Santa Monica-based Fancy Film is using QubeMaster Xport to generate DCI-compliant Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs) for filmmakers. QubeMaster Xport is a plug-in which works within Apple Compressor, simplifying the process of mastering digital cinema content. With QubeMaster Xport, facilities like Fancy Film are able to provide high-quality digital cinema at rates that are affordable for documentary makers and independent film companies.
“We’ve been getting more and more inquiries about DCP mastering,” said Bill Macomber, principal and founder of Fancy Film Post Services. “It used to be that the only people who wanted digital cinema were the big Hollywood films who were releasing to at least 500 or 1,000 screens. Now we’re getting calls from people who want to release on just 10 screens, or even just for one film festival. Those filmmakers need a cost-effective solution.”
Macomber started out as a documentary editor in 2000. In 2001 he founded Fancy Film. The facility provides complete postproduction services, including grading, assembly and output, along with editing, and caters to the growing market of independent filmmakers and television production companies.
“We don’t compete with the people who edit their movies in their own garage, but there is a lot of demand for finishing to the correct specs for the various distribution formats,” said Macomber. “There’s no room for error in this business: the deliverables have to work perfectly wherever they are sent.”
“Finishing is a very technical task, and you have to stay in close contact with the different networks and distributors, so that you always know exactly what they need,” explained Macomber. “I like the engineering side, so this kind of perfectionism appeals to me.”
Most of Fancy Film’s clients have been doing their films with the facility for years. “It’s about building long-term relationships,” noted Macomber.
Recent projects include America’s Wildest Refuge, Underwater Universe for The History Channel, the documentary Undefeated, as well as Part-Time Fabulous, an independent film, for which Fancy Film did the color grading, laid-off to tape, and the DCP mastering with QubeMaster Xport.
As the demand for DCPs grows, Fancy Film is now also looking to add QubeMaster Pro Packager, a Windows application which provides quality control, as well as the ability to create alternate versions of a DCP without having to re-encode the whole file. “It will be the last step in our pipeline,” said Macomber. “Along with QC, Packager allows us to offer encryption, as well as the ability to add new soundtracks and subtitle options. It’s a complete DCP workflow.”