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DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL

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Smaran Sahu
DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 9, 2011 at 10:29:40 am

Hi,

I've been an avid lurker and have learned a lot from these forums and major gratitude is upheld for everyone who have made this community such an incredible platform for film makers around the world. Thank you!

I had to join just so that I can get some clarity on something that's been quite frustrating. I have been shooting on 24fps NTSC through my 7D and love the final product. I as a filmmaker, want to have a global target audience and hence internet is the biggest platform for me. When working with 24fps ntsc and uploading the final render on sites like youtube and vimeo, of course it has no playback issues and can be viewed world over.

Now the problem arises when I need to send the same footage to film festivals around the planet. Plus I reside in a PAL country, hence I can not author the final ntsc render directly onto a PAL timeline, hence no PAL player can play those ntsc dvds. I have no experience in conversion of NTSC to PAL or vice versa and I am assuming I shall have to pick either of the conformity but I am clueless as to what would be the better choice.

Can anyone help me out in letting me know which video setup on my 7D ( NTSC or PAL ) is better if I solely work with Final Cut Pro and Apple Compressor and:

a.) my priority is to finally author dvds for film festivals around the globe, both in NTSC or PAL conversions

b.) second priority - I want my stuff to be as film like as possible, hence the 24fps choice, is the 25fps PAL close to the 24fps NTSC or am I just plain wrong?

c.) third priority is broadcast format for both NTSC and PAL regions as I have had requests for the same

I know it's a lot to read and I thank whoever takes out time for the same. Also, if someone can also let me know what's the highest output I can receive from my ProRes 422 converted footage through apple compressor then I'll be greatly obliged.

Thanks


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Dave LaRonde
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 9, 2011 at 4:15:25 pm

Just conform the completed 24 (almost certainly 23.976 in actuality) FPS file to 25 FPS for PAL. The resulting file will be 4% shorter, run 4% faster and the audio will be pitched 4% higher. You can correct the audio, and I challenge you to detect the difference in motion by making it 1 frame per second faster.

If that isn't acceptable, it's time to open your wallet and pull out a lot of cash. You'll need to take your 24 fps file to a post house for hardware-based frame rate conversion to 25p. It is absolutely the best way to do it.

If you can suffer a minor reduction in image quality, you can use Compressor in Final Cut Suite 3 to do the conversion. It will take a LONG time to do this.

And did you know that just about every PAL DVD player ever made can also play NTSC DVDs? And did you know that you can make 24p NTSC DVDs? And that the same thing probably holds true for Blu-Ray disks?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Smaran Sahu
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 9, 2011 at 5:23:25 pm

Thanks Dave for your prompt reply. The way I go about my stuff is that I convert my files to prores 422 and edit them on fcp and when the final sequence is ready post color grading I send this sequence to compressor and do the necessary compression depending on the need. When you say conform the file to 25 fps for pal do you mean through cinema tools? If so then I assume I can just right click on the sequence and send it across to cinema tools and there must be a setting to conform it to 25 fps? Do correct me if I'm wrong. Also if the audio get's that 4% higher pitch, does that mean I have to go to every individual audio clip and correct the pitch or can I take the entire audio timeline and do it somehow? And I am again assuming the correct software to do this on would be soundtrack pro?

I'm sorry, I'm completely new to this and as I know you are well versed and experienced in this regard, it'd be awesome if you could guide me a bit. :)

Also, I don't know, but here in India, I have had issues playing the ntsc dvds on certain PAL dvd players. Yes, I usually conform my stuff to 24fps NTSC dvds. And you assumed right, I'm an independent film maker, with absolute no resources specially not for conversion, and the compressor way is just too tedious. How are the results in the way you prescribed?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 9, 2011 at 5:41:15 pm

No, you miss the point: you edit at the frame rate of the footage, 23.976. When done, you export a self-contained quicktime movie file of the edit. Then you conform a file of the COMPLETED EDIT to 25 FPS. It's less work that way.

You may have to bring the conformed file back into FCP for final tweaking, but that's not a big deal.



[Smaran Sahu] "I'm an independent film maker, with absolute no resources specially not for conversion, and the compressor way is just too tedious."

Well, that's the problem.
There is an old saying in post-production: "You can have your project done well. You can have your project done quickly. You can have your project done inexpensively. Pick any two."

So if you don't have money, and you want it to look good, what choice remains to you?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Shemyr Shemyr
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:21:07 pm

You are cool, people.

Smiles.


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Bill Torgerson
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on May 27, 2012 at 3:26:27 pm

I'm a writer and professor new to filmmaking. I shot my film on a JVC GY HM 150U so that I could import files into Final Cut Pro and export as a .MOV file. Does that sound right?

I'm entering to festivals and I don't understand what they mean when I'm asked if my DVD is NTSC RO O OR NTSC R1 1.

What sort of DVD am I burning if I'm using my iMac and exporting from Final Cut Pro X?

Thanks!


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 9, 2011 at 9:15:24 pm

Work in 25p, it's so close to 24p. (Real film shot for TV in PAL countries is shot at 25p).

This will play okay on the internet and work when put to DVD in your country and other PAL countries.

If you have to produce NTSC DVDs it is better to convert from PAL to NTSC than the other way round because the PAL image has more information.

Most international film festivals will start accepting HD versions which are much better quality than SD on DVD.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Dave LaRonde
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 9, 2011 at 9:26:23 pm

[Phil Balsdon] "(Real film shot for TV in PAL countries is shot at 25p)."

That's true. And real film shot for the neighborhood movie theater is shot at 24. And NTSC DVD's can be authored at 23.976, which is so close to 24 it isn't funny. Every Hollywood movie on DVD I've ever seen is at 23.976. So are the Independent movies.



[Phil Balsdon] "If you have to produce NTSC DVDs it is better to convert from PAL to NTSC than the other way round because the PAL image has more information."

If you ask me, it's a wash.

True, the frame size in PAL is bigger, with PAL's 720x576 vs. NTSC's 720x480. But then, the NTSC frame rate has 20% more frames every second. So in terms of total information every second, they're darned near equal.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 9, 2011 at 9:56:31 pm

Hi Dave,
but he's in India, a PAL country.
Far easier workflow to use the native format for his primary audience.

It'll also avoid issues such as shooting under fluorescent lights etc.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Noah Kadner
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 10, 2011 at 5:12:50 pm

A 24p DVD authored as NTSC is about the closest thing to a universally playable format you can possibly create. It will play in any NTSC player and any PAL player. Nearly all PAL players/TVs have the ability to display NTSC discs without fuss.

On the other hand very few NTSC disc players/TVs can play PAL. So while it's fine to cover your bases with both an NTSC and PAL version of your project, having simply a single NTSC DVD is going to do the trick 99% of the time.

Noah

40% discount for Creative Cow users with code ccow2011 at Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Fred Dorsett
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 10, 2011 at 7:03:47 pm

Shoot PAL 25p.
You can always downgrade to the inferior NTSC format if you must.

Regards
Fred

Stop Motion Animation.
Canon DSLR, and Zeiss glass.
StopMotion Pro software.
Adobe Production Suite software.
Autodesk Entertainment Suite software.


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Smaran Sahu
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 10, 2011 at 8:30:36 pm

Looking at everyone's message on this topic, you can now see as to why I am so damned confused about the issue. One question, when you ask me to make a self contained quicktime file, is it then that I choose 25fps from the drop down menu or do I export it in current 23.976 fps setting and then take that file to cinema tools to change it to 25fps, sorry I am not understanding the procedure to "conform" the footage.

Thanks everyone for the help, but to be really honest I am still very unsure, I suppose I'll have to spend some time testing both ways and seeing which one works the best. :)


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 10, 2011 at 9:30:23 pm

You should be shooting the footage at 25fps in the camera.

Stick with this all the way until and only if you need an NTSC version, in which you need to convert a version of your final original edit to NTSC.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Noah Kadner
Re: DSLR Filmmaking for festivals - NTSC or PAL
on Sep 11, 2011 at 6:13:34 pm

Yeah there's definitely two schools of thought here- so I'd recommend a test shoot before you commit. 25p is fine for where you are but it will be a pain in your backside whenever you want to play in NTSC projecting festivals and you'll spend more time and money doing the conversion 25 to 24 or whatever- than you'd like.

Noah

40% discount for Creative Cow users with code ccow2011 at Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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