Tuesday, March 20, 2007

To HD or not to HD.

All this talk about the lab reminded me of something I've been meaning to write about -- making a decision on video format. These days, there are two basic options: standard definition and high definition.

From a resolution standpoint, high definition is the obvious way to go -- 1080 lines of resolution versus 486 lines of resolution for standard def. With the new high def home formats available (HD DVD and Blu-ray), there's the posibility that Interplanetary might be released in high def one day, and it's easy enough to downconvert a high def image to create a standard def DVD. The downside is cost -- a high def transfer is about twice as expensive as a standard def transfer.

Since we're counting every penny, I decided I'd let the marketplace decide. If having a high def master of Interplanetary would make it easier to find a distribution deal, I figure it would be money well spent. I contacted an acquaintance who is a producer's rep (someone who helps filmmakers market and sell their movies), and she said that a high def master would, indeed, make the movie easier to sell. So that's the way we're going.

One additional cool thing about the high def transfer -- we're able to bypass tape and go straight to computer disk. High def tapes are expensive, and I don't have a high def VTR, so the direct-to-disk route is relatively cost-effective and convenient.


Karl said...

I have a question if I might.

Do you go to Digi-Beta and then from that do you digitize from that, (For NL editing) or do you HD first, down-convert to Digi-beta and then digitize that.

Just curious. It's a great blog, and I'm wishing you much success.

Chance Shirley said...

Actually, I haven't got the workflow totally figured out yet. At the moment, I'm considering just doing an online edit of the HD files. They're in the DVCPro HD format, which is pretty easy to work with, even on my old Mac G4.

If that proves too clunky, I'll make SD DV copies of the HD files and do an offline edit using those.

Let me know if that answers your question. Glad to hear you're enjoying the blog.

Karl said...

That explains it. Thanks! Are you taking the stills for the blog from the DVCPro? They look great.

Chance Shirley said...

The big ol' stills (1920 x 1080) from the movie that I've posted to the blog are, indeed, from the DVCPro HD files. I think they look even better in motion.