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Author Topic: 16 MM TO DCP
Fred Schoenfeld
Film Handler

Posts: 49
From: PORTSMOUTH, VA
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted 11-03-2017 01:28 PM      Profile for Fred Schoenfeld   Author's Homepage   Email Fred Schoenfeld   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry if this has been discussed before... I am looking for a facility that could copy 16MM with sound to DCP at a reasonable price. I have a collection of WW II shorts that I would love to have transferred. FilmMack in Chicago used to do it, but the costs were very high the last time I checked.Thanks for any guidance from fellow Fim-Techs!

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6381
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 11-03-2017 02:12 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The only other way, beside telecine, that I know of is to use a video camera.

Use a good quality matte screen in a totally dark room and set the projector centered vertically on the screen but offset to one side by just enough to make room for a video camera on a tripod. Set the camera and tripod at the same height as the projector but offset, equidistant, from the center of the screen by the same distance you offset the projector. That way, any possible keystoning will cancel out.

Zoom the video camera in as tight as you can, vertically, but ignoring any negative space on the sides. Once you record the film to video, use an editor such as Final Cut or Premiere to crop the picture to the correct size/aspect ratio.

I had to do this a few times, over the years. It's not perfect, by any means but you can get acceptable results if you pay attention to details.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3491
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 11-03-2017 04:31 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you receive a common digital format from one of the zillions of telecine service companies, you may create the DCP yourself, that may save you considerable cost.

- Carsten

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2323
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-03-2017 04:45 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
While the video camera option has become more viable in the recent years due to better recording quality, it's still a pretty mediocre way of doing it. A proper scan should scan each frame individually.

Depending on how many films you want to scan, it's almost cheaper to buy a BlackMagic Design Cintel directly, currently the most affordable option on the market for medium to high quality film scanning.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6381
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 11-03-2017 05:28 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Marcel Birgelen
A proper scan should scan each frame individually.

Yup! [Smile]

If you are careful to match the frame rate of the video camera you can get better results...not perfect...but pretty good.

(This assumes that your camera has adjustable frame rates. Most do, AFAIK, but some have several layers of menus to go through which make it unweildy.)

I often made two or three recordings of the film to be duplicated, right in a row. Sometimes, the camera will seem to synchronize well with the projector but, after several minutes, will seem to drift.

Making multiple passes gives you the chance to take the best recording or, worst-case scenario, you can edit multiple takes together to make one good copy.

Yes... Not the best way to do it but, as Marcel says, video cameras, today, are getting good enough to make it a viable option.

After recording, if you need a DCP, use DCP-O-Matic. Use Quicktime or some other transcoder to make it into an MP4 or what-have-you. Or, you can just keep it in original camera format for archival purposes.

Once you have the 16mm film on video, you can package, store or distribute it any format you need/want.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6764
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 11-03-2017 05:49 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The other thing to keep in mind is that if these are 1940s diacetate prints, they may well be shrunk and brittle to the point at which putting them through an intermittent motion projector could risk significant damage. That would be an argument for finding someone with a continuous motion scanner such as an MWA Flashscan or a Lasergraphics.

As others have pointed out, considering this project as two separate ones might be the way to go. Digitizing the films is going to be the difficult and/or expensive one: once you have the digital files, then as Randy points out, with a decent home computer, you can edit and transcode them into anything you like.

If you are going to hire someone to do the scanning, I'd suggest having them give you individual frame DPX files and a separate uncompressed audio file. That way, you'll have none of the potential interlacing and jerky movement issues that are a risk with a 23.976fps combined file. It will take up a lot of drive space (roughly a terabyte per 20 minutes in 2K), but hard drives are pretty cheap now, and it's well worth it for the quality and versatility of the output, IMHO. Most of the archives I make DCPs for deliver their material to me this way.

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Tyler Purcell
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 154
From: Van Nuys, CA
Registered: Dec 2015


 - posted 11-04-2017 01:12 AM      Profile for Tyler Purcell   Author's Homepage   Email Tyler Purcell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I mean unless you're playing it in a movie theater, there is no reason to have a DCP. So you'd just send the film out to a transfer house and get it scanned. I personally like Pro Res or DNX as my delivery format, it's a bit more compatible than DPX files, which work great for a real post production, but not so great for consumer playback of files. You can make a DCP at home if you want, there are a few programs that will do it.

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Fred Schoenfeld
Film Handler

Posts: 49
From: PORTSMOUTH, VA
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted 11-04-2017 08:31 PM      Profile for Fred Schoenfeld   Author's Homepage   Email Fred Schoenfeld   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks to all for responding! I will digest the info and report back. We are a 1945 Art Deco single screen and I would love to see these historic films on our 21' X 41' screen!

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 15990
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 11-06-2017 12:26 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jonathan Froes at Bacos Films in Phoenix can do this sort of work for you, and he does a great job.



Bacos Film

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6764
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 11-12-2017 10:07 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Also in the Phoenix area, Video Conversion Experts do superb work.

One aspect to keep in mind: these WWII shorts may well have been preserved from original (or generationally close to) elements already, and there may be DCPs available from one or more of the major nonprofit archives, if the thread starter has public screenings in mind. The Motion Picture, Sound and Video branch of NARA would be the people to ask about movies made by the federal government or the military, while one of the major nonprofits in the LA area (e.g. UCLA or AMPAS) would be a starting point for studio-made titles.

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Tom Ruff
Film Handler

Posts: 35
From: Burbank, CA, USA
Registered: Mar 2011


 - posted 11-19-2017 05:26 AM      Profile for Tom Ruff   Email Tom Ruff   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Roundabout Entertainment in Burbank CA has a couple of scanners and do a very good job. Many theatrical releases get done there

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