3-perf For DI
Published : 31st July 2005
I am wondering what the pitfalls will be doing a Super-35 feature in 3-perf for a possible DI before I try and sell a producer on the idea.
Anyone here done it successfully without major problems or hang-ups?
Anyone know of any 3-perf projectors in LA in order to screen some tests and dailies?
David Mullen, ASC
David Mullen wrote:
>I am wondering what the pitfalls will be doing a Super-35 feature in 3->perf for a possible DI before I try and sell a producer on the idea.
Would this be for 1.85 or anamorphic release? If it's the former, the primary limitation is the inability to reframe if necessary, due to the narrow frame lines. There is also the matter of gate hairs being more of an issue than in 4 perf due to the same issue - take the gate checks very seriously. As far as post goes, systems have been in place to track 3 perf key numbers for quite some time, and negative cutting itself is not an issue if you're going to finish via a DI.
Basically, I think it's probably a good way to save some money on stock and processing without any real quality loss. Almost like getting something for nothing - provided you're going to do a DI finish.
>Anyone here done it successfully without major problems or hang-ups?
You might talk to Conrad W. Hall - he did this on Panic Room, although that was a few years ago. It was also done on Exorcist: The Beginning, and although I was involved with the original version of that picture, I was not involved with the Renny Harlin version that went through a DI finish. I do know that Vittorio, who was very much against the idea of a DI during the making of Schrader's version, was very happy with the result on the Harlin version. You might want to call David Robinson at Morgan Creek, who would give you a rather honest appraisal of any problems they encountered, and is someone you might enjoy meeting anyway. Tell him I said hi if you talk to him.
>Anyone know of any 3-perf projectors in LA in order to screen some >tests and dailies?
CFI did this in the "old days" (when they were still on Seward). I don't know if they're set up for it in North Hollywood. You could go to someone with a LocPro, which does 3 perf at the touch of a switch. I know IO Film has one, but you won't be looking at it in a proper screening environment. I would check with the labs first.
Of course, you could always go to Technicolor Rome......
IATSE Local 600
We are not in LA but just as a data point: several months ago I wanted to convert my Sondor projector to 3 perf. The kit exists and can be ordered. BUT my projector is dual gauge 16/35mm and I would have to give up the 16 format that we use a lot to screen S16 answer prints before making a blow up. Obviously this is not acceptable.
We now make rushes and answer prints from 3Perf negatives on our optical printer. This means you get standard 4Perf print that can be screened everywhere.
I myself was about to go this route on a feature that has since been postponed. So although I haven't done it yet, the research I did confirms exactly what Michael told you already, I just wanted to add that it is possible to still go the standard route if you want, but the only place that could do an optical/mechanical 3-perf to 4-perf conversion was Technicolor Rome and it would cost so much as to negate the 25% gain in neg stock costs. With other words, if you go this route, there is no turning back.
All the best
We certainly do optical prints from 35/3P to 35/4P either direct blow-up or via IP/DN. There is a surcharge of 10% compared to standard 4P work. Since you would only print the final takes or very close to the final duration of the film there is still a considerable savings in raw stock and processing charges.
The higher the shooting ratio is, the more savings 3Perf can bring.
Typically the customer would want prints of about 10-15 % of the rushes during the shoot, then during or after editing, more printed takes may be ordered, some productions order the entire film (final takes) rush-printed and assembled before the final neg cutting is started.
Dirk DeJonghe said :
>We now make rushes and answer prints from 3Perf negatives on our >optical printer. This means you get standard 4Perf print that can be >screened everywhere.
Where were you six months ago? Oh well better late than never. It's in my Rolodex now. David Mullen was just asking me about this a few days ago. I told him that it would be easier to find hen's teeth than to find 3 perf projection.
Dave Stump ASC
David Stump wrote:
>David Mullen was just asking me about this a few days ago. I told him >that it would be easier to find hen's teeth than to find 3 perf projection.
Seems to me that a rental house with three perf cameras would get a 3 perf projector -- preferably a couple, one portable and rentable, one in a screening room. It's not all that expensive, and would be quite useful for testing.
You can get the Sondor, and I think the Magnatech projector could be modified -- and it seems that it would be simple enough for Kinoton to mod their great electronic pulldown projectors -- after all, it's just a different set of numbers.
Probably a small but regular market for this sort of thing.
Jeff "there is the LocPro, of course" Kreines