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Hey guys a film I worked on is being submitted for a festival and the producer has been asked what format the sound is, there is a link to the list he has been given, all I did was mix it on pro tools and bounce it to disk as a interleaved stereo file so that is the only format I know it is, I am more inclined to say "other" on the list but I want to be sure so I would really like t if you could look at the list and tell me, thank you very much!

list

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, "Other" is the correct choice here since you're using a stereo interleave uncompressed file.

On a beneficial sidenote however, if the stereo file was encoded to AC3 by way of licensed Dolby encoding software (Neyrinck, DOlby Surround Tools, etc) and printed to the screener this way, then Dolby Digital would be the correct choice (since AC3 can store 1.0 - 5.1 streams)

The LtRt and Dolby SR are phase-matrixed fold downs of 5.1+ mixes into stereo streams (technically quad @ L, C, R, Surround Summed Mono) - but what gets confusing there is this phase-matrix is done into uncompressed files, which are then converted to AC3 (and flagged in the metadata as LtRt so that the decoders use ProLogic to expend it back to 5.1 rather than a pass-through). While LtRt (generic) and Dolby SR (proprietary) function generally the same, there are some subtle differences.

The Dolby Surround EX 6.1 is somewhat similar in that in its L, C, R, followed by an LtRt of the LsRs to fold in the discrete Cs by way of phase-matrixing - creatively this is called Lst, Rst. In this case too, the encoding is done in the uncompressed format usually and then during the AC3 encoding, it's printed as a 5.1 with flagged metadata for Dolby Digital Surround EX so that ProLogic properly decodes it.

SDDS is dead. Nuff said there.

DTS uses a different encoding algorithm than Dolby but it effectively is the same thing - in that it is an encoding format after the uncompressed prints are generated, and it too is capable of 1.0 - 5.1 streams. I'm not certain if it supports phase-matrixing, although maybe that's what the Neo functionality is.

I have a feeling most of what's listed on there is meant to cater to 35mm/70mm prints in addition to the DVD world (since Dolby SR, Optical, Dolby Digital, and DTS are VERY different animals than mentioned above when dealing with physical prints). For anyone submitting digital files or DVDs as a screener format to festivals, the only formats you'll probably ever deal with on a regular basis are Dolby Digital, LtRt, and Dolby SR. On VERY rare occasions Dolby Digital EX. And when it's just plain-old uncompressed stereo, 'Other' is always the right choice.

Hope it helps clear some of it up! :)

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If you didn't use a Dolby encoder, or any other (expensive hardware) encoder to master it in any way other than a straight-out-of-the-DAW PCM Linear wav-file, it should say "other". I think I know which festival and I also do it like you do. "Other" is fine. :)

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I worked as a projectionist for a while and know that the folks at the festival are concerned with two things - putting stuff in which they can't screen (embarrassing), and making sure that their staff and gear are in the right place at the right time.

Which format are you providing the film as? eg 35mm print, Digibeta, HDCam etc... I presume there was another set of choices for this?

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