What is Keycode?
A: Keycode refers to the latent edge numbers put onto the negative
film at the manufacturers. When the film is processed these numbers
become visible. They aid the negative cutter in his/her ability
to match your film back to A&B rolls from a cut film workprint
or video daily. At Colorlab we can record those numbers onto a
data track (aka, the Address Track) on Digibeta and BCSP only.
Other tape formats, because of inherent technical limitations,
cannot record as well onto the Address Track. If you are planning
on finishing your film on film (as opposed to finishing on video)
we recommend you transfer your film to a Digibeta or BCSP master
and have this information recorded onto a disk we refer to as
a “FLEX FILE.” You can opt to have keycode information
“burned in” on your video master tape or hidden on
the Address Track. If you want to be able to see keycode, but
don’t want it to interfere with your picture safe area,
you can request to have keycode (and timecode for that matter)
burned in “OUTSIDE TV SAFE.” This will enable your
negative cutter to see these numbers on a studio monitor, but
they will NOT show on a regular TV set.
Files w/ Keycode reading are billed at $50 per running time hour.
If you want to avoid this charge, check with your negative cutter
to see if they can cut your job without Laboratory’s keycode
reading. If yes, you don’t need to order this service.
What are my framing options?
A: The aspect ratio for 16mm film is 4:3. Super 16mm
film is the same 16mm piece of film as regular 16mm, however,
it is single perf and it has been shot through a Super 16mm camera,
which exposes more of the 16mm film. The picture area extends
out to the edge of the film in a Super 16mm camera. Super 16mm
film is traditionally framed as 1:1.66. You can ask for it to
be framed as 1:1.78 or 1:1.85. These framings crop more of the
top and bottom of your picture area. It is only advisable to request
this if you shot with a similarly framed ground glass in your
camera. If you are finishing on film (as opposed to video) it
is best to see as much of the image possible. This means transferring
the image “WITH FRAMELINES IN UNDERSCAN.” If you request
this transfer, you will be able to see the top and bottom framelines
of you image on and UNDERSCAN monitor. This kind of transfer does
not meet FCC broadcast standards, but is a good way to assess
what takes are usable for a film print. This transfer will enable
you to see if there were hairs in the gate or off-stage objects
creeping into your frame. If you want to have a “FRAMELINES
IN UNDERSCAN” transfer done, note this in the margin to
the right of the letterbox transfer preferences on the “Telecine
Q: What is an underscan monitor?
A: This is a studio monitor that enables you to see the
picture slightly pulled out. You are essentially seeing more of
the OUTSIDE TV SAFE picture area.
Q. Can you do a letterbox matte in transfer?
A. We can place black at the top and bottom of the frame
approximating a 1:85 matte, but it is just recorded over that
portion of the picture. If you did not frame your scene with this
process in mind, you may lose part of the image that you need
Can I supply my own videotape stock for the film transfer?
A. Yes, but we do NOT guarantee against
tape defects. We discourage the use of previously used stock.
Can you transfer 8mm to video?
A. Yes, we can transfer all film stocks.
Can you transfer to DVD?
A. Yes, however, we first transfer to a digital tape
then clone to DVD. You have the option of purchasing the digital
Q. Can you transfer Video to Film?
A. Yes, we can transfer video
Which film should I use?
A: Before selecting a specific film or films, you will
have to answer a number of basic technical and aesthetic questions
about the entire production. The answers you provide will help
greatly in the selection of the films that will best translate
your concepts into moving pictures on a screen that convey your
intended message accurately, completely, and effectively.
should consider the following factors because they directly affect
(1) Anticipated release format. Will you finish on film or video?
Are you going to enter any festivals? Will the finished prints
be 35 mm or 16 mm?
(2) Thematic/Aesthetic Considerations. Should the finished film
be in color or in black-and-white? The aesthetic impact of black-and-white
film is distinctly different from that of color. What feeling
should the film convey? The sharp distinctions in hue and density
provided by a color film image can convey more information than
the same image composed of shades of gray. Answers to these questions
depend on the purpose and audience for the film.
(3) Lighting Conditions and Exposure Levels. Will the subject
be filmed indoors or out? Can you control the light? Some films
are especially designed for low levels of light or for sensitivity
at particular bands of the spectrum. All films are balanced for
particular kinds of lighting. Will your film give you an accurate
record of the colors in the scene if you make the motion picture
only in the light available to you?
(4) Type of Filtration Needed. If you have to use several filters
to compensate for uncontrolled elements in the scene or in the
lighting, will the film be fast (sensitive) enough to record a
Can you push or pull process film and what does that mean?
A. Push processing film is done to compensate for film
that has been underexposed and results in a denser negative. Pull
processing film is done to compensate for film that has been overexposed
and results in a less dense negative. We can push or pull 16mm
or 35mm film for an additional cost.
Do you process color or B&W reversal film?
A. We do not process reversal film, however we can cross-process
reversal film as negative. Or we can sub-contract the film to
another lab. We can transfer reversal film to video.
Do you process Super 8mm film?
A. We do not process Super 8mm film, however we can contract
the film to another lab or recommend a lab that does. We can transfer
Super 8mm film to video.
Q. What is involved in the answer
print process? What is a release print?
A. From the edited original the first corrected answer
print is created. It is usually printed from A/B rolls and can
contain effects such as fades and/or dissolves. If needed a second
answer print can be made (at a lower rate) in response to any
further corrections that need to be made. Finally a release print
is made, after the approved answer print, which incorporates all
the corrections made in the answer print stages.
Can you recommend a negative cutter?
A: Yes, here is a list of a few negative
Frame Accurate--Aaron Denenberg
212-757-4580 Ext 543
J.G. Films--Danny O'Grady
Match Cut Film Service, World Cinevision Service, Inc.
P:203-461-9026 email firstname.lastname@example.org
N&D Films--Nick DiBeneditto
Northeast Negative Matchers--Mike Girard (based in Florida)
Q. What does a wet-gate print
A. A wet-gate print (also called liquid-gate) is a printing
procedure used to minimize or hide scratches and loose dirt from
matching, on the original negative.
What is an optical sound track? What sound elements do I need
to make a print?
A. An optical soundtrack is the soundtrack negative that
has been printed onto the side of the sound release print. It
is required for a 35mm sound print and is usually made from the
mixed magnetic sound or a mixed DAT tape.
What is the difference between A-wind and B-wind?
A. Wind refers to the relationship between image direction
and emulsion position. Images on the film that are "B-Wind"
read correctly through the base. Images on the film that are "A-Wind"
read correctly through the emulsion. All camera negative original
is "B-wind". When you contact print your original onto
an answer print, the AP becomes "A-Wind"
Do you do fades and dissolves?
A. Fades and dissolves are available for $10 each. They
are charged one time only at the 1st AP stage.
How do I convert feet to running time?
A. With 16mm, divide your footage by 36 to get the running
time in minutes. With 35mm, divide the footage by 90 to get the
running time in minutes.
Can I do a video transfer from my A/B rolls?
A. No, we need to have a single strand to transfer to
video, either a print or a interpositive.
Can I do a video transfer with Mag sound?
A. Yes, we have a Mag reader that can be interlocked
with the telecine. Make sure to have
sync marks in the proper places.
Can you do blow-ups?
A. Yes, we can do blow-ups from 16mm and Super 16mm to 35mm, as
well as reduction prints also know as blow-downs.
Q: What is the turnaround time?
A: It depends on what services you request. Process Normal
Color Film Dailies tend to take about two business days e.g.,
if you drop off on Monday, you should expect to get your film
back Wednesday. Process Normal B&W Film Dailies tend to take
a day or two longer. The turn around in between 2 and 5 business
days. Any kind of special processing adds time. Bleach skip and
Cross-Processing, for example, can take anywhere between 3 and
7 business days to get processed.
dailies turn around is dictated by the amount of film, weather
or not we are syncing sound, and type of transfer (One-Light,
Best-Light, or Sc-To-Sc). I usually estimate MOS, One Light video
daily jobs to be about 3-5 business days and sync or Best Light
jobs tend to take 5-7 business days.
turn-around times are estimates only. We do our best to meet those
times, but sometimes acts of God slow us up.
How can I pay my bill?
A: We take all major credit cards and certified checks
only. If you are paying by credit card, we bill the card for the
amount when the job is completed. When you pick up the job you
should receive a credit card receipt stapled to a bill marked
“Paid.” We do not accept cash or personal checks.
If you plan on paying by certified check, we will call you with
the amount when you job is completed. Please make the certified
check payable to Colorlab Corporation.
What about a Student Discount?
A: We offer a 10% student discount to people with student
IDs valid for the current semester. You must present your
ID when you drop your film off at the lab. View & print Student Pricelist.
Do you take NYU Vouchers?
A: We do accept NYU Vouchers. You must drop the voucher
off when you drop the film off. If you don’t have the voucher
up-front your job might be delayed.
How will I know when my job is ready?
Someone from our office will contact you when the job is ready
to be picked up.
Can I screen my film at Colorlab?
A: We offer video dailies screening and Answer Print
screening by appointment. We do not screen film dailies.
What shipping options are there?
A. We ship FedEx, UPS and the US Postal Service. We can
ship overnight or ground upon request.
How do I contact you?
A. You may call us direct at (212) 633-8172 for the New
York office or (301)770-2128 for the Maryland lab. You may also
contact us via email at email@example.com.