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Documentary Video export format

New Here ,
Nov 10, 2022 Nov 10, 2022

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Hello everyone,

 

I am currently editing a documentary which was mostly filmed using iPhones. The problem I get is in picking the right export format for the documentary so it can have a good quality when projected on a large screen. 

 

So, when talking to friends that work in the industry they told me that most of the times the required export settings include using H264 codec and exporting an mp4 video file. Yet, my client says it's a low quality format and wishes to use AVI or another one. 

 

My questions are:

1. what would you recommend using, given the fact that the footage was shot using iPhones?

2. what is the format that is usually required in mobile documentaries festivals/documentaries festival?  

 

Thank you. 

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Export , Formats

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Community Expert ,
Nov 10, 2022 Nov 10, 2022

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1. Does not matter if it was shot on an iPhone.

2. Usually H.264/mp4. When entering a festival, the organization usually tells you what format and in which resolution they want the movie.

Avi is old school.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 10, 2022 Nov 10, 2022

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Ann is correct.

 

I work with and teach pro colorists, many of whom do "finishing" now, meaning they provide the final deliverable.

 

The most common deliverable for b-cast/streaming is H.264. For theater work, typically you need a DCP. And festivals vary between (most) wanting H.264/5 and some wanting DCPs.

 

So your client needs to know what the requirements are for where the file is going. That's what you create, not what they think they need.

 

Neil

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Community Expert ,
Nov 10, 2022 Nov 10, 2022

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ProRes 422 LT is a documentary's best friend.

 

Transcode the source footage to it.  Set the Sequence Video Previews to it, and export to it.  It also exports easily to H264 when needed.

 

Submissions for festival consideration are usually MP4.  If accepted, they'll usually ask for ProRes.

 

The important workflow consideration is making sure that you're working at settings that maintain picture quality regardless of what's needed for a film festival or for distribution later.

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