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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » classic film overature presentation. (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: classic film overature presentation.
Steven J Hart
Master Film Handler

Posts: 282
From: WALES, ND, USA
Registered: Mar 2004


 - posted 01-11-2013 05:43 PM      Profile for Steven J Hart   Author's Homepage   Email Steven J Hart   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm playing IAMMMMW in a few weeks as part of a classic film series. What's the proper way to present the overature? Lights up or down? Curtain open or closed?

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Jonathan M. Crist
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 527
From: Hershey, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 01-11-2013 05:59 PM      Profile for Jonathan M. Crist   Email Jonathan M. Crist   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The way I was always instructed to do it with roadshow pictures was to start with the lights up & curtain closed ..... then start bringing the lights slowly down as the overture nears its end so that the lights are almost completely down as the overture ends and the curtain parts.

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 905
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-11-2013 06:07 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The traditional way for overtures was lights at trailer level, or mid way between audience load-in and feature. As far as curtains, mostly it was curtain closed. Those that had a title curtain sometimes left it closed with the main curtain open at the start of the overture, and then opened the title curtain and dimmed the lights to feature level with the studio logo. Jonathan's way is good too, if you want to ride the dimmer. Everybody has their own way, as you are about to find out.

If you have a waterfall curtain, for some reason it always looks A LOT cooler if it stays down until just before the logo.

By the way, unless someone made up a DCP of this title, this is in the wrong forum.

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

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


 - posted 01-11-2013 06:48 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I always do Overture with curtain closed and lights at the trailer setting.

Lights go all the way down to feature setting just before opening the curtain, so that the curtain opens in the dark. A slight volume adjustment (down) might be necessary as the curtain clears the speakers.

Curtain cue is timed so that the screen is exposed just as the first frame of picture (FFOP) is in the gate.

Dowser stays closed until FFOP(usually studio logo).

At my last theatre, Entr'Acte was the same procedure but, at the new theatre, it is slightly different.

For film, I place thin strips of "fine line" tape along the edge as visible cues. For digital, I just note the time-code of each event. Some of it can be programmed, but most of this kind of show is manual for me.

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Steven J Hart
Master Film Handler

Posts: 282
From: WALES, ND, USA
Registered: Mar 2004


 - posted 01-12-2013 08:26 AM      Profile for Steven J Hart   Author's Homepage   Email Steven J Hart   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the ideas. I will try to develop a technique that looks good in our theater.

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Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1354
From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted 01-12-2013 12:33 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
curtains are effective, but at the AFI Silver the curtains are rather thick and the sound is significantly muddled sounding.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12539
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 01-12-2013 12:40 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Theatre #1 at the AFI has thickish curtains. 2 and 3 are relatively lightweight. Note, in theatres "of the day" the curtains were thick and it did subdue the sound a bit...which isn't really all that bad.

When I've presented such shows, I dim the house to 1/2 and leave the stage wash on. As the Overture finishes, I'll dim the house out then the stage and open the curtain in darkness so the first frame opens on an opened screen. Knowing the show is key for such things. If I haven't seen the show before, I'll open the curtain on the first frame as with normal shows.

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Rick Raskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1093
From: Manassas Virginia
Registered: Jan 2003


 - posted 01-12-2013 03:05 PM      Profile for Rick Raskin   Email Rick Raskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I ran roadshow there was a que sheet with instructions to begin dimming the lights at a specific time point of the overature. The curtain was to begin opening on the first appearance of the studio logo.

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

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


 - posted 01-12-2013 05:45 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I was projecting for a certain professor at USC, he required the curtain and dowser to remain closed until the first frame of the studio logo.

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Jock Blakley
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 218
From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Oct 2011


 - posted 01-12-2013 06:49 PM      Profile for Jock Blakley   Email Jock Blakley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We start with all lights up, then gradually fade the house lights and then the curtain spots so we're left with just the proscenium and curtain footlights on.

Ideally this is timed for roughly the same length as the overture, although obviously you can only manually slide a fader so slowly, so we then use the three proscenium light channels to very slowly change the colour of the proscenium. By this point any latecomers are being ushered into seats, so the last minute of two of the overture being in relative darkness is not a problem.

We open the douser when we hear the clickers go through the gate, wait for the FFOP to appear on the curtain, then quick-fade all the lights and open the curtain.

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Robert Harris
Film Handler

Posts: 90
From: Bedford Hills, NY, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 01-14-2013 08:32 PM      Profile for Robert Harris   Email Robert Harris   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A number of roadshow productions dealt with curtains, travelers, etc. by recording sonically differing music for use in theatres with varying thicknesses of curtains. Prints were sounded to the specific needs of the venue.

RAH

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-15-2013 01:40 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've always wondered how is the best way to present a movie with a curtain. Should you:

1. Half-dim the houselights, project the image on the curtain first and then open the curtain

2. Half-dim the houselights and start the curtain opening just before the image hits it

3. Half-dim the houselights, and have the curtain open before the image hits the screen

Seems like most projectionists favor the first option. But, it seems odd to project the image on the curtain since the "performance" (on the screen) is meant to appear behind the curtain, hence it seems to me that the image should NOT be projected on the curtain at all. It'd be like having the actors in a play come out in front of the curtain and then the curtain being opened.

On the other hand, a blank screen is bad showmanship. That's why, since we don't have a curtain, we have lights on the screen which fade out as the picture comes in.

So which is best, or does it matter? I think I would like to go with the second option above, with the houselights dimming, the curtain starting to open, and then the image appearing when the curtain is maybe three or four feet open.

(I'm asking all these questions in anticipation of actually having a curtain some day.)

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Scott Norwood
Film God

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


 - posted 01-15-2013 01:50 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would typically go with option #1 with a traveler or guillotine and option #2 with a waterfall, on the basis that titles and/or studio logos look odd when projected on a waterfall curtain as it gathers, whereas a traveler usually parts from the center, allowing the titles to be readable on the screen as the curtain opens. Also, travelers tend to open faster; my own preference is for the curtain open to take about twelve seconds, but some are faster or slower than that.

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

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


 - posted 01-15-2013 02:20 PM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Scott -- those are my pref's if I have all the "say so." But, really, there is no "right answer" to this, and it will often depend on what the boss prefers.

As mentioned, a previous employer wanted house lights all the way down before starting, and the studio logo and final image on the curtain -- never wanted a bare screen exposed. That theatre had a traveler.

Presently, we have a waterfall, so we dim lights to "trailers" and open curtain. Lights go all the way down just before the feature.

Overture/Entr'Acte -- I start from a "template" but I make tweaks and tailor it to the movie.

If you happen to have full authority to do whatever you want -- try it a few different ways and go with the approach that you find most effective.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5225
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 01-24-2013 08:33 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It also makes a difference what the curtain material and color are. We have a cream-white satin curtain specifically chosen so we can keep it closed until the FFOP (for roadshow films, it's almost always the studio logo...you know, in the days when a single studio produced a movie -- nowadays there can be 4 or 5 production companies listed [Roll Eyes] ). As already rightly stated, it's always been considered the mortal sin of showmanship to allow the audience to see a "naked" screen (that right out of the Interstate Theatre Circuit's Manager's Standard Operating Procedures Handbook), so we go with FFOP -- the logo --THEN, the the curtain warmer lights (already at just a glow from a slow fade two minutes before the end of the overture), then the curtain opens and the warmers simultaniously fade-out on a 5 count as the image hits the screen and curtain opens simultaniously.

Our motor speed is fairly fast, also specifically chosen so it gets the curtains out of the way pretty quickly so we don't obscure the logo; the curtain is out of the way fast enough so the logo is still fully visible without any curtain.

We can do this because, like I said, the curtain color is light, nearly white thus the film image is pretty clear, even as the curtain opens with the logo projected on it. In a theatre with a dark colored curtain, this probably isn't the best protocol.

We also have a proscenium Austrian scalloped curtain which is thick velour of a really dark wine color. Years ago that was all I had so I didn't project on it because it really did obscure the image too much -- I flew that out totally in nearly black before I hit the screen with the first frame. I really didn't like that look at all and so when I was able to choose a separate screen curtian specifically just for movies, I made sure it was one that was more image-friendly -- light weight, rich warm-white color and flowing satin to catch the light of the curtain warms beautifully.

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