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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » AMC Booth Procedures. (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: AMC Booth Procedures.
Thomas Dieter
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 234
From: Yakima, WA
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted 03-07-2005 09:50 PM      Profile for Thomas Dieter   Email Thomas Dieter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Currently, I am working for Picture Show, and one of my co-workers was previously employed by AMC until she told them what to do with themselves (from the following I have to wonder if it was the other way around).

From what she told me, the projectionist "film crew" had a nac for building a print, and if they became to tired to finish watching the movie, they would just let the film run and go home, leaving the lamp and everything on. Knowing the possibilities of the film having a problem during the initial run is unlikely, but it can still happen.

Can anyone here confirm this having happened in their theatre before or another? What was the reasoning? This to me would be grounds for relief of duties entirely.

I knew there was a reason that I didn't like to attend AMC theatres, but this isn't it. To me, it's just the presentation of the theatre that turns me away from AMC really.

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Jason Gazaille
Film Handler

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From: San Diego, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 03-07-2005 10:14 PM      Profile for Jason Gazaille   Email Jason Gazaille   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I worked for AMC for over a year and a half. We would almost always screen every print all the way through. If we did get into a pinch, we would run it and keep a close eye on it from the booth or have someone sit in the first show. Our projectors would have stopped on their own anyway. We had automation that would shut down the lamp. I thought most AMC's did. I left the company because I didn't want to work on the floor. I also got tired of coming in for 5 or 6 hour shifts. I found a job as a full-time projectionist where I am at now and I'm much happier, though I do miss the people I worked with at AMC. Most of them were nice people to work with.

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R. Andrew Diercks
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Posts: 232
From: Marion, Iowa (In the middle of everywhere)
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 03-07-2005 10:32 PM      Profile for R. Andrew Diercks   Email R. Andrew Diercks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have acutally left a theatre only once while a movie was running unattended. This was for good reason: While viewing a film on seat a few rows back began rocking on it's own. Freaked my ass out, had to leave. I'm not confirming or denying the existence of ghosts but it was still freaky. I would never do that again, and if an employee of mine did, I would probably can them. Luckily when I left, my boss at the time was right with me without even saying a word.

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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 03-08-2005 12:33 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All this seems to vary based on the individual theatre. I never heard of anyone intentionally starting a film and then going home (which would be incredibly stupid), but there was one time when a manager didn't feel like shutting the booth down (or even checking the auditoria) at the end of the night. One print (a beat-up print of Pearl Harbor) brainwrapped during the credits and the lamp (2kw) and projector ran all night. Surprisingly, there was no long-term damage to the equipment (even the lens was fine after a good cleaning). [Roll Eyes]

The "official" AMC policy was that all prints were supposed to be pre-screened, but they wouldn't pay us for it, so it didn't happen at the 5-plex unless someone wanted to watch the film. At the 10-plex and 16-plex, there were more employees and pre-screenings were more common. In any event, there was always someone in the auditorium or booth during the screenings.

In Massachusetts, it is illegal to run film without a licensed projectionist in the building (or in the booth if there is no failsafe mechanism installed). In theatres with multiple booths, there is supposed to be a licensed projectionist in one of the booths at all times (though this is commonly ignored).

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David Stambaugh
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From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 03-08-2005 10:56 AM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
The "official" AMC policy was that all prints were supposed to be pre-screened, but they wouldn't pay us for it
This sounds a lot like Wal-Mart "requiring" employees to put in hours off the clock (which Wal-Mart was successfully sued for and had to pay restitution to employees that were screwed). I'm not doubting what Scott's saying, I'm just trying to figure out how AMC (or any other exhibitor) could require new prints to be screened, but refuse to pay someone to do it.

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Gordon McLeod
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From: Toronto Ontario Canada
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 - posted 03-08-2005 11:14 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
the number of times I have had togo out and replace a burned lens when someone did just that and the automation didn't do its thing for some reason [Mad] as for doing a kob requirement off the clock it is in ontario at least ilegal to be in the work place working and not on the clock. There is no workmans comp and the fines against both the employer and amployee can be very severe

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Dean Kollet
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From: Florida State University
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 03-08-2005 11:37 AM      Profile for Dean Kollet   Email Dean Kollet   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's theatre-specific. I worked for AMC for two years and we always had employees there to screen prints. We never let them "run through" and if anyone did anything like that, they would have been fired. If we were in a pickle, booth people would watch them go through, but we were never paid. Never. They just started paying them a few weeks ago I heard because they were having too many problems.

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James R. Hammonds, Jr
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From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 03-08-2005 03:13 PM      Profile for James R. Hammonds, Jr   Email James R. Hammonds, Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I worked at an AMC where we actually did pay people to screen prints for a while, but that started when the theater was under a different set of managers than when it stopped.
The funny (or sad, you pick) thing is that screenings were still paid under the new set of managers without them even realizing it for nearly a whole year and only stopped when "budget concerns" and it was made known that we actually were paying people to do it.
From that point on, a print would be screened with a warm body in there only if someone wanted to watch it.
Otherwise, we watched the trailers from the booth and tried to remember to check on it every 15 or 20 minutes.
After a while I stopped getting upset over problems not being reported even if there was a live body in the theater.
It all became a case of "You get what you pay for."

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Scott Norwood
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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
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 - posted 03-08-2005 05:55 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm sure it depends on the theatre management. Despite what the policy book said, we were never required to screen films by theatre management, and thus we did not, unless someone wanted to watch the film. In practice, it was a nonissue.

The policy book also mandated the use of silver paint markers to indicate reel ends. That got ignored as well.

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Dean Kollet
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From: Florida State University
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 - posted 03-08-2005 06:23 PM      Profile for Dean Kollet   Email Dean Kollet   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And the policy that said we couldn't use Yellow splicing tape b/c if affected the presentation.....but it was ok to go into a 75% filled house and ask them to move to a different theatre so that we could sell more tickets...again, sets of managers are different.

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

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From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 03-08-2005 09:18 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
At our theater (AMC) we occasionally get asked by home office if we're screening all the movies. When we tell them "no" they don't understand why, and they yell at us. We also get told by other people at home office that we don't have money in the budget to pay people to screen movies, so stop asking for approval.

Sometimes we get notes in the cans asking us in the nicest language possible, short of "pretty please with cherries on top" to run the films through before showing them to the public and make sure they're ok. Then those same distributors send the prints at 7:00 PM on Thursday night. Our Thursday nights are over by 11 PM - we have no late round.

I'm thinking in particular of "The Village" where they printed up really nice cardboard notes in the can that said (paraphrasing) "Remember that the best way to ensure a successful open is to run the print through to check it before showing it." Unfortunately, we didn't see that note in time because even though they sent us the movie over 24 hours in advance, they didn't give us the combination to the padlocks on the cans until two hours before show time. Thanks guys! [fu]

Now this may sound harsh, but too bad. This entire industry is fucking retarded when it comes to this, and I wish to God that NATO and the MPAA would get together and once and for all get their heads out of their asses and figure out what the hell they want to do, and then DO IT. Sorry, but this pisses me off. Actually, no, I'm not sorry. Click here to see why screening prints before showing them to the public is a fantastic idea that should be embraced by everyone. But until the industry does that, every theater will make up their own policy, and unfortunatly, stupid crap like what was posted at the beginning of this thread will be common place.

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David Stambaugh
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From: Eugene, Oregon
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 - posted 03-08-2005 09:44 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So allow me to paraphrase. The AMC home office has thoughtfully provided a nice policy manual for each of its theaters. But AMC then fails to empower anyone in the chain of command to actually carry out those policies, at least in the booth.

Why not cut through all the BS and issue a new policy manual stating that Job 1 for every theater manager is to maximize his location's short-term profitability. Get rid of the extraneous "shadow policies" and just be open about it.

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Kurt Zupin
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 989
From: Maricopa, Arizona
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted 03-08-2005 09:56 PM      Profile for Kurt Zupin   Email Kurt Zupin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Because that would be too easy.

It is not theater policy to screen prints...but however, I do try and watch all films that are built up the day before or the morning of just to be safe.

Kurt

[ 04-06-2005, 06:58 PM: Message edited by: Kurt Zupin ]

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Jim Ziegler
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 03-09-2005 12:36 AM      Profile for Jim Ziegler   Email Jim Ziegler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Careful guys.. A projectionist I had working for me I was able to get because he was run out of his booth manager job at a chain for saying stuff on Film-Tech that the chain did not like..

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Jason Gazaille
Film Handler

Posts: 46
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 03-09-2005 02:25 AM      Profile for Jason Gazaille   Email Jason Gazaille   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In a response to Mark,
What if you DO screen the print, and call the depot to get the reel replaced immediately, and yet you don't get one? What if you get 6 prints from the ETS depot only 7 hours before the first run of the morning? We do our absolute best at our theatre to screen them as early as possible but if you get no support, is it really worth it?
We screen our prints for build-up errors more than anything and almost always there are none. Reel replacements usually never come in time for the public not to see it. I still haven't gotten my R-4 for The Jacket yet...

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