they have to cut as many corners as possible to make it work. They won't do dallies or transcoding, because they can't afford to purpose one of their suites and / or over-extended staffers for these duties. They'll online in ProRes because they don't have the budget (or even the turnaround time) for a full-scale online workflow.

Personally, as a very small combination production / post operation, my tiny company DIGILOID´┐Ż is getting sub-contracted to do these tasks more often all the time. I'd say 60% of my clients are still production companies who want a qualified technician on set, but at least 40% of my work these days comes from post houses who'd rather have a small / discount operation do these "dailies" related tasks than shoulder the burden themselves.

I'm on a job right now where my bill for REDRocket dallies is being split 50/50 by production and post. The production Co. wants 'best light' graded dailies on DVD that the agency folks can look at; meanwhile the post supervisor wants REDLog technical grade files that they can grade to perfection later on in ProResHQ (no budget for RAW). So I'm doing two sets of transcodes with REDRockets running overnight at barely-breakeven rates. It's definitely a strange new world...

- Jordan

Jordan Livingston
Digital Imaging Technician


>> I've noticed more and more that the post houses cut a deal so low they have to cut as many >>corners as possible to make it work. They won't do dallies or transcoding, because they can't >>afford to purpose one of their suites and / or over-extended staffers for these duties.

Jordan, I don't know where you're located, or the types of jobs you work on, and I'm not usually this blunt on CML, but....

That's one of biggest loads of crap I've read here in a long time. Post facilities are a business like any other. They do whatever they're asked to do, and often a lot more than is obvious, and they at least attempt to charge a fair rate for those services. Nobody does ProRes onlines because "they don't have the budget or the turnaround time" to do it "better." They do it because that's what they're asked to do by the production companies and/or studios that are paying the bills. It's becoming increasingly clear that statements being made here by you and others are being made without any real firsthand knowledge of what you're talking about, and mistruths are being spread as a result. I would strongly suggest that rather than make assumptions and unfounded accusations, you and others might want to ask those of us who work in the post end of the business and do have direct knowledge of how things are done and why exactly what the situation is. I'm really getting tired of reading he
re and elsewhere about "greedy post houses," and about how data wrangling DIT's know so much more about post production than those who have spent their lives in it.

Rant over. Nothing more to see here. Move on.

Michael Most
Colourist/Technologist
Next Element by Deluxe
Burbank, CA.

"Postworld" blog at http://mikemost.com


>> Nobody does ProRes onlines because "they don't have the budget or the turnaround time" to do it >>"better." They do it because that's what they're asked to do by the production companies and/or >>studios that are paying the bills

Remember fifteen years ago when you had a choice of working D1 or D5 uncompressed or DCT compressed 10-bit Digital Betacam? Now, what was the ratio of jobs done DigiBeta versus jobs done in D1 or D5? In my experience that was something like 100:1. In today's file-based HD world, what is our DigiBeta?

It's ProRes, Cineform and DNxHD.

You can argue that it's "cheaping out" to use compressed files, but you can also look at it as, if it's in rec. 709, well, that's not the largest colour space in the world, either. But it does happen to match our common transmission standard, so it's pretty handy.

Henry Ford said something like, that if he'd listened to his customers, he'd have just built a nicer buggy instead of automobiles. People will tell you that they want everything uncompressed no matter what, but in practice, they'll go for "plenty good enough and a hell of a lot more convenient" every time.

And they're right.

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


In London a large majority of high end commercials are still shot on film, sometimes 16mm.

JC Soret
Colourist
MPC London


I drove past a commercial being shot in 16mm just the other day here in Venice, CA.

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


 

Jean-Clement Soret wrote:

>> In London a large majority of high end commercials are still shot on film, sometimes 16mm.

Tim Sassoon wrote:

>> I drove past a commercial being shot in 16mm just the other day here in Venice, CA.

[ ] Because the target audience grew up on film and is still comfortable with its look?
[ ] Because the target audience who didn't grow up on film is ambi-source-terous?
[ ] Because the director/production group is more comfortable with film?
[ ] Because Kodak keeps coming up with such cool stocks?
[ ] Because all the cool DCinema cameras and teams were in the field?
[ ] Because the production/post stream is more refined (fewer vagaries start to finish)?

C J Flynn

DCinemaTools | | | | | | | | | http://www.dcinematools.com


I'm putting on my Nomex suit..........

I think that this could well be a situation that DIT's have created themselves and are now regretting it.

"the post house wants how much to transcode the rushes? I'll do it for half that"

And now of course they're all expected to do it and shoots are costed that way.

Cheers

Geoff Boyle FBKS
Cinematographer
EU Based
Skype geoff.boyle
mobile: +44 (0)7920 143848
www.gboyle.co.uk


>>"In London a large majority of high end commercials are still shot on film..."

Charles has put it very aptly that film indeed offers a hassle free shoot and simple post work flow.

I think directors as much as cinematographers like Shooting on film.

With film you can use various stocks to give different looks with excellent dynamic range.

I am not saying digital is bad ( it has its def usage and applications) but there are too many variants and it certainly doesn't come out as a cheaper option to film.

For low-medium budget. Filmmakers film is the best option. Producers get subsidies for film projects from govt against negative as security.

Digital, apart from various formats, has to work and invest on data security. I mean not just basic things but stringent measures to safeguard data against hackers. Digital will grow for sure and with that it will attract attention of cyber crime too. You never know when a 16 year old in Beijing/Bangalore/ Berlin is eager to hack into a production footage starring his favourite actress using a new "stuxnet"!

Whatever little work I have done, I find film a very reliable medium to shoot.

Disclaimer: not affiliated with any motion picture product manufacturer.

Cheers

Prashant Rai
Cinematographer
Mumbai.


Geoff Boyle wrote:

>> I think that this could well be a situation that DIT's have created themselves and are now regretting >>it....And now of course they're all expected to do it and shoots are costed that way.

Very observant. And true.

This is a business that runs on precedents. It's why writers, directors, and actors have residuals paid directly to them and crew does not. It's why in the age of Canons, some producers now feel they can't shoot Red because it's "too expensive" (roll the clock back 3 years and have a good laugh at that one)... It's also why some producers expect the DIT to stay hours after wrap and create multiple formats of dailies - all for basically no charge.

One of the things about being young and trying to break into an industry is that you're still in the throes of youthful enthusiasm, where things like success are measured by credits you might get, and things like needing to make a living are not yet a strong enough concern to mitigate the concessions you're willing to make to get your foot in the door. The problem is that by making those concessions, you not only severely limit your chances of ever being paid properly for the work you're doing, but in an industry that is always looking for price breaking precedents, you're hurting everyone else's chances as well. But another thing about being young is that you can only learn these lessons through life experience, so no amount of ranting here or elsewhere is going to materially change the situation.

Michael Most
Colourist/Technologist
Next Element by Deluxe
Burbank, CA.


 

Thanks guys, to return us to the original topic, the email we got this morning requested RedGamma so that's what we'll deliver.

I looked at Rec709 gamma, and that might have been nice too, but I'm going to take Mike's Answer #1... go with what they requested. We'd like to adjust some things like ISO, Kelvin, repo\enlarging and light sharpening on a few shots in Color to get things cleaned up before baking in to ProRes, though. There are few shots that might benefit from Log, so we may also do that on a few.

Bob, to answer your question, the colourist is well-known in the music video world and I've been going to him for years for telecine. This project is suited to his style as well, but I think it's most definitely laziness or efficiency on their part to not use the R3D's. They have the ability to do it but it's not their easiest workflow because then they have to make sure the XML is correct, so he requested the Quicktime. Also, I think he has to switch his bay around to a different system to do it and he's fitting this job in between other jobs.

Clark, I guess my response is that I'm not asking for transcoding, just work with the files I have. This is very possible with current systems. If I delivered film, they'd transfer from film. If I delivered HDCam, they'd work with that (or dub to a format they could work with). I'm delivering R3D's... why is this still so hard?

Mike makes a good point... it's 95% RED, but a few shots are from a 7D and one GoPro shot, as well as a dozen VFX shots that are coming back as ProRes. Complicates things a little.

Thanks,

-Graham Futerfas

BTW, I shot film as recently as last weekend. It's not dead, contrary to what people seem to believe.

Director of Photography
Los Angeles, CA
www.GFuterfas.com


>> I think that this could well be a situation that DIT's have created themselves and are now regretting >>it....And now of course they're all expected to do it and shoots are costed that way.

Perhaps we might refer to those people as DIT wanna-be's.... let's try and not lump the professionals in with the bath water OK?

Mike Most said it well. It's all about money.

Clark Graff
Propellerhead - VFX Supervisor - DIT
Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver


Graham Futerfas wrote:

>> If I delivered film, they'd transfer from film. If I delivered HDCam, they'd work with that (or dub to a >>format they could work with). I'm delivering R3D's... why is this still so hard?

Well, if it's being done on a DaVinci 2K (you did mention "a DaVinci...."), it is not only hard, it's largely impossible unless the 2K is being fed from, say, a Clipster, because the 2K is a video device and not a file based one. If the grading system is file based, I largely agree with you, and have generally found that working from the original formats is actually quite a bit simpler, both for conforming and for grading - provided all of the formats are supported directly by that particular system. That's not usually the case, in part because all of these systems are being built on top of standard operating systems (i.e., Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows) and some of the file formats are based on codecs that are, for the most part, platform specific (i.e., ProRes). Some get around that by using various methods (i.e., Baselight Kompressor, and Autodesk's Wiretap Central on a Mac host), but others don't have those type of solutions and are thus a bit limited in terms of multiple format support. And this is, of course, not even considering the continuing appearance of new codecs and formats that require support to be written and compiled into the existing programs on a regular basis, something that is becoming ever more difficult to keep up with. And it's also not considering the rather severe performance limitations that can often result from trying to use a long GOP format in a real time, frame based environment (i.e., H.264).

Michael Most
Colourist/Technologist
Next Element by Deluxe
Burbank, CA.


I believe the bay is normally DaVinci 2K, but can be configured for Lustre if I'm not mistaken. Of course, that would take extra effort, not to mention they have to QC the conform of the R3D's, and if we deliver ProRes with an EDL, there is no real conform to speak of, so it's less complicated.

I don't really care. I know he'll do a great job either way, but I just want to give him the best ProRes-es possible if that's the route he wants to take, hence the gamma and 10-bit question.

Thanks,

Graham Futerfas
Director of Photography
Los Angeles, CA


>> "One of the things about being young and trying to break into an industry is that you're still in the >>throes of youthful enthusiasm, where things like success are measured by credits you might get, >>and things like needing to make a living are not yet a strong enough concern to mitigate the >>concessions you're willing to make to get your foot in the door....

I totally agree....


I used to make a fairly good living designing and coding websites... then they started teaching web design in High Schools.... Those kids came out into the world willing to offer full websites for $40 so they could get weekend beer money when they could just as easily have charged $400 or even $4000 for the same job. They ruined it for everyone.

I don't do much web designing anymore.

BTW... if anyone needs help with some transcoding, I can do it for half price.

Best,

Christopher Scott Knell
firelinestudios
Burbank, ca


>> Perhaps we might refer to those people as DIT wanna-be's....

Let's keep this civil, shall we? There is as yet no firm and commonly-accepted definition of what DIT's do around the world, and not every market is exactly the same as any other.

-----------------------

Art Adams | Director of Photography
San Francisco Bay Area


My opinion on transcoding, post "laziness", etc. is that as professionals we have to do our best to work with the production team and the post production team (assuming one has been hired before or during production) to come up with workflows that make sense for that production. Having spent several years in post, the common sense method was to always look at your end goal, your deliverables and work backwards from there. At the facility I worked at, we always aimed for the highest quality we could achieve based on deliverable, schedule, and the tools available.

Transcoding on set makes sense if the workflow needed for that project requires it. Perhaps there is an extremely fast turnaround needed. Or in some cases, I have worked alongside VFX artists who need some files to start working with while on set. Whatever the case may be, there are some important factors to consider here and this is along the lines of what Mike was talking about, I think. If you give away these services, i.e. there's no compensation for assigning this task to the job of the DIT or Digital Loader, then it will just be assumed they will do it. Now by compensation, that could be in the form of additional kit revenue, and/or additional billable hours if it goes beyond wrap. But giving these things away certainly makes it easy for producers to pile on the workload without thinking the workflow through completely.

Remember, under the classification of a DIT, the main job description is to work with the DP to assure video signal integrity and image manipulation, as well as establishing workflows whether it be tape or file based capture. Data management can fall under the DITs job description as well, although that is better suited to a digital loader on bigger shows. A digital loader manages data to and from camera. They cannot manipulate colour. They can do straight transcodes, no editing.

At this point, unless there are circumstances that somehow prevent a DIT or Digital Loader from doing their job efficiently, staying many hours after wrap should be a rare occurrence. Staying many hours after wrap to do transcodes is something that needs to be negotiated and compensated properly. That should never be allowed to happen with no compensation.

There is value in the services we provide to productions. One recent conversation with a producer on the phone (first time ever speaking with her) was a panic situation. They needed many hours of footage transcoded at full debayer for delivery to the client the following day. The call came in at 3PM while I was on set of a commercial. I had a way that I could get 15+ hours of material crunched to ProRes by 9am the following morning. I could save them the embarrassment with the client (they had been trying to do RED transcodes at full debayer without a Rocket and would surely miss the deadline) and do it at a price point that was fair and didn't charge an excessive premium because of their desperate situation. When I mentioned the price to do this, the producer was aghast. She literally said to me "I can't believe you would charge that much to push a button". Well, at that point the conversation was pretty much over in my mind, but being the polite gentleman I am, I responded diplomatically and moved on. She called me back later to say that they were going to go back to doing transcodes via the CPU. I can't imagine they finished in time for the client. And that's the whole point. There's a reason things cost money.

As professionals we have to do our best to maintain integrity when it comes to pricing our services or else we'll be stuck with a lot more bottomfeeders. As an industry, I don't think we want that.

Steve Sherrick
Local 600 DIT/Operator
Boston, MA


>> She literally said to me "I can't believe you would charge that much to push a button".

A. The button itself doesn't come cheap, and B. there are lots of buttons;  you have to know which are the right ones to push.

I find that this kind of attitude is born out of ignorance, especially from  people who know how hard their own job is, but have no clue that other people's jobs require just as much experience and acumen. I can't believe that MRI or CAT scan operators charge that much just to push a button, either. Or crane operators just to lift something to the top of a skyscraper.

How hard can that be? You just push a button, right?

We're unfortunately seeing plenty of this effect in the US public sphere right now, with career politicians clueless what it takes to run a business on the one hand, and on the other, businesspeople under the delusion that one can govern a democracy by fiat.

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


>>Let's keep this civil, shall we? There is as yet no firm and commonly-accepted definition of what >>DIT's do around the world, and not every market is exactly the same as any other.

I was unaware that sarcasm was uncivil.

My point hidden behind the sarcasm IS that much like a person that buys a RED camera and pronounces themselves a DP or another person that has a Mac laptop and a crack of Final Cut suddenly becomes an Editor, a person with a laptop and some external drives is NOT a DIT.

Many of us that perform the DIT function on films (and TV, commercials, videos etc) are extremely conscientious of the work that we perform and have spent years in this and other disciplines learning how to deal with the wide array and constantly changing technology. I personally have a hard time with those so uninitiated proclaiming themselves DITs.

I own a colour grading system but I do not call myself a colourist, I have shot thousands of hours of ENG video and I am an avid photographer but I am not a DP by ANY stretch of the imagination. But on a digital cinema shoot I am the DPs best friend! (Along with the gaffer of course)

I actually care about the bits that come out of the camera and I do everything I can to consider every possible scenario so that I can ensure the Director, DP and client that we have the data and it's all
good.

Clark Graff
Propellerhead - VFX Supervisor - DIT
Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver


Michael Most wrote:

>>I'm really getting tired of reading here and elsewhere about "greedy post houses," and about how >>data wrangling DIT's know so much more about  post production than those who have spent their >>lives in it.

I couldn't agree with Mike any more on this if I wanted to. Let's talk  about real greed. Does anyone here remember when it was the  responsibility of Production to deliver materials to an editor that were  in an "Editable" state? You know, where Production paid for a dailies  transfer, possibly sent the director or the DP to the session and  actually paid more per hour to make sure the footage looked good for the  clients?

See, I remember that pretty well, because I used to do it all the time.  Production was happy to pay for it, because it was image and reputation  quality control.

I can promise you that most of us working in Post Houses were never  asked if it was OK to send us a drive with raw files, or in particular,  what KIND of raw files as near as 2 years ago. Many in production  realized they could eliminate the hard cost of delivering editable goods and started sending hard drives. Right after that, I'd get con calls where someone not doing the actual work would tell me why it was going  to be SO easy and fast, and why they didn't understand there should be  an impact on, or cost associated with, when and editor could start  working. These were the same people that a few weeks before had budgeted  a few thousand dollars for the dailies PROCESS - on every single  production they did. OH Sure, every commercial editor I know would LOVE  to edit with the ref QT's that come out of a Red camera. Not on your  life will you find an experienced, busy commercial editor willing to  work that way. I don't care on what system. And as well, most production  offices forgot that Avid existed during this time a couple years ago when Apple promised everyone that FCP was the game changer, and that  Prores was the savoir of all thing "Broadcast Quality". Guess what? we  all work on a multitude of platforms and add our expertise to every  single job we touch, whether you can do it on your laptop or not, does  not enter into the equation.

For the record, I don't blame any DP or director in any of this.  Ostensibly, you want the same things we do in Post; to use tools you  trust and feel great about working with, and that you can express your
creative vision with. You've been killed on rates, rentals, package  deals, and any kid who just graduated college with a 7D as a grad present. I don't blame you at all, we're in the same boat. It's the  Production company owners and the exec producers pulling the strings that forgot about the process and grabbed the cash as fast as they could  while they offloaded the work to Post. Really? Computers, SANS, people  and time have no cost associated with them? Because Apple or Red or
Panasonic or SI or Sony or any other manufacturer showed someone a demo or invented a media format and promised it would be easy and cheap -  They actually believed it? Do any of you really believe that Production  companies are that dumb? Because I don't. I see it as the great cash
grab of the roaring 10's. Same as it ever was. Protect your piece of the  pie. Make sure you can pay for sushi and good wine when you take the clients out. Don't worry about it after that. It's all easy right? I
mean it's digital, right? It's got the more Gb's and the better sensor  right? It's all rec709 right, I mean, THAT's Video !! ( also for the record, like Mike, we prefer raw elements in our house, as opposed to
letting someone else do the transcode and quite possibly locking us in a  place that's wrong for everyone involved.. but when there' no choice by  time or cost, you can bet we'll be on the phone fighting for the process).

The point in this rant is that we should all be on the same side of this  because it's good for us all the way around to share the same attitude.  What's deplorable is placing blame anywhere near the people who are  trying to craft work from raw materials, either on Production or in  Post. We should all be fighting for, mandating, explicitly demanding,  that materials we create are handled in the way they were intended to be handled... and not for the cheapest price in the format that is the  least common denominator.

Rant over. Inspired by Mr. Most. Sorry to have invaded your private  time, but Mike is one of the smartest posters in these forums, and I  couldn't help voicing my support.

Best all -

Craig Leffel
Senior Colourist
Optimus
Chicago / Santa Monica


>>We're unfortunately seeing plenty of this effect in the US public sphere right now, with career >>politicians clueless what it takes to run a business on the one hand, and on the other, >>businesspeople under the delusion that one can govern a democracy by fiat.

Spoken like a true Californian!

(I'll duck now! <g>)

Larry Deeds
General Manager
Audio Intervisual Design, Inc.
Hollywood, CA
http://www.aidinc.com


Because, film is more forgiving and safe.

I am often told that tough schedule and conditions in production often goes in favour of film. In my
opinion it has better colour depth and separation better dynamic range. It can be manipulated, tweaked to death and still looks great. Every time, digital footage comes with a different gamma curve, not log, not linear, something you always ending up battling with because it is a result of the attempt to hide the poor dynamic range of the acquisition device behind the lens. When you start torturing images with gamma curves straight away you can bet there is something no right with them.

DP : "I love the look of this new camera, it's really getting there isn't it"
Colourist : "if you had the choice to shoot film would you?"
DP : "Oh yes anytime"

JC Soret
Colourist
MPC
London