broadcast compression and proper pulldown
I've been shooting and editing TV commercials for almost 20 years and constantly striving for the best image quality budget can allow. I also am well aware that proper lighting, composition, subtle camera movement are what makes the shot look filmic and not necessarily the camera. That being said there's something I've not been able to wrap my head around completely. That is proper compression workflow for the best quality and pulldown from 23.98 to 29.97 for broadcast.
I am a big fan of shooting in 23.98 as stylistically I like the way in looks compared to 29.97. The film frame rate looks great for anything web-based or shown remotely. However, I've been trying everything to retain that quality when adding pulldown when shooting 30 second spots for broadcast. And when I play them back in quicktime they look like elephant crap in the 2:3:3:2 pulldown cadence with upper first interlacing (that is the station's specs). The motion blending takes the sharpness away. Also, when I apply a simple 4:1 cadence (duplicating every fourth frame progressive) they look great because there's no blending. This is quite the conundrum because I love my 23.98 frame rate. I actually shot test shots on the same commercial shoot in 29.97 and I wasn't crazy about them. This is with proper lighting, camera movement etc.
So my question is, what is the best method when desiring to shoot 23.98 for broadcast tv? National spots and films are shot in 23.98 and the sharpness and frame blending looks fantastic when broadcast at 29.97.
Also, my gear isn't too shabby. I'm shooting on the Blackmagic URSA, and editing in Premiere Pro. My codec is ProRes HQ at 1920x1080 (23.98 frame rate). My sequence is the same and I export a self-contained movie, which I then bring into Apple Compressor and apply the broadcast specs. I've also tested Media Encoder and directly out of Premiere. I like my method of self-contained because it gives me a hard copy write away.
With all of this said I have posed this question on another forum and they basically said just apply the 2:3:3:2 and it'll be fine but I'm not happy with the result when comparing to other spots that I know were shot in 23.98.
Can anyone offer a concrete step-by-step workflow setting for getting superior quality and has anyone else been dealing with this issue? Please don't respond with a lecture on "you should be shooting 29.97 for broadcast" when I know most spots are shot in 23.98. I used to have no choice back in the day before HD when I was shooting on BetaCam SP.
Any real help? It's very frustrating
See this post for creating proper 3:2 pulldown in Apple Compressor. Compressor interface has changed a bit since then but you should be able to find the settings described.