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Re: Solution for really accurate sync?

At 10:34 PM 12/13/97 EST, Jim Erkson wrote:
>But the demands of maintaining sync to within a field over the course of even
>a single hour are very great. I see frequent updates from a common source as
>a solution to this problem--updates that are hands off and automatic.
Absolutely... IMHO those slates should be wired to each other and the camera,
and should shut down automatically if disconnected. I also realize that this 
may be impractical on certain shoots, which is why I suggested GPS locking as
an alternative. Of course a radio link from a reliable local reference would 
work just as well if implemented properly.

Sync problems like this trickle down the post-production chain and arise
in later stages even after Telecine operators have dealt with them in the
first instance. Some years ago, I designed a workstation for audio post 
work which was capable of re-synchronizing the original Nagra tapes to
the "finished" picture. That experience led me through the minefield of
mangled EDLs, missing, drifting, or just plain *different* sync, etc.

Needless to say, I didn't make a lot of friends with the folks upstream 
when I complained about the problems I found. At the time, however, I
did find a few people who were battling this issue. I rememeber speaking
with Larry Blake, who had just finished _Sex, Lies, and Videotape_, about
the issues involved in recording dialog on DAT and shepherding the film
through the post-production process. He has published several articles
on that experience which speak for themselves.

More recently, I have had several conversations with dialog editors who
are still fighting the same battles ten years later. Despite the increasing
utilization of timecode in the field, the original timecode is frequently
lost in the transfer or editing process before the material gets to audio
post. When the editor wants to go back for alternate takes or handles,
they are flying blind with the daily reels and frequently have to reconstruct
chronologs by hand. Once they have found the needed take, they have to
deal with whatever drift or lockup issues (that were originally solved in
telecine) all over again.

Obviously there is still quite a bit of work to be done in this area. 

>"Documentary crews" vs."pro crews?"  watch out for some flaming over that
Oops... Let me apologize right here before the flames start. That was a 
careless comment, and I didn't mean to impugn the professionalism of those
who make documentary films. That was an incorrect and unfortunate choice
of words on my part.

Bill (sync seeker) Elswick

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