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Published Monday 11 January 2016 by Stu Gaunt in DCP & Disc Production

topic icon DCP Encoding for Festivals and Distribution

DCP (Digital Cinema Package) encoding from £30 + vat.

DCP creation is the final step in film production for the delivery of a digital, high-resolution master for screening on digital cinema screens - for film festivals or for cinema distribution in preference to Apple Prores HQ. Maniac Films offer DCP encoding and QC playback checks as part of our DCP, Blu-ray and DVD production services. DCP is the industry standard for delivery of films - it is not a single file but a folder containing the video, audio, subtitle assets and some additional housekeeping files. We offer 2K DCP encoding for short films from £30 + vat. Please contact us for pricing of 4K and feature length film encoding.

Digital Cinema Packages are quickly becoming the standard way for theatrical distribution of movies. Many cinemas in the UK, United States and worldwide only have digital screens, especially the newer venues. More and more film festivals accept DCPs for competition and even the Academy Awards requests a DCP for consideration. By making a DCP, you guarantee that your movie will be able to screen in most theatres and with the best quality available.

Frame Rates for DCP and Spec

We can take your finished film and convert it to work with a digital cinema projector. If you have a specific cinema or festival in mind, we recommend that you ask them in advance for any preferences that they may have (such as compression rate, drive format, encryption), but in general the default standard is a 24p 2K DCP package in either 2K flat (1.85:1) 1998x1080 or Scope (2.39:1) 2048x858 format and this will be dictated by your film rather then by the venue. The video is compressed using a J2000 codec with an XYZ colour space. The compression is typically in the 125-200MBps range and audio may be 2.0 channel or 5.1 surround, uncompressed 48KHz 24bit for delivery. Your film will need to be exported to a lossless format from your editing suite and delivered to us as a video file (Prores HQ or similar) - along with any synced audio and any subtitle assets. We can resync your audio STEMS (WAV or AIFF 24bit please).

See the wikipedia spec on DCP which shows SMPTE encoding supporting these frame rates for DCP: 24,25,30,48,50 and 60p at 2K and the SMPTE DCP spec has been amended to include 100 and 120fps as well.

DCP naming

We use the Digital Cinema Naming Convention when creating our DCPs and are listed with the facility code MFL. We will use the naming convention to specify the projector aspect ratio, type of content, film title, DCP size and audio type amongst other things. The data is human readable so that projectionists can make sure they know how best to playback your film.

File Delivery

Depending on the film length, the final footage will need to be supplied on a hard drive to the cinema although you can receive it electronically via wetransfer or similar file transfer services if you require. For ease we recommend that you supply a hard drive of your own but we can supply pre-formatted usb3 mini bus-powered drives. We typically format the drives as Windows NTFS but can supply EXT3 (Linux) format drives if required by the cinema or festival. We can supply 500GB usb3 drives for £40 + vat and we will also charge for sending back your drives in the post. UK special delivery is around £8.50 for next day delivery of a small drive or about £12 for International Tracked and signed-for (multiple days depending on location).

If you prefer to deliver the files digitally, but do not have access to an online service, we now offer a free upload service using WeTransfer. Get in touch with us to arrange your order and we will supply you with a link to upload your files. The final output will still need to be returned to you on a HDD as previously mentioned.

Service Level:

Level 1: DCP Encoding with QC playback spot checks. This is our standard service for creating unencrypted DCPs.

Level 2: QC check - DCP full playback computer based review. There is an additional cost for a real person to do a playback review of the generated DCP from end to end. This is only to check the DCP is correctly formatted and not a QC of your film content itself.

Related Services:

Captions conversion - convert your existing DVD or BD subtitles files in to DCP format captions
Captions creation - create captions for your film to use on DVD or Blu-ray or online and also for DCP

Contact us for full pricing, and to discuss the best way for us to help you get your production on to the big screen.

Talk to us about your project!