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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » An honest DLP question...

   
Author Topic: An honest DLP question...
Russ Kress
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 202
From: Charleston, WV, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 06-06-2000 07:27 PM      Profile for Russ Kress   Author's Homepage   Email Russ Kress   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Do we really need stereo?

Do we really need "SR"?

Do we really need to split the surrounds?

What's wrong with the academy curve?

These are questions that were asked in this industry every time a new way of doing things came into being.

Digital film exhibition, obviously, has its faults. It's new and it probably will look totally different should it ever come to pass as the accepted way of doing things.

Why not give it a shot and see what it could become?

The way I see it, it will still require skilled operators to maintain performance. There will still be xenon lamps to oil *grin*, plates to cut, and sound systems to balance.

If one were to use this web sight as a measure, the only thing missing would be the "Technicolor Element".

No more broken reels (although I'm sure that TES would get into the modem business!)

Call me crazy here, but maybe they could ship them on individual floppies so that we could still do change-overs?

(This comment was Brad's fault! He never expressly said NOT to drink the Film Guard).

Anyway... I'm kinda curious as to what the digital guys could come up with provided that the film guys held their nuts to the fire. Apply the same quality standards to digital and hold them to it.

Hey, if it doesn't work, call it Beta Max!

Russ


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Scott Norwood
Film God

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


 - posted 06-06-2000 09:11 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good points. Ideally, the "digital cinema" thing would be a terrific thing for the movie-going public if it resulted in pressure on both the film end of the business (Kodak, labs, projectionists, etc.) and the digital end (TI, Quvis, etc.) to continually improve image quality and presentation standards, regardless of the method of delivery for the on-screen image. If things happen in this manner, then I think that we can all get excited about the future.

My concern, though, is that theatre owners and/or film distributors will start asking themselves "what's the cheapest thing that we can put in here that the public won't complain about" rather than "what are the current problems with film presentations and how can we fix these problems without introducing new problems in the process?"

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17664
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-07-2000 04:49 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Russ,

Actually the phrase "not to be taken internally" IS on the FilmGuard bottles.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 06-07-2000 06:26 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The many Kodak folks working on Digital Cinema are in "friendly" competition with those of us working on film projects. Their job is to use Kodak technology to make digital cinema quality as good as, and maybe better, than film. Our job is to make film and film presentation as good as we know they can be.

Today, film is still a much more cost-effective way of distributing and presenting movies. When "done right", today's film presentation quality is superior to digital cinema presentation for most key attributes.

I personally share Scott's concern that the "cheapest" rather than the "best" may be guiding the decision making process among some producers, distributors, and exhibitors. The same cost-cutting that hurts film presentation quality today will degrade digital cinema in the future.

------------------
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 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9443
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-07-2000 08:49 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This industry thrives on thecheapest is best
If quality were the motivating factor all presentations would be on 70mm film with SR Mag sound (yes that will outperform digital) with 7+K lamps and triamp soundsystems
The reality is if it is good enough that is the norm
Well thats my cynacism for today

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John Walsh
Film God

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


 - posted 06-07-2000 10:35 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sadly, it's not cynicism, it's fact. I bet everyone has a "cheap" theater story. One of mine is when a DM came in with a box of 40 watt bulbs- that was the highest wattage they would allow us to use.

I agree with Scott and JP; Digital is being pushed as cheaper rather than better. The motion-picture industry has a long history (since the break-up) of "cheap" before "better." Mag striping, 70mm, higher frame rates are examples of superior 30-40 year-old technology not done today. DTS 70mm is a newer example. I also include IB release printing, because I'm sure they are only doing it because it's cheaper in large runs. At least that's one process where "cheaper" results in "better."

Question: How in the world did the industry get theaters to change from 1.33 to 1.85? Most theaters had already paid to add 'scope. Then they had to change from 1.33 to 1.85.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 06-07-2000 12:14 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
1.85:1 flat evolved by simply cropping the height of the non-anamorphic image to fill more width of the screens installed for CinemaScope. Paramount suggested that pictures shot in VistaVision be shown using an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 or 1.85:1, which is probably the origin of those particular ratios. (See Marty Hart's on-line American Widescreen Museum at http://www.simplecom.net/widefilm/widescreen/vistavision.htm )

The cost for theatres to convert was a new lens (shorter focal length for greater magnification) and a new aperture plate. There was also a "cost" in reduced light efficiency and greater magnification of grain from the much smaller image area.

------------------
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 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com

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Stefan Scholz
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 223
From: Schoenberg, Germany
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 06-07-2000 12:17 PM      Profile for Stefan Scholz   Author's Homepage   Email Stefan Scholz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I share the concerns, an Industry with such a long tradition in fighting better technologies will agree only on lowest possible standards.
They lost some battles against investment.Cinema Scope was introduced, but without sound, Color was hated, as it required new high intensity lamps... but finally film became colorful.
And still some theatres can be found using the original C-Scope lenses from 1953.
Sound was fought, and it took until 1993, with digital sound to appear, that more than 25% of our theatres became Stereo. Today we do still have approx 35% mono theatres in Germany.
Why should digital image change this attitude? It's costly, and does not save money the moment you buy it.
Thinking of the old car owner, for whom it's easier to buy a new carburator and a new suspension, than to pay for the investment in a new, fuel saving car, which would save during the future, ...
An industry, which has hated investments for decades, and at least in my country, is only producing losses everyday, will certainly not agree on high standards.
Digital might look good, if compared to film projection, but only due to the fact, that even with a cheap unit the lamp, mirror, and lenses will be brand new, compared to 5 k hours, 10 years, and 30 years. Giving film a reasonable comparison with new consoles, new or refurbished heads, latest design High Definition lenses, it will still look exceptionally good, and the investment will be a fraction of the cost for new digital equipment.
But this would mean changes in attitude, towards presentation quality.

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John Walsh
Film God

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


 - posted 06-07-2000 12:56 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
JP wrote: "The cost for theatres to convert was a new lens (shorter focal length for greater magnification) and a new aperture plate."

And the cost of changing the masking, which depending on what was there, could cost much more than the lenses.

"There was also a "cost" in reduced light efficiency and greater magnification of grain from the much smaller image area."

Sadly, this sounds like exactly what's happening today. Make patrons think they are getting something better, (DLP) while actually reducing the quality.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 06-07-2000 02:36 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I assume the masking of early CinemaScope screens could be "brought in" for showing films whose aspect ratios were less wide, so the cost of new masking was probably included in the cost of converting to scope. I wonder how many theatres could move the masking all the way in to 1.37:1 from the full original 2.55:1 CinemaScope format?

Few new theatres today are equipped to show classic 1.37:1 films properly (e.g., the dye transfer prints of "The Wizard of Oz" a few years ago, or restorations of films from the 30's and 40's).

------------------
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 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com

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