Once you have completed your mix, deliver your camera original negative and your cut workprint to a negative cutter. Leave this important step to a pro. Any mistakes here will alter your film forever. The negative cutter matches the workprint “final cut” to the camera original and precisely cuts your negative to match. The 16mm negative will be A/B rolled (checker boarded) to hide the splices and make dissolves possible.
Be sure to mark your workprint clearly and properly; showing fades and dissolves. It is important that you mark unintentional splices well. The negative cutter is only as good as your marks. If the cutter blows it, it’s likely due to poor marks.
Once the negative is cut into A/B Rolls send them with your Master Mix 1/4″ or Magstock with your color correction notes to the lab for your first trial composite answer print.
first trial composite answer print
The answer print is sometimes referred to as an A/B Answer Print. It is the lab timer’s first attempt (first trial) at combining the elements from the negative A/B rolls and sound mix into a single (composite) answer print. You will check this print for color corrections, how fades and dissolves look, and correct sound sync. Most answer prints will be about 95% right on.
After screening the answer print you will note any needed corrections and send these notes to the lab. They will be incorporated and a second answer print will be struck. The second answer print does not cost as much as the first.
A 16mm Optical Negative Track will be made from your Master Mix, which will print with the A/B Rolls while the lab is making your answer print. Be sure to budget for this, there is an additional charge.
If your film could be considered experimental (ie Color footage combined with black and white, or extremely short cuts, etc.) as opposed to a so-called “normal” film, additional printing rolls (“C” and “D” Rolls) will have to be prepared, which means there will be additional printing charges for answer prints.
Release prints are the additional prints intended for release and screening made after your answer prints. The charge for these is substantially lower than answer prints because the time-consuming start and stop/ trial and error timing process is over and they can simply turn the machines on and let it run.
If you want to save time and also guarantee a professional result for your film, contact VFX LA.