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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » physical delivery of short DCPs (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: physical delivery of short DCPs
Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-11-2013 12:25 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How are people delivering shorts (under ten minutes' running time) in DCP format now? Hard disks in CRU DX115 carriers? USB flash drives? Something else?

I am completing postproduction on two short films at the moment; my hope is to screen them in 35mm or 16mm whenever possible, but I am having DCPs made as well. Flash drives seem to be the logical distribution medium, except that they are small and easy to lose. I am also concerned about reliability. On the other hand, hard disks seem like total overkill for something this short.

If I go the USB flash drive route, are there any types that are known to be incompatible with one or more of the D-cinema servers? I know that some external hard disks that draw power from the USB bus have issues....

At the film festivals where I have worked, very few shorts have arrived in DCP form (most are (were?) still coming on videotape or film), so nearly all of the DCPs that I have handled have been feature length.

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Victor Liorentas
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 794
From: london ontario canada
Registered: May 2009


 - posted 10-11-2013 01:11 PM      Profile for Victor Liorentas   Email Victor Liorentas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I get many trailers on dvd rom drives and usb. I am also getting features on portable hard drives which works but often take forever to ingest.
I have had portable hard drives formatted wrong,at least wrong for my Doremi IMB server to recognize.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-11-2013 02:11 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I couldn't tell you what issues any cinema servers would have with USB memory sticks. But at the very least the more simple the memory stick is set up the more likely it will work properly.

I have an older SanDisk 2GB USB memory stick. It works fine on most any computer, but has issues with some other devices with USB ports. It won't work on our Konica-Minolta bizhub C220 office printer. I wanted to play some music in that memory stick on an elliptical trainer exercise machine, but it wouldn't load there either. And it won't work in my girlfriend's new car. I think that's due to a virtual CD ROM drive it always tries to install.

I bought a new SanDisk 16GB memory stick recently. It doesn't have any of that virtual CD-ROM trash or any other software that wants to load automatically. That memory stick works just fine on all sorts of devices with USB ports.

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 10-11-2013 02:43 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think distribution by USB flash drive is fine. Just make sure you reformat it to ext2 or ext3.

How about distribution by ftp or http?

Harold

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Paul H. Rayton
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 202
From: Los Angeles, CA , USA
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted 10-11-2013 04:09 PM      Profile for Paul H. Rayton     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Depending on the final, total, file size, one can also put shorts on to a standard DVD, as data disc. Up to 4.7GB for a normal single-layer disc. I know Dolby devices have slots for data DVDs, not sure about other mfrs.

I've also had shorts come on flash drives (memory sticks) of one sort and another, and usually they work fine. It has to be formatted correctly to make the server happy, and in a very few instances I've had to re-format (copy) to another drive, which I've formatted as NTFS.

Finally, as a suggestion, if / when you send it out on a flash drive, put it on a "clean" drive, i.e., one without a bunch of other material on there. Putting multiple files on mini-drives for ingestion into servers seems (to me) to be upping the chances that something, somewhere, will get electronically confused and you end up with a "no go" show. Just do a full format on the drive before you put on the DCP file.

I see FTP and dropbox-type file transfers also proliferating now. I also don't recommend that, though I'm fighting a losing battle on that front with my colleagues at work. Objections: long, very long, to extremely long download times, and the possibility for errors in the transmission, which will only show up after you've invested all the time in the download. And then you have to do it all over. Not to mention incompatible file types. Etc.

Just send us physical media -- that have been checked! -- so we in the booth are not the ones at fault when something doesn't work!

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Mark Hajducki
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 500
From: Edinburgh, UK
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 10-11-2013 05:21 PM      Profile for Mark Hajducki   Email Mark Hajducki   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
At a previous site downloading a large file (from the office or using the public bar wifi) caused issues with the internet connection (killing online bookings and credit card sales).

The cost advantage of sending a USB flash drive (over 35mm or DigiBeta or BetaSP) is large. Being able to make multiple copies cheaply prevents difficult crossovers between festivals.

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Marin Zorica
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From: Biograd na Moru, Croatia
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 10-11-2013 05:40 PM      Profile for Marin Zorica   Email Marin Zorica   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am doing some festivals, and they send us a lot of DCP materials, so if you move serious production houses besides (because they send DCP on CRU drive) others do anything, some send cru, some USB2 or USB3 portable disc, some flash drives....so i think cheapest in case of not having CRU is to take some USB3 500GB portable disc and made dcp on them, but according to dci standard.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-11-2013 07:38 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So, no issues with movies on flash drives? That is good news. I was planning on using an EXT3 filesystem, which should work everywhere.

The DCPs will be unencrypted, so there are no issues there. I have access to the Dolby, Doremi, and GDC servers and will test everything on those. I have no access to the Sony, so that is the biggest unknown. The only other issue is that the picture will be pillarboxed 1.33:1 within the 1.85:1 frame, but that is really just a masking issue (the 35mm prints will be 1.37:1 Academy).

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Phil Ranucci
Expert Film Handler

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From: Carpinteria,CA, United States
Registered: May 2006


 - posted 10-11-2013 11:51 PM      Profile for Phil Ranucci   Email Phil Ranucci   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We are getting trailers on USB sticks and occasionally have issues with loading, we had one with no audio track. Depends on who's making them.
We had plenty of issues with non-CRU delivered features. Some would not load in a Cinedigm library, some would only load in GDC servers. A massive PITA during a film festival. Since everybody has a laptop, everybody thinks they can make a DCP. Not so, and if I never see another cheapass USB drive it'll be too soon.

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Stephen Furley
Film God

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From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 10-12-2013 02:21 PM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Scott,

Just out of interest, what are these films about? Where are they going to be screened; just at festivals, or are they getting a more general release? How many prints are being made?

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Leo Enticknap
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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 10-12-2013 03:20 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our students have sent DCP shorts on 32gb or 64gb flash sticks, formatted as ext2, to festivals and for screenings at indie places, without problems.

One of them did once send one on a BD-ROM and ran into problems because the venue thought it was a BD video disc and tried to run it in a set-top player.

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Chris Slycord
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From: 퍼항시, 경상푹도, South Korea
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 - posted 10-12-2013 05:04 PM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Leo Enticknap
One of them did once send one on a BD-ROM and ran into problems because the venue thought it was a BD video disc and tried to run it in a set-top player.
There'd also be the problem that most venues, whether top-of-the-line in projection stuff or not, is even less likely to have a computer on-site with a Blu-Ray Drive and obviously transferring it from a PC into your server or TMS/LMS is the only way I know of to get it off such a disc. That is, unless there now are servers and TMS/LMS units with Blu-Ray. There weren't any when I worked in booth last.

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Jock Blakley
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From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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 - posted 10-12-2013 07:25 PM      Profile for Jock Blakley   Email Jock Blakley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
The only other issue is that the picture will be pillarboxed 1.33:1 within the 1.85:1 frame, but that is really just a masking issue (the 35mm prints will be 1.37:1 Academy).
Why 1.33 instead of 1.37 for the DCPs?

Also is it not the case that you don't need to pillarbox or windowbox in the actual DCP as long as the resolution on one axis meets the standards?

Meaning that (for 1.37) you would be able to have frames at 1480x1080 without padding them out to 1998x1080, which is misleading.

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Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

Posts: 4247
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 10-12-2013 09:36 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've received trailers and (very) short films on USB "thumb" drives.

Long-ish shorts and indie features often come on 2.5" hard drives with a short USB cable.

Once in a while, someone will go "all out" and buy the CRU carrier and Pelican case.

If your shorts have mono sound, please put the sound on the correct track for a "hard center" and not L/R. We're not supposed to need decoders for DCP sound.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-12-2013 11:39 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Stephen: I will provide more detail when the films are complete. The intention is to have about a dozen 16mm prints (mostly to give to the people who helped me with production) and about four 35mm prints of each. I will talk more about distribution when things get to that point, but it will likely be limited to a couple of venues plus (possibly) festivals and special events and such. They're just simple documentary shorts...nothing that would demand wide distribution.

quote: Jock Blakley
Why 1.33 instead of 1.37 for the DCPs?
The films were shot on 16mm, which is 1.33. The top and bottom will be cropped slightly when they are projected in 35mm.

Manny--good point about "proper" mono. I asked the lab to make sure to do this correctly and expect that they will do so.

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