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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » My Trip To See SWEP2 Digital (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: My Trip To See SWEP2 Digital
Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

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


 - posted 06-13-2002 07:45 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, now that the crowds have died down, I decided to go see for myself George Lucus's vision for the future of cinema. The closest theatre to me that has the latest in big screen TV technology is the National Amusements Edgewater NJ complex, about 40 miles way. This was my first (and hopefully last) visit to a National Amusements theatre. While I liked the wide spacing between the rows of comfortable stadium seating, ultimately, I pick my theatres for good presentation.

I attended the first matinee on a weekday, so the theatre was almost empty. Well showtime came, and showtime went, and no show. Aproximately 15 minutes after the show was supposed to start, I went to the lobby to complain. I was told that the show was going to start in about 3 minutes. Another 15 minutes went by, and finally someone came into the auditorium to inform us that they could not get the projector to work and could not get ahold of the technician, and were giving up on starting the show. We were giving the choice of seeing it in another auditorium on film, or getting our money back. As I was getting my refund, I asked the floor manager what was wrong. He said he did not know, but that so far, they had lost about 15% of their shows because the digital projector would not start. My question is, are these video projectors that unreliable, or does that theatres staff not know how to run the equipment?

I will say, though, it was the best presentation of a blank screen I had seen all day.

/Mitchell

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Paul Konen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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


 - posted 06-13-2002 09:06 AM      Profile for Paul Konen   Email Paul Konen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would say that it was the staff was not experienced with how to operate the equipment.

I use the same playback system and have had no problems getting my presentations on screen with the same equipment.

I would say that this is poor management that they have lost 15% of their shows. The manufacturer is available to help with any problems associated with its equipment and would have been pretty quick to send a tech on-site to help. THERE is no need for this kind of loss.

Paul.

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Don Sneed
Master Film Handler

Posts: 451
From: Texas City, TX, USA
Registered: Aug 2001


 - posted 06-13-2002 10:59 AM      Profile for Don Sneed   Author's Homepage   Email Don Sneed   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You are right Paul, the manufactures will go out of their way to get that machine back on the screen....an example would be last week, I installed a D-cinema in west Texas, the theatre ran about a week & a half & a problem started to happen, I was in Los Angeles Calf when the manfacture called me about the problem I told him where I was & I would have my office to sent another tech & I would walk him though, not only did my company showed upwith two men, but also TI, & Boeing, the problem was repaired.....there no reason to lose 15% of the shows, help is only a phone call away, if the Tech do not return the call in a timely manner, than go higher up, until the problem is solve, I too is a tech & at times I cannot answer the call but will return the call very shortly....I know techs who wait until the next day to return phone calls, If I forget, My customers will call back in an hour or two, then start calling my boss.....believe me I love my job & I return my calls....

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-13-2002 11:09 AM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just curious...
Who's responsible for the tech's bill, to get the DLP projectors running again?

------------------
Greg Mueller
Amateur Astronomer, Machinist, Filmnut
http://www.muellersatomics.com/

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 06-13-2002 11:19 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What maintenance and repairs are the theatre personnel capable of doing? What things can the chief projectionist fix on-site, and which require flying in the engineers/technicians from Technicolor/THX/Boeing/etc.?

For example, who is responsible for lamp changes and alignment? Cleaning of the optics? Registration/convergence? Color and gray scale tracking? Diagnosing and fixing server "hiccups"? Loading servers? Are test equipment, alignment tools, and spare modules available on-site in the theatre if they have a skilled technician on staff?

After three years of in-field experience, there should certainly be some examples of what problems occur, and how they are addressed.

As Ted Costas explained, taking almost a week to fix the "digital hiccups" I saw at the AMC Empire in NYC on March 20 was NOT an example of "Digital Done Right".

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: +1 585 477 5325 Cell: +1 585 781 4036 Fax: +1 585 722 7243
e-mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion


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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

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


 - posted 06-13-2002 12:29 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The only thing I did not mention in the start of this thread is that the manager also indicated that most of the problems they have had with the digital projector were for the first show of the day. In any event, I agree that digital should not have reliability problems, at least not 3 weeks after a brand new installation.

/Mitchell

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Charles Everett
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1470
From: New Jersey
Registered: May 2001


 - posted 06-14-2002 07:58 AM      Profile for Charles Everett   Email Charles Everett   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Suffer no more, Mitchell. The Edgewater Multiplex drops the DLP of Episode 2 today after only 4 weeks. That theater is still running Episode 2 on 35mm on 2 screens for now.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 06-14-2002 08:25 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is the Edgewater picking up a digital "print" of "Windtalkers"?

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: +1 585 477 5325 Cell: +1 585 781 4036 Fax: +1 585 722 7243
e-mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion

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Charles Everett
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1470
From: New Jersey
Registered: May 2001


 - posted 06-14-2002 11:31 AM      Profile for Charles Everett   Email Charles Everett   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The DLP was for Episode 2 only.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 06-14-2002 11:52 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Charles said: "The DLP was for Episode 2 only."

Do you mean the Digital Cinema system was "on loan" only, and they are pulling it out? If so, how many of the installations put in for ATOC were only temporary?

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: +1 585 477 5325 Cell: +1 585 781 4036 Fax: +1 585 722 7243
e-mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion

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Frank Angel
Film God

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


 - posted 06-14-2002 07:32 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To hear TI talk about DLP, I was under the impression that it was foolproof and much easier to operate than 35mm -- all that gushing talk about it being a "thread-less," foolproof operation that virtually ANYBODY could run. I guess those over-inflated claims are about as close to reality as the raves about how good the image looks, eh?

Paul, perhaps TI is a little quicker to send its highly paid DLP technicians to Texas and the installations on the west coast than it is to send them all the way over here to Edgewater New Jersey.

John, very good questions that you may find difficult to get any straight answers about. I tried to find out if AMC has actually purchased their DLP setup. The General Manager would not answer that -- I got the sense that he knew, but wasn't supposed to tell the public. Given the fact that the chains are all hurting (the ones that haven't already filed for Chapter 11, that is), I would be surprised if ANY of the digital projectors in the US were actually purchased by the exhibitors. Also given the fact that Technicolor said they would finance and install 1000 DLP units for FREE and AOTC played in, what was that answer, 93? Then we still have 907 to go before any exhibitor actually has to make the decision to invest in this technology.

I'll bet there's an operator in Edgewood that won't be plunking down $140,000 any time soon based on his experience with DLP thus far.

And Mike, believe me when I tell you, you didn't get to see DLP? You didn't miss much.

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John Rizzo
Film Handler

Posts: 37
From: Demarest, NJ, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 06-16-2002 07:07 PM      Profile for John Rizzo   Email John Rizzo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Gentleman
I just took my son to the National Amusements Edgewater Complex to see Scooby Doo. It was playing on two screens one in 35mm the other on DLP were episode 2 was a week ago.I saw the 35mm print and the Print and presintation were fabulous (Can't say that for Scooby however) It wasn't loaded with scratches and jitter the way the lucas entourage tells us is the problem with film. I must go on to say that the color and clarity of this Scooby print looked fantastic.
I tried to get away for a peak at the dlp Scooby but I couldn't do it.
Anyway I just wanted to update you guys on the latest from the edgwater theater.

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Paul Konen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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


 - posted 06-17-2002 09:27 AM      Profile for Paul Konen   Email Paul Konen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank, Your views are appreciated, however, somewhat skewed.

At my theatre, it has always been what TI stated. Thread-less. All that we have EVER had to do with DLP is 1. Strike the lamphouse, 2. Press the start button on the film projector to initiate the automation and playback unit. This is still the nature of operations today.

With the DLP head, all you have to do is get the lamphouse struck. Shouldn't be a problem there, and from the nature of the statistics, they have been able to play EP2, however, not the first show.

The problem appears to be with the playback unit. I can't say that for sure but it seems to be the root of the problem. Maybe they were doing a cold start each morning, rather than just logging in and selecting a platter. I don't claim to know for sure but that is what it appears to be.

I understand that you have negative views about DLP and that is appreciated because your views will help create a better product. I only hope that you are just as critical and objective when Kodak releases their product.

Paul.

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-17-2002 09:49 AM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Who's responsible for the tech's bill, to get the DLP projectors running again?

------------------
Greg Mueller
Amateur Astronomer, Machinist, Filmnut
http://www.muellersatomics.com/

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

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


 - posted 06-17-2002 10:08 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John Rizzo is indeed correct, Edgewater dropped the digital version of EPII, and they are currently running Scooby-Doo in digital (and 35mm).

Does anyone know of another theatre in Northern New Jersey still run Star Wars in digital?

/Mitchell

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