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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » Slow Buttery Death (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Slow Buttery Death
Neil Brimelow
Film Handler

Posts: 4
From: Bay St. Louis, MS
Registered: May 2016


 - posted 06-28-2016 04:10 PM      Profile for Neil Brimelow   Author's Homepage   Email Neil Brimelow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Everyone!

My name is Neil and I'm the Director of the short documentary "Slow Buttery Death." The film documents the last FILM ONLY theater to open in the United States (December 2015) and its slow decline into oblivion as the studios finally almost finishing turning the film spigot to "off."

I entered it into the 2016 Student Academy Awards, but I'm going up against student films with $50k+ budgets and the backing of the Ivy League schools, so it is a tough competition.

I also help Beacon Theatres out with anything techy. [Smile]

The whole film can be viewed on:
Film Freeway: https://filmfreeway.com/projects/819706
or
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/172271985



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[ 06-28-2016, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: Brad Miller ]

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-28-2016 05:33 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Interesting video.

I am happy that the theatre was able to install D-cinema equipment, both for the survival of the business and also because it is painful to watch that guy (mis-)handle film. In any case, the plight of the small cinema owner as a result of D-cinema is a story that needs to be told.

Not that you asked, and I am not sure if this is a final version or not, but the editing on this could be tightened considerably. There are also some aesthetic issues that could be corrected easily (for example, there a number of annoying jump cuts in the piece).

In a related note, a 40-minute short is very difficult to program in film festivals and such. This would get more screenings (and thus be seen by more people) if it could be cut down to 10-15 minutes or so, which is a much easier length to program.

Good luck with the short.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12394
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-28-2016 08:36 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I haven't had time to watch the short yet, but.... I'm already confused by what's been said in this thread. The OP mentions its "decline into oblivion" and of course the title indicates a sad ending with a closed theater... but then Scott says:

quote: Scott Norwood
I am happy that the theatre was able to install D-cinema equipment, both for the survival of the business
So....it has survived? That seems like a good thing, not a "death." Anybody who would open a "film only" theater in 2015 and then let it slide into a slow buttery death rather than convert it to digital would be crazy, unless it wasn't financially feasible to continue.

Maybe a better title would be "Survival by Butter."

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1827
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 06-29-2016 08:44 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
> Anybody who would open a "film only" theater in 2015...

Deserves a slow buttery death.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-29-2016 12:02 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mike--yes, it appears that it did survive, although it seems that they have only installed D-cinema on one screen out of four. From the video, it seems as if this is a theatre that will do fine once it is fully equipped for D-cinema and can have access to current titles. The problem seems to be that the venture was under-capitalized from the start and needs either additional loans or investors in order to do that.

I hope that this works out for them. The venue is non-amazing, but the owner seems to be committed to working hard to provide affordable entertainment for his community.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12084
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 06-29-2016 12:37 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not quite sure what this short movie is trying to accomplish (as a story)...it seems less about the theatre and more about the live-in manager that despite his love of film seems to abuse the heck out of it and has a few sanitary moments that make me cringe a bit when handling the popcorn. Either he likes the greaser look or perhaps there is a lack of shower facility at the theatre (he claims to live there and it shows him "sleeping"

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 346
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 06-30-2016 10:28 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Neil, I appreciate the labor of love that you've put into the direction of this documentary, and Chris' labor of love in running the Beacon Theatres. What would improve this would be less about budget and much about purpose/script/editing. I really had a hard time watching the whole thing, and honestly did skip through portions. There are long segments of this that are far too much like home videos (meandering, just not artistic visually, sonically, nor verbally), yet on the other hand there are critical facts and moments that you set up well. So I agree with the others that the length of this should be half or less what it is presently. And the title is definitely misleading now that Beacon has at least one digital screen. I also think (while I'm busy beating you up) that the claim to be the last 35mm theater to open in the US is unfair, since it's a reopening of sorts (although that's abundantly clear later).

Some other non-professional documentaries on the end of film might give you a point of comparison. Check out Dave Humphries' segments of the then-unfinished "Dying of the Light" documentary on Vimeo. The official release trailer can be viewed here. Also, there's a great short about the closing of a cineplex in Oklahoma, but I can't find it at the moment. It's more along the lines of what you're doing here, and fun to watch, so I'll try to find it later when I have access to a different computer.

Sure hope Chris has good Kelmar cleaner here and there and some FilmGuard, because his film handling looked horrendous. I'm not even a 35mm professional and his throwing leader on the floor and over-winding "Hateful 8" made me cringe too!

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5196
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 03-21-2017 12:45 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dear lord, somebody please give this man a lone so he can get a digital projector and keep him away from whatever film is left. Look, I appreciate this "labor of love" thing, but really, as in other areas of life, sometimes lots of bad things are done in the name of love.

No question he is committed and dedicated to making the place work, but film, whatever minuscule number of release prints are still available, simply can't sustain this business. I think he understands that; what has to happen is he needs to give up the romance (some might call it abuse) with 35mm and do everything possible to convert as quickly as possible as it is the only way to save what could be a sweet little theatre operation.

He certainly has his hands full with the physical operation of the business...let him throw himself into that; digital certainly will give him more time for configuring those popcorn boxes.

And as has been said, as far as the video itself, it really does need an editor. Usually the hardest thing for a filmmaker to do is to cut out what he has already recorded. That's why an editor, separate from the director, is so essential. It needs to be seriously tightened and the narrative much more focused.

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 346
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 03-21-2017 03:48 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Interesting, Frank, you'd see this 9 months later. And Neil's 2 posts at F-T are both topic starters, never to comment again. Wish he'd pipe up.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 855
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 03-21-2017 10:37 PM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What a bizarre doc. I, too, found the film handling and several other moments cringe-worthy, yet at the same time it brought back vivid memories of the shithole theater I helped run, the best year of my life.

Thanks for bringing us this glimpse into another world.

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Mike Spaeth
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1109
From: Hampton, GA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 03-21-2017 11:34 PM      Profile for Mike Spaeth   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Spaeth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not sure why they would want to document a 200-student field trip on a day when $45 was reported to Rentrak...

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 737
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 03-22-2017 11:41 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm disappointed. I always hoped the last guy would be some doting 102 year-old who expires on his last changeover, and the film burns during the credits. Not some Beavis who can't figure out how to get himself an ID card. That said, a person could probably even make this topic interesting, but this ain't it.

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 346
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 03-22-2017 02:12 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Beacon Theatre is in Waveland, MS, claiming to be "Hancock County's only movie theater!" Have a look at their website - there's now a second digital projector in addition to the original one seen being loaded in at the end of the documentary.

Wonder if the other screen still has any film left on the platters... at least Sherman Oaks 5 still starts up a film show if anyone shows up to see one!

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 855
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 03-22-2017 03:50 PM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Spaeth
I'm not sure why they would want to document a 200-student field trip on a day when $45 was reported to Rentrak...
Uh oh...............

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12394
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-23-2017 12:25 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I started to watch this short tonight but got very irritated with it by the time it got to the part with the guy playing with his dog on the floor for about 15 minutes, so I shut it off.

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