How long is a piece of string?

George Dutton Nov 17, 2016

  1. So timings...I keep getting push backs on my grade timings

    The situation:
    80min doc - mixed source - archive - c300 - dslr - 7.5hr working day (lucky i know)

    How long would you give it?
  2. Same question for 30 and 45 min
  3. 1- grade only , or conform and finish?
    2 - significant QC issues with source footage, or has that been sorted elsewhere?
    2- any significant camera issues?
    3 - expatations from producer's side?
    4 - cinema/DCP -or- broadcast -or- web?
    5 - delivering UHD or HD?

    anywhere from 2 days for grade only, no real issues -to- 15 days for DCP, conform & finish, fix QC and camera issues
  4. Hey - thanks for the reply. In addition approx 900 shots and the only shots that really copy over are the I/v's which make up about 40 shots - almost everything else is balance and grade shot by shot (archive etc is all over the place)
    1- Grade only
    2- No real fixes, other than correction (huge hue washes and very low lit)
    2- any significant camera issues? Not really, see above
    3 - Pretty straight forward natural doc style
    4 - broadcast
    5 - HD
  5. Also bare in mind working 7.5 hour days opposed to say 10 HR freelancer days
  6. i graded this doco in 2 x 10hr days, so 20 hr all up, production gave me a DRP, i sent back a DRP linked back to rendered media + rendered media

    on 7.5 hr days that 20hr would have been about 3days

    it had a pretty normal stack of problems, nothing crazy tho, and it got past QC, 100% pass first time (this trailer cam staright off the timeline, i did not grade this, it was not really graded beyond what the editor did on Pp so it maybe shows a bit of start point;
    Marc Wielage likes this.
  7. Awesome thank you so much Dermot!

    That's a 60min doc so I wasn't mad to think 2 days (15hr) on a 90 was a BIG ask
  8. Jack Jones Colourist

    Jack Jones Colourist Original Member

    I can do 1 day for a broadcast hour. Like 3 days for something of feature length but can do two.

    How long is the string in their wallets?
  9. Haha!

    How long is your day though Jack?
  10. Jack Jones Colourist

    Jack Jones Colourist Original Member

    I can do a 1 hour in 8 hours. Happens relatively often.

    My record is 1750 shots in a day... in Baselight for Avid.. although that was a 16 hour day!! Haha!
  11. the version i graded was 94 min,if there's a 60 min version out there, it's a cut-down
  12. got though this film in a day on the same tools, Baselight inside Avid, 87 min long, went to DCP and the big screen, but was pretty trouble free, and was a festivlal version, interm, and not locked picture.. good film btw;
  13. What's the budget, and what's the air date? (In that order!)

    I can generally do 300 shots a day, maybe 500 if it isn't too complicated, and in a documentary situation with a lot of talking heads, it could be faster. I did a 90-minute documentary in the last year where it was basically three days from conform to delivery, and we made it OK, though there were some 12-hour days there. I think it was 30 billable hours total. I could've done it in 20, easily, if we'd let a bunch of little things go unfixed (which I hate to do, but time is money).

    You could easily take a month with this kind of thing if you wanted to be very exacting, but few documentary people have the resources to do that.
  14. Personally I'd say 2 days is a minimum, 4 days a luxury, so somewhere in there.
  15. TV is worse. Many, many reality shows are being done in a day, and that's essentially 700-800 shots in a 45-minute show. I've had some that went to 1200 shots, easily. I have sometimes gotten the schedule pushed to two long days, but a lot hinges on client expectations.

    I have done a few TV movies where we worked 32 hours without stopping, but those were unusual circumstances where we had a drop-dead air date we couldn't move. I think I had that problem on the second V movie for Warner Bros., and also the George Washington II mini-series, both of which were 4 hours each. We could have easily gone 2-3 weeks on them, but 1.5 days is all we had.
    Szilard Totszegi likes this.
  16. All the above people are giving you pretty good reference points I think.

    Here's my 2 cents. That is fairly in line with the others.

    Determine the exact format and gamma they want it delivered in?

    You can average 200 shots per 7.5 hour days depending upon complexity. Get a review and feedback after the second day if you can.

    Don't get fancy until you have the time to do so. You might be spending too much time on something that the client doesn't even want.

    If it's over 95% straight cuts you might want to Bake and Blade it (i.e. cut it with scene detection)

    My guess would be 7-10 days for 900 shots (conformed, well done, reviewed twice, approved final grade, delivered though no DCP)

    and 4-5 days for half that. Those estimates are based on 7.5/day and my experience doing Docs and tons of different shows for Motor Trend.

    I'll do a pretty good job coloring and matching 250 shots from different cameras, lighting, and codecs (including go pros) a day with quick reviews and revisions. (10 hour days)

    Let me/us know if you have any other questions. We are here for you.

    Go Get 'em Tiger.
    Andrew Webb likes this.
  17. One thing I think is very helpful: ask them to give you time to go through the entire film and "prep" it, to at least throw down some temporary looks and do all the preliminary grading and matching. Once that's done, then have the DP and director come in to set looks. At least that way, their relative boredom will be reduced and they'll be able to concentrate a lot better.

    I've had many DPs come in and just be astonished at a) the tediousness of the initial work and b) the amount of time needed to whip the material into shape. I'm lucky if the DP even survives one reel starting from ground zero. It's much easier dealing with the creatives if you're already about 2/3 of the way there.

    Even for a low-budget project, if you can do broad strokes on all the material in an 80-minute piece in one day, then have them come in for two or three more days until completion, that can work.
    Andrew Webb likes this.

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