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...Broadcast in HDTV...News you would rather not hear.

Dave said:
>"The King of Queens" shoots Friday night on 35mm three perf film with four
>cameras. The film is mastered in Complete Post's TC-2 on the Philip's

This brings up an interesting point about a film format which most of 
us prefer to forget about: 3-perf. The reasons for this preference 
revolve primarily about two issues. On an URSA type machine, three 
perf often meant a near single-line scan on a very expensive tube. 
Who among us likes to have that situation for very long?

The second issue is that 3-perf is not supported per se by either 
DaVinci or TLC (and I would guess Pogle), and involves some degree of 
complexity with an Evertz (or Aaton, presumably) keykode system, 
getting into repeating 3-foot sequences of 21, 21 and 22 frames. Yuk!
The Metaspeed bolt-on for the URSA improved things to a great degree 
by synthesizing the biphase pulses from a standard 4-perf gate used 
in 3-perf, to avoid having to purchase another expensive gate just 
for this format. It also fools the color correction and editing 
computers into at least being able to correct and edit, albeit with 
incorrect calculations about frames & feet.

The new generation of machines, Spirit and C-Reality, are of course 
designed for 3-perf from the ground-up, so I dont really expect any 
expensive consumable problems running 3-perf on these machines. 
Therefore, most of the objection about doing 3-perf just went away.

Consider this: our industry is moving inexorably towards a 1.77:1 
(16x9) transmitted image. I've seen postings from Mike Most, among 
others, who quite rightly point out that out of a 4:3 image on film, 
for many jobs, only the 1.77:1 framing is used. This is the "common 
sides" approach, losing the top and bottom of the frame. As Mike and 
others also point out, the 4:3 extraction is a part of that 16x9 
image, so what is the point of shooting the 4:3 to start with?

Result: a 3-perf image is close to 16x9, so why not shoot on that 
format, and avoid wasting film. This is not going to be pleasant for 
many of the TIGrs to hear, but expect 3-perf useage to increase with 
increasing HDTV applications.

What this means is that DaVinci and others are going to have to get 
their stuff together to support 3-perf operation properly, and we as 
telecine people are going to have to get to grips with the 
complexities of 3-perf keykode. Perhaps its time for Kodak to 
re-evaluate where the Kode is put on the film?

I invite informed discussion about this topic on the TIG, and I think 
we as an industry need to come up with creative solutions, which 
would be acceptable to our manufacturer people, who seem to be 
somewhat overwhelmed by the HD situation already, (just got a DaVinci 
2K over the weekend, so know all about this!).

My 5 cents' worth would be to put keykode every 12 frames, as being 
the lowest common multiple, perhaps on the other side of the film?

OK go ahead, shoot me down.

Best to all as usual

Mike Orton

Thanks to VAS Group for support in 1999
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