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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Use of ISDCF language/subtitle tags in CPL names for silent film intertitles

Author Topic: Use of ISDCF language/subtitle tags in CPL names for silent film intertitles
Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7064
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 07-26-2017 11:38 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm currently making a DCP of a Mexican film from 1926, from a DPX frame set and a .srt file. The movie has Spanish intertitles, with subtitles in English that are superimposed on the dead space at the bottom of each intertitle card.

I'm wondering whether to use the language and/or subtitle tag to indicate this in some way? The Digital Cinema Naming Convention site doesn't mention silent movie intertitles at all. It does, however, state emphatically that the language side of the tag refers specifically to the audio language.

Therefore, following the ISDCF official rules to the letter, the correct tag would be MOS-EN. However, I'm thinking of using MOS-las-EN, to indicate the presence of burnt-in text in Spanish. The official guidance does allow the use of two subtitle codes (it gives a "for example" of GSW-FR-IT, for a DCP with Schwiizertüütsch audio and French and Italian rendered subtitles), and nothing on that site explicitly prohibits the same approach for describing subtitled silent film intertitles.


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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3794
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009

 - posted 07-27-2017 06:46 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Certainly not a clear answer, as Intertitles are part of the original image content and as such a different thing than add-on subtitles.

One thing to consider is certainly 'correctness'. Another thing is irritation. Making things too complicated will sometimes have the opposite effect, because staff will not know how to deal with such a CPL.

The question is, when and where will people consider these indicators as informative only, and when as a challenge to act...

I'd go with the MOS-EN variant, but I guess MOS-las-EN would be just as 'ok' and irritating.

However, this is probably not the DCP being dealt with by the typical multiplex usher anyway, so...

Again, the DCNC was never meant to explicitly describe all aspects of a composition, but to help staff and equipment to decide between different versions of packages, so the right one can be played. If this is the only version you create, there is little need to be picky.

- Carsten

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2617
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012

 - posted 07-27-2017 08:12 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Personally, I think when you create just a single version of this DCP, then keep within the naming conventions.

At least, if you keep the name within naming conventions, it will still be (strictly speaking) machine parseable. This might be helpful for library software that uses the syntax to "extract" some additional metadata.

Also, like Carsten already mentioned, it's not likely this DCP is going to get a wide release and those who will play it, will most likely know what to expect.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7064
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 07-27-2017 10:05 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks folks. This DCP has only one confirmed playdate so far, at a theater with no automation or TMS at all, at which it will be played with live music. However, the organization I'm making it for wants to be able to take it to other venues. I think I'll stick to the letter of the law and use MOS-EN. The important thing is to flag up that rendered subtitles should be there, so that if the DCP ends up anywhere that they don't play (e.g. somewhere with a prehistoric Series 1 projector that has a pre-15.1 TI software version), the projectionist will know that English subtitles should be visible, and that something is wrong if they aren't.

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