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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » News Flash! IMAX now better than HDTV!

   
Author Topic: News Flash! IMAX now better than HDTV!
John Schulien
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 206
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 04-12-2001 12:29 PM      Profile for John Schulien   Email John Schulien   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sometimes you just have to wonder.

Here's an excerpt from a story in today's Chicago Tribune:

"Shipiro" is Jon Shipiro, co-producer, along with his brother, of the IMAX film "All Access."

Music made larger-than-life
---------------------------
By Gary Dretzka, Tribune staff reporter

... "No one has shot a film of this nature for a long time", said Shipiro. "This was an attempt to show a concert as it is, using the latest technology and lighting that was maximized for the film. Film stocks have improved immeasurably since the Rolling Stones' Imax movie, and this one actually has more resolution than high-definition television."
Viewers won't have to have a degree in engineering to fully appreciate the high-tech wonders of large-format HD movie making. The clarity of the images -- projected onto a screen that's 70 feet high -- is breathtaking.
Although the visual and digital audio presentation is stunning, it's worth noting that Imax cameras aren't particularly suited to photographing rock concerts. Nimble they're not.
"People told us we wouldn't be able to do closeups, or move the camera around quickly, because the lens wouldn't be able to hold the image," Shipiro explained. ...

I feel so, um, enlightened.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9442
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-12-2001 01:43 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Especially since so of the footage is very grainy and looks like a blow up
Also it is not doing much business

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Scott Norwood
Film God

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


 - posted 04-12-2001 02:05 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That is pretty funny.

The problem, though, is that with today's "new, improved film stocks" there seems to be a greater tendency to shoot with the 500asa and 800asa films instead of putting together enough lighting equipment to allow the use of the slower stocks. Vision 800T is amazingly good for what it is and would be great for documentaries, but it really isn't (IMHO, of course) the stock to use for IMAX films, for which image quality is of the highest importance.

I still say that IMAX isn't really the right format for concert films. Now that it's possible to get really good quality sound on 35mm prints, I would think that it would be much more appropriate to shoot this stuff in super-16 (in order to get otherwise-impossible shots, using the smaller equipment to good advantage) and blow up to 35mm with DTS, SR-D, and SDDS for release.

What IMAX really provides is a lot of peripheral vision information that isn't normally shown in a standard 35mm or 16mm (or even 70mm) frame. This is a big deal for nature films, where the peripheral view brings something new and diferent to the viewing experience. It doesn't seem like it would provide much of an advantage for a concert film, where, due to the way that concerts are typically lit, there isn't much peripheral information, anyway, and where the size and weight of the camera are major limitations.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 04-12-2001 02:46 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kodak certainly offers a wide choice of color negative films, ranging in speed from 50 EI daylight balance to 800 EI tungsten:
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/products/negative/index.shtml

In general, the slower films have better sharpness and finer grain, but even the high speed films look very good if properly exposed. Excessive graininess is often due more to underexposure.

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion

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

Posts: 3653
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 04-12-2001 05:04 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
>>> the high-tech wonders of large-format HD movie making <<<

Huh? I just love when journalists try to impress people with incorrect info. All Access is 24fps, not 48fps.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the film for what it was ... a concert film, an audio experience. I screened it for Peter Shapiro (Jon's co-producing brother) and one of the bands that was in the film.

Everyone was particularly impressed with our kick-ass sound system running wide open. Concert-level volume without the usual distortion and crappy acoustics.

The only thing that I really didn't like was the blow-up material. Particularly the Sheryl Crow interview; grain so big it was distracting.

It was also kind of neat how they built a "making of..." right into the movie. They made no particular attempt to block out the LF cameras, cranes or dollys from their shots. Cool to see them in use.

Gordon: How does AA compare to Nsync? (Visually and audibly?) I know NS is an 8/70 blowup. We open NS on June 1, and we're doing a staff screening of AA next month so we may play both. (BTW, I never saw the Stones flick.)


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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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


 - posted 04-12-2001 06:40 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
IMAX better than HDTV? Get real! Everyone knows that HDTV has over 1,000 lines of resolution, which is far superior to what the human eye can perceive! Geeesh! Some people's kids.

On a serious note, I don't think I have ever seen an IMAX flick at "concert level volume". In fact, the IMAX here seems to set their peak level at 70db, if that. Wow. They never turn it up, even if you ask, beg, and plead beforehand.

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

Posts: 3653
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 04-12-2001 07:11 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
Joe: What a bunch of wimps! We really blew the dust off the joint. One of our hosts was in the show and afterwards he mentioned that his ears were ringing. Security just loves it when I set off motion sensors on the museum floor. Of course, we never get to play our regular shows that loud -- the blue-hairs complain.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9442
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-12-2001 08:33 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nsync is a piece of #$%% and it hasn't performed at the Box office either we have called it NStink
It is loud and in fact mono same track on all tracks
When it was shipped they had the sound track out of sync by 8 seconds for they struck the ddp disks and mag from a DA88 tape that didn't have a time code allowance for the 8 second smpte leader so 9 sec of black had to be added after the 2 second pip.
Also the film was delivered in used boxes and tins with different winds. I wasn't at all impressed with RGB's workmanship
The mag sounds far better than the DDP as well
All Access is a far better film but also is not doing any business and as always DKP delivered a flawless print
In our case we have 3 famous players comercial IMAX® theatre running it as well as us with 700+ seats
Caves is doing the best business wise
All Access is playing here at sustained 118dbc levels and Nsync is slightly lower


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

Posts: 3653
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 04-12-2001 10:12 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I listened to NS tonight from the DVD and what a piece of crap soundtrack. I ran it at our normal level (preset -3db) and the vocals were muffled and the surrounds were running about 105db of screaming girls. Would have rather listened to pink noise; at least my ears wouldn't be ringing.

The film is still in the boxes, so I'll warn our CP about the problems you had.

Hope we add AA to the fall schedule here. At least its a great soundtrack beyond the first time.

Our CP is optimistic about the BO for NS, as we've had a bunch of calls for it down in reservations already. We'll see ... they have a concert here in town a couple of weeks after we open the film.

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Mark Lensenmayer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1576
From: Upper Arlington, OH
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 04-13-2001 07:04 PM      Profile for Mark Lensenmayer   Email Mark Lensenmayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw ALL ACCESS on Monday. I loved it. Some really good music. It was a 5:30 PM screening, and my son and I were the only people there. This is NOT the first private IMAX screening I have had.

Anyway, there are some stunningly clear concert shots, but some of the interviews, especially Sheryl Crow, are VERY grainy. It really stands out against the Imax images.

Mark Lensenmayer

------------------
"As a moral to young men who come down to the city, don't go round breaking people's tambourines."

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Dave Cutler
Master Film Handler

Posts: 277
From: Centennial, CO
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 04-15-2001 01:35 PM      Profile for Dave Cutler   Email Dave Cutler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can't comment on All Access, since I haven't seen it yet. I can comment on NSYNC since I am showing it here in Kansas City.

Unfortunately after Iwerks had mixed the soundtrack it was rejected by whoever makes those decisions on behalf of NSYNC. They then attempted to remix it, and you have what was actually released. Basically the same signal coming from all four corners with a realy heavy LFE. I wish I could have heard the original Iwerks soundtrack.

The 8 seconds of out of sync was really funny I thought. It took RGB several days to send out the 'fix' but by then I already had a fix working so didn't bother with theirs.

Also the soundtrack is too long, the credits run out before the audio does. So I had to add 15 - 20 seconds of film at the end so I could close the douser but keep the machine running so the sound could play out. I thought there was a change in the credits coming, but I never saw one.

The DTS soundtrack sounds terrible, I found out from DTS that the master was clipping during the digital transfer it was mixed so loud.

It's pretty much refered to Nstink or Nsuck around here by the staff, but it does descent at the box office so we keep running it. Note that we only run it on non-school nights, and weekends.

Unfortunately I have heard nothing good about All Access, so I guess IMAX can't do a good concert film either.

Adam, too bad you can't run shows at whatever level you feel is appropriate. I don't have that problem as my theatre was built on a bed of springs. If not I think that NSYNC would be knocking the Titanic artifacts over. Our CEO kept asking for more volume so I gave it to him.


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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9442
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-15-2001 03:38 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All Access isn't that bad of a film it just ain't Rolling Stones at the max
You know the band rejected the Iwerks track and insisted on this one
The rumour as to why the film ends before the audio is there was supposed to be a extra set of credits for DAVE audio that remixed it and they didn't want there name on it

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

Posts: 3653
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 04-15-2001 06:18 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin       Edit/Delete Post 
We had a similar problem with Michael Jordan's credits. The music plays for a good 30+ seconds after the credits end. Of course, the theater we got the print from didn't tell us (they knew about the issue) and when we screened it the first time, it got tailed (surprisingly, no damage, tho). Apparently, there were going to be new credits shipped to the theaters, but then someone decided not to.

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