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Author Topic: Austin Powers 2 print stolen
Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 06-14-1999 09:01 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sometime between closing time on Sunday evening and opening time on Monday (June 14th) persons unknown broke into the Stanwood Cinemas (a suburb 60 miles north of Seattle. The prints of Austin Powers 2 AND Star Wars Phantom Menace were both stolen right off the platters.
Police say that 3 restaurants located in the same cinema complex were also burglarized. KING-TV interviewed the theater manager, Ms. Storm Weatherholt, who showed an example of a film being taken from a platter with print moving clamps. It it believed the thieves did not use a print mover.
Police and FBI are investigating.

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Ky Boyd
Hey I'm #23

Posts: 314
From: Santa Rosa, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-14-1999 09:40 PM      Profile for Ky Boyd   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh good, lets show people on tv how its done. That'll help discourage the practice of stealing prints. Jeez. How clueless can people get.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-14-1999 10:18 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well if your name was "Storm Weatherholt", you'd be pretty clueless, too! I wonder what goes through the minds of people who steal prints? They can't run them. Who are they going to try to sell them to? Nobody would buy them in that condition (not on cores or reels). Next thing you know these people will be trying to take prints while the show is running!
We have a newfangled device on all of our booth doors that can help prevent this sort of thing from happening. It's design is ingenious and is already available on the market! This strange device is called a "lock". People should be trained on how to use it and who not to loan the keys to.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-14-1999 10:19 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
What is the deal here??? What is that 4 or 5 Phantom Menace prints stolen now?

I saw a report on tv last night about video bootlegging and one street seller openly admitted he had sold about a thousand tapes of Phantom Menace for $10/each! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

I wonder if these stolen prints are where the tapes are originating from.

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Christopher Seo
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 530
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-15-1999 12:00 AM      Profile for Christopher Seo   Email Christopher Seo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Stealing prints just for the fun of must be worthwhile to some people. I mean, if I were to start collecting 35mm, with no projector to run it on, I'd be content enough just to stare at the film sitting on my desk.

I can definitely see stealing "Austin Powers 2", but "Phantom Menace"?-- no sense bothering.

Was that street seller in the U.S.?

If you're wondering who the bootleggers actually are, a newspaper article told me they're projectionists sitting in the booth with video cameras. I have been really tempted to see if that method actually produces something remotely watchable.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-15-1999 12:17 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is not watchable. Too much flicker due to the mismatch of video and film speeds. But pirates don't care about that, and I'm sure they don't tell that to the buyers of the tape..not to mention crappy sound!

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-15-1999 04:19 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
The tapes I've seen on news reports don't have a flicker, yet they were obviously shot right off of the screen.

This is odd. Film runs at 24fps with a 2 bladed shutter equaling 48 flashes on the screen per second. Video runs at 30fps with 2 fields per frame equaling 60 frames per second. Any way you slice it...24 does not mathematically go into 30, thus a flicker on the videotape. It would take a 5 bladed shutter for a 24fps film (120 flashes a second) to divide into 30fps video. 120 divided by 30 comes out to a nice even "4" and no flicker. However, due to the slow nature of the intermittent pulldown, this is not feasible on typical theater equipment and would be murder for the onscreen light output.

I believe these pirates are getting European "PAL" videocameras and then digitally converting them to US "NTSC" video standards for duping on the street. The PAL system runs at 25fps...which is close enough to cover up a flicker.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-15-1999 05:36 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Perhaps these copies are coming from Hong Kong. They have everything over there! If you have a DSL connection, you can easilly download MPEG versions of any current movie quickly. They usually fit on 2 CDs. Once that is done, copying to videotape is seamless and easy... no flicker! Stereo, too! Those Chinese have developed special equipment for this (they often use telecine converters) and even their camcorder grabs are pretty good. Any way you slice it, getting good pirated copies of any move you want is pretty easy. But I just can't see some stupid teenager or young man trying to tape it with a normal camcorder and selling the result. Yuck!

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7991
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-15-1999 08:23 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've tried using a consumer video camera pointed at the screen out of curiousity (with 16mm films at home...no, I'm not a video pirate), and the result is nearly unwatchable. One method which would be relatively inexpensive and would work fairly well would be to run the film on a recent-model KEM or Steenbeck editing table with "flickerless" picture head. These machines don't have a shutter, but rather use a rotating prism which quickly dissolves each frame into the next. The resulting picture has no flicker, and can be recorded with any type of film or video camera. The older Steenbecks have some flicker and are not usable for this purpose (and the picture quality is godawful, but good enough for editing purposes), though.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6425
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-22-1999 11:08 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is possible to make copies of films by at least one of two ways that I know of...

1) Take out & replace the shutter drive gear and replace it with one to move the shutter half speed. Then attach a glass disk on the shutter shaft in front of the lens with sectors blacked out. (Can you say 'silly'?)

2) Get a professional model video cam, like TV studios use... Some can be set for "Underscan" (Lower frame rate).

Finally, I heard that many films have invisible, infrared codes/serial numbers printed on them. They need a special filter or something to view them. The FBI can just look at the codes and track down where the print has been. I think this is just one of those 'urban ledgend / F.O.A.F.' stories but I wouldn't be willing to risk it, serial numbers or NOT!

K.Y.S.O.T.I.

Randy

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-22-1999 01:01 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
While I am NOT a supporter of bootlegging, that urban legend of "coding" the film is bs.

Even if they did code the prints it wouldn't matter as the depot guys grab the nearest box and slap their OWN number on it. That number is what remains with the print throughout the rest of it's life. Also the cost of "coding" each and every film would be next to impossible.

But for those who just want to have fun anyways, you can always take one reel from each of your 5 prints and move reels around before you build them! Talk about confusing.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6425
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-23-1999 09:28 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A.K.A. -- Movie Roulette!

------------------
K.Y.S.O.T.I.
Randy

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-23-1999 09:38 AM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I was a kid, a friend of mine and I went to see "A Hard Days Night" with our 8mm cameras. Between the two of us we captured the whole "Can't Buy Me Love" Segment and it turned out!!! We used Tri-X film. There was not a sign of flicker etc. Of course we were shooting at 24 fps but I was still amazed that it worked. We had a blast showing the film to ourselves, all we had to do is play the record and we had a stereo sound track.

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Christopher Seo
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 530
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-23-1999 08:01 PM      Profile for Christopher Seo   Email Christopher Seo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow! What ASA was that film? Was the bootlegged image bright enough?

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-23-1999 11:19 PM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think Tri-x is 400 asa. We tried filmimg once at the drive-in (same segment) but it didn't come out. Not enough watts on the screen I guess. The bits we filmed at The Everett Theater were pretty close to the original in brightness, but who can really tell with 8mm. At that age we were happy with what we got.

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