If you're delivering in DVCAM, you may as well just export to a QuickTime DV file. Since you mentioned 720p, I'm assuming you shot 720p/24pN, and edited in a matching sequence. Select QuickTime as your Format, select the NTSC DV Widescreen 24p preset, and apply a crop of 8 pixels to the top and bottom of the source to eliminate the black bars. You'll probably want to check the Maximum Render Quality option; it'll take longer but give better results. The resulting MOV will import directly into FCP and output to DVCAM tape without issue.
Thanks, Colin. I feel like every time I've tried to export a Quicktime in the past it's come out either squashed or elongated; always misshapen. Is there something I'm doing wrong? I've always been under the general impression that Premiere and Quicktime didn't play nice.
I feel like every time I've tried to export a Quicktime in the past it's come out either squashed or elongated; always misshapen. Is there something I'm doing wrong?
Well, it depends on whether you're submitting your movie as widescreen anamorphic (squashed/squished/squeezed), widescreen-in-a-letterbox, or as a center crop or extract. Any distortion you saw was probably due to the fact that QuickTime Player (if that's what you were using for playback) doesn't typically read anamorphic flags well.
Again, I'm assuming that you were working in an HD sequence--that is, widescreen--and you want to preserve that aspect ratio. Since you're going to DV(CAM), that can only be one thing: 720x480, 29.97LFF (I'm of course referring to NTSC Land here, which is where I presume you're residing). If you want to preserve the widescreen ratio, you need to use pixels with a PAR for widescreen; the NTSC DV Widescreen preset will set this up. You'll keep that 720x480 squeezed image (also known as Full Height Anamorphic) right through to the DVCAM tape; it'll then be up to playback deck and projection to properly scale that to a widescreen projection.
You might want to check with the submission details to make sure they can accept this, but that's how all DV/SD widescreen video is recorded--even DVDs work the same way.
QuickTime works fine in Premiere, even on a PC; what you probably read was a lot of misinformation based on no actual practice. Since FCP is QuickTime native, anyway (and a lot more limited in formats than Premiere is), your best bet is to feed it what it likes.