Festival Entry Discs & Files for Film Makers

By | 31st August 2014

Film crew in a bar

Behind the scenes on the set of Essential Travel by Paul Bridges.

The specification for film festival submission entries, especially overseas events, has challenged some independent film producers for as far back as I can remember. In the tape days Digital Betacam replaced Betacam SP as the quality format of choice. The trouble was that it was very expensive to work with these broadcast quality tapes so you either needed to call in favours or pay a substantial fee to a dubbing facility to have a single copy of your film. An NTSC version for the American or Japanese festival entries would send the cost skywards.

Your HD Films on Blu-ray Disc

Thankfully things have moved on and you can sometimes find that a digital submission service such as Withoutabox makes the process much easier if you know how to make the required file format. Many festivals are accepting Blu-ray disc or DVD.  Most people can find a way to make DVDs themselves but if you want to maintain the quality of your HD production then you’ll need to send a Blu-ray disc. Although technically it’s not much more difficult to make a Blu-ray disc than a DVD the lack of BD writers and a limited selection of authoring software can present a stumbling block.

Here at Manchester Video we have many years of experience producing discs and files for independent producers. We make DVD and Blu-ray discs for submissions and screener versions. Most festivals publish a specification that shows the formats they accept. This will sometimes state a frame rate or video standard such as NTSC that they expect. We make sure that the discs or files we make for you fit the criteria required.

Our Pricing for Indie Film Producers

Promotional poster for Essential Travel movie

We don’t charge a premium for standards conversion or short runs. At the time of writing a standard encode from ProRes to Blu-ray is £20.00 including VAT. We print the disc surface with the details you require – usually title, running time, frame rate and the director’s name and/or contact details. Most of the indie producers we deal with are repeat customers. Sometimes they just need a single disc but we’ll often make sets of discs in various formats DVD PAL, DVD NTSC and a 24p Blu-ray for distribution and competition entries worldwide.

Our customers bring their finished projects to us in all sorts of formats – on hard drives, USB sticks or even video tape. We can handle most video files including all flavours of Apple ProRes, Blackmagic MJPEG and Uncompressed, Matrox AVI and Avid DnX HD. We accept HDV tapes recorded in 1080i and can upscale from DVCAM. If you’re not sure what to do give us a call or drop us a line via the contact form – we’ll listen and do our best to help.

Our thanks to local film director Paul Bridges for use of the behind the scenes photo and movie poster. Essential Travel was partly filmed in our local pub The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn – Officially the longest pub name in Britain.

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