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Mixing frame rates and exporting a DCP

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Gabe Wiener
Mixing frame rates and exporting a DCP
on Jul 18, 2017 at 4:44:49 pm

Hello,
I'm an editor, and I've been handed a project that was shot over the course of 10 years. The initial footage was shot at 29.97 (the director had thought it was 23.976) and so the new footage was all shot at 23.976. I've edited a timeline in 23.976 using both media sources, but now we are getting to the point where we need to start thinking about an output for festival release and we will need to create a DCP. This is my first time doing a DCP project, and I'm curious what issues I might run into with the 2 frame rates.

Since the sequence is in 23.976 and we are creating a 24fps DCP, will there be issues with the output since there is 29.97 footage?

Do I need to convert all the 29.97 fps footage to 23.976 or vice versa?



Any help would be great, since this is a giant headache that is beyond my control. Thank you!


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Aaron Owen
Re: Mixing frame rates and exporting a DCP
on Aug 1, 2017 at 11:30:57 pm

Short answer to your last question: maybe.

What NLE are you using? If you're in Premiere and you're editing in a 23.976 timeline, Premiere is already doing the conversions on the fly during playback, and when you output. Your final export will be a QuickTime or MP4 file that only has a single frame rate (the timeline's).

If you're looking towards DCP output, there's a couple of things to consider:

1. DCPs usually play at 24fps (true 24, not 23.976) since they were designed for movies, but the newer SMPTE DCP spec allows for 30fps content.

2. How much of your film is at 29.97? If the bulk of the footage is 23.976, then keep it there.

If your budget allows, you could run the 29.97 footage through the Teranex and then overcut the new footage back into place, but that's a real headache. If you don't mind what Premiere is doing in terms of the frame rate conversion, it's probably ok to just output and send the file to a DCP authoring house like Cinematiq.


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