4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2011 10:19 AM by the_wine_snob

    Film Transfers for Premiere Pro Project

    Thomas Beach

      I am about to send off some 16mm original camera neg to a lab for digital transfer.  I intend to use this footage within my Premiere Pro documentary 720P video project.  I was just looking to get any suggestions from those of you who have some experience in such matters.  I don't know if I should be concerned about resolution settings or frame rates etc. as I approach the lab.  The footage is both B-Roll (MOS) as well as sync audio interviews. Any advice is appreciated in advance.





        • 1. Re: Film Transfers for Premiere Pro Project
          Jason Britski

          I assume you are finishing on video as you said it is a video project?


          what are your intended settings for your edit?

          1280 X 720 progressive? 23.98 fps, 25,  or 29.97?


          If you are cutting in 720p then are you transferring the 16mm to HDCAM or SD tape / files?


          I am sure the lab will be asking you what format & what frame rate you want.

          If it is to HD then they can scan it with black bars on the side (pillar boxed) if you want the full image to remain,

          but if you want it to fill the 16X9  frame then they can scan the film to fit, which means they will crop the top & bottom.

          if you are  present for the scan then you can tell them how to crop the footage, but otherwise they can make those choices

          for you when they do the work.


          If you go to Beta, D-Beta, or DVCAM then you would obviously retain the 4;3 ratio.


          I assume you are synching the footage, or is the lab doing that as well?


          Not a bad idea to consult with the lab in regard to all of this.

          Tell them what you intend to do with the footage, how the audio was recorded, etc ... 

          & that will ensure your editing will be trouble free.

          • 2. Re: Film Transfers for Premiere Pro Project
            Thomas Beach Level 1

            Hi Jason,


            Thanks for the response and offers of help.  This is my first dance with NLE andusing CS5 suite, so I'm finding my way as I go with this first project.  I also confess not understanding all the details regarding the relationships between project settings and imported materials such as film transfers.  So I appreciate your help.


            Yes, I am finishing this documentary on video for DVD release.


            My project settings are 23.976, 720x480 (1.2121)


            I would like to avoid the DVCAM transfers in order to avoid the rental expense for a deck and instead transfer to DVD-RAM files.  I can't see any downside to doing it that way.  But if there is a glitch in this choice, I will gladly go with DVCAM tape and just rent a deck for the weekend.  I recorded my sync audio on my 744T via 23.976 48K, so I need to keep the MOS frame rate consistent in the transfers, yes?  Although this too presents no real problems as I can change the headstamp on the audio files to match whatever TC frame rate I want. No, I need to maintain full frame during transfers even though the 16mm footage is 4:3 and the project is 16X9.  So I suppose I would ask for a letterbox transfer and just live with the black bars in the edit, correct?


            Don't understand why going to Beta, D-Beta or DVCAM would automatically retain the 4:3 ratio.


            Yes, I will be synching footage and having the lab do an MOS transfer.


            Yeah, I am about to call the lab and discuss with them.  I just wanted to glean as much knowledge before calling so I could speak intelligently on my needs.  Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the transfer session as I am across the country from them.


            Thanks again, Jason for your help.



            • 3. Re: Film Transfers for Premiere Pro Project
              Jason Britski Level 1



              You are transferring to DVD-RAM files? Have never done that, but it sounds like they will make a QT of the codec with the settings of your choosing?

              Example: Pro Res 422, 720 X 480, 24fps


              For the audio let the lab know exactly how it was recorded & they can best advise what is needed.


              For the edit it sounds like you have a 720p edit that is made up of primarily 720p video? and the 16mm will be introduced in segments, etc?


              not sure i understand the widescreen transfer comment. you can have them make 720 X 480 files as a QT & that will be your entire image.

              or they can make a 16 X 9 QTs (1280 X 720) that will have black bars on the left & right sides, but the image will fill the frame vertically.

              if you letterbox it then it would shrink the image & make it look like a box with black bars on all sides. is that what you want? i assume it isnt,

              but if it is you can retain the larger image in the file & then change the scale in the edit for the clip to make it smaller to do the same thing.

              all depends on your treatment of the footage & how you want it to look.


              as far as the Beta, D-Beta or DVCAM automatically retaining the 4:3 ratio - my mistake.

              i am just used to dealing with those formats as 4:3 & not anamorphic/letterboxed outputs.


              anyway, good luck.

              • 4. Re: Film Transfers for Premiere Pro Project
                the_wine_snob Level 9



                I would look into furnishing the telecine lab with an empty external HDD, instead of writing to DVD-Data discs. I use externals for large file transfer frequently, and have never had an issue.


                Good luck,