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Converting HDCAM, Digi-Beta, & Beta SP to Quicktime Files

Posted in All News Posts on February 20th, 2015 8:30 pm by admin

With the ubiquitous Hi-Def Market what it currently is, and the rapid ascendence of UHF (Ultra Hi-Def) 4K emerging, the need and use for video tape, especally standard def video cassettes such as Digi-Beta and Beta SP are on their way to obsolescence. Bring us your broadcast video cassette tapes, for digitizing to file.
We will take your hi-def HDCAM SR, HDCAM or D5 tapes and ingest them into our computer system, and export a new computer file. We can make a self contained quicktime file, which is one file that contains all the video and audio files embedded into one .mov or other type of file for editing on Final Cut Pro, Avid, or Adobe Premiere
We can also cross convert the file to other timecodes such as 59.94, 23.98, 24, or 25. Aspect ratios conversions are also available in 16X9 for full frame, 2.35, 1.85 etc.

We also convert standard definition tapes to file, from Digital Betacam (digi beta) and Betacam SP
L.A Post specializes in digitizing standard def to file. We can also upconvert to hi-def, and cross convert
Between NTSC & PAL
Let us take care of all your television video archiving needs. Give us a call anytime for more Info.

Getting a Deliverables List Completed in Post Production

Posted in All News Posts on November 20th, 2013 8:29 pm by admin

Film makers may be surprised when they are in the process of obtaining a sales agent for distribution of their movies. Often these agents will ask send a “Deliverables” list, which is a list of all the materials they will need in order to try to sell the movie. Sometimes unscrupulous agents will demand that this long list of work be done at their “approved” facility. Often these agents have deals in place with the biggest and most expensive post facilities so that the agent will get something in return for sending all this post work to their facility, the problem is that these deliverable are often so expensive that the film maker will end up with no money left after the work is done, even though they sold the film. If you are a film maker and you run across a sales agent like this, you might be best to continue looking.

If the sales agent is legitimate he will let the film maker pick his post facility, here at L.A. Post we work with such directors and help them to get the best prices on all the work so that the film can get distribution and not cost a fortune for Post Production.

A typical deliverables list (like the most recent one we are working on) will ask for some of the following.

  • A DCP copy of the movie: This is used for digital projection cinema; movie theatres can take a DCP file and use it to project the movie on a theatre sized screen. The DCP file is made from a DPX file which is then converted.
  • A Hi-Def Tape Master This will be a broadcast quality tape that can be played for Television / or studio viewing. Most TV networks today broadcast on Hi-Def tape, usually either a HDCAM SR, or HDCAM The master copy will be laid off from a quicktime file which contains the final edited version of the video and audio of the movie.  Often they will want a 16×9 Full Frame master which is what most movies are shot in, but sometimes they will want a different aspect ratio such as 2.35 letterbox which has narrower format from top to bottom but is wider then full frame so that the very edges of the film can be seen on the video.
  • Digi Beta Down Conversions: These are standard def tapes, usually done in both NTSC (USA broadcast) and PAL (European Broadcast) Formats,  and will include various aspect ratios such as 4X3 Full Frame (1.33), 1.85 Letterbox, 2.35 Letterbox
  • A Quality Control Report, either of the HD Master, or to all tapes created.
  • Blu Ray Masters and/or Dubs (Hi-Def)
  • DVD Masters and/or Dubs (Standard Def)
  • A CCSL Report:  Combined Continuity and Spotting List. This is a List of every action, title, graphic, text and line of dialogue spoken in a movie with In and out time codes for each individual entry.  This is used for various reasons such as dubbing into a new language, subtitling, or captioning.
  • Trailers: A theatrical trailer for the movie either at the end of the master tape, or on a separate tape
  • Audio Stems:  Stems are the building blocks of the final audio track, they contain Separate DM&E (dialogue, music & effects) audio files which are put together to make the audio mix that will be synced up to the Video  on the timeline before being laid off to Tape.

These are the types of requirements that a sales agent or distributor will require and the things that a post-production facility such as L.A. Post will be capable of providing for you.  These often take a significant amount of time to complete so film makers should keep that in mind when planning on the completion of a delivery list.

Editors: Don’t Trust Software Video Scopes in Your Editing Programs

Posted in Post Production Services on June 26th, 2013 12:14 am by admin

When cutting a movie or television show editors use computer programs such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, or Avid. These programs offer a set of video scopes, specifically waveform monitors and vector scopes, which editors can use to measure the luminance and chroma levels of the work they are doing. This can become problematic in that these scopes are not the most accurate and often don’t show the true peaks which leads to shows and movies being sent out with Illegal video levels.

These software based scopes are very rudimentary and are only to be used as a rough guide while editing.  They do not show the luminance signal in millivolts but in percent, so that 100 percent is supposed to be as high as your luminance level can go. Such measurements are not the correct way to verify the signal level.

Broadcast specs call for Luminance levels that go no higher than 700 mV (or millivolts) or below 0 mV; many editors are not aware of this, which can lead to problems.

Software waveform monitors also don’t have the capacity to measure Horizontal or Vertical Blanking. (aka line count) which is an important specification that must be correct. Similarly, I have seen times when chroma over saturation appears in a program that was not caught by the editor using inferior software based vector scopes. Computer editing programs also offer “Broadcast Safe” options that don’t always seem to do the job properly.

The best way to ensure that your levels are correct and to avoid having clients send back work to be redone is to have a Video/Audio Quality Control Check done on the work.  A QC facility will use only the best high quality professional waveform monitors and vector scopes, such as the Leader LV series which is designed for today’s Hi-Def programming. Often a Quality Control Operator will find that the broadcast safe tool on the editing program did not do the job correctly. If the QC was done before the show was put to tape the problems can be fixed (if necessary) using a piece of hardware called a broadcast legalizer. If, however, the edited program was laid off to tape first and the levels are not correct, the program will have to be re-laid using the legalizer resulting in double the cost to the client. If other clones or dubs were made from the master they will have to be redone as well.

The best way to ensure that your final edited project is correct, and to save time and money, is to have a quality control check done on the file, ideally a self-contained quicktime file, before the show is laid off to tape.  You will receive a report that tells you what problems you have and what needs to be fixed before you start the costly video post layoffs and dubs. Fixing these problems first will result in time and money saving for you and your clients.

FTP and File Transfer Sevices For Video Post Production

Posted in Post Production Services on March 26th, 2013 2:32 pm by admin

L.A. Post is located in Los Angeles just minutes from Hollywood and Burbank near Universal Studios, an excellent location for quick local pickup or delivery, or fast response for on site services. However, video production is not confined to any particular geographic area and our global client base relies on our expertise from many thousands of miles away. With our client ftp access and quick service from major delivery companies, files, tapes or hard drives are never far away. In today’s file driven production world the ease of content movement is key to our industry leading response and turnaround times.

We offer ftp transfer and file storage along with backup services. For those with upload capabilities or time constraints, this is the best way to assure the timely delivery of your product. When hard drives or tape projects must be delivered, we will return them with no handling charges when you provide you FEDEX or UPS number. We can return your product to you or forward it to your client for you. We offer free pickup/delivery services to most local locations.

Clients can provide their content in almost any format and through many delivery systems. From your hard drive or file we can create hard copies in most formats. We offer layoff services from file to HDCAM/SR Digital tape, many times creating tapes and performing quality control on them after audio or video post production services. Blu-ray disk services are also available, along with just about any current and many older formats of tape or disk. Services include clones, dubs, standards and format conversions and much more, by the piece or in quantity. Let us distribute your final cut after production and qc. Proof copies or files can be sent for approval negating the need for shuffling and multiple shipping of disks or tapes, saving time and money.

As L.A.’s leading post house we service many large productions and local studios, but we are also available to clients world wide. Smaller local productions can get the same high level services available to our major clients in Hollywood. Contact us any time and let us take care of all you post production needs, big and small.

L.A Post is now available for DCP and DLT file work.

Posted in Post Production Services on March 26th, 2013 2:24 pm by admin

VCTEditor Data files are in the DTL format. We can convert your DTL files to Digital Cinema Projection (DCP) files.

DCP files are used for digital projection in movie theaters and files in DCP format are distributed to many theaters across North American today for projections in their digital cinemas. More and more distributors are calling for DCP as part of the deliverables list that they provide to producers of new movies.

So in addition to all the other video post features available to you from us we can now take care of your DCP. We can convert these files to any usable file format you may need. Please contact us anytime if you have any questions or to set up any work you may need.

Sylvia Massy to Host ASSR Studio Training Event in San Francisco

Posted in Audio Post on November 21st, 2012 12:51 am by admin

Sylvia Massy to Host ASSR Studio Training Event in San Francisco
On December 8, engineer and producer Sylvia Massy—whose credits include multi-Platinum and Grammy Award–winning artists including Tool, System Of A Down, Johny Cash, Prince, and others—will present the first Art & Science of Sound Recording training event at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.

Batch Capture from Sony XDCAM deck

Posted in Video Editing on November 21st, 2012 12:51 am by admin

Batch Capture from Sony XDCAM deck

We're trying  to capture video from a Sony XDCAM XDS-PDW1000 deck via deck control. The deck is controlling fine, we're getting picture but if you try and Batch Capture a selection of clips you get an UNKNOWN  COMMAND ERROR. The deck will digitise on the fly but not in Batch Capture. The Avid / XDCAM pdf suggests you set the deck settings on MC to a HDW1800 or HDWM2000 but this doesn't work. Because we get sports footage from an event on XDCAM and don't necessarily need to digitise all of it it would be really helpful for us to do this. AMA is a real pain and not very accurate when handling such large files. All our other Sony decks (digibeta, hdcam, beta sp) are happy being controlled this way.