8:02 AM, Wednesday, March 7th, 2018:
So annoyed man... I mean - I get it, kinda, if I were in the IT's shoes I would have the same list of demands, however once I read the README FILE that explains why the person lowered the bitrate therefore knocking it from ProRes422 (HQ) to simply ProRes422 - I would understand and move forward...
...then come to find out it may have just been the NAME of the FILE?! I could've just added (HQ) and been fine? Uhhhhh. Losing it a little.
So the first batch of deliverables failed QC because they were not ProRes422 (HQ) format. The differences between the 422 formats are simple:
Apple ProRes 422 HQ
A higher-data-rate version of Apple ProRes 422 that preserves visual quality at the same high level as Apple ProRes 4444 but for 4:2:2 image sources. With widespread adoption across the video post-production industry, Apple ProRes 422 HQ offers visually lossless preservation of the highest-quality professional HD video that a single-link HD-SDI signal can carry. This codec supports full-width, 4:2:2 video sources at 10-bit pixel depths, while remaining visually lossless through many generations of decoding and reencoding. The target data rate is approximately 220 Mbps at 1920x1080 and 29.97 fps.
Apple ProRes 422
A high-quality compressed codec offering nearly all the benefits of Apple ProRes 422 HQ, but at 66 percent of the data rate for even better multistream, real-time editing performance. The target data rate is approximately 147 Mbps at 1920x1080 and 29.97 fps.
Apple ProRes 422 LT
A more highly compressed codec than Apple ProRes 422, with roughly 70 percent of the data rate and 30 percent smaller file sizes. This codec is perfect for environments where storage capacity and data rate are at a premium. The target data rate is approximately 102 Mbps at 1920x1080 and 29.97 fps.
Apple ProRes 422 Proxy
An even more highly compressed codec than Apple ProRes 422 LT, intended for use in offline workflows that require low data rates but full-resolution video. The target data rate is approximately 45 Mbps at 1920x1080 and 29.97 fps.
Nearly all of this is worthless to you except for the target data rate sections. That's the only difference with this particular format: The higher the data rate the higher the file size and here's the kicker: if NONE of your source files surpass the data rates in the above formats? It's completely worthless. I have absolutely no files that surpass 50 mbps. Most, not even half that. The rule of thumb for compression is you always meet your biggest element. If you have varying framerates? You export at the highest. If you have varying resolutions? Meet the highest. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So I set my guidelines to Pro Res 422 (HQ) but lowered the bitrate to 50 so as to not completely balloon the file size for no reason. It's already going to be massive because my film is mastered in 4K. So the finished product was still 120 GIGS for one freaking 90 minute movie when in fact I can render a version for 22gigs that looks identical. That alone made the efficiency part of my brain twitch, but I understood.
Then I get a note that I have FAILED this and need to redo it again. I wrote back immediately and eplained what I had done (which I explained in a readme file in the drive that I gave them) but that I would happily raise the bitrate to (HQ) standards.
So I drive downtown, get the old harddrive and go to set-up at Remo's office (yes, Remo the Journey God amazingly works a block away from my distributor) my laptop to transfer over this new file. The size of the new file? 565 GB. Yes, one file is over half a terabyte for absolutely no reason. Looks and plays identical to one that is 22 GB. But I've recompressed it, I transfer it and today I got the note that everything is cool and it will be submitted to Amazon with Google Play being next. Usually takes about 40 days to go live.
So, whew... and now we just hope that fucker is up before Ready Player One. I want to be able to market this movie WITH the press from Ready Player One. It's just such a golden opportunity that missing it now seems just awful. And man, I really thought it would be up within a week? Oh well. I've done everything as fast as humanly possible. What a whirlwind...
...which leads to that OTHER whirlwind: Delorean gigs. Guys, this month is outrageous. Ready for this? This is our most successful month (by a good margin) of all-time excluding October 2015. It's just unbelivable the amount of gigs we're booking and somehow I drove that car 450 miles last weekend. GULP. All went pretty well except the gas pedal was stuck to the floor and I nearly totalled it in stop and go traffic. Yeah, so that's FUCKING AWFUL and one for the sequel, but believe it or not I still feel positive about everything because I think I can fix the gas pedal. But this weekend was crazy and there's another one just like it coming up next (HAVE to get the pedal fixed TODAY). Of note was a strangely massive event...
...but simply at a rental house. Of course it's a rental house at The Club at PGA WEST, Arnold Palmer's Private golf course. Uhm. Ok. Holy wow. So it's this highly exclusive party and they even hired Don as a guest of honor which means after the pure anxiety of getting the car 150 miles I end up hanging out with Don at a house party that from the inside seems very, well, normal? I mean a band is playing, it's decorated to the nines and there's a freaking Delorean out front, but still - the exclusivity starts to vanish after awhile as you're just eating some food and having a beer.
My life is just so bizarre. I can barely stop and process it before the next thing happens. And ultimately? I'm just bummed my family can never be part of this. Kids are clearly too young and even though Talya's mom can help - she can't do that on a Sunday night in the middle of the school year so even Talya can't come. Ugh.
Then again, none of this seems to be slowing down, so the time will come. For now, it's just another strange chapter in this journey.