Digital Cinema Package (DCP) Mastering/Creation (Afordable, from £50)

DCP Creation

DCP Creation

To get the best out of your films when shown at film festivals or cinemas it is best to deliver them on DCP. I can make your short films or even feature-length ones into high-quality DCP packages for a very reasonable price.

DCP Creation or Mastering is the process of taking the master file you create and turning it into a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) that Cinimas use to show films.

I have experience in DCP Creation for festival shorts and feature-length documentaries and dramas. I have also created DCPs for screenings of TV shows and documentaries.  I have helped many independent (Indy) filmmakers get their work shown on the big screen.  I can even add subtitles if needed.

Pricing for creating a DCP is (and this is often the full cost):

  • 10-minutes short £50
  • 30-minute short £100
  • 60-minute feature £150
  • 90-minute feature £200 (up to 3 hours)

It is VERY important you contact the festival/projectionest to find out exacly what they want (HD/USB/EXT3/NTFS) and how you are going to to send it to them (Upload/Email Link/Post). And let me know ASAP.  I can not stress how important this is.  Not doing this can mean things can go wrong and your film can not be shown.

These prices are for a 2K DCP.  If you want a 4K DCP Contact Me to discuss, but generally, 2K is what is best. To keep the prices down they are for the creation of DCPs for digital delivery (link emailed to you). Details for DCPs on Hard Drives Below. If you wish to supply separate files for audio and video or have any other questions, please Contact Me for more details.

There is a lot of information below, if it is all a bit overweening I can talk you through this on the Phone or via Zoom

In the spirit of full transparency, I am putting all the information you could possibly need below.

Here is the TL;DR (short) version of the below (although you really should read it):

  • There is NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to have the DCP sent to you as a ZIP file to upload to the Cinema/festival.
  • There is a £35 charge per drive to put the DCP on an NTFS drive or drive.  Including testing drive first and full verification of DCP
  • There is an additional £20 per drive if you want the DCP on a Linux EXT3 drive (most cinemas want NTFS but you should check with them).
  • I can supply a drive for £40.
  • For HDs it is £9 for Postage plus £4 for materials (cardboard box and packaging materials)
  • I can use a tough plastic Peli-style case for an extra £15
  • If you want you can post your film on a drive for me to reuse
  • For the drive to be posted to you (or the projectionist) it is £9 per drive
  • Just to reiterate generally I can send a link for the cinema/festival so there is often NO ADDITIONAL COST (just the cost of creating DCP).
To keep prices down this is for a ZIP file that is sent to you via a Cloud service.  Nowadays many cinemas and festivals can accept DCPs electronically as a ZIP file.  This keeps the cost down to you but the files are very large (often > 150GB) so it can take over 6 hours to transfer. This is what a lot of projectionists want but there are other options if required:
  • The DCP on an NTFS hard Drive. This is what a lot of projectionists prefer (NTFS is the standard Windows drive format).  For this, I do a full test of the drive.   I Then copy the DCP onto the drive and then run a Verify process that checks the DCP can be ingested by the cinema.  This helps minimize any problems.   This is particularly important as even when people plan to allow plenty of time to get the DCP made it often ends up being done very close to submission dates so it is important there are no problems. The cost of a full format of the hard drive, copying, and verifying the DCP is £35 per drive.
  • I can supply the hard drive for around £40
  • £9 postage (Special Delivery) plus £4 for postage in a cardboard box with padding.
  • I can supply a tough plastic Peli-style case for £15
  • The DCP on an EXT3 hard Drive. This is the type of drive formatting DCPs officially require but it is only needed for very old Cinema Servers It’s not something that I have ever been asked for from a Cinima but it is the proper and safest way to do it.  When people want several copies of their film on HDs we sometimes do one EXT3 version just in case.   It does require more work and due to this will be an extra £20.
  • It is best to check with the projectionist what they want.  Cinemas generally prefer NTFS drives and this has become the norm.

Sorry, this all seems a little complex but it is done so you pay the minimum (i.e. you don’t pay for stuff you do not need).  Feel free to not read any of this as I can talk you through it over the phone or Zoom.

The Process, what you need to Know

Here is how it works.  I’ve listed the process in detail but don’t worry, its not that complicated and I can talk you through the process and answer any questions you have.

The first thing is you need to get a video file to me.  This can either be done digitally (I can provide a place for you to upload the file) or you can post it to me on a portable Hard Drive.  This is generally a single file with the video and audio.

Please let me know:

  • Frame-rate
  • Aspect Ration
  • audio mappings (see below)

Additional information

  • Apple ProRes 422 (or Avid DNxHR  HQ) is great but if you shoot on high-end cameras (that have a quality/bitrate higher than this ProRes 422/ DNxHR  HQ) it is worth doing HQ.  It will however look great on the screen either way as it’s the projector, as much as the quality/bitrate, that makes things look great on the big screen. The most common for DCP is ProRes 422 HQ or Avid DNxHR HQ.  I can actually accept almost any format but these are the recommended.
  • In terms of audio, it should be in the file.  Stereo and 5.1 are both fine (please say which tracks are for what, especially for surround).
  • I can also include subtitles (either burnt-in or separate ‘open subtitles’, for the latter you can have multiple languages) but there is an extra cost.  I can accept .srt files.
  • The prices above are for single-file stereo or surround no subtitles for creating the DCP, sent to you as a zip file.  If you want anything else please let me know.
  • If you want it on an HD I can use the one you send me and return it (see prices above)
  • I can turn it around in 4 days but need to know in advance.
  • I can add subtitles later, but you need to let me know if this will happen as I need to hang on to all the files I create to do this later.

Do not hesitate to Contact Me if you have any questions.