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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » The Big Green Screen (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: The Big Green Screen
Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6353
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-01-2012 11:22 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey, everybody!

Just wanted to check in here and let you all know that I just worked my first day at the Big Green Screen in the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

http://www.trecpi.org/learn/greenscreen.html

They've got a Kinoton FP-75E running 5/70 film. It's pretty neat. It will take some time just getting used to handling film that wide but, even on the first day, I can tell it's coming to me already. It just takes practice.

They run movies on the hour. Approx. 8 shows per day. The movies are only 50 min. apiece.

The operator does everything. Runs the booth, sells tickets, ushers, pops popcorn and helps out at the information desk. But it's a laid back atmosphere. Non-profit, non-commercial. Most of the other non-projection staff are retired volunteers. Very informal. Not like the Cinemark theaters at all.

I'll only be working part time for three days per week but it's a start. Hopefully, it'll let me get one foot out the door of the hell hole I've been working at. (Sigh of relief!)

If things work out... crossed fingers... there might be full time work that will allow me to leave the other place behind.

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Victor Liorentas
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 774
From: london ontario canada
Registered: May 2009


 - posted 04-01-2012 11:49 PM      Profile for Victor Liorentas   Email Victor Liorentas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[thumbsup] [beer]

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5111
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-02-2012 01:59 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All the best, Randy. There is something very satisfying about running everything. Makes really vested in the venue. And yes, non-profit, non-commercial is a different animal altogether; I left commercial studio production when I as in my early 20s and haven't missed it a minute. Been in non-profit for my whole career. This gig sounds great -- hope you get there full time.

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Dave Macaulay
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1930
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-02-2012 07:26 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Once you get used to 70mm you'll curse flaccid tiny 35mm when you try to thread it again.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6353
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-02-2012 09:11 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
70mm : Movies :: 120 : Still Photography [Smile]
I use a Rolleiflex camera that takes 120 film so the scale is not totally alien to me. (120 roll film is approx 65mm wide.)

One cool thing about the Kinoton is that, when the projector starts up, the intermittent runs continuously until the machine comes up to speed. Then it starts moving in steps.

For some reason, the size of the loops seem to change a little bit once it starts up.

A question: Because the projector is driven by stepping motors instead of belts and gears, does this make it impossible to "bottom out" the intermittent?

On some projectors, if you thread way out of frame, with the framer racked one way or another, it is possible to get yourself into a position where it's very difficult to reframe.

Pressing the frame button on the Kinoton simply advances or retards the step of the intermittent drive motor. So, theoretically, one could roll the framing continuously without ever bottoming out.

Is that true or is there a limit to watch out for?

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Richard Hamilton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1341
From: Evansville, Indiana
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 04-02-2012 10:38 AM      Profile for Richard Hamilton   Email Richard Hamilton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Randy,
Didn't you ask me about Presque Isle before? I was there during construction and every one seemed nice. I only went there to train the booth guys on the sound. Clyde McKinney and Steve Kitten did the physical install. They (Clyde and Steve) knew I was out of work and that I knew the sound system. I think there is a Tascam DA78HR and a Fostex D2424, along with an x-Frame. It's been close to 10 years now but I think that was what we were installing about that time.
Good luck,
Rick

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6353
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-02-2012 06:17 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, there is a Fostex playback unit and a time code generator.

There is a Dolby CP-650 for 35mm and video playback.
(I now work at the only two places within 100 miles that have genuine Dolby equipment.)

QSC DCA amps and a Media Matrix.

There's other video and sound equipment I haven't been introduced to yet... Only worked there for two days, so far. [Wink]

P.S. The sound system contractor for this place is the same guy as Mercyhurst. [Shrug]

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Richard Hamilton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1341
From: Evansville, Indiana
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 04-03-2012 07:18 AM      Profile for Richard Hamilton   Email Richard Hamilton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Why would they have a Sound System Contractor? Clyde did the Media Matrix programming and install. In my opinion he is one of the best. The good news is, he most likely has a back-up copy of the view files for the Media Matrix if this guy screws it up.

Good luck, Rick

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6353
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-04-2012 11:34 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Politics.

The entire building is outfitted with video, sound and multimedia. There are lecture rooms and exhibits with multimedia all through the place.

He doesn't really do much with the projection system. There are other contractors that take care of other systems. I know the projector is covered by another contractor.

BTW: After working there for only three days, I came back to Mercyhurst to work on the 35mm and things are already starting to look mighty puny compared to the 70mm stuff. [Wink]

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Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3832
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000


 - posted 04-04-2012 01:29 PM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My dad was a music editor at Fox back in the day working on 35mm stuff all day. Then he'd come home and occasionally play with 8mm stuff. He used to say it was like trying to thread spaghetti.

I was lucky to run more 70mm than 35mm when I started my projection career. It did feel weird to work with 35mm. Those were the days!

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6353
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-04-2012 04:35 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a lot more difficult to get the wide film to bend around the rollers and sprockets. Not hard, per se, but you can't just twist it around the corner like you can with 35. You have to, sort of, coax it.

The Kinoton platter is a 4-deck model. There is less than a foot of headroom from the top of the film roll to the top of the arm that holds the deck above. You have to take out the platter ring before you place the brain or else there isn't enough room to get the ring out. If you are threading the bottom deck, you have to get down on your hands and knees and stick your whole head into the gap to reach the center. It's like trying to cast a fishing rod while standing inside a phone booth.

When I worked for Cinemark, we would occasionally have contests to see who could thread a projector the fastest. I once threaded an entire projector in less than 90 seconds. It takes me four or five minutes to thread up the 70mm.

Okay, I'm not trying to thread fast. I'm trying to do it right. Speed isn't the point even though I'm sure I'll get better with practice. However, when I came in today to thread up the movie at Mercyhurst, zip, zip and I was done.

It's sort of like the way a baseball player warms up with a donut weight on his bat. When he takes it off it's a lot easier to swing the bat.

8mm film would seem like dental floss to me, now! [Wink]

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

Posts: 4196
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 04-04-2012 10:57 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Don't worry about how long it takes to set up a show. It doesn't matter, as long as you're accurate and you don't cause a delayed start by taking too long. [Smile]

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6353
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-04-2012 11:45 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are three movies, played in rotation, on the hour. They average 45 to 50 minutes long.

If there are no tickets sold, the theater will be dark for that show. We don't even thread the show unless there is somebody to watch. If somebody comes, we thread up and run. If there is nobody by ten after, we call it.

Yesterday, we had a mom and two kids come to see "Volcanoes of the Deep" but the next scheduled show was "Beavers." It was the last show of the day so I made her a deal. IF nobody showed by ten minutes after, I would play "Volcanoes." Nobody else showed so I did play the movie she wanted.

Long story short... I don't try to thread too fast and I make sure I have double checked and triple checked but, due to the way business is, right now, I might have to run at the last minute.

Business is slow, right now. When the weather warms up and more people come out to Presque Isle, there will be more traffic and shows will run closer to schedule.

Until then, nobody really cares of a show starts a couple of minutes after the hour.

I don't want to thread fast. Let's say I want to thread "efficiently."

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

Posts: 4196
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 04-05-2012 01:06 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This reminds me of the scene in GUNG HO, where Michael Keaton is challenging his Japanese counterpart to a game of "pissing for distance," and the reply comes "how about pissing for accuracy?" or words to similar effect.

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Jack Theakston
Master Film Handler

Posts: 407
From: New York, USA
Registered: Sep 2007


 - posted 04-05-2012 02:11 PM      Profile for Jack Theakston   Email Jack Theakston   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Congrats, Randy... but when I saw the title of this thread, I thought you were talking about a trip to Skywalker Ranch!

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