Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Digital Comments in MPAA! You Suck (Page 1)

This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4 
Author Topic: Digital Comments in MPAA! You Suck
Paul Konen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 981
From: Frisco, TX. (North of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 09-19-2003 11:09 AM      Profile for Paul Konen   Email Paul Konen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've bitten my tongue long enough on this, and I probably have commented on this before.

By others peoples analogy, film is good, digital is bad. It has been equated to video, rust and fecal matter.

Well, using those analogies, then you should be saying the EXACT same thing in regards to sound formats, analog sound is good, digital sound is bad.

The same thing is being done with sound as it is with Digital presentations. (Trying not to slight KODAK by saying DLP all the time). Digital data, be it picture or sound, is being converted to produce an analog output that humans can see and hear. Analog data in regards to sound must be also be converted somewhat, whereas the film image is presented directly.

Now, again I have said before, DLP may not be there with the 1K chip. I haven't seen the 2K output yet, but from other members comments, the 2K is a great improvement.

I, personally, don't think that film will ever die within our lifetimes, but digital presentations are coming. It's inevitable in these days of cost cutting, environmental issues, etc.

There will be people who will never accept digital cinema and that is fine. It wouldn't be a normal world if everyone just accepted something carte blanche. There will always be people who care about contrast ratios, grain and other specific nuances of film that Digital Cinema may never be able to produce.

One thing that you all need to consider is the audience. The multiplex audience is there to see there favorite star, the story or just because it is a specific genre be it action, chic-flik or whatever. These audiences are not necessarily concerned about contrast and such. They want an un-interrupted show with a quality presentation. Digital Cinema, even at 1K, provides that today. Shows that are targeted to a specific audience, specifically art films, will continue to be shown on film because that audience is looking for the more specific aspects a film presentation and talk about how this or that helped tell the story.

Digital Cinema will allow theatres to offer the same title with different audio languages and sub-titling languages. Since the audio track is a separate file, there is no need to strike a different film print just to have a different language. Sub-titling will work in the same manner. Same image, different words. This will allow studios to do world wide releases on or near the same day. No more weeks differences to make sub-title releases. (John P, do you know how these are created today?)

One final thought, if studio execs, directors didn't feel that the quality wasn't there today, it wouldn't be.

 |  IP: Logged

John Pytlak
Film God

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

 - posted 09-19-2003 12:19 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul: I think most of the "anti digital" comments in that thread were referring to poor quality pirated copies. In many ways, Kodak is a leader in developing the technologies needed for Digital Cinema.

 |  IP: Logged

Martin Brooks
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 805
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: May 2002

 - posted 09-19-2003 02:49 PM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With all due respect, I think that the negative comments attributed to Digital Cinema on this Board (I'm not referring to any one thread) are about digital cinema in general and not pirated copies. There is definitely an understandable bias against digital cinema on this Board.

Frankly, the few instances of digital cinema that I've seen so far have looked surprisingly good to me, although half were of animated films. Recently, I was in a multiplex watching an animated film presented digitally and then I moved to another screen, which was presenting the same film in 35mm. The 35mm projection looked so bad in comparison, at first I thought there was something terribly wrong with it. It took me a few minutes to adjust. The digital projection was crisper, cleaner, brighter, had more even screen illumination and better color and obviously it didn't have print grain. I sit about half way back in theaters, usually where the first set of surround speakers start, but I did not notice any pixilation or other artifacts.

Having said that, I too have an emotional tie to film that I don't have to video. And also, it's one thing to project digitally and another to shoot digitally. I don't want my movies to look like TV, even if they are able to obtain the contrast of film.

But I agree with those who feel that digital presentation is definitely coming and it's not always worse than film projection and frequently better. Where I think it can make the biggest difference is not in first-run theaters, but in theaters that today get already-used prints that have been damaged by bad film handlers, as has been documented so frequently on this Board.

From my perspective, the only true evaluation of digital cinema would be to project it side-by-side with a pristine 35mm print.

 |  IP: Logged

John Pytlak
Film God

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

 - posted 09-19-2003 02:54 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From my perspective, the only true evaluation of digital cinema would be to project it side-by-side with a pristine 35mm print.

Been there, done that!: [Smile]

 |  IP: Logged

Michael Schaffer
"Where is the
Boardwalk Hotel?"

Posts: 4143
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Apr 2002

 - posted 09-19-2003 03:03 PM      Profile for Michael Schaffer   Author's Homepage   Email Michael Schaffer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Movies don`t open later in other parts of the world because it takes too long to dub them. In Germany, where unfortunately all movies are released in dubbed versions (except for small "arthouse" or documentary films), it only takes them a couple of days to do it, and very professionally, I have to admit.

The reason for the delay is that the distributors want to see how a movie does in its home market before they offer it elsewhere. If it does really good, that gives them a better basis in the negotiations to ask for more %. If it does badly, it may never be exported, or as part of a package snared with a stronger title.
Because a lot of films are pirated and published on the internet, some big releases are already done simultaneously in several big markets. For instance, the "Lord Of The Rings" and "Harry Potter" movies.

As far as the main content of your post is concerned - I think most of our friends here on this forum have never actually seen a digital cinema presentation. As we found out in our recent discussion about "Once Upon A Time In Mexico", I am the only one who has seen it in digital. As you probably read, I found the image quality very good.
Most people fail to understand that whatever medium you have, it always alters the content. If you watch or listen to recorded sound or images, you always have to accept the fact that you are not experiencing the "original", but a representation which is altered by the medium.
Like the discussion about whether anlog or digital sound is better: simply a nonsensical discussion - to the trained ear neither sounds real under any circumstances. A recording which is mastered to reflect the characteristics of each recording format will always sound good, one which does not make good use of the way the format alters the content will always sound bad.

 |  IP: Logged

Edward Jurich
Master Film Handler

Posts: 305
From: Las Vegas USA
Registered: Jul 2003

 - posted 09-19-2003 06:01 PM      Profile for Edward Jurich   Email Edward Jurich   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you ran a video version and a live play side by side, which would look better. OK, so people go to live plays because they are live plays. People go to movies because it's a movie. Some of the qualities of a movie include film grain and all that makes up the quality of a filmed movie. A video has qualities of its own. Fine, so have some "Video" presentations and have some "Movie" presentations. Just don't call a video a movie because a movie implies film.

 |  IP: Logged

Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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

 - posted 09-19-2003 06:13 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul Konen wrote:
By others peoples analogy, film is good, digital is bad. It has been equated to video, rust and fecal matter.

Ummmm, Paul? I hate to break it to ya, but any form of digital cinema IS video!

 |  IP: Logged

Jon Miller
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 973
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 09-19-2003 06:32 PM      Profile for Jon Miller   Email Jon Miller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just don't call a video a movie because a movie implies film
I (sort of) beg to differ...According to Merriam-Webster:


Main Entry: mov·ie
Pronunciation: 'mü-vE
Function: noun
Etymology: moving picture
Date: 1912
2 plural : a showing of a motion picture
3 plural : the motion-picture medium or industry

Main Entry: motion picture
Function: noun
Date: 1896
1 : a series of pictures projected on a screen in rapid succession with objects shown in successive positions slightly changed so as to produce the optical effect of a continuous picture in which the objects move
2 : a representation (as of a story) by means of motion pictures : MOVIE


Even though film was an immature technology when "movie" and "motion picture" were coined, I don't view the words as being locked into a particular technology. OTOH, whenever someone calls a video presentation a "film" or says something was "filmed" when it was actually photographed electronically (eg: taped), then that's when my hairs starts to stand on end... [scream]

 |  IP: Logged

Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000

 - posted 09-19-2003 06:40 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't agree with the statement that any form of digital cinema is video. Video started its life long ago as an analog form of transmitting and receiving (and later, storing) moving picture information, but scanning the scene in the form of scan lines and reproducing it with scan lines as well. The "scanning spot" could only be in one place at a time in the scene.

Film is an analog media that stores an entire image at once, and in theatres, entire images are projected at once.

I think of "video" as meaning something that is scanned by a "scanning spot" moving across the scene many times, capturing "scan lines". Digital cinema, as I understand, does not work this way. (Correct me if I'm wrong). Digital still cameras have a CCD array that captures an entire image at once, right? Do digital movie cameras with CCDs capture entire images at once instead of using a scanning mechanism? If so, then digital movie cameras are much more similar to film cameras than video cameras are. In projection, the entire array that is being projected through is updated all at once, right? If so, that is much more like film than video.

If something originated from a video camera using a one-scan-line-at-a-time mechanism for capturing the scene, yes, call it video. Otherwise, if the camera captures entire images at once using an array of sensors, I would only call it video if it were being shown on a device that displays with scan lines using a moving scanning spot.

 |  IP: Logged

Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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

 - posted 09-19-2003 07:22 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's video, just a better kind of video.

So you're saying that if I shot something in 24p on a DVX100 camcorder and played it back in 24p on a DLP projector (all of this is completely possible in the confines of someone's home) it's NOT video? Is hooking a computer up to a DLP projector suddenly NOT video? Video does not have to be NTSC, PAL, or SECAM.

I think the thing is that people are equating video with poor quality. Video is getting better and better all the time. HDTV exceeds the current 1k chip used in digital cinema (of course the new 2k chip is much better... just keep going 'till you get to 8k, guys!). Who knows what will come after HDTV. Whatever the case, it'll still probably be video.

My main beef is why settle for less resolution than film, when it can spend a bit more time in R&D to make it BETTER than 35mm or even 70mm in every respect? DLP was rushed. Of course, people are always satisfied with "good enough".

 |  IP: Logged

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

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

 - posted 09-19-2003 08:37 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Some theatres could actually benefit from the advent of digital video.

I have a small multiplex in a remote location. They always have to wait a long time to get used prints and, most often, they are in not-so-good condition. No digital sound for them, either.

Ironically, such a small operation could never afford digital at these current prices! [Frown]

 |  IP: Logged

Aaron Garman
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1463
From: Notre Dame du Lac, Indiana USA
Registered: Mar 2003

 - posted 09-20-2003 01:01 AM      Profile for Aaron Garman   Email Aaron Garman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I love film just as much as anyone out there, but Digital Cinema is pretty damn amazing. I have only seen it once (Celebration II) and it blew my socks off! Of course, it was just Episode II stuff, so I haven't seen what film originated material looks like in DLP. However, there are several benefits to DLP: no prints, no damage to prints, less complicated, and plays perfect from day 1 to day 45. The problem with lousy projectionists and film done WRONG is even more of an excuse for DLP because all one really has to do is press START, and leave the techie stuff for, well, a tech. Sure, film is not leaving anytime soon but DLP is the future whether you all like it or not. First there was silence, then sound, and eventually color. Now, we are going to have to realize that DLP is just the next evolution. Yeah, it may not be AS good as film done RIGHT but eventually, it will be and I believe it will be and can't wait for it to be because it is just plain simplier. Anything that can improve a presentation is good in my book. And heck, if the popularity of it can get more movies out and more off beat movies out then that is great. We need more than just blockbusters!


 |  IP: Logged

Lindsay Morris
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 225
From: Darlington, WA, Australia
Registered: Sep 2002

 - posted 09-20-2003 05:58 AM      Profile for Lindsay Morris   Email Lindsay Morris   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Whether we all like it or not DLP is just around the corner but just how far nobody really knows. You could almost liken this era to the time when "talkies", The Jazz Singer, was about to overtake the silent film period.
However the BIG diference between then and now is the huge number of 35mm machines out there whirring away as the economics of changing all those is enormous compared to the sound/silent revolution of 1927.
I have been able to compare first hand the differences in quality between DLP & Film.
The DLP machine was NOT a full blown theatrical unit rather an up market home cinema Sony unit in the top range of what they provide. It is installed in the venue where I do projectionist duties for a Film Society and shares the bio box with a 35mm Ballantyne (1600 watt Xenon) and 16mm Fumeo HL2000 (500 watt Xenon). The pix size is just a bit smaller than the 16mm machine at almost 4m wide and as far as I know the unit uses 3 x 150watt lamps... Metal Halide I believe.
During a test of a range of similar machines recently we had some suppliers come in and demo their units and almost ALL had the DVD of Bugs Life to demo. We also had some program material to demo/try out and it was a video of Mask Of Zorro, the DVD of the same flik and a Scope trailer in 35mm of Zorro.
Bugs Life looked pretty damn good on almost all machines when blown up to that size.
The test was really on Zorro and only 2 of the 8 units on test scrubbed up OK with the big failure point being any backlit scenes as most lost almost ALL detail and was just a big SPLODGE!
2 were passable but the salesmen I believe had deliberately selected Bugs Life for the very bright scenes in almost all that film. After we had weeded out the rubbish we tried a video of the same film and the quality on the screen was only just watchable... any wide shots had absolutely no detail and I would equate that to almost 8mm film resolution where close shots are usually good but any wide shots are struggling with fine detail.
I then rolled the scope trailer while the DLP was on the screen and the 7m scope image almost totally obliterated the DLP image and the same "splodgy" (on the DLP show) backlit scenes in film were crisp and clear.
All that said IF I was an exhibitor with a couple of small venues to equip for screenings AND I could get the necessary DVD's to screen that is the way I would go right now.... Cheaper to equip than using 35mm plant. More convenient and far easier to schedule tight screenings into those venues. No thread up just shove it into the player and away you go! What could be easier???
Down side... No trailers or shorts or ads etc at least not just yet but they will be coming. No trailers is a problem as they are one of the most effective marketing tools an exhibitor has at his disposal and I would be a bit nervous running a cinema without any trailers.
But can never see me doing that as I love film, the sound, the smell and probably the nostalgia as well and with just one screen I do not even have to think about it.... but I bet your socks that others are.

 |  IP: Logged

Bill Mantz
Film Handler

Posts: 91
From: Plano, TX
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 09-20-2003 07:31 AM      Profile for Bill Mantz   Email Bill Mantz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I see almost everyone refure to Digital Cinema as DLP. DLP is a Texas Instruments processing system that drives there DMD chips DLP stands for Digital Light Prossesing with drives there Digital Micromirrior Devise. Since Texas Instruments was first on the seen with digital cinema everyone refers to digital cinema as DLP but there are other systems out there being developed for digital cinema like Kodak/JVC D-ILA digital system. It is like asking for a Kleenex when you mean you want a tissue. I just wanted to point out that digital cinema is not just DLP.
Just adding my .02 on this topic

 |  IP: Logged

Aaron Sisemore
Flaming Ribs beat Reeses Peanut Butter Cups any day!

Posts: 3061
From: Rockwall TX USA
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 09-20-2003 11:10 AM      Profile for Aaron Sisemore   Email Aaron Sisemore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
the only true evaluation of digital cinema would be to project it side-by-side with a pristine 35mm print.
But for once let's level the playing field and not deliberately compromise the 35mm side (yes this has happened on several occasions) [Mad]

Better yet, let's side-by-side compare DLP to a 70mm print from a 65mm negative! Even 'digitally-sourced' (then scanned directly to 65mm) material would blow away the DLP! [beer] [Cool]


 |  IP: Logged

All times are Central (GMT -6:00)
This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Powered by Infopop Corporation

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.