Transferring to film

vitalforces wrote on 11/29/2003, 8:17 AM
I have a low-budget indie project which will finish principal photography next Spring. Many people who have seen the trailer are enthusiastic about its potential, so I am thinking in terms of what to say to a possible interested distributor at a festival. According to some experts, it is a competitive advantage to tell a distributor that I can transfer my miniDV source footage to film at my own cost (I'm in the process of seeking backing for that now.) Distributors used to make the "negative cost" part of the deal when the economy was better, but rarely now.

So: Having shot on a DVX100 to 24p, and editing in Vegas 4, I now face the question of how to minimize the costs of preparing the footage for film transfer (either super 16 or 35) before handing it to a post house to make the actual negative. Any suggestions?


filmy wrote on 11/29/2003, 10:46 PM
A place to start would be the folks who make DvFilm Maker -
vitalforces wrote on 12/1/2003, 10:12 AM
Good point, I even had their link from before. Thanks.
1charmedlife wrote on 12/1/2003, 12:20 PM
Efilm will also be happy to walk you through the process, from just delivering files on Hard Drive to color timing in a DI suite if you need to from there.

You can reach them at:

Or even better: Fotokem has a great, and growing digital intermediate and digital film services dep't, and they have a great rep for working with indie filmmakers. They are at 818-846-3102 - a good guy to talk to for that is their Alan Tudzin:) Tell him Jon Lawrence sent ya;)

vitalforces wrote on 12/1/2003, 2:51 PM
Thanks also, Mr. Lawrence. Appreciate the time and trouble of getting the information together.
farss wrote on 12/1/2003, 3:10 PM
Could I chip in here, has anyone done 25p to 35mm. I know these guys say it can be done just fine but the frame rate conversion has me worried.
Anyone know how it is done and what effect if any it has on final quality.
I know these guys are pros and if they say its all going to be OK then I'm certain it will be but I always sleep better when I know just how it's done.
1charmedlife wrote on 12/1/2003, 3:52 PM
25P? Do you mean PAL 25fps to 35mm - if that's what you're asking, then yes, I have.

The slowdown to 24 frames is pretty much unnoticable - just note that you should make sure your audio is pitch corrected and then really check your sync in your answer or release print closely. (Audio note: to go to 35mm film, you will have to create an optical soundtrack to go with it - which means taking a DAT, or DA88, or 35mm Mag printmaster to a vendor who can create an optical track, print that, then sync it up for printing from your negative or IN to your print.).

The very best way to do this, is to go to film SILENT first, then apply the slowdown and pitch correction to your audio, AND interlock screen the new film print with your digital printmaster BEFORE going to an optical track. That's the very best way to check sync.

Good luck!

- Jon

Oh, and Vital - you're welcome - I've worked with/continue to work with a lot of these guys - and some of them are actually good people and very knowlegable - good luck to you too;)