Downconverting for Kodak Awards

Avid I am just preparing Gone Fishing for the Kodak Awards. Sadly, the film can only be screened on DigiBeta, which is much lower resolution than the HDCam or 35mm copies we could have used. This is a pragmatic choice on behalf of the festival organisers and Kodak, as not all of the films being screened are on such high quality formats, and it makes it easier for the projectionist if everything is on one tape – press play and forget about it. I understand this, but it’s frustrating, especially as it’s a Kodak award! So Gone Fishing will only be on DigiBeta.

Making the DigiBeta should in theory have been quite easy, but as we shot 24fps, we needed to re-speed the sound and also down-convert the HDCam picture to standard definition. With a budget, all of this would have been easy. And so I have been messing around with file conversions and I hope to do a transfer tomorrow with a friend at a post production facility, somewhat under that radar so to speak.

I have had to pay particular attention to the sound as I needed to make a stereo mix from the six track mix I was given, and also tweak it for a less theatric sound system, by making the quieter sections a little louder. I just can’t assume the sound system in the venues will be top notch, and the last thing we need is the audience not actually hearing the sound properly.

This highlights one of the things I talk about on my courses, that post production kind of never ends, there is always a new version of the film to make up, for some unique event or sale. Nevertheless, I am still very excited about the Kodak awards! Hoorah!

Onward and upward!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author

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