Best Festival Projection Settings for Video Projectors (non .DCP) #projectors

Micha D.

Hello friends! I'm new here so forgive me if I ask something stupid. ;) 

I am in the festival circuit and am looking for advise on compression for a 20 minute film shot in 4k. I am just back rom a Toronto film festival and my 4k .MOV stuttered during a couple of places in playback. I am now headed to Paris and (same situation) .DCP theater, but using a projector. 

Does anyone know what the best compression settings would be for a short like this?

Should I make a 2k .mov, or maybe be safe and output an HD version for projection? 

Thanks so much in advance! 

Next time sign your message, name, job & location, it helps people to  answer 

James Barber

Unfortunately I can't give you a perfect answer as it depends on the festival.

Stuttering during playback is most often a data rate bottleneck, where the drive just isn't capable of keeping up with the rate required. So unfortunately it's not the projector here you need to worry about, but the playback system that's plugged into it. Best to get in touch with the festival and see if you can speak directly with the techies doing the projection and ask them.

Avoid H264 unless you want a colour shift and reduced saturation etc (But knowing full-well that lots of smaller fests run MP4s off a laptop). And if you can, use the x264 encoder rather than Apple's H264.
Avoid H265 unless you know they have a very capable modern machine and are asking for it as a spec.
Avoid 4K unless you know for sure they have a 4K projector and a system capable of playing it back. 
But ultimately, give them a file that won't test their hard drive speed or no matter the codec, it'll stutter.

Hope that helps a little


James Barber
Editor/Colourist/DP/Director yadayadayada