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The physical process of exposing, developing, printing and projecting motion picture film has remained largely unchanged for more than 100 years. Technologies have come and gone, film stocks have improved, colours are richer, and so on. But we still make films much the same way as the Lumiere Brothers did in the late 1800’s.

Then about 30 years later, television appeared. The two related mediums did not necessarily work together, but it was soon evident that they had to co-exist. It wasn’t always an easy relationship, but somehow the two entities managed to get along and are strong and viable industries today.

This primer gives you the basic information that you need to understand the differences between various time code formats and how they interact with film gauges and in fact why different time code formats exist in the first place.

For a more in-depth look at post production in general, take a look at Columbia University’s Digital Media Centre web site: http://artserver3.art.columbia.edu/dmc/docs/Post-Guide.pdf.  This document does an excellent job of explaining many aspects of post production including time codes, film gauges, aspect ratios, high definition and much more.

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