MFA (Summer 2023)
Due Date: Monday October 2nd, 10:00am
QCs: Friday October 6th, 1pm-4pm
Screenings: October 11th
Due Date: Wednesday December 6th, 10:00am
QC: Monday December 11th and Tuesday December 12th
Screening: Friday December 15th, 6-9:30pm
MFA (Fall 2023)
Due Date: Thursday November 30th, 10:00am
QCs: Wednesday December 6th, Friday December 8th
Screenings: Wednesday December 13th
What are DCPs?
DCPs are Digital Cinema Packages - a collection of files (audio, video, asset map, etc) used for the exhibition of projects in cinematic spaces like movie theaters or screening rooms.
Here at Emerson, the Post Production team collects submissions and creates DCPs for all BA Capstone, BFA, and MFA projects screening in the Bright Family Screening Room.
In the Bright Family Screening Room, we have the hardware to project DCP media in resolutions up to 4K. DCPs have standardized cinema aspect ratios and resolutions.
The “Flat” aspect ratio is the Cinema DCP Standard closest to 16:9.
The “Scope” aspect ratio is the Cinema DCP standard for widescreen.
DCI Full Container (1.9:1)
The “Full Container” aspect ratio is not a standard for cinema exhibition, but we have the ability to project this aspect ratio in the Bright Family Screening Room. Many cameras that record in 2K or 4K (or higher) will default to the Full Container aspect ratio so that the image can be cropped during post production (typically to a Flat or Scope ratio). If you choose to screen a Full Container project in the Bright, please understand that the projector may display (very) slight cropping since it is not one of the standards.
What are the standard resolutions that align with these aspect ratios?
|Cinema DCP 2K||Cinema DCP 4K|
|DCI Full Container (1.9:1)||2048x1080||4096x2160|
Other Aspect Ratios:
If your project was finished in a different aspect ratio, it is usually best to submit your film without any pillar-boxing or letter-boxing (no black bars horizontally or vertically). When the post team creates your DCP, it will be encoded using the closest possible aspect ratio based on DCP standards. We may have to add pillar-boxing or letter-boxing when we encode your DCP, but it gives us more flexibility to create the highest quality DCP if your submission file does not have them.
For example, if your project is 16:9 (1920x1080), then the post team will place your submission inside a Flat 1.85:1 composition (1998x1080). If you view the DCP digitally, you will see the black bars on either side. When we screen the same DCP in the Bright through the cinema projector, these black bars will be cropped by the projection screen.
In pre-production, it is important to decide which aspect ratio you plan to finish with so you can frame your compositions properly on set and account for any cropping you might add in post production. Please contact the post team prior to your submission if you have questions about your aspect ratio or resolution.
If your project features captions, please burn them into the video file you send to us.
If your project features 5.1 surround sound audio, please include 6 mono files labeled according to their channel (L, Ls, C, R, Rs, LFE) along with your video file.
All submissions must be delivered in an uncompressed codec/format. We advise using either of the following:
- Apple ProRes - 422 (preferred) or 4444
- DNxHR - MXF-OP1A
Please note that we can not accept compressed or intra-frame codecs such as H.264 or H.265.
Need assistance? Read our guide: Exporting Master Files for Screenings
Other Submission Requirements
Please use the following template to name your submission file:
- Your Name_Film Title
Please fill out the following submission form:
You will be asked for the following information: Class (BA Capstone, BFA, MFA, etc.), section number, film title, resolution, aspect ratio, frame rate, audio Sample rate (kHz), audio format (Stereo, Mono, or 5.1?), audio language, caption language (if applicable), and availability for QC.
How to submit
Be sure to follow our submission format guidelines and fill out the submission form linked above.
The post managers will have a computer set up where you can copy your submission file on the day of your deadline. Please see Kieran (Ansin 802), the DPL Lab Assistants (Ansin 810), or one of the other post managers in Ansin.
In-person submissions are faster than online submissions if you are on the Boston campus.
If you plan to submit online, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have sufficient space on your Google Drive account prior to the deadline. Emerson College accounts are limited to 100 GB.
Upload your file to Google Drive and share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be aware that this upload could take a significant amount of time based on your file size and internet speed. We advise uploading the night before to ensure your upload is finished before the 10:00am deadlines.
If we do not have your submission by the specified due date, you will not be guaranteed a DCP or QC.
QCs (Quality Control)
QCs will be scheduled in the weeks leading up to the screening. An exact schedule for the day will be shared once submissions close.
All films submitted by the deadline are guaranteed a QC in the Bright Family Screening Room. The purpose of this time is to watch your DCP in the screening space, set the master volume level, and ensure that the file plays through in its entirety without any issues. In the unlikely event that your file does not play properly due to an error on our part, we will encode a new DCP and schedule a make-up QC.
The QC is not a time to evaluate creative decisions. Only films with major technical issues will be considered for the makeup QC date.
Due to the nature of the technology, your experience watching your film on a projector will differ from your experience watching the same film on a backlit OLED display in the DPL suites. The projector in the Bright Family Screening Room is very bright to accomodate the large space. As a result, students often find that their black levels and shadows appears more washed out (bright) than they experienced in the suites. Unfortunately, this is often the case with screening spaces and commonplace in digital film exhibition and many filmmakers make mutiple versions of their films for different outputs (screening rooms, online, streaming, etc). Our best advice is to utilize the brights of the projector and make sure your highlights peak close to 100 on the color correction waveform - this will give you the most contrast possible.
What if I need to resubmit my film after the QC?
If there is a technical problem during your QC that requires a resubmission, the post team will need a new copy of your file ASAP in order to make a new DCP and deliver it to the bright before a second QC. Please email the post team immediately following your QC if you need to resubmit. Make-up QC time in the BFSR is limited so we will be in touch with your scheduled time following the resubmission.
Why do we need to submit in advance of the screening? Can I turn my film in late?
These dates were decided alongside VMA program directors and ArtsEmerson, the organization managing the Bright Family Screening Room. We understand the deadline may seem early for your Screening. The post team requires a few days in order to properly encode DCP files for all of the submissions. Our team has its own internal deadline to deliver these DCPs to the screening room so that they can be ingested on site during business hours prior to the QC, which also takes some time. In general, it is ArtsEmerson's policy to QC at least one week prior to thesis screenings in order to leave time for any problems. If films experience any technical issues, we usually have about 48 hours to retrieve a new file from students (if necessary), encode a new DCP, deliver it to the Screening Room, and ingest the new file for a makeup QC.
We always collaborate with VMA to give students as much time as possible to finish their films before settling on these due dates. The timeline we created gives students as much time as we can allow while also taking into account the regularly scheduled classes, weekly screenings, and additional capstone & thesis screenings in the Bright Family Screening Room. Unfortunately, this does not leave us much room to budge with submission deadlines.
For submissions and more information, please contact the Post Production team: