WHAT SPECS SHOULD MY SOURCE FILE BE?
PICTURE: We prefer whichever flavor of ProRes (422 or 4444) or DNxHD/HR you mastered your movie in. If you finished in 4K or 2K, we want that. Movies delivered in 1080p HD will require a mild blow-up to 2K. Bottom line, the best source would be a ProRes .mov file with the audio built into it for the sake of sync.
FRAMERATE: 23.976 or 24 FPS
AUDIO: A six-channel 5.1 mix is preferred but stereo will suffice. Audio should be embedded in the QuickTime file with picture or delivered as individual mono WAVs that match picture length exactly. Audio should be 24 bit, 48kHz and laid out as follows: L R C LFE Ls Rs.
SUBTITLES: If you have subtitles on your movie, make sure they are hardcoded to picture, and make sure they conform to ISDCF standards.
START/END FRAME: Make sure that your source materials don't start on the first frame of picture. It is important to have AT LEAST two frames of black before and after picture. More is fine, but at least two frames so we don't start/end on-picture.
HOW LONG DOES THE DCP WORK TAKE?
Once your source file is sent our way, the work takes about 2-3 days to complete and ship your way. Updates are sent as the process moves along to ensure you're kept in the loop.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CRU DRIVE AND A USB DRIVE?
The standard CRU drive comes packed in a pelican case and is designed to slot directly into the cinema server. Your DCP will ingest much faster with a CRU drive and also gives the projectionist the option to play directly from the drive.
USB drives lack these advantages but are less expensive and more convenient to transport, so we tend to reserve them for short form projects.
CRU DRIVE IN PELICAN CASE
USB DRIVE IN TRAVEL CASE
DO YOU CHECK THE DCP FOR PROBLEMS?
We will verify an accurate conversion of your source’s image to the XYZ color space and confirm that your audio plays identically to your source. While we do often catch errors within the content of a movie (errant black frames, soft sync, etc), and will alert you to this, no one will know your movie as intimately as you do. So it is always recommended that you review your master export before sending it our way.
WHAT IF I NEED MORE THAN ONE DCP OF MY MOVIE?
Extra copies/clones of a DCP are available for the cost of the drive setup.
$50 for shorts (Portable USB) or $250 (CRU Setup) + shipping.
WHAT IF I NEED MORE COPIES OF MY DCP AT A LATER DATE?
The Archetype Company keeps your DCP archived for at least six months. Within that time, just email us and we can setup your DCP to be sent out ASAP.
WHAT IF I UPDATED MY MOVIE? CAN YOU UPDATE THE DCP?
This is taken on a case by case basis. New audio mixes are able to be swapped out as long as the duration of the movie hasn’t changed. Any changes that affect the whole movie, or any new cut that changes the duration of the movie, requires an entirely new DCP conversion. Get in touch, we will be happy to help out with a recreation of your DCP at a discounted rate.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 1080p, 2K, and 4K?
4K and 2K are cinema standards that can have two aspect ratios: Flat (1.85:1) or Scope (2.39:1). 1080p is a broadcast standard in the 16×9 aspect ratio. This chart shows the differences in size/resolution.
Most venues still project exclusively in 2K. However, if you shot, edited, and finished in 4K, then we recommend that you stick with 4K for your DCP creation. That way you'll be able to screen in 4K for the venues that provide 4K exhibition, and for the venues that are 2K-only, the projector will downscale the 4K DCP to 2K perfectly for screening purposes.
If you have any additional questions about the process, just let us know!