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Author Topic: Christie Automation Question
Brian Tristam Williams
Film Handler

Posts: 93
From: Johannesburg, South Africa
Registered: Apr 2002


 - posted 05-08-2002 01:31 PM      Profile for Brian Tristam Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Tristam Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here comes another tediously-simple question. (Rest assured, I did attempt to search for this info. I try to make my subject line as relevant as possible, so that future users might find the answers to their questions in a search.)

Anyhow, I see the Christies that we have here (all 15 of 'em) have switch settings for the lens and sound formats of both the film start and the main feature. So, theoretically, you would set the START cue to FLAT and SR, and the other two switches, for FEATURE, to DIGITAL and SCOPE. Simple enough. What happens, however, when you've got a trailer like Star Wars Episode 2, in scope format, before a film like Ice Age, in flat? I mean, with a projectionist running five machines, he currently has to drop whatever he's doing to make sure that he's there when the trailer comes on, so that he can see to it that the trailer plays in scope, and the projector reverts to flat thereafter. This is stupid. If there's no other way to do it, then no one should release trailers in formats other than scope.

I remember A Cry in the Dark, which was scope, but its trailer was simply a masked flat version of the same scope film. Worked effectively enough.

Point being: there ARE scope trailers before flat films out there. How best to deal with this?

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"One man can make a difference."

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17695
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-08-2002 03:58 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Are you possibly confusing the flat trailers for Episode II that are "letterboxed" to preserve the original scope aspect ratio? Those should be played with a flat lens.

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Brian Tristam Williams
Film Handler

Posts: 93
From: Johannesburg, South Africa
Registered: Apr 2002


 - posted 05-09-2002 02:22 PM      Profile for Brian Tristam Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Tristam Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nope - I remember A Cry in the Dark was done 'letterboxed'. Here in South Africa, Star Wars Episode II is a scope trailer, period. That's why it's a challenge to go flat-scope-flat-again with our current automation.

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"One man can make a difference."

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Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

Posts: 4247
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 05-09-2002 03:26 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Couldn't you simply splice the scope trailer so that it is the first trailer at the top of the show and get the lens change out of the way very quickly ?

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And, hey! Let's be careful out there.

~Manny.


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John Hawkinson
Film God

Posts: 2273
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 05-09-2002 03:49 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One certainly wonders how the scope trailer is getting there.

You're saying it comes attached to the print, or loose with the print, and you get a scope trailer with a flat print? That screams "ERROR."

Perhaps the market is different, but over here, we just wouldn't tollerate it and no one would run the trailer on that print. If you really wanted the trailer, then you would just order the version of the trailer you wanted from the relevent Exhibitor Relations folks.

So it does really feel like we're missing the Big Picture (the one in scope -- we see the flat one ). Can't you just yell at the people who sent you the scope trailer until they give you a flat one?

I realize Episode 2 may be a bit different, since in the US at least, trailers for it are being handled a bit specially (I believe they aren't taking orders, only shipping them loose/attached with prints).

--jhawk

p.s.: I suppose those of you who believe in not running trailers in digital and all that would, if in this situation, acquire special scope lenses that would fit the scope image in the flat width (only for use with trailers), to avoid ever forcing the audience to endure a width change from wider to narrower? My sarcasm is clearly dialed up high today...


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Brian Tristam Williams
Film Handler

Posts: 93
From: Johannesburg, South Africa
Registered: Apr 2002


 - posted 05-09-2002 04:01 PM      Profile for Brian Tristam Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Tristam Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is not a small independent theatre. Over here, there are two national chains (both of which are film distributors), and a third, independent film distributor. All the trailers are supplied from the distributors to our head office to us. It is they who decide which trailers and ads go with which film, and in which order, so no, we couldn't play such a blockbuster trailer first, when there's hardly anyone in the cinema. It has to be 'hard-locked' to the main feature! There's no use in making any noise about it and asking for a flat trailer. They won't have one, firstly, and they'll wonder why this branch of the operation wants special treatment.

What I've learned from this thread so far is that's clearly not a common situation over there, and it is therefore highly unlikely that my automation could be made to handle the situation easily.

Oh well...

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"One man can make a difference."

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9470
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-09-2002 05:47 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am not familiar with your foil placement for that particular automation and you don't mention what type of cue detector you have but it might be possible to use a different foil position to trigger a seperate format change
If not then you would have to build a stepper (electronic or mechanical) that would allow multiple foils in the same location to do different functions in a sequence (the principle of the cinemation)(suitable ahs at that point)

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17695
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-10-2002 01:57 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Not to worry John, I caught your sarcasm (since that was clearly aimed at me). Personally though, I agree with you and if I got a scope trailer to play on a flat print one word would come out of my mouth: "NO". Plain and simple.

Your comment did make me think of one specific thing I did that is sort of like what you are describing. When we ran Blair Witch project, I ran the trailers in scope, then did a lens change to flat. As many remember, that awful excuse for a movie was 1.33 within the 1.85 frame. I got a shorter lens for the flat image to blow it up more and took advantage of the 3 sided masking controls to achieve an image that was scope to begin with, and at the feature the top masking raised all the way to the ceiling (something that is never done with 1.85 flat) and brought in the side masking curtains a few feet. The end result was a ridiculously large and properly masked 1.33 image from a reduction print. It worked amazingly well.


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