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Re: Question for all.
>From your question, I am going on the assumption that you want to do a
transfer of selected takes from your original film and audio material, based
on your offline work, and that your original material has not been cut or
In a transfer session, the audio operator or colorist has to cue the audio
tape deck to the appropriate place before the machines can be locked
together. Having the audio time code numbers in a complete list is the
fastest and most reliable means of doing this. Selected scenes are generally
not transferred in sequence they were shot (you usually transfer the one you
want, then skip a bunch of takes to the next scene), so the audio tape has to
be "cued" for each scene. Telecine suite time is generally too expensive to
spend shuttling back and forth through all your audio reels finding the right
time code numbers.
Time code numbers only exist on the negative if the cameraman used an Aaton
or Arri camera that put them there. And the telecine suite has to have
appropriate readers to recover these time codes before they can be used for
anything. Even with these systems, it is still advisable to supply an audio
time code EDL, for two reasons. One, they are only computers and do not know
in advance where the next take you want to transfer is--particularly when
there are breaks or gaps in the time code on the audio reels (as is usually
the case). Somebody still has to manually cue the tapes up, or at least get
them to the right ballpark, before the systems can take over and work their
magic. It certainly can be done without an audio EDL, but having one
generally speeds things up considerably.
Secondarily, Murphy's Law has not been repealed by all this modern
technology. If somebody didn't set things up right, or if some technical
thing or another goes wrong with the process, you could end up with no time
code off the film, or numbers that don't match what's on the audio tapes.
Should this happen, it is going to be necessary to go back and sync the
material the old-fashioned way, and then you'll be glad you had an audio EDL.
In the end, it would be best to check with the colorist and/or audio person
you're going to work with and find out what they prefer. If your project
isn't that far along yet, you can always go by the old addage that it's
better to go into anything with too much information than not enough!
DuArt Film & Video