Snow Day!

We were supposed to get a couple of inches of snow overnight here where I live – the forecasters were saying the bulk of the snow in the storm was going to hit south and east of where I live.

Boy were they wrong.


This is what I woke up to this morning. We got about a foot and a half by the time things tapered off an hour or so ago.

Snow is the least of my worries this week.

I’m working on a digital file package for our screening at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. The learning curves one goes through when attempting a new export system. The package is known as a Digital Cinema Package, or DCP. It’s basically the film on a drive, sent to cinemas for projection.

In theory this is super cool. But production houses that do DCP are crazy expensive. So I’ve been working to find an affordable workaround, talking with some of the amazing folks at the University of Colorado (including someone who actually helped Dolby set up its DCP systems).


So I first started working with a DCP export directly from Adobe, which was suspiciously small and didn’t seem to be the “whole” film. Even on second export, the file seemed just too tiny for the HD resolution of a feature film. This seems to be characteristic of the Adobe system, but I was worried. Russell (one of the guys who’s been helping me out) suggested that I instead use DCP-0-matic, a free bit of software that would tie up my computer for a bit but would produce the file needed (he’s used it multiple times).

And it did. Beautifully. Except for the place where the credits were WRONG.


Ok, this was a me problem and not a DCP-o-matic problem.

So no big issue, right? I can just spit out the files again.

Well except for the fact that the film export alone took 15 hours. And then the DCP-o-matic processing another 12. And then add to that an overnight export to the drive so I can get it over to the DCP-equipped room on campus for viewing (and eventually send it to the film festival).


Which gets me to this morning. And waking up to a foot and a half of snow. And campus being closed.

So I’m going to go on a bit of blind faith here. I’m going to ship the drive tomorrow – untested. Then I’m going to format another drive in the same way for the film and bring it to campus with the hope that it will show up on the Dolby-equipped DCP system. In the meanwhile, my buddy Russell is checking and uploading the DCP package himself, with the idea that he can then load it to the system (and reformat my drive if need be).

Gawd, I love technology.

(no, seriously, I love technology, but the pain in the assedness that sometimes comes with it I could do without).



2 thoughts on “Snow Day!

  1. Hello there, I am the author of DCP-o-matic… I’m glad to hear you are having some success… let us know if you have any more problems ( as we might be able to suggest workarounds. Here it’s possible that you could have exported just your credits and patched them into the mostly-correct DCP. We’re working on the long processing times part of things.

    • Thanks, Carl! It seems (fingers crossed) that all is good now (except for the very long export times. I like the system, BTW – it seems, aside from my learning curve, to work very well.

      Kathleen Ryan

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