A TVC is being shot next week in the US for the US and Australian markets.
Most of the TVC is what the US will finish. The Australian crew will be shooting replacement shots for a couple of scenes. The scenes are all sync sound.
I have lots of questions:
If I’m given the US master, what frame rate will it typically come in at? 30fps.???
Is it reasonable to ask for a 25fps master?
If I’m given one of those weird 29.976. blablabla or 30fps rates do I just convert it and how would be the best way.
Should the Australian crew shoot at the same frame rate as whatever they supply the master as. I edit that into the US master then frame rate convert the whole spot?
Thanks in advance for any advise. Converting frames rates scare me.
There is an art-from to proper frame rate conversion.
Definitely would be easier to control by having all material shot at the same rate (i.e. AU material also at 29.97) and then convert the final at the end. Less room for error, and more choices for tools to do it.
I’m assuming that what you will be doing will go to the Australian market. We very rarely shoot at anything but 23.98 for US spots. I would shoot the spot at 23.98 in US, have them send the timeline with handles to Oz where you would shoot 25 fps, add a frame per second from the handles to the US shots and incorporate the Australian footage into that. Lip sync shouldn’t drift appreciably enough in any one of the US shots for anyone to notice.
All of my U.S. TVC work for the last 10 years has been 23.98 based. There are directors that like to shoot double or triple that rate for slo-mo but thats only for MOS shots. Your Australia crew should do the same rate.
The trick here is to be supremely confident in what you ask for. Stand your ground and don’t waver. There will be people who will doubt you and think that they know how it should be done if they sense any second guessing yourself then you will loose the power to force this how you need it to be.
How I would do this is get everything shot in the US at 24fps (23.98). Then when it comes to the two formats get the editor to cut the US commercial @ 24fps (23.98) so a 30s=720fr
The AUS commercial just gets cut slightly longer. 30s=750fr
The difference between footage played at 24fps vs footage played at 25fps is so negligible that it isn’t worth doing any physical conversion. You just interpret the footage as 25ps or just cut a 30s commercial that lasts 750fr
Sound will need to make two mixes done specifically for your two different edits.
I usually run with the two edits. One 24fps (23.98) and one 25fps using the exact same footage.
If they ask for a 3:2 pull-down on your 23.98 footage ask then to check the delivery specs again but even so that is a very easy conversion.
Just because they may want a 3:2 pulldown in the US version (which I didn’t even need to do in SD’s much less HD version) that doesn’t mean the one they deliver to you needs to be that way. I wouldn’t get the Aussies to shoot at 23.98 because you will then need to convert the whole spot to 25 for broadcast. @PlaceYourBetts seems to have said it a bit more succinctly than I.
What’s vitally important is that you have access to the handles of the 23.98 footage.
Very well said Richard. I was just asked this same question but for delivery in US and filming in EU so it was the same question but 23.98 vs 25 and I came to the same conclusions as you so thanks for making me feel good!
Thanks for the input so far. @ytf @PlaceYourBetts @allklier @bryanb
The US spot will be edited and finished in the US and my agency are assuming at this stage they will be given the textless tvc for us to drop into.
I also found out yesterday that they maybe shooting with in camera wipes. ie action crossing frame to wipe to the next shot. (nothing like a bit of roto wont fix right? )
One thing I’m quite not understanding (here comes the knob question). If the US are shooting at 23.998 (24) then do you convert to 30 for broadcast on all your spots?
The trafficking houses (Extreme Reach, etc) all accept 23.98 masters and do the pulldown insertion on their end, yes.
I personally do not make conversions for spots that go to broadcast. I deliver to the traffic company a 23.976 master. What they do after that I don’t know, but I assume they make it 59.94 with 29.97 timecode. I have not mastered a spot at 30 in YEARS, so I would expect that whomever is mastering these spots in the US should be able to deliver at 23.976. If it were me, I would make you an international version at 25 without hesitation. It takes me about 15 minutes tops, but it is impossible if you lose the handles since you need to add frames to do it properly.
It also seems that the landscape is shifting. We all assume TV must be 29.97, though with the streamers it seems to be shifting. I just did a quick poll in our colorist group what people are delivering directly to the networks (where you don’t go through an intermediary). It seems to break down between older networks and newer.
PBS, ESPN, ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX are 29.97 or 59.94. Others do take 23.98. And some do take both.
I would love that too but do you think I could insist on it?
The Au production company will be shooting with Red and some canon R series cameras. Is there a difference in them setting up their cameras for 23.98 or 24 or is that the same thing?
I would try. Or at least request the footage so you can re-conform with handles
red should should 23.98. Technically it is not the same as 24. I can’t speak for Canon, although I assume the same
You have to check each camera spec separately. It’s not the same speed, though there cameras that label it 24 in the menu and actually do 23.98.
Just shoot the same as USA version.
Master at that frame rate then standards convert.
I do this all the time in the UK using pixels strings.
$2 and change for a 30 Second ad using the tachyon engine which is the one content agent used for tv shows for many major broadcasters.
I deliver masters to clearcast, adstream and arpp and they all pass without comment. Good enough for me.
Thanks @mikeparsons that’s good to know.
Have you ever used their service to convert 23.98p to 25p? I frequently have to do that conversion without the benefit of shot handles.
If they’re able to properly convert (no dupe frames) a :30 for under $3 then this could be a worthwhile tool!
Yep.all.the time. Just did one for France last night it’s as good as I’ve seen for conversion.