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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Christie Equipment Shock

Author Topic: Christie Equipment Shock
Brad Miller

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

 - posted 08-12-1999 07:35 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Ok. By now everyone's thinking "what has Christie done now"...right?

Today I met a field rep whom Christie who made the trek over to the Galaxy to check out some consistent problems we have been unable to resolve. What can I say? I am in shock! This man was like no other rep from Christie (or most other manufacturers for that matter).

Mr. Sean James is the first rep from an equipment manufacturer who has ever (at least in my travels) come into a theater where there was a genuine problem and actually admitted that there WERE problems! Now that alone is astounding (and no doubt there will be people who won't believe this)...but he then proceeded to work with us to correct the problems!

Now this may seem like typical things field reps SHOULD be doing anyway, right? Well, for all of you "real world" people, you know damn good and well what I mean. Typically these reps will visit and claim there is no problem and blame it on film stocks or too much humidity or pulsating input line voltage or blah blah this and blah blah that just so they can go home and avoid actually admitting there is a problem with THEIR equipment, regardless of whether it was caused by an operator error or sheer failure of the components. Mr. James did none of this nonsense.

Christie has come up with many improvements. To note a few, the turret lock has been redesigned slightly and he installed some of the new upgraded parts and WOW they work great! He then made sure everyone knew how to install the parts and after seeing the problems we were having with all of our latches, is sending us free replacements. Pretty good so far, but just like on TV...there's more. We got into the sound drum bearings, blower fans, douser vibrations, new heat shields for our giant screen auditoriums, ultramittents and just about everything anyone (including myself) has ever complained of...and he has found acceptable solutions for almost all of the problems. For the unresolved issues, he is sending out loaner parts (some prototype) for us to test with and report back for future upgrades to the Christie line of equipment. In addition he took suggestions for future ugrades, some of which have already been implemented...such as loosening the feed arm spring on an AW3 platter so the film does not drag around the brain.

After posting an unknown amount of negative-toned messages about Christie projectors (I've never had a problem with their lamphouses or platters) after today, I felt this was a necessary post for all to read.

For all of you running Christie machines, there is a solution and his name is Sean James. His concern for our presentation was OUTSTANDING and is commended here for the world to see.

I will report back with findings on new upgrades to the P35GP projectors.

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

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

 - posted 08-12-1999 09:07 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm glad to see that this forum has made an impact on the manufacturer. It's about time that manufacturers listen to what is happening in the field and actually do something about it and not just provide lip service!

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Film Handler

Posts: 28

Registered: Aug 1999

 - posted 08-12-1999 10:01 PM      Profile for RICK HAMILTON   Email RICK HAMILTON   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just came across this page by accident the other night and couldn't believe how bad everybody was slamming CHRISTIE! I had been a firm XL fan until my first experince with a CHRISTIE about 15 months ago. The only tech that I have ever met from CHRISTIE is Sean and he has always been as helpful as you have experienced. My dealings with CHRISTIE have always been pleasant and Sean has always gone above and beyond, both in the initial installation, and the follow up's.

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Jim Ziegler
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: Jul 99

 - posted 08-13-1999 03:50 AM      Profile for Jim Ziegler   Email Jim Ziegler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sean James was at my theatre a few months ago, and I have to agree with Brad, this guy is prety good. Maybe Christie should let this guy design the projectors from now on...

Seriously, I would like to know more about some of these prototypes and redesigned parts and how they work.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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

 - posted 08-13-1999 06:00 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I told ya Sean was cool! He is the only person at Christie that I would want to deal with, but unfortunately he doesn't make the big decisions and have all of the authority that that we projectionists would hope he has. Sean definitely does care, but the relief package of LEDs and other stuff he promised to send never made it to my theatre. I asked him about it and he double checked the order and it never came. I just think it is out of his hands. It's too bad all of Christie can't show us the same concern that he shows us.

When he was at my theatre (twice) he fixed a lot of major problems (especially the first visit). He doesn't make excuses and even will admit when Christie had made a bad move. On his second visit he even convinced me that I was making my loops too small. He didn't actually accuse me of threading wrong, he just stated that the Christie projector works best when threaded such and such a way, etc. Nobody else would listen to me because they either thought Christie was stupid or probably because I couldn't explain it as well as he did. I think Sean's major strength is that he will show you how to deal with certain problems and teach you all you would ever want to know about the equipment! He's not a guy who will ignore the projectionist and only hob-nob with the head tech. In fact most of the fixes that were performed over the course of the first visit were performed by me after he left! I used the newly found knowledge to correct many problems (like the turret stopping mid rotation). The second visit we had a major focus problem in our #8 house that we had been burdened with since the theatre opened. Sean tried to fix it. He did a few things but the focus didn't really improve. But he explained what he was doing and I saw how it could work. Sean had to leave to catch a plane, and a few days later #8 was, by far, our best focusing house in the theatre (now all of our projectors have had this implementation). He just pointed me in the right direction. Thanks Sean! I just wish that he could spend more than an hour or two at a time at my theatre.

This by no means makes the Christie projector perfect, but he showed me that they can be really good performers when you put forth a lot of effort, knowledge, and care.

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Brad Miller

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

 - posted 08-14-1999 11:07 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Update, I've been making a few changes a'la Sean, such as removing the optional blower and making some minor turret adjustments, and things sure are looking much better! Christie should promote this guy to "Chief Field Service Engineer".

I have received a few emails requesting his email addy so here it is (geez I hope he doesn't get mail bombed with plees for help)...

He certainly is top notch and a pleasure to work with!

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