I direct animated series for broadcast in Canada and the States and Latin America. My Post QC person is saying that I can't sit on pure black for as long as I have planned for and I want to make sure I'm not being held to a rule that is from NTSC years. Currently, I'm sitting on a black frame that has audio/dialogue for approximately 10 seconds. What's the current rule about this?
The FCC and other agency regulations are about dead air, so if you have audio during the black, you're technically OK, sort of. But, even so, 10 seconds is a VERY long time in broadcast, and personally I'd never let a program produced by my team stay visually black for that long.
There is a regulation about being visually in black, even with audio, I'd have to go look it up, but 10 seconds is way too long for visual black, even with audio, in broadcast TV. You'll lose the attention of a good chunk of your audience. That I can assure you. I'd not allow more than 4 seconds. Rework the script.
But I am going to check with my team on what the FCC regulation is on this.
thanks for the fast reply, more accurately it's 6 seconds 18 frames, there has be a lot of fuss about this, so I am caving in and going to a very dark silhouette to play it safe. I wanted to get a second opinion as quite often I get QC remarks that are reminiscent of delivery guides from the pre-digital era. It still sounds from you as if it's a creative call rather than a technical call. Used to be if you delivered something that had played havoc with the colour levels, you went to reshoot jail! But, just having pure black doesn't seem to be a technical issue but rather a creative call concerning the viewer's comprehension of the content? Guess I could have also gone with the ole 'blinking' eyes in the black. thanks again.
How long you can sit on pure black is not about analog vs digital, it’s about how long you can legally show “dead air”. Low power over-air stations are allowed to get away with more than other broadcast systems. It is a legal question.