Poking around on the Internet today, I think I found the answer to yesterday's question about why there is such a gap between prices for telecine transfers. It turns out that, to guarantee that the film and video will run at controlled speeds, one must do more than just project the film and hit the record button on the video recorder: one must have a system that copies film frames to video frames in an exact and unvarying ratio. After boning up on the subject, I was able to talk intelligently with the film transfer houses, and I arranged for a telecine transfer at the more expensive price, which is unfortunately my only option. I'm starting to feel as if I almost understand this whole complicated process of maintaining sync while going from film to video to film--I had the pleasure today of explaining a point to one of the techies at the transfer houses.
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