Old DCP of an early screening, is it useless?

Anything and everything to do with DCP-o-matic.
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NL197
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:38 pm

Old DCP of an early screening, is it useless?

Post by NL197 »

I registered to ask this specific question.

I have the opportunity to be given an old test screening of a theatrical film (from around 2012 or 2013) from the estate of a producer. Unfortunately there was no documentation with it on KDMs and the drives (run-of-the-mill HDDs) are obviously encrypted.

Is there any way to access the content at all - through DCP-o-matic or other means - or would I have to contact the studio/owner and request a KDM? Since I’m not in the industry I doubt they’d bother. The film itself is largely forgotten, it’s more a tech curiosity than anything else.

Any clear-cut answer about if there’s any hope or if this drive is an expensive paperweight would be appreciated!
carl
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Re: Old DCP of an early screening, is it useless?

Post by carl »

Is the film definitely encrypted? If so, you need a KDM, I'm afraid - no way round it.
NL197
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:38 pm

Re: Old DCP of an early screening, is it useless?

Post by NL197 »

Hello,

That's what I figured. As it's from an estate, the chances of anyone being able to provide any info on their end are slim to none, so paperweight it is.

It is most certainly encrypted, and obviously I'm not remotely interested in any sort of cracking / going around things.

It's good to have a definitive answer, thank you!
Last edited by NL197 on Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
carl
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Re: Old DCP of an early screening, is it useless?

Post by carl »

Sorry if you already know this and I'm teaching you to suck eggs - but DCPs don't have to be encrypted. Perhaps it isn't? Or did you already check?
NL197
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:38 pm

Re: Old DCP of an early screening, is it useless?

Post by NL197 »

Sorry, I'd edited my post to answer your question.

It is encrypted, yes.

I used to work at a movie theater and was training for a short time on how to injest DCPs into the main TMS and use USBs to feed the KDMs, and certain foreign films (such as those from China and India) didn't have any encryption, mainly it was just the big Hollywood stuff (aside from anniversary screenings which weren't)
Carsten
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Location: Germany

Re: Old DCP of an early screening, is it useless?

Post by Carsten »

For such old movies, and especially from special events like screenings, it is entirely possible that there is no way to actually recreate a KDM - because the Key or DKDM for it has expired or simply vanished, or the service company that had stored there does no longer exist. This even happened to some distribution DCPs in the early days of digital cinema. In that case, the data on the drive is completely useless, there is practically no way to hack an encrypted DCP.
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