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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » IMAX projectionists put on your apron and visor.

Author Topic: IMAX projectionists put on your apron and visor.
Ethan Harper

Posts: 325
From: Plano, TX, USA
Registered: May 2000

 - posted 11-10-2001 12:10 AM      Profile for Ethan Harper   Email Ethan Harper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cinemark is begining a new policy that expects IMAX projectionists to run shifts on the floor (usher/concession/box office). Apparently it has already taken effect at the Webb Chapel theater. Has anybody else heard anything further on this?

--"That's my story and i'm sticking to it!"--

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John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999

 - posted 11-10-2001 12:23 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I thought IMAX projectionist were paid and (techinally) worked for IMAX.

Also, I hear Oddessy is not doing too well.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

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

 - posted 11-10-2001 03:38 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the corporate IMAX theatres the theatre now hirers who they feel like and does with them what they like
There branding value will probably start to drop as screw ups occur

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Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1498
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000

 - posted 11-10-2001 11:20 PM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does anyone actually get in trouble if an IMAX print is trashed? (I know they rarely do when 35mm films get trashed!)

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John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999

 - posted 11-10-2001 11:44 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My understanding is the theaters buy their own prints, so I'm sure projectionists are held accountable!

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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5436
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 11-11-2001 02:09 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That has got to be the dumbest thing I have heard this year! These prints are worth what...$20,000 a piece? How many ushers is that?

It's things like this that make me glad to be getting out of this game.

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Dick Vaughan
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1032
From: Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 11-11-2001 05:42 AM      Profile for Dick Vaughan   Author's Homepage   Email Dick Vaughan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A 40 min 2D IMAX print costs approx $25k US, a 3D print roughly double that.

A 1 min 2D trailer can cost $1k US.

With a few exceptions the film cost is covered as below:

The theatres pay this to the distributor at the start of their screening license period but the print still belongs to the distributor and is (theoretically) to be returned them within 7 days after the expiry of the license.

If a print is damaged beyond use and the fault lies with the exhibitor then they can be liable for the cost of replacement footage or in extreme the entire print. This liability includes damage because of bad handling by the projectionist or damage that can be attributed to the theatre not maintaining the correct environmental conditions in the booth.

Apart from IMAX O & O theatres the projectionists and all other theatre staff are employed by the theatre owners.

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Adam Martin
I'm not even gonna point out the irony.

Posts: 3671
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 11-11-2001 10:23 AM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmmm ... let's see ...

Let's assume that a large chain that runs several large format theaters pays their LF projectionist more than $10 per hour.

Someone explain to me how an hourly $10+ projectionist working a shift on the floor is more profitable than a $6 concessionist working a shift on the floor.

I mean, really, I've tried to get the math to work ...

Or are they doing that thing where the projectionist isn't stationed in the booth? I was under the impression that Imax requires a projectionist in the booth at all times the projectors are running, since Imax owns the equipment and doesn't want it destroyed.

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2168
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 11-12-2001 10:27 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is there any confirmation this is actually happening (that was the original post's question after all)...

And, is it common practice to have the "booth ushers" (or whatever they call the kids that run the projectors) do other jobs as well in non-Imax locations?

Note: Some Imax theatres own their Imax projector. A lot are leased but not all. Even in a lease the requirements for operators are not super restrictive. If you own it the operator requirements are part of the service contract - if you have one - again not too restrictive anyway.

In any event, Imax is very very unlikely to come down hard on any theatre that is actually paying for a lease or service contract.

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Adam Martin
I'm not even gonna point out the irony.

Posts: 3671
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 11-12-2001 10:46 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
Good point, Dave. After all, with all of the commercial circuits going to cheaper systems or 35mm systems in their LF houses, what should Imax care as long as they're getting paid?

It's just sad that it's come to a point where I had to type that question. Ah, the good ole days!

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Ben Stephenson
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: Manchester, England
Registered: Jan 2001

 - posted 11-17-2001 10:55 AM      Profile for Ben Stephenson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our IMAX projectionist are respected very highley, they will put the show on in there own time and no one can make them work faster. Only a very few are alowed to work on IMAX so it is a respected job but pays no more than 35mm untill you have been 'signed off' on the IMAX

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