The simple answer to this question is independent filmmakers care about the quality of their film on the big screen and so does Phoenix DCP. Filmmakers also constantly look for a great deal on high quality DCP mastery. Phoenix DCP exists to serve the independent film community worldwide.
We started this company because we care about independent film and as we looked around at different companies in the industry who provide this service, we saw a great number of independent filmmakers paying prices that are, frankly, too high. The truth is, we love being part of the process of taking a film and making it look and sound fantastic on the big screen. While some people might think our prices are too good to be true, the truth is the prices are what we think is fair for a high quality DCP. So, take advantage of our service and you won't be disappointed.
This is where it starts. DCP creation is when your digital file is converted into a Digital Cinema Package. This section of pricing does not include storage for your DCP. One of these options should fit your film project.
Create a DCP of less than 30 minutes in length.
Create a DCP between 30-60 minutes in length.
Create a DCP of your feature film with a length between 60-120 minutes.
Create a DCP of your feature film with a length over 120 minutes.
Phoenix DCP recommends having at least one backup of your film on Blu-ray. There are many things that can go wrong at the theater where your film is playing. Having been in this industry for 12+ years, we have seen screenings cancelled completely for reasons such as a malfunction in the digital projector. While this is not common, it is great to be able to present another option at that moment because you showed up prepared. Also, not all film festivals are created equal. Some do not have the ability to play a DCP and require a Blu-ray version.
This is meant as a backup to a DCP. The Blu-ray will be created and you will receive one copy of the Blu-ray. Stand alone Blu-ray orders are not being taken at this time. Nothing fancy here. This Blu-ray will automatically start on most players and will not have a menu or chapters.
Who said nothing in this world is free. In some cases, filmmakers already have a drive that can be used to store the new DCP. If this fits your situation, you will send that drive to us and we will use that for storage. You would still be responsible for the shipping and handling charges to ship the drive back to you.
With this option, your DCP will be placed on a USB thumb drive with a label to identify all of the important information that the theater will need.
This option will work for some festivals but this option does take longer to ingest a film into a digital server than a CRU drive.
A CRU hard drive refers to a product from a company called CRU Digital and is the standard for theaters for loading and playing a DCP. The CRU drive is used to transfer content to projection systems. They are the accepted standard for content distribution to theaters. This drive is the only reliable way to “Live Play” content from the transport medium in the event of unexpected issues at the theater. By loading your film on a CRU drive rather than on standard USB hard drive, you make the projectionist’s job faster, cause content ingestion to be more efficient and improve the theaters ability to make sure it plays in the face of the unexpected.
The same CRU drive as above with a hard case but the drive will contain all connection cables needed. In most cases, the theater will have a bay to load the DCP into their server without the need for these cables but many filmmakers choose this option just to be safe.
Not all projects are the same. You might need multiple copies of your DCP or you might need 25 copies of your Blu-ray to distribute to sponsors, etc. These are a few items that might come in handy for some projects.
It is quite possible that your film will be accepted to more than one festival at a time or simply need to be sent out to multiple locations at the same time. Additional copies of your DCP should not break the bank. Order as many as you would like for only $25 per copy plus the cost of each drive.
From time to time, you may need screener copies to send to festivals, cast members or others that you want to be able to screen your film on Blu-ray . Some fundraising campaigns even offer a Blu-ray copy of the film for a certain contribution amount. The typical order includes 5 extra copies of the Blu-ray but you can order as many as you like for only $10 each once you purchase the Blu-ray creation.
Shipping varies based on location. This will be included when a quote of your specific job is designed.
Q: How do I submit my film for DCP Conversion?
A: You can supply a download link of your digital file or mail a copy of your digital file to the address that will be provided to you.
Q: What is a DCP and why do I need one?
A: DCP stands for Digital Cinema Package and is the standard for delivering a film to theaters operating digital projection equipment. A DCP is a collection of files that contain Audio, Video, and other information. They provide a standard way for a theater to present content and maintain an accurate presentation from site to site.
Q: Does my film have to be 24 Frames Per Second (FPS) for a DCP?
A: No, but frame rate is important. DCP's play in full frame rates (24, 25, 30, 60, etc) and some older Digital Cinema Servers can only play 24 fps. This is becoming more rare to see these older digital servers and festivals will typically tell you up front if they can only play a DCP at 24 fps. If your film is 23.976, 29.97 or any other fractional frame rate, it will be converted during the DCP creation process to make it compatible with Digital Cinema Servers and this will not affect the quality of your film on the big screen.
Q: What format is the drive that will contain my DCP?
A: There are options here but the standard is EXT3 which is a format for a Linux-based operating system. Theatrical Digital Cinema Servers are designed to use this format. If you are getting a CRU drive that will be sent directly to a theater, this is the best option. Most Mac and Windows computers are not able to read the drive when formatted this way. Depending on your needs, you may get your DCP on another format such as NTFS (typical Windows format) which can still be readable in many theaters. If you plan to distribute your DCP electronically, you can choose another format such as exFAT which can be used on Mac or Windows computers.
Q: Do I need a CRU drive for DCP distribution?
A: There are multiple choices when it comes to the way your DCP is delivered to you. This is the best option, especially for feature films. What Phoenix DCP recommends is to have your DCP on a CRU drive for best results. A CRU drive is a product from CRU Digital and is used to transfer content to projection systems. They are the accepted standard for content distribution to theaters. Digital Cinema Servers are equipped with a drive bay designed to read CRU drives. When your film is delivered this way, your film is ingested into the Cinema Server and is noticeably faster than from a USB drive. A CRU drive can also be used to play your film directly, without ingestion while this is not an option with other storage methods.
Q: What audio and video specs are expected in my digital file?
A: Both audio and video should be high quality. The majority of films are submitted as a ProRes file but other formats are also accepted. Just remember, if you submit a low quality rendition of your film, it will not look good on the big screen. Phoenix DCP will not be able to make any changes to your actual video quality. For audio, a 5.1 surround sound mix is best but stereo will work as well. Audio should be embedded in the file with picture and should be 24 bit, 48kHz and laid out as follows for a 5.1 mix: L R C LFE Ls Rs.
Q: Do you check the DCP for problems?
A: Yes, your film is quality checked by Phoenix DCP as part of the DCP Creation process. We check the DCP on a computer to confirm the content but this is not the same as screening in a theater. Your film can also be screened in a theater for an additional fee. This fee changes regularly and is based on theater availability. If you would like this service, we are happy to research the current cost with the theater and include the cost on your price quote.
Q: Can I get more than one copy of my DCP?
A: Yes, there is a fee of $25 plus the cost of the storage device you choose from the provided price list. In some cases, we are asked to produce one DCP on a CRU drive to be sent directly to theaters and one on a USB hard drive that can be viewed on a Mac or Windows computer. These choices are up to you.
Q: I have a commercial to deliver that will play in a theater. Can you produce a DCP of the commercial?
A: Yes, this is very common. Phoenix DCP regularly produces DCP's of commercials and advertisement slideshows for theatrical presentation. This would still be based on minutes and would be considered a short in most cases in the under 30 minute category. Often, a CRU drive is not required by the theater for a file this small. However, you will want to confirm that with the venue where the commercial/slideshow will show prior to placing your order.
Q: Why are your prices lower than every other company that I have found?
A: We actually get this question more than any other. To be honest, we could charge more but we love independent film and we love to be part of the process to help independent filmmakers bring their art to the big screen. We believe the costs are fair for the service we are providing.