Filmmakers will need the following to work with AutoDCP
  1. Dropbox Account
    • Enough free space in their Dropbox account to accomodate their final DCP as well as their source
    • The free version of Dropbox is not big enough
    • Dropbox Professional is $20/month and includes a 30 day free trial
  2. Dropbox Desktop App installed and an ability to work with the Desktop app.  How to install Dropbox can be found HERE.  Do not use safari/chrome/IE to upload/download files directly to dropbox.com website, use their app.   Uploading large files directly to dropbox.com does not work.   Using the dropbox app on your desktop works just fine for any size file.
  3. A reliable fast network, 100mb/s or better, ie cable modem or better.  A cell phone network (5g or otherwise) is not good enough for large file deliveries, or simply will take too long.
  4. Ability to work with Paypal (paypal acount is not required, payment can be made via paypal or credit card)
  5. Ability to work with email, all notices are sent via email
  6. Filmmakers are expected to use AutoDCP themselves, ie they do the uploads and create DCP’s with AutoDCP tools.
What if a Filmmaker can’t use Dropbox?
  • The filmmaker and festival can make other arrangement for the filmmaker.  AutoDCP is not able to help with other methods such as ftp, fedex, aspera etc.
  • We can refer a filmmaker to 3rd parties which can do this for them.   Such 3rd parties offer “white glove services”, at varying costs depending on the extra level of support a filmmaker may need.
  • We do offer direct connection methods for the following studios:  WB, Universal, Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Disney, Netflix, and Sony.  If you are studio feel free to contact us about direct connect options.
Content requiring KDM’s, content from a major post house (eg Deluxe), or content being handled by a distributor
  • Content already in theatrical distribution should NOT use AutoDCP.  AutoDCP is best suited for indie content coming directly from a creator.  Content in distribution should use traditional delivery methods, booking, trafficking, delivery, etc.
  • Content requiring KDM’s (encrypted content), can not be handled by AutoDCP.  All logistics  related to KDM’s must be handle directly by the festival and the filmmaker.
  • Last minute reels should be handled by traditional HDD/CRU hand delivery to the projection room.
Festival Requirements:  In addition to the above festivals need the following.
  1. At least 2 TB Dropbox space.  All DCP’s are gathered by AutoDCP in the festival’s Dropbox account.   Therefore you need sufficient space to hold all the filmmakers DCP’s.
  2. A Desktop computer reliably connected to the internet.
    • With at least 2TB of free space, i.e. enough space to sync to your Dropbox folder with all your DCPs.
    • The Dropbox app installed on your desktop so it sync’s your DCP’s in the background.
    • Directly connected to your router via ethernet.   In short a reliable fast connection.   Using wifi will simply slow you down.
    • What we mean by ‘desktop’ is something that you leave on, and constantly connected to the internet.   Using your laptop which is in constant flux is not a great idea.   Best is an editorial system, or similar reliable work type computer.
  3. Hard drives(s) big enough to hold all your show’s DCP’s.   While it needs to be big, it must be no bigger then 2 TB as that is the largest HDD supported by theaters.  You are welcome to ask the theater if it can accept larger drives, but test this with your theater several weeks before your festival.
    • On a PC
      • format the external HDD as NTFS (or ext2).
      • change Dropbox settings to sync to this drive
    • On a Mac (you’ll need two drives)
      • format drive #1 normally
      • change Dropbox settings to sync to drive #1
      • format drive #2 as NTFS (using paragon mac plugin)
      • after the show is completely sync’d, copy the entire DCP deliverables folder to drive #2.
      • deliver drive #2 to the theater.
Activating AutoDCP (Notifying Filmmakers & Instructions)

Example of activating AutoDCP from a filmmaker welcome letter.

Please note, your welcome letter may be different.   You are looking for the “Important Information” section and in particular “Your Shows Activation link

Making a DCP

If you need to make a DCP with AutoDCP simple follow these steps:

  1. Drag your source from your Desktop into your Dropbox/apps/AutoDCP folder.
  2. AutoDCP will detect that you have a ‘new job’ and send you notices via email, on any necessary next steps.
  3. You will receive via email a ‘Preflight’ report as well as a paypal invoice.   Review the ‘Preflight’ report for accuracy and if satified pay the paypal invoice.   Your DCP being processing upon payment of the paypal invoice.
  4. After your DCP is made it will appear within your Dropbox/apps/AutoDCP/dcps.  You can now actually deliver it to your festival.

For more information check the bottom of any page after logging in for commonly asked questions, or of course file a support ticket, we are always happy to help.

Pricing details may be found here.

Upload an existing DCP

If you have a DCP that you made or someone other than AutoDCP made, and need to send it to your festival, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Create the folder ‘dcps’ in your Dropbox apps/AutoDCP folder, all your dcps need to be located in this folder in order to use the AutoDCP app.    After creating the ‘dcps’ folder your folder structure should look like this:  Dropbox/apps/AutoDCP/dcps
  2. drag your existing dcp folder from your desktop into Dropbox/apps/AutoDCP/dcps
  3. Let your Dropbox sync.
  4. Once your dcp is properly within your Dropbox account you can go and actually delivery it to the festival, aka step #5.

Do not zip your DCPs, and of course make sure you are using the Dropbox app installed on your desktop as outlined in step #1.

Pricing details may be found here.

Delivering a DCP

Example of e-delivering a DCP to a participating festival.

You can confirm you have completed this step by checking your “Sent DCPs” under your settings, for details check out this article.

Keeping track of the filmmakers, who’ve sent what and who’s needing attention.

Prepping the show drive for the theater.

AutoDCP does not deliver the DCPs to the theater, nor make a HDD which you give the theater.   The festival is responsible for getting the DCPs’ to the theater and or make the HDD for the projectionist.

If you are using AutoDCP tools, creating the HDD is simple.

The theater simply needs the festival DCP’s all gathered up and sent to them on a HDD they can deal with.  Instead of shipping many drives to the theater, AutoDCP make it possible to  ship all the DCP’s consolidated onto a single drive (or a small collection of drives vrs a myriad of unorganized media).

AutoDCP validates and organizes all the filmmakers deliverables within the festivals dropbox account in the folder Apps/AutoDCP/delivereables automatically..  Each filmmaker’s DCP will be placed under Apps/AutoDCP/deliverables/festivalname in its own folder named “filmmaker@emailaddress/dcpname”

Simply copy the edelivered DCP’s from the deliverables folder on to an external HDD, and give that to the theater.  Or better yet, assuming you have the Dropbox app installed on your desktop, set up Dropbox to sync your deliverables folder to an external HDD.  You can and should do this in the beginning, even before you receive your first DCP.   Dropbox will simply sync DCPs as they are delivered.   If you do this after all DCPs are delivered you’ll need to wait for your Dropbox to sync and this will take a LONG time (possibly days).   Setting this up from the beginning saves lots of time and makes it easy to receive a few last minute DCPs at the end vrs having to sync everything at once.


One catch.   That HDD needs to be formatted in a way a theater can read it.   It needs to be formatted as NTFS or EXT2.  It can’t be formatted for a Mac, or exFat.   Also, the HDD can’t exceed 2TB in size.  Theaters can’t read those harddrive formats.   If you wish to use the Dropbox sync process (as recommended) on a PC simply make sure your external HDD is formatted NTFS or ext2.  If you are on a mac you’ll need two external HDDs, one that Dropbox sync’s do (mac formatted due to limitations in Dropbox), and a second HDD which is formatted NTFS or ext2 for the theater.  You’ll need to copy all the folders from the external mac drive to the external NTFS or ext2 formatted drive at the time you close the festival for delivery.  On a mac this two-step drive process is required due to limitations in how Dropbox works on a mac, and the need for the drive to be formatted NTFS or ext2 for the theater.

To be pedantic, the original delivery theaters actually wanted was the HDD housed inside a special container called a CRU.   But today, many theaters can accommodate new USB3 type drives.  CRU drives are often not even directly supported on the newer projection systems..  Check to confirm with your theater that they are okay with a newer USB3 drive formatted either as NTFS or EXT2.  If not here are the official digital theater requirements supported by all theaters worldwide.

The official delivery method is via a HDD contained within a CRU carrier.   The HDD must follow a couple rules

  1. HDD must be formatted ext2 (or NTFS).   exFAT, HFS, etc are NOT allowed, nor do they seldom work
  2. The HDD can not exceed 2TB in size
  3. A HDD can contain multiple DCP folders, but file names within the folders must NOT be modified in any manner.

If the festival would like to hire AutoDCP to create the show drive for them, we are happy to do so.  There is fee for this service, please contact us for details.

Working from a Mac,?  You will  definitely want the Paragon drivers.

Pictured below is what a CRU carrier looks like as well as links to NTFS/EXT2 software for a mac which you are welcome to use if your mac can’t already read/write NTFS/EXT2 harddrives.

Power user note:   Dropbox’s “selective sync” feature lets receive DCP’s directly to your externally connected HDD/CRU!   No more having to copy files last minute.  DCP’s just appear on the show drive as filmmakers edeliver them to you.

Learn about DCPs

If you would like to learn more about what a DCP is and why its used, check out these resources by friends of AutoDCP.