True that the Digital Intermediate process is primarily associated with coloring, look and finish of film, but the process has a bounty of other benefits that are now slowly being explored by Indian post houses.
Pixion, one of India`s leading film and video post houses has just completed the entire digital post for the feature ‘Don’ that’s running to packed houses for the fourth week – in India as well as the US, UK, Gulf and Far East.
Pixion`s contribution to Don was the total Digital Intermediate process – and was Done all the way without out-sourcing any part of it – some of the visual FX, all video masters, Internet movies, and DVD authoring. The entire facility at Pixion was brought to bear, to complete the job within the stipulated schedule of a Diwali/Id release. This, in spite of last minute changes to the edit, even after the film printing had begun.
Pixion Technical Head Neil Sadwelkar shared with AnimationXpress.com that innovative processes were followed throughout the entire DI process. “A facility-wide calibration system ensured all stations working on Don were delivering the same colors. The system was tweaked and kept going by Paul Byrne, Film Head at Pixion and also the colorist for Don. This gave flexibility to the type and number of systems used on the film”
“After completion, when the negatives were recorded out – three negatives were recorded out for the 800-odd prints of Don – and delivered to the lab, the rest of the deliverables were created with the digital files themselves. This is probably a first in India. Most DI houses telecine the recorded negative either before or after making prints. Either way this does not yield as good copies as direct conversion since the negative may be scratched or dirty. Besides, this defeats the entire purpose of DI” he added.
The studio has further shared that DCinema masters were delivered on D-5 made from the DI digital files and the files themselves were delivered `as is` Real Image for their Qube Cinema initiative.
“Pixion`s DI process results in a clean `one printer setting` negative, colour correction separately for video deliverables is a thing of the past. This is also a first in India” remarked Sadwelkar.
The soon-to-be-released DVD of Don will also be made from DI digital files. Here too, generally this is a process that is Done by conventional telecine. And that too after the negative has been used to make hundreds of prints resulting in a DVD that is often dirty and at times quite different in colour from the original theatrical release. The Don DVDs are to be created from the original DI files and this practice while quite common in the US & Europe is quite new in India.
“In a fiercely competitive market, with equipment costs running into tens of millions of dollars, innovative workflows and optimum use of resources can mean the difference between being successful and being around. It is this area that Pixion looks to explore in its quest for being India`s top, truly all-digital, international post facility – the chase continues” concluded Sadwelkar.