Blog

Random Video Freeze Frames in Movie or Film Video Due To Conversion Error

QC Central
100% Film & Television Quality Control & Post
We'll give you a great deal
323-316-8298            qccentral@gmail.com

Random Video Freeze Frames in Movie

Yesterday at QC Central, we were doing a QC report for a movie on a UHD SDR Pro-Res File. I immediately noticed a slightly choppy motion to the action. As an inspection, I started going frame by frame though the video. On the 4th frame the video froze, meaning it was the exact same frame as the previous frame, this is known as a freeze frame.

Sometimes a freeze frame will occur as a one off occurrence, in which the frozen frame only happens once. Other times what appears to be random freeze frames will occur, but they will often come in a pattern. Sometimes there will be one freeze frame every 4th or 5th frame. There might also be freeze frames that appear as 3:2 pull down configuration in which there will be 3 frames of action followed by 2 freeze frames.

These random or patterned freeze frames usually occur due to what is known as conversion error. When this situation occurs, it is usually from a video that was converted from a different time code. Distributors or networks will often demand a specific time code for the project, often 23.976 frames per second. If the footage was shot in a different time code (or if different cameras on the shoot were shooting at different time codes) the footage will have to be converted.

The Freeze frames happen during the conversion when a software based conversion is used. (such as a computer editing program.) In order to do time code conversions properly, a hardware conversion must be performed using equipment that most post facilities possess. The two main brands are the Teranex, or the Alchemist. These are also available for purchase.

What to do?

If your QC Report is rejected for freeze frames and they must be fixed, the video will have to be re-converted using a hardware conversion. This type of conversion will remove the random freeze frames that were induced in the initial conversion. Please contact us if you would like more information about Random Video Freeze Frames in Movie. We are also available for consultation on any other Post questions you may have.

QC Central Announces New Prices for UHD Quality Control Reports (same as HD)

QC Central
100% Film & Television Quality Control & Post
We'll give you a great deal
323-316-8298            qccentral@gmail.com
Check out our Home page Here

QC Central has changed it’s price structure for UHD (Ultra Hi-Def AKA 4K) Quality Control Reports. Previously UHD has been priced higher than HD QC’s as is also the case throughout the industry. We are now pricing the UHD/4K work at the same rate as our Hi-Def services. A 3 pass QC (video, stereo mix, stereo M&E mix, & 5.1 mix) of a 90 minute feature will be $900. That comes with our usual 1-2 day turnaround time, and my 30 years experience in the Post Production Industry. All other run times and configurations will be priced accordingly. Please contact us anytime with any questions or for more details. You can see our Rate Card here.

QC Central is a full service Television and Film Post Production company that specializes in Quality Control Reports. We have been in business since 2007.

Rick Recco Owner of QC Central Celebrates 30 Years in The Business

This month marks my 30 year anniversary in the Television and Film Post Production Industry. It was back in October 1990, that I started working in the technical end of the business. I had a short but profitable stint in TV advertising before starting at MTV in N.Y. Back then we were running live on-air with standard-def one inch open reel tape. I worked a graveyard shift at MTV’s Network Operations Center for over 3 years.

In 1996 I moved to Los Angeles and began working in the L.A. Post house scene, which I did for 13 years. In those years there were many post facilities around the city that slowly got bought out by other companies which were bought out by still other companies until only a few were left; computerization, and automation only hastened the situation.

In 2007 I decided to go on my own and started QC Central. I was able to use my skills in post, sales, and web design to get it off the ground. 13 years later (another upcoming anniversary) we are still here. I am still working with clients to help them with all of their QC, finishing & other post needs. If I can help you or your business please contact me. I’d like to thank everyone who helped me along the way to get where we are today, and hope to continue for a long time to come.

Rick Recco
QC Central

The Importance of Digitizing and Archiving Old Video & Audio Tape

Universal Studios Fire Damage Coverup

I read an interesting story the other day in The New York Times Called The Day The Music Burned It was all about the Fire that happened in a storage unit on the lot at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

Back in 2008 The warehouse that burned to the ground held a tape vault with hundreds if not thousands of tapes of old TV shows, as well as the master recordings of some of the most well-known musicians and bands in the history of recorded entertainment.
Most of The TV shows were replaceable as they usually have backup copies that are stored in another location that just need to be re-dubbed.

In the case of analogue recordings the new tapes will have a “Generation of Loss” which will make them look and sound not quite as good as the original. Since the onset of the digital age, this is no longer a problem as digital recordings use a computer model of 1’s and 0’s which mean no analogue hiss therefore it is possible to dub from dubs for generations with no signal loss.

Here at QC Central we did Quality Control reports for a whole series that had to re-dubbed from tapes stored in Atlanta. The production company wanted to know that the new tapes were still suitable for air, so they called on us to do the QC Reports.

The bigger problem on that day of the Universal warehouse burned was the loss of the Master recordings of musicians such as Buddy Holly, John Coltrane, Neil Diamond, Elton John, and so many more. These Master recordings are often the multi-track tapes from the original studio sessions. These are the tapes they use any time an album is re-mastered, as when new technology makes it possible to make the original sound even better, or whenever they want to make a new copy with the highest audio fidelity. Once the masters are gone, the only way to re-create the music is to dub it from some often very old source that will not have the sonic integrity of the original masters. Many of these masters shockingly did not even have tape backups, and are now gone forever.

The importance of digitizing and archiving old tape and film is critical. All video and audio tape decays over time. If you have ever watched on old VHS tape you can see that the picture quality is not nearly what it once was; once music or video is converted to a digital file the degrading of quality ends, the oproduct can now be stored indefinitely with no loss to video or audio quality. Often time tape vaults are filled with boxes of old tapes that have been mislabeled, (or never labeled at all) or recorded over, and what is actually on the tapes has been lost to time, this underscores the importance of archiving of old materials.

Here at QC Central we can digitize any type of video or audio tape. We can also Archive, re-arrange, and re-label. We have worked on old TV shows in the past transferring obsolete tape formats to digital files that will last forever. If you would like information about this or any service we offer please contact us anytime.

Game of Thrones Starbucks Coffee Cup QC Fail.

How did this cup end up in an episode of Game of Thrones?

If you are alive in America you know doubt know about the HBO Show Game of Thrones, whether you watch it or not. It is by far the most popular show in all of Televisionland, and with the final season upon us, the hype has reached peak hysteria.

If you read stories on the internet, have twitter, Facebook, Instagram, read the papers, watch TV or listen to the radio than you undoubtedly heard about the Game of Thrones Starbuck Coffee cup fail. The show takes place hundreds of years ago back in medieval times, yet somehow a Coffee cup resembling one sold by the Giant Corporation Starbucks appeared in an episode. As the owner of QC Central, a Film Quality Control facility I wondered how that could happen.

First of all if this show had a film QC done by QC Central, this mistake of epic proportions would never have occurred. We inspect every inch of a show from head to tail, for any technical anomalies; things like lighting and coloring, audio levels, and quality, and many other things a network needs to have approved before a show goes to air. Other things we look for in QC are continuity errors and things that are out of place, like a 21st century coffee cup in a show that takes place centuries earlier.

Whoever was responsible for the quality control of this Game of Thrones episode failed miserably, but it wasn’t just the QC department that would get the blame, (though they are the last line a defense, kind of like a goalie in Soccer or Hockey) that glaring error would have slipped by a dozen other sets of eyes that should have caught it. The Cameraman should have noticed the cup, so should the on-set assistants, the prop manager, the director of photography, the person in charge of dailies, the editor, the colorist, the post production manager, the director himself and finally the Quality Control team which usually includes several different QC operators seeing the same show.

Once again the question is how do that many people miss such an obvious error? My guess would be that it was no “error” at all. Even though there was no actual company name visible on the cup the media ran with it as a Starbucks cup, just like the marketing department probably knew they would. This is just another product placement for pay taken to ridiculous levels. Starbucks gets ‘free’ press, as if they need it. Like the man said: “There is no bad publicity” even if it means you look like you messed up big time. Is this what really happened? Probably but maybe everyone involved with that show did fail. To make sure your show doesn’t, call QC Central for all your Film QC / TV quality control report needs.

A Message to Filmmakers Regarding Sales Agents & Distribution

As the owner of a video and film post-production quality control facility, whose specialty is film and movie quality control I’ve seen countless independent filmmakers get hit with post-production and distribution-related surprises that can derail their movie’s release and add unexpected, unmanageable costs to their budget. It’s hard to witness someone who has given years of their labor to a project have to put it on a shelf because they can’t afford the cost in time or money that it takes to get their film through post and QC to their distributor’s satisfaction. But I see it all the time.
Here is how it too often goes:
I get a call from a filmmaker who needs a quality control report or other post-production work for their film. I consult with them on how the process works and quote a price, with which they are usually quite happy, and we agree to begin the work. The next day they call me back to tell me that their distribution company has rejected their plans – they will only allow “their vendors” to do the QC. “Their vendors” all charge twice as much money as my company, but the filmmaker has no choice but to pay as they have signed a deal that they cannot get out of. The trouble doesn’t end there, because when the filmmaker finally gets the report back (with the turnaround schedule much longer than I would have provided) it is several pages long listing many problems and concludes that the movie is “rejected.” All of these problems must be fixed before the movie can be approved. Now the filmmaker has to pay several thousand more dollars to fix all these problems to the same company that did the report, when they could have gone somewhere else and paid much less for fixes. The filmmaker now has to spend all the money they got on the distribution deal (if they got any at all) on the post work, and they’ve effectively given up the movie for free.
I’ve seen this too many times to count. It’s no longer a surprise to me, but it’s always a surprise to the filmmaker who thought they were finally on the verge of getting their film released.

My advice to filmmakers as they prepare to enter the post-production and distribution phase of their project is:
• Make sure that you are free to do your post work where you want, and not where the distributor wants. This will save a lot of money, time and hassles.
• Beware of distributors that approach you. Do your homework and research any possible distributors before you talk to them.
• Shop around and you will find a wide array of post-production and QC prices and services. Perhaps we will end up working together after you have considered your QC options! Whether we do or not, I wish you…
Good Luck.

QC Central Celebrates it’s 11th Anniversary

QC Central, is celebrating its 11th Anniversary as a leader in the Film & Television Quality Control and Post Production field. I am the founder of the company, Rick Recco. I started the business back in 2007, after working for major broadcast & post facilities for 17 years. I did so because I knew we could fill a need for QC at the best prices, with the fastest turnaround in the industry. Now with 28 years experience this is more true than ever.

Over time we have grown into a full service post company that can handle any type of job from digitizing, to finishing editing, audio conforming, conversions, dubs, captioning and much more.

We have lasted in an industry that is dominated by large multi-national corporations by providing the best, personalized service, free consulting services, and doing whatever needs to be done to get the project completed and approved ASAP.
If we have worked with you in the past, thank you for considering us, and we look forward to working with you again.
If you have not worked with us before please contact us anytime for any information you may need.

QC Central: New Low Rates on HDCAM Digitizing

QC Central is lowering it’s rates in video transfers to file from HDCAM Tape. We are putting the rates on par with our standard def digitizing rates. Our new price for digitzing HDCAM will be $65 for a one hour tape. $40 for a half hour, and $90 for anything over 1 hour. Of course if you are bringing in multiple tapes the rates will be lower still. As always we offer the fastest turnaround time in the industry in the same day or next, excepting large orders.
Of course we also offer digitizing and archiving services on all tape formats including HDCAM SR, Digi-Beta, Beta SP and more.
All QCC’s other services are available including Quality Control of tapes or files, (film qc reports) editing, finishing, audio, dubs and much more. Contact us anytime for any questions, to get exact rates and to book.

QC Central is now approved for Non-NPV Netflix Quality Control

QC Central has been awarded Non-NPV Quality Control status from Netflix. Netflix is one of the worlds largest producers and providers for movie content; all Netflix movies must have an approved QC report completed before the film can be accepted for broadcast, rental, or streaming. For some projects Netflix uses what they call NPV’s which is Netflix Preferred Vendors. Currently there are only 3 very large companies in the US that do QC as NPV’s. In order to apply for NPV status a company has to fill out a very long questionnaire which includes company history, locations, equipment, and many references both of work done, and professional references within the industry. QC Central recently filled out the NPV questionnaire; we received response from Netlflix saying that while they are not giving out any new “badges” (their term for NPV status)at this time, but we could do Quality Control of Netlflix movies provided the film was not contractually obligated to be QC’d by an NPV.

This means that if you have a movie that you would like to get on Netflix and you do not have a contract that says you must use an NPV, then you can use QC Central. The advantages of using us over an NPV are many; First, our prices are one third to one half of that of the NPV’s. (I have seen the rate card that Netflix makes NPV’s use) Second our turnaround time is much faster, almost always within 1-2 days. You may expect to wait up to a week to get back an NPV QC report if not longer. (I worked for the kinds of companies that are now NPV’s for 17 years before Netflix ever existed.) A third advantage is experience, when an NPV hires a Quality Control operator they are looking for 2 years QC experience. The supervisors of those companies might have a few more years experience than that. At QC Central all work is done by Master Level QC operators with at least 25 years working in the industry doing quality control.

QC Central specializes in working with first time film makers who have not been through the post process, and can consult and help with fixes of movies that did not pass the initial QC. If you have any questions about Netflix, NPV’s or any post related issue please contact us and we will do our best to get you answers and take care of your needs.

QC Central now Performing Quality Control in 4K / UHD

QC Central, and industry leader in Film & Television Video / Audio Quality Control for the past 9 years
is now doing quality control of 4K / UHD projects. Ultra High Definition & 4K video formats are now on the rise
and soon will be as popular as the current high definition standard. UHD & 4K pictures are 4 times the size of Hi-Def
with amazing video resolution and clarity. 4K refers to 4000 pixels high while UHD is double the size of the current 1920 X 1080 pixel high def picture which is common today. A UHD picture is 3840 X 2160.

Currently companies like Netflix, 20th Century Fox, and Amazon are producing content in 4K / UHD, others in the industry will soon follow. We will perform 100% Quality Control reports for either 4K or UHD. QC Central has the most experience, fastest turnaround, and best prices of any company in the Industry. Please contact us if you have any questions about 4K/UHD QC.