Tea Time In Haworth – Hebden Bridge Cinema – Digital Cinema Package

DCP on memory stick attempt 1!

Tea Time In Haworth had the honour of being shown before the Steve Coogan/Judy Dench film Philomena in Hebden Bridge Picture House over about a week , a lovely old cinema. About 1500 people saw the film over a week. Initially we had provided a Blu-ray with an HD copy for the showing and although it looked great on screen we wanted to provide a Digital Cinema Package.

To do this is quite involved but essentially you have to get all your frames individually as JPEG2000 in XYZ colour space and then wrap them as MXF files both audio and video, then you combine them with metadata into a package that a digital cinema server will recognise. These may be a Dolby or Doremi server. Generally they prefer a linux format hard drive in a special caddy that can slide straight in but there is a USB socket on the front.

All the staff and the two projectionists were very welcoming and helpful at the cinema. Initially I took the DCP on a memory stick that was Mac formatted and this didn’t seem to work however that may be because the stick didn’t seem to fit properly so that isn’t a definitive statement. I also tried to format it as eXfat but that didn’t seem to work.

2k projector hebden bridge
Doremi server and projector (pic  © Chris Smith)

Eventually I formatted a portable hard drive as NTFS and put two versions of the film on the drive. I had read that some projectors don’t like anything except 24 frames per second material. So I made a 24fps version by using the same number of frames but tagging them as 24fps and slowing the audio down by 4% to match.

I posted the drive and crossed my fingers. The projectionist told me that both copies had ingested and invited us over to view the result at the final matinee performance. After a battering drive over the tops through a storm my assistant Olivia and I arrived in Yorkshire!

The 25 fps was used as the server played back both and of course it was the original speed. The audience was very receptive to the film as virtually all those present seemed to be senior citizens. Lots of laughs and the DCP on screen was fantastic.