This year I converted all films that was not 35 mm or DCPs at the Films from the North 2011 section at TromsÃ¸ International Film Festival 2011 to DCPs. In total I made 33 DCPs (about 10 hours) in two weeks. I was also responsible for screening the DCPs at the film festival. I checked the sound level on each DCP in the cinema theatre and wrote down what level they should be played back at. I also wrote down what audio preset should be used (5.1 or 2.0 with Pro Logic decoding). If you are converting to the DCP format for screenings where you will not be present I recommend using standard cinema level 5.1 sound mixes.
Here are some tips if you are thinking about converting a film festival programme to DCPs:
- I recommend a speedy jpeg 2000 encoder like the one included in Fraunhofer Easydcp.
- I recommend using batch processesing when making DCPs of short films, I used Fraunhofer Easydcp + to make 1-5 DCPs each night.
- Have a tested worfklow before the festival films arrives. It must cover both interlaced and progressive material. Standard definition and high definition. Stereo and 5,1 sound. Material that has subtitles outside the safe zone and material that does not use a standard resolution. . .
- Use different quality control stages, I recommend two computer screens so you can look at the material fullscreen 1:1 . I recommend using the RGB parade scope in Apple Color/Resolve to check how the source is color corrected/graded. I recommend checking the DCPs in a movie theatre, preferably the screen you will screen the film at or one that is suited.
- Find out how much the picture is cropped at the theatre where the films are screened. Also check for a 1920×1080 1.77 preset.
- If using 25 fps or 30 fps DCPs, check if they work in the theatre that will be screening the films.
- If using DCPs with stereo sound make sure the theatre has Dolby Pro Logic 1 or 2 decoding or something similar to get the speech in the center channel. If a stereo soundtrack is played in stereo everyone on the right side of the screen will hear speech coming from the right and those one the left will hear it coming from the left.
- In total I made 33 DCPs (about 10 hours) in two weeks. I always had 1-5 DCPs being made each night that I tested the next day. I could convert 1,5 hours from one day to the next with easydcp + on a quad core computer. Some people uploaded their films as Prores quicktime to a FTP server or used Filemail Corporate instead of delivering on Digibeta or HDCam. This helped speed things up.