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Author Topic: Trailers
Stephen Jones
Master Film Handler

Posts: 314
From: Geelong Victoria Australia
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-15-1999 07:32 PM      Profile for Stephen Jones   Email Stephen Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I dont know about the quality of trailers in the U.S, but lately ive noticed here , is that the number of trailers that have a unsteady image moving up and down which I find distracting and I presume the public must do to, Its not every trailer only the odd 2 or 3 and also they tend to by hard to focus as well what do you think,I have also have had the od feature do it as well.

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Christopher Seo
Jedi Master Film Handler

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


 - posted 09-15-1999 08:11 PM      Profile for Christopher Seo   Email Christopher Seo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of the two "Stuart Little" trailers we've been running has a much shakier image than the rest of the show, including the other trailers. The focus didn't seem bad, although I wouldn't have touched it anyway because I would have had to refocus the feature... It's the only trailer thus far which I've seen to shake so much, and I passed it off to sloppy lab work.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17617
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 09-15-1999 08:20 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
The worst trailer out there currently seems to be The Insider. It is a 2.35 within a 1.85 frame and the "letterbox" constantly shifts up and down, as if the projectionist just can't stop fiddling with the framing control.

Shakiness seems to be a real problem lately. Did anyone get a print with good registration of "6th Sense"???

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Art Averett
Film Handler

Posts: 14
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 09-15-1999 11:08 PM      Profile for Art Averett   Email Art Averett   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I was training to be a projectionist back in the late 60's I was told that trailers were the worst for picture and sound. However now with the advent of digital sound, they are louder and can damage a subwoofer. As for "6th Sense", in some scenes it looks like the camera was caught in an earthquake. Then it is rock steady.

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Christopher Seo
Jedi Master Film Handler

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


 - posted 09-16-1999 02:30 AM      Profile for Christopher Seo   Email Christopher Seo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, I noticed that about "The Insider" as well, although when I first saw it in a theater I didn't notice it... it completely escaped my attention because I was paying attention to the content.

Our prints of "6th Sense" aren't all that steady, but it's hard to tell whether it's the camerawork. Beyond that, I'm not sure if I should blame the print stock manufacturers, the labs, or our (new Simplex) projectors, or all. As far as presentation goes, can anyone recommend some current movies (1.85 aspect ratio) which do generally have well-registered prints?

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17617
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 09-16-1999 02:37 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Geez. I haven't seen a good steady 1.85 film in a long damn while. There's something out of whack with the optical printer at Deluxe Hollywood, though. All of their prints have a bad vertical jump to them and it's not the projector or intermittent. (Of course, the only reason the 2.39 films appear to be steadier is because they're being blown up less.)

I went to a theater recently with the newer Simplexes (a year old) and I must say the registration is very poor on them. I always praised the Simplex design for it's steadiness, but not anymore. These were quite shaky. Also, the new intermittent shoe design is a joke! Anyone have any experiences/comments on the "new" Simplexes?

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Anthony Matarazzo
Film Handler

Posts: 30
From: Brisbane Australia
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-16-1999 06:32 AM      Profile for Anthony Matarazzo   Email Anthony Matarazzo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Lately I have noticed that most our trailers ran through the projector are very noisy. I was told a new grade of polyester film has been brought out. Is this the reason?. Where I work, we use Vic 8 and they jump a bit.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9425
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-16-1999 09:10 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The noiseyness is the lackof lubricants on the print
The labs just don't want to lube films except techniolor is edge lubing prints now
The newer gates I don't think really address the issue of the film changing shape as it is heated in the apperture. Norleco on the DP70 and FP20 have probably the best curved design with the DP75 compound curves being the best
Motiograph had an interesting curve that was cylindrical and produced a very steady image
Some of the early pro35's had this same design

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 09-16-1999 01:25 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A good way to determine the cause of any unsteadiness is to pull the aperture from the projector, and project the actual print film perforations on the screen. With most projectors, pulling the aperture will show at least the edges of the perfs on one side or the other of the print. Do this with the non-anamorphic "flat" lens (greatest magnification) and the screen masking pulled back so you can see the perfs imaged on the screen.

If the print perfs are "rock steady" but the picture still has jump and weave, the print stock and projector are likely NOT the source of the unsteadiness. If the print perfs are unsteady, do the same test with a roll of SMPTE 35-PA (RP40) test film to see if the unsteadiness was the print film (if RP40 is steady) or the projector (if RP40 is also unsteady).

If the print perfs are steady, notice whether the framelines and edges of the image are moving relative to the print perfs. If the whole image tends to be "dancing", then the unsteadiness was probably introduced during printing. Sometimes you can actually see the image of the round edges of the BH-perf of the printing negative move relative to the more rectangular KS-perf of the print film.

Camera unsteadiness is usually seen as a movement of one frame relative to an adjacent frame, across the frameline. Frame the projector so the print frameline is across the center of the screen. You can then see how the camera positioned one frame relative to the next frame. Any side-to-side movement or "bounce" across the frameline during a scene was likely introduced in the camera.

If everything EXCEPT the image itself is steady, it may just be that the camera was handheld or not mounted rigidly.

Trailers are likely to be less steady than the feature film because there are usually more "generations" of printing between the camera negative and the final prints.

Another factor that has affected steadiness is that most labs no longer edge-wax prints, because of increased environmental restrictions on the solvents used. Kodak process specifications and SMPTE Recommended Practice RP151 specify edge-waxing of 35mm prints to reduce friction in the projector gate. Properly lubricated prints are steadier, quieter, and much less prone to projector abrasion, gate deposits, and dusting/shedding.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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


 - posted 09-16-1999 03:45 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All I know is that my projectors (Christie P35GPS) are nearly rock-steady with the RP40, except when the splice goes through. But 6th Sense is atrocious! Especially during the opening studio logos and credits. Problem follows the prints.

Sounds like Hollywood really wants to phase out film in favor of video, and the piss-poor job the labs are doing will make it happen soon!

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17617
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 09-16-1999 10:57 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Excellent advice John. I'll have to remember that the next time I get a call from someone afraid their intermittent is about to die! (Which happened with 6th Sense!)

With much tweeking the Christies "can" be made to project rock steady, but they do require fairly constant attention. When I say this, I am referring ONLY to a PA35 test loop. No film on polyester stock will run truly steady. However, take an older print on triacetate (even back from the 60s) and it's perfectly steady. I still think some of the current problems is the base material being used today. I can take a 10 year old trailer (stored emulsion out, of course) and the green band will project as steady as a slide...no joke! And this was with 10 year old printing technology. I've never seen that with polyester base film stocks.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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


 - posted 09-17-1999 03:56 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...which of course brings up the question (again) "What were the real reasons the world went to polyester?" Was it purely based on cost savings?

Surely presentation was overlooked. Either that or it was not studied for long enough. After the first few prints came out and judging by the way that they performed, you would think that any intelligent individual would see more disadvantages than advantages and switch back to tried and true triacetate. Obviously there aren't too many intelligent people making those kind of decisions, and money is more important than anything else. Greedy greedy greedy! All the world hates people like that, and there are far to many of them.

I guess the rule is "If we can make it worse, we will."
First the switch to polyester, and now once we almost get it under control they can't even print the film steady anymore. The film industry is highly inefficient, and laughable. I am not the one laughing, however.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 09-17-1999 08:00 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Although Kodak had made polyester (ESTAR) film base since the 1950's, most of it was used for "special venue" films like IMAX films and films used at theme parks. Polyester prints were also preferred for specialized applications like the 16mm and Super-8 prints used on airplanes.

Kodak did NOT lead the conversion to polyester. The distributors and theatre owners felt there would be advantages, and requested the conversion. The January 1991 NATO News reported: "The board also resolved, at the (Technical Advancement) committee's request, to approve and recommend the use of polyester film, which is thinner (allowing more film per reel) and less likely to break".

Other film manufacturers encouraged the conversion to polyester, with pictures such as "The Fugitive", "Free Willy", "Secret Garden" and "The American President" being released on their new stocks. During this time period, Kodak publically expressed concerns about an excessively rapid conversion of the industry to polyester base.

In October 1993, the Intersociety Committee for the Enchancement of Theatrical Presentation sponsored a project to study the performance of polyester prints in theatres. Kodak provided polyester film for the Warner Bros. picture "Mr. Wonderful", and followed up on the performance of the prints with visits to the lab, exchanges, and theatres. A comprehensive written survey questionnaire was sent to 250 theatres playing the polyester prints. I presented the results of the study at ShoWest in March 1994. Although most theatres reported no problems, and even preferred the performance of the polyester prints, a few theatres DID have problems, including static, dusting, and slippery rolls. Many projectionists also expressed concern about the strength of polyester and the risk of equipment damage. Despite these concerns, the conversion continued because the advantages polyester offered (thinner film, resistance to perforation damage, more "friendly to the environment") seemed to outweigh the disadvantages. Kodak had to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to make the conversion to 100% polyester for release prints, building a completely new base manufacturing plant.

Kodak continued to address the known concerns of polyester (e.g., increased static charging, projector abrasion), which led to the recent introduction of Kodak Vision Color Print film. At its own expense, Kodak is also supplying all its laboratory customers a special antistatic process additive that enhances the antistatic performance of all films. Kodak continues to encourage laboratories to properly lubricate prints, per Kodak processing specifications and SMPTE Recommended Practice RP151. And Kodak continues efforts to further improve film performance, with millions of feet of the latest improvement being tested now.

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Bruce McGee
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1776
From: Asheville, NC USA... Nowhere in Particular.
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 09-17-1999 08:44 AM      Profile for Bruce McGee   Email Bruce McGee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is an intresting thread. I have several Estar prints in 16mm. Some are in color. I have run them over and over in the last 25 years. They continue to run smoothly. I have never seen any shedding from them either. Yes, I am aware of the difference in film movement speed.

The only gripe I had with Estar is its unwillingness to break if something happens. Once I had a new print arrive on Estar. It was apparently slit improperly and was just a bit wider than 16mm in a small area. Anyway, the film stopped in the gate, and broke the teeth off the claw. I was impressed with the durability of the base stock, and I have never had the problems with easily-scratched emulsion on Estar either.

My new 35mm trailers on Polyester stock jump and bounce like crazy on my Holmes. I am looking forward to trying Film-Guard. I ran a loop of polyester 35 through my projector for about an hour last night. There was a small snowstorm under the intermittant, and the only damage to the film I noticed was light abrasions on the edges of the film where the springs in the gate actually touch the perforations. The picture area is black with no noticable new scratches.

I think that if Film-Guard does what it is ment to do, this shedding thig will soon be history.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9425
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-17-1999 09:25 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Estar is thinner and as such tends to be harder to control in the trap assembly of certain machines. A dp75 or fp30 has no problem with it

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