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Need some 90's-era Post Production Know How...

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Neil Butler
Need some 90's-era Post Production Know How...
on Jun 20, 2017 at 12:42:34 am

Short version: I'm excavating a feature project that was originally shot on 16mm film. The footage was developed at DuArt Lab in New York and transferred to BetaSP tapes with key code burned in. We originally edited on Avid back in the mid-90's but I want to start fresh with a new edit using the Beta tapes rushes (and a handful of DAT tapes that contain the production sound).

I know it would be better to get a fresh HD scan on the negatives but that's several thousand dollars more than I can spend at the moment. My thought is do the creative work using the existing tapes - then think about scanning the relevant bits when/if the project graduates to that level of investment.

I'm planning on editing myself on Premiere and even doing most of the logging/digitizing/synching. What I need is to borrow or rent a Beta SP deck and a DAT deck so I can retrieve this footage and sound. I was hoping someone who did this stuff in the 90's might have these machines lying around but my bigger obstacle is finding an expert I can consult with to help get me set up for success.

I'm not sure, for instance, how I would even go into a MacBook from the antiquated Beta SP outputs. I remember back in the day, my editor would set in-and-out points and control the deck from the Avid during capture. What frame rate I should use considering I may need accurate key code information at some point down the road? Issues like this.

In a pinch, I can pay a transfer house to scan the tapes for me but I'd still like to huddle with someone beforehand so I know exactly what to ask for.

I guess this isn't really the short version, is it? Anyway - I have a few hundred dollars to throw at this and I'm looking to chat with an AV expert who knows something about this strange bit of business I've gotten myself into. Any suggestions would be warmly welcomed...


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