16:9 DV to HD transfer

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I'm asking for any input regarding my transfer path of a documentary that I'm producing ... here it goes --

1. Acquiring on 16:9 DV and Beta SP

2. AVID edit letterbox (vertical squeeze effect to un-anamorphic the footage) for 4:3 Master (letterboxed)for present day use

3. AVID edit Anamorphic (squeezed) Master without vertical squeeze for upgrade to HDTV (future/now use)

4. Take Anamorphic master to post house for line-doubling and HD transfer

That's it -- does it make sense ??

Please let me know what you think because I'm still flexible with my budget cause I'm still early in Pre/ production stage and manipulate my budget - With the HD transfer/line quadrupling/doubling if the cherry grant/underwrite ever comes.

I'm concerned about the mastering of the anamorphic video. What should I master to ?? Digi-Beta ? D2? Depends on Post/HD house ??

Are there steps that I'm missing ??

Thanks -- Jay

-- Jay Sanchez (jays@epix.net), January 05, 1999


I'm told that mastering to digi-beta is best. This is according to the people at Sony in Culver City. I think they also will accept your master on DVCAM.

16x9 is much better on a camera with a 16x9 chip since 30% of your information is not thrown away. If you can rent a DSR-130W, do it. Luxery is a HD cam ($1000 a day). Digi-beta with a wide chip looks good, not quite 35mm, but better than super-16.

I would edit DV or DVCAM on a NLE firewire system. Mac is best. And if you use Premiere, be sure to get a plug in that allows you to have triangular pixels. Premiere is only set up for square which is not DV. Avid or Media 100 w/o firewire will degrade your image.

Good luck.

-- Max Reid (max@4r.net), March 14, 1999.

I suggest mastering on DV (either DVCAM or MiniDV), using a Century Optics anamorphic lens (no resolution loss when shooting 16x9 because the lens allows use of the entire 4x3 CCD). Then edit in native DV format, using DVRaptor or another DV editing system. Then convert to film, or put through the filmlook or cinelook process. This is the cheapest, most effective route.

-- Avery Goodman (Cybergoodman@hotmail.com), July 14, 1999.

I agree with Avery -- the anamorphic lens is the way to go unless you can afford an HD camera.

But I still believe that editing on an Avid, or Media 100, or Fast is a fine way to go if you know your final output will be film. To get the very best out of your original footage, you should spend the time and money on a professional online session, ideally by the post house where you'll do your transfer. All you need is an EDL (which all of these machines produce) and your original tapes. Otherwise, all color correction, pedestal, etc. will have to be done on your DV editing system that was, frankly, not designed to do this well.

My advice is to establish a relationship with your transfer house prior to shooting a frame. Shoot tests. Talk to them. Most houses will transfer a minute of test video at a very low rate. Spend the time and money now and avoid headaches later.

- Jim

-- Jim Parriott (escribador@aol.com), July 18, 1999.

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