Digital Cinema ?!

It is not the first time the this project creates a momentum out of its own and steers to directions I have never thought of.

Today I managed to get a very generous offer from a local cinema. With the idea of  supporting the local movie making community, I was offered to rent a full cinema hall for a local premiere of Ara’s Tale. The price is such, that I feel able to raise enough donations to get this actually financed.

This all comes with a catch, .. of course 🙂

To ensure the best picture and audio I have to deliver the movie as DCP – Digital Image Package, the actual world wide standard for distributing digital cinema content.

Fortunately there are free possibilities to be able to produce these type of digital media. But looking at the whole specifications behind this, I guess that there is a whole new world of things which needs to be handled correctly to get a working DCP movie.

What I would like to ask the community: Is there any knowledge out there, that could give me a good starting point and tips to start into the right direction ?

If you happen to have some experience with this, I am glad for any input you can provide.


The Score is Final

Phil has delivered the final score for Ara’s Tale.

Over 8 minutes of original soundtrack, fitting perfectly to, and enhancing the visuals by a huge amount.

For me the score is fantastic. Phil and I have both a very similar emotional response to the images and the whole mood. That means working with Phil on the score was a perfect match, sometimes even eerie.

There is one part especially, complimenting the climax of the movie, where when I received the first proposal, I just sat there, totally stunned. It was like watching a completely new movie.

My deepest respect and gratitude goes to Phil for enriching the movie with such a beautiful score.

Now, that only leaves the sound fx to be finished, which Mikkel is very hard working on. And looking at the work he has already done for the movie, I am very excited to hear the remaining bits. This will take yet some more weeks though.

That also means, that the long waiting will be over comparably soon …

What are these white pixels … ?

What white pixels ?

These, there, flickering at the cliff wall !

Ummhh …

… I do not know why this has slipped through my countless screenings, but here they were. Full bright white, sometimes colorful, single hot pixels.

What follows now is an anecdote, highlighting the various adventures you sometimes face, when dealing with problems which seem so trivial at first sight. It is almost nostalgic, as these problem patterns tended to appear throughout the whole production and they persist right to the end 🙂

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Ara’s Song – The Recording Session

This weekend we managed to do the recording with Julia for Ara’s Song.

Thanks to my friend Michael Raich, who generously offered his small multimedia room for this purpose.

The whole recording took about 2 hours for the 1 minute song.

The image above show Julia and me discussing some rhythmically demanding parts.

I have now about 10 full takes of this song and will clean it up a bit before putting it forward to Mikkel and Phil for further processing 🙂

What I have now to do is the still missing lip syncing for Ara’s Song. After this I will power up the render machine for a (hopefully) last time for this movie.


Colors, Colors …

Finally all render/compositing jobs are done and I have now the full 1080p footage ready.

I still do have the intermediate multilayer renderpasses for each shot, in case there is the need to revisit some compositing tasks. The storage demand is quite huge for these (a single frame typically has ~140MB) , but it already saved me a lot of time and trouble. I guess I will only delete them once the movie is eventually released 🙂

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Behind the Scenes

This is one of the rare shots from our shooting during production 😉

The render machine is running and purring and I already have 80% of the movie in 1080p rendered out. As of this writing the remaining render time will be ~48hrs.

During the course of this final rendering, all sorts of little nasty and quite unexpected problems surfaced, which forced me to tweak and investigate to force the render to be what I wanted it to be.

Continue reading “Behind the Scenes”