Should I name the movie file in some special way?

Short answer is yes.  Must I name it in a special way?  No, it is not mandatory to do so.

AutoDCP will try to help you name your movie per the DCI naming convention.

For instance if your source file is named “MyGreatMovie.mov” AutoDCP will email you notice suggesting a better name.   You can either accepts its name or choose your own.  The name AutoDCP chooses for you will be based on your name “MyGreatMovie” concatenated with the other fields used in the DCI naming convention.

Having said this you really should name your movie file in a way which will be convenient for the theater projectionist to properly find and playback your DCP.   While it is not required to do this, it has become a industry practice (and good manners) to do so.  The naming convention simply puts all the information that a projectionist would want to know into the name, to allow playing the DCP back without needing to ask a bunch of questions of you.

Here’s an example of a bad name, and bad practice.  Often as an editor works on a file they give it version names, and or similar short names such as “ProresProject-003.mov”.   If the movie  title  happened to be “Star Wars,”   naming the DCP “ProresProject…_XX_XX_XX_OV” would not be too helpful to the projectionist.   A better choice is to name the DCP  “StarWars…XX_XX_XX_OV.”   That way when a projectionist can’t locate you DCP you know what to call it when in the screening room.

How picky is the naming convention?   Again, the short answer is not very.  The thing to do is try as best to follow this recommendation, but if there are unknown ‘fields,’ you can just enter XX as a placeholder.

Here’s an example movie file named according to the recommendation:  spacedogsattm_tlr_f-185_sp-xx_us-g_51_hd_epic_2016080216_iop_ov.mov

This will result in a DCP created with the name “spacedogsattm_tlr_f-185_sp-xx_us-g_51_hd_epic_2016080216_iop_ov.”

For a complete description of all the fields please visit the DCI site itself at:  http://isdcf.com/dcnc/

ISDCF and more about naming?

The chart above is attributed to the  Intersociety Digital Cinema Forum, the group which organized the recommendations and standards for DCI.

To learn more and access the appendices referenced in the graph, as well as latest updates to the recommeded naming practices  click the button below.

Leave me comments,  this is an online document that is likely to be updated numerous times, love to hear what you want me to focus on.