What We Do

We are Producers and Post Producers.

Our technical knowledge, equipment and hands-on experience alloy, enabling us to offer support and custom solutions to our clients. Mostly independent filmmakers, sometimes distributors, editors and studios. Work-flow planning, post supervision, artful color grading, text and title design, film, video and audio restoration, mastering and final deliverables.

For a complete list of our services, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

FREELANCERS: We can help you put together a post production budget, estimate to complete and schedule. We can help you identify and engage key freelance talent such as editors, sound designers, composers, animators and graphic artists.

DELIVERIES: As experienced filmmakers with a history of delivering flawless final masters to broadcast networks (BBC, B-Sky-B, PBS, HBO), motion picture studios (Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony, Universal and The Criterion Collection), and preparing screening masters for film festivals large and small (Cannes, Sundance, SFIFF, MVFF, Palm Springs, TriBeca, Goa) we can help you get there! We will help you study the bewilderingly complex (and sometimes contradictory) physical delivery specifications and determine what needs to be done, in what order. Often, boiler-plate contracts require production of assets that make no sense. We help our clients navigate the obstacles and we can help you negotiate with your distributor or broadcaster if necessary.

  •   On Line Editing and Conforming
  •   Color Grading with our brilliant colorists Leo, Ri and Gary
  •   Multi-Format and Frame Rate Conversion
  •   Restoration (Film and Video)
  •   Animation and Motion Graphics with Ri Crawford
  •   Compositing and After Effects Footage Repair
  •   Main Title and Text Design with Ri Crawford and Elisa Tanaka
  •   Sound Editing, Mixing and Sound Design
  •   Final Deliveries
  •       HDCAM
  •       DCP (Digital Cinema Package)
  •       QuickTime. MP4 or .avi for Archives.
  •       Prep for Web Distribution (ITunes, Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo)
  •       DVD and Blu-ray (Screeners and Replication Masters)

Audio Restoration

A standard component in the release of a film on DVD is the sound enhancement and restoration process. We make the most of new technologies when we retransfer the audio elements that were originally recorded using the best technology available at the time. When possible (and budget allows) we acquire original 35mm magnetic masters of the original final mix “stems” (separated dialogue music and effects) which we bring into a digital environment at a high bit rate and do whatever cleanup work or enhancement is indicated by the state of the original.

On a DVD of a film such as The Conversation, where the soundtrack plays such a critical role in the narrative, the re-mastered track enhances the audience’s ability to appreciate the telling of the story.

Graphics & Menu Design

Our portfolio includes both still and motion menu design. Our premise for creating menus for our DVDs is to provide the viewer with an easily accessible navigational interface which reflects the film stylishly, but never makes you wait to push the button. Take a look at examples of our motion menu design in the ZAP screening room on our “Old Site”

DVD Premastering, Duplication and Replication

Zoetrope built a DVD Lab in 1998 for the final mastering of its own films, and our reputation for high quality work has led many clients to seek our compression and authoring services alone. Leading DVD Production companies such as The Criterion Collection bring many of their titles to our lab for the final authoring and encoding process.

Our compressionist carefully and artfully manages bit rate and other factors so that the film translates digitally at its highest resolution and most beautifully preserved form. The time and detail we devote to the compression can be an art as well as a technical craft.
On Apocalypse Now Redux, the well-reviewed MPEG-2 compression
quality we achieved took more than 80 hours of scene-by-scene compression and bit management with very little outboard processing or softening.

We apply the same effort and standards to every project that comes through the lab, whether it’s major studio feature film projects, high-end corporate work or smaller budgeted independent films.

Facility Services

ZAP offers the following audio and video post services.

  • SCREENING ROOM: See the “Screening Room” tab on our Home Page
  • Video transfer or digitizing – all formats from Betamax I through Beta SP, 3/4″ Umatic, VHS, DVCAM, D2, Digital Betacam. Full PAL & NTSC capabilities
  • HD online finishing – AVID Symphony, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier Pro.
  • Creative offline editorial
  • Blu-ray Disc encoding and authoring
  • AVID and FCP editing suites for rent by the day/week in San Francisco’s Presidio.