How long does it take to make a DCP?

AutoDCP is probably the fastest DCP encoding service in the professional post production world today.   Although you may expect rapid service if you are Martin Scorsese, most filmmakers can expect to wait 3 to 5 days for a post house to create a DCP (plus shipping if drives need to be sent).

With AutoDCP, once your source file is either on Dropbox or in your SonyMCS account the average turnaround time for feature length content is overnight.  In other words, if your content is in the account by 5pm, your DCP should arrive in your account by 9am the next day.

AutoDCP does not have a queue like other post houses. Since the product is cloud based, the service scales automatically to meet the current demand.   In short, AutoDCP can handle 1000 jobs in the same amount of time as just one job–usually overnight.   This is the power of post services built around a cloud-based OPEX business model.

Having said this, the only drawback is you must account for the time it takes you to get your source uploaded, and or the DCP downloaded back to your computer (unless of course you are sending your DCP electronically to whomever has requested it from you).

You can monitor the progress of your job at all points of the process, by logging in via the AutoDCP user login found on the front page of the website.

Here are the major time elements of the process

  1. upload source to dropbox (or SonyMCS)
  2. AutoDCP makes your DCP from your source file
  3. Download your DCP back to your desktop

Steps 1 and 3 are up  to the network speed you happen to have or are using.   Step two is dependent on your content, and can be anywhere from real time to 3-5X real time.

Here are some real world examples (from a typical home cable modem type connection).

  1. Five-minute short: source is QT Pro-res, ie ~5GB.   Network is typical cable modem 100mb service (100mb down/10mb up).  It is interesting to note that QT Pro-res files run about the same MB/sec as DCP’s.
    • source upload time ~1 hour (5 GB / 10 Mbs)
    • encode time < 1 hour
    • DCP download time ~ 10 minutes (~5GB/100 Mbs)
    • total time ~ 2 hours
  2. Thirty-second trailer: QT Pro-res ~ 1GB file
    • source upload time ~20 minutes (1 GB / 10 Mbs)
    • encode time < 1 hour
    • DCP download time ~ 5 minutes (~1GB/100 Mbs)
    • total time < 1 hour
  3. Real world example from a business class (corporate network 100 Mb/s upload/download).  Feature-length film: 100 minutes, QT Pro-res, 150GB.  Please note this type of service (or faster) is now available at some Starbucks/google locations as well as many shared workspaces found in many major cities today.
  • Upload time: ~ 4-5 hours
  • encoding time < 6 hours
  • DCP download time: ~ 4-5 hours
  • total time: ~ 15 hours

In short, the biggest barrier today is upload/download speeds that you currently have, either at home or at your business location.

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