As the owner of a video and film post-production quality control facility, 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…
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 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.
All QCC’s other services are available including Quality Control of tapes or files, editing, finishing, audio, dubs and much more. Contact us anytime for any questions, to get exact rates and to book.
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, 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.
QC Central is now monitoring audio loudness in the LKFS scale as well as dbfs. Loudness levels are a more accurate way to discern a show or movies audio average, monitoring loudness is also mandated by law. President Obama recently signed into law the Calm Act. The purpose of this is so that all television program and commercials are being broadcast at the same audio levels. The law is designed to stop commercial content from being played louder than television programming. You may have noticed this at some point, you are watching a show with the volume low, and when a commercial comes on it is much louder, this is no longer allowed. The Calm Act is in force, throughout North America and Europe.
We are using the Dolby LM-100 Broadcast Loudness Meter to achieve the most accurate possible measurement. The LM-100 is a dedicated piece of hardware that measures many things including Loudness in the LKFS scale. It works by analyzing the entire audio content of a show and figuring out the dialogue average using algorithms. The acceptable range under the Calm act is -24LKFS +/- 2 LKFS, so a range of -22 to -24 LKFS.
Some networks and distributors have adopted the loudness specification as part of their audio production, and many more will soon follow. Many QC facilities are not reporting loudness levels as part of their reports, we are. Don’t risk getting a job kicked back due to inadequate Audio reporting on a quality control report. Call QC Central or the latest and most up to date QC’s in the industry.
As the owner of a video and film post production quality control facility I frequently get calls from independent film makers who need a Quality Control Report for their films. When I talk to them I ask some questions such as will the QC be done of file (such as quicktime, or avid) or tape? (such as HDCAM SR) What is the run time of the feature, and what kind of audio configuration (Stereo Comp tracks, 5.1, M&E etc.) will it have. These are questions that I need to have in order to quote a price.
OK so I have all the information that I need and calculate the price of the QC and tell the film maker, they are very happy with the price as we have the best prices in town, (as well as the fastest turnaround time in the industry) the director, or producer or whomever I am talking to tells me they will be sending over the material to start the work.
Then I get a call back usually the next day telling me that my company cannot do the work because the distribution company that they signed up with will only allow “their vendors” to do the QC, the film maker is now upset because he found out that the company that they will now have to use charges more than twice as much money as we were going to charge them, and they have no choice but to pay as they have signed a deal that they cannot get out of.
But the trouble doesn’t end there, after the film maker waits at least one week to get his QC done (our company has a 1-2 day turnaround) the report comes back, it is several pages long listing many problems that the movie is “rejected” for. All of these problems must be fixed before the QC report can be changed to approved. The problem is that many of these “problems” that must be fixed are not really rejectable but subjective issues that could have been left as is.
Now the film maker has to spend several thousand more dollars to “fix” all these problems usually with the same company that did the report. I have had film makers come back to me with their rejected reports and asked me for a second opinion. When I tell them that most of the things their movie was rejected for were really OK they are stuck and have to spend the money anyway. Often what ends up happening is that the film maker ends up spending all the money they got on the distribution deal on the post work and ends up giving up his movie for free. That is not right after you spent years of your life on your movie.
My advice to film makers when they sign a distribution deal is to make sure that you are free to do your post work where you want, and not where the distributor wants you to. This will save a lot of money, time and hassles. Shop around and you will find a wide array of prices and services, you can figure out what the best deal for you is, which will make your life a lot easier. Good Luck.
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