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6-minute short showing at a film fest this weekend, not sure what to send them

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Zach Prewitt
6-minute short showing at a film fest this weekend, not sure what to send them
on Jul 9, 2017 at 8:55:27 pm

I've been doing a lot of googling, and this is all very complicated business, so hopefully someone here can provide their two cents.

I have a 6-minute short that is actually a tribute video containing clips from various movies. I'm working in Premiere (latest version), and the media is all uncompressed 1080p, sourced from blurays, so the quality is pretty good. It's going to be shown in an opera house, so I want my export to be as high quality as possible.

The folks at the theater have not been super detailed in their submission guidelines. They said they prefer DCP but will accept a bluray. They will also accept a .mov or .mp4 file.

I've exported a .mov file using the TIFF codec, so it's pretty much completely lossless (about 28 gigs). I tried exporting a DCP using the Wraptor preset in Premiere, but the resulting file was less than 2 gigs, which doesn't seem right. From my googling, it sounds like putting together a DCP is a pretty involved process, and since my project is 1080p and DCP is 2k, I'm wondering if it's even worth it.

I have no idea what their setup is like. I asked him for any kind of documentation that might give me some guidelines to work with, but he said they didn't have any, and as long as I sent him one of the formats listed above, I would be fine.
So I have this .mov file and a bluray as backup, and I'm hoping this will be enough, but I'm just not sure. Anyone have any input?

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Brent Marginet
Re: 6-minute short showing at a film fest this weekend, not sure what to send them
on Jul 9, 2017 at 11:33:20 pm

DCP's are fairly specific and have a maximim bit rate of about 250mbit/s so that's why it may be smaller. I've seen comments in the past that the Wraptor DCP that AME builds can be quite problemmatic.

Just send them a high bitrate BluRay.

"MY MEDIA/PROJECT MOTO: If you think three copies of your media or project are enough.
Take a moment to place a value on them and then maybe add two more.
Hard Drives are now stupidly cheap. A RE-SHOOT AND YOUR TIME AREN'T."

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Stephen Abbott
Re: 6-minute short showing at a film fest this weekend, not sure what to send them
on Jul 10, 2017 at 7:23:19 am

Hi Zach,

1. BluRay is a good choice — the quality is pretty good if you encode an MPEG4 (rather than MPEG2), and it is at least kinda predictable: if it plays on one player, it's quite likely to work on others. So you can 'bank' that option as they've said they have BD playback.

2. Make a 25+ Mbps MPEG4 — if there's any kind of PC play back it should accept that.

3. If you're on a budget then DCP out of Adobe Media Encoder might work ... but it is a bit unpredictable as Brent said.

4. I wouldn't send them a more exotic Quicktime like the TIFF format you mentioned. This sort of file is likely to be less supported, and a 6-minute 28GB file is ~80MB/sec which might well tax a slow hard drive for realtime playback. You can include a ProRes or DNxHD if you want to cover all bases, but most festivals don't seem to like to screen (or request) these 'editing codecs'.

To be extra fancy, you can put the MP4 and DCP on the BluRay Disc as files, that way someone would (almost) always have something to play, provided they have a BD-ROM drive.

I have delivered a number of films like this and sent them to festivals around the world, and have never had a problem. I normally just throw 2 and 3 on a memory stick, then 1, 2, and 3 on the BD. It's not high-end, but it works.


Stephen Abbott

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