outputting final cut to digibeta

i needed to get my film on digibeta for the exhibition copy of the newport beach film festival. i called one place and it would have cost about $200 – $300, plus $60 for the actual digibeta tape itself.

luckily a friend of mine works at an animation studio and had access to their digibeta deck, and offered to output it for me. great! except i’ve never done it before, so we ran into some issues.

i used final cut on my imac, but their company has no macs, only windows machines. my friend said i needed to get her the files as an image sequence plus a wav file to make sure they could read my files.

to recap, i shot on the hvx200 at 24p, 960 x 720. so first i had to export it at 720×480 for the digibeta. i shot 16:9, so i exported it at 4:3 in letterbox just to make sure it would play properly without worrying about anamorphic squeeze or anything.

she assembled the files in their computer and was ready to output to tape but the audio wasn’t syncing with the image. that’s when i realized i exported at 24 fps, instead of 29.97 fps. i thought the software or something would automatically convert, but no, i was wrong. so i had to re-export all the frames and audio at 29.97. hopefully that’ll work and then i can send off the exhibition copy.

at least all of this was ntsc. if i had to convert it to pal or anything else, my head might have exploded.

hopefully i learned some stuff for next time. or i might just skip it all and pay someone else to do it.

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