January 1, 2015 at 9:41PM

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Release a Low-Resolution Movie on Festivals

Lets say you have a well written movie made with an Entry-Level DSLR [CMOS 1080p 24fps] and you wish to release it in festivals, that means on a cinema screen, probably with other films made with better cameras, 2K or 4K...

Is it possible to fix the resolution so it would look fine on a cinema screen? How could it be?

So if not, do you know any festivals that would accept feature films with lower digital resolution? [like CMOS 1080p]

https://www.facebook.com/TheHiddenFilm

We are open to any suggestions. Thank you.

13 Comments

I don't know of any Indie festivals that won't accept 1080 HD format, and most Indie festivals are not set up to project 4K footage, so I would not worry about this at all.

January 1, 2015 at 10:33PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32649

Thank you, do you know where I could find a list of these Indie festivals?

Diego Lope

January 2, 2015 at 1:30AM

Oh, I forgot to mention that the video files we recorded are MP4 so is not any uncompressed format. And the length of this feature film is 75min.

January 2, 2015 at 1:12AM

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Diego Lope
Writer / Director / Producer
116

Each film festival will specify the formats they will accept for film submission, so make sure that MP4 is an acceptable format. Also make sure your MP4 is properly formatted in terms of display size, frame-rate, and data rate.

Guy McLoughlin

January 2, 2015 at 10:37AM

Don't worry about the resolution, as long as the cinematography serves the story, no one will ever start counting pixels and bits. That being said, you could prepare a DCP package (they come very cheap nowdays) for the festivals, so you will be sure about the quality of your projected image.

January 2, 2015 at 5:54AM

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Stel Kouk
Filmmaker
3132

>>>do you know where I could find a list of these Indie festivals?

Just Google "Indie Film Festival" and you will find tons.

50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, 2014
http://www.moviemaker.com/archives/festivals/50-film-festivals-worth-the...

January 2, 2015 at 10:32AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32649

720p might be pushing it, 1080p, no problem. It's helpful to research specific festivals and see what they require now and in the future if you are offered a chance to screen. I know a few people who got accepted but didn't read the fine print and ended up with a wasted entry that could've been a nice opportunity.

January 17, 2015 at 1:42AM

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Zachariel Shanahan
Writer/Director
1084

Always accept 1080p don't worry :D

January 22, 2015 at 4:56AM

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Rag├╝el Cremades
Film producer and director
7688

Even 200 million dollar blockbusters are typically projected at 2k (which is only slightly higher than 1080p). Technology moves fast, but not so fast that 1080 is considered low res, and I doubt it will be for at least a decade.

May 2, 2015 at 5:19PM

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Jay Cee
86

Yeah most times you are actually asked to downscale your footage if anything, most 4k films are compressed to a 1080HD file. You should be fine at that resolution.

June 16, 2015 at 12:30AM, Edited June 16, 12:29AM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
414

If I'm not mistaken the last iteration of Jurassic park is mastered at 2.5K.

August 30, 2015 at 8:59AM

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To find lists of independent film festivals you can check Without a Box or Film Freeway.
Both sites are also a way to submit your film to festivals.

https://www.withoutabox.com/

http://filmfreeway.com/

February 12, 2016 at 10:19AM

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Sean Bokenkamp
Animator
137

At this moment, I'm speaking of Feb 2016, there is no feature film that has been screened in any cinema with an resolution that was higher than 2048 x 1080 (except for film of course) because feature films are only shot in resolutions like 4K or even 6K but still mastered and rendered in 2K because it would take that much long time they just don't have.

For example "Avatar" would need to render about 72h for every single frame on a standard computer. And it was 2K imagine it would be 4K. That would be about 288h for a single frame.

Also you wouldn't notice the difference between 2K and 4K on a big screen in cinames. You roughly do if you compare a HD and 4K TV of the same size and from the same distance.

February 13, 2016 at 6:33PM, Edited February 13, 6:33PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2175

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