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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Ever feel like only you care about presentation quality?

   
Author Topic: Ever feel like only you care about presentation quality?
Jared Foley
Film Handler

Posts: 22
From: Madison, IL, USA
Registered: Feb 2005


 - posted 03-16-2005 06:19 AM      Profile for Jared Foley   Email Jared Foley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm basically new to the cinema industry - I've only been a projectionist for just over three months. I work for a larger chain, and they're building a new 8 screen less than 5 miles from my 6 screen. That means when we need something new, we don't get it.
Alright, so 6 screens, and each one has it's own unique problems. We have nothing fancy - Strong Simplex 1050's with 5-star sound heads. We run stereo sound with multiple speakers, and they never all work. Sound is always horrible in each theatre. Every once in a while all the speakers will work and it sounds great, then they go back out for the next run. This is annoying enough. We also have a great popping and humming coming from one of our two larger auditoriums. The light automation rarely works properly so it's mostly a manual lighting operation.
When I ask for a service tech to come out and look at our units, I'm told that "they just came out a month ago and said everything was fine". This has to be a lie. And if I ever say something to my managers about a problem with a projector, I get a great "oooh...." response, and nothing gets done. It's like me against them.
What is it about these people?? Literally all they care about is making the most money possible; it's NOTHING about quality of the presentation. It's embarrassing to me. I'm also an usher so everytime I walk in another horrible presentation, I'm ashamed to say that I'm the one who's presenting this garbage.
Does anyone ever feel like this? I swear I'm made fun of sometimes for my complaints. I can't be the only one out here that feels this way.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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


 - posted 03-16-2005 07:46 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Jared Foley
We run stereo sound with multiple speakers, and they never all work. Sound is always horrible in each theatre. Every once in a while all the speakers will work and it sounds great, then they go back out for the next run. This is annoying enough. We also have a great popping and humming coming from one of our two larger auditoriums. The light automation rarely works properly so it's mostly a manual lighting operation.
When I ask for a service tech to come out and look at our units, I'm told that "they just came out a month ago and said everything was fine". This has to be a lie. And if I ever say something to my managers about a problem with a projector, I get a great "oooh...." response, and nothing gets done. It's like me against them.

Being a "newbie" of only 3 months, you are swimming upstream. Is there ANYONE at your theatre who also cares about the obvious problems you mentioned? Are you following all the established procedures in your theatre to document problems and get them fixed? You can either put your job in jeopardy by going to higher levels of management in your circuit yourself (e.g., the Regional Manager and the VP of Engineering), or find another way to let upper management know that serious problems are being ignored at the local level. One possibility is to encourage friends or relatives who attended a disappointing presentation to write the manager of your theatre with the specifics, and be sure to copy the Regional Manager, VP of engineering, and the VP of Operations for your theatre circuit. If enough audience members complain in writing, at least the problems will be recognized by someone with authority to do something about the situation.

If you don't know the upper management of your circuit, you can look up the contact information here:

http://directories.vnuemedia.com/fjiguides/exhibition/

quote:
The Exhibition Guide is an alphabetical listing designed to provide ready reference information on the leading theatrical motion picture circuits. It lists in comprehensive detail such data as company names, addresses and phone numbers, total screens and new screens projected, division office locations, top personnel, recent circuit acquisitions, and a state-by-state breakdown of screens.

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Bruce McGee
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1776
From: Asheville, NC USA... Nowhere in Particular.
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 03-16-2005 09:12 AM      Profile for Bruce McGee   Email Bruce McGee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I worked in TV in Atlanta in the 1980's. My job was to ship the cartoons out to the other 2 company-owned stations, and get them back. The cartoons, theatrical Tom and Jerry's, etc, were in rough shape. I went through them and repaired them as best as I could. Well, nothing was said for several weeks. One day, I got a call from the film director of one of the other stations. He was asking if we had replaced some of the cartoons with new prints. I said no, but I sure wanted to replace some of them. He told me that the engineering people had noticed that the cartoons never broke on the air anymore. What was I doing? That made my day.
Our own chief engineer bitched at me for using cement splices. He griped that the splices made popping sounds as they went through the projectors. I never liked him.

All I did to the cartoons was clean and inspect them. Didn't replace any of them. My boss, the film director, pulled me off of cartoons. She thought that I was making her look bad. After all, I'd been working there for less than 3 months.

Glad I got out of there, and moved to the CBS affiliate. Better class of people.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6403
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-16-2005 09:42 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not only do I feel like I'm the only one who gives a flyin' fuck about presentation but I feel like I'm the only one who is even smart enough to know better!

Several weeks ago, we got a print of "Mean Creek" that had platter scratches in it. They were so bad it looked like you were watchng the film through a chain link fence. What's worse was they were on the soundtrack side of the film. It sounded like a bowl of Rice Crispies! (Snap! Crackle! Pop!)

It took me about 10 minutes of standing right by the screen, pointing out the damage, to get my bosses to agree to let me call for a new print. (Which wasn't much better than the first!) Of course, the question NOW becomes, "How did the film get scratched?!" They look at me like *I* did it! This is a logical impossibility! It was the first run of the film since I got it. Further, you could peel the splices between the reels and confirm that the scratches go UNDER the splicing tape. If the film got scratches while running through your projector the damage would disappear under the splices.

Just having to go through all that in order to get a clean presentation on-screen just makes my blood boil sometimes! [Mad]

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Jared Foley
Film Handler

Posts: 22
From: Madison, IL, USA
Registered: Feb 2005


 - posted 03-16-2005 10:20 AM      Profile for Jared Foley   Email Jared Foley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My regional manager is a good guy, but unfortunately he's the one that tells me tech's fixed everything a month ago. I personally showed him some of the problems we're having, including the lack of cleaning throughout the week when I'm not there. He says he'll take care of it, but that's been a few weeks since he said that. I am kind of worried about saying too much; even though my complex manager and I are good friends, making her look bad could certainly put my job in jeopardy.
It irritates me to hear people's complaints every night about the quality of my presentations. The only time they seem to care is if a print is ruined from platter scratches (thankfully not my fault - an asst. manager doesn't build properly). Then it's "I wonder if we can get by with this print until we have to send it to someone else - let it be their problem". [Mad]

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Floyd Justin Newton
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 559
From: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 03-16-2005 11:27 AM      Profile for Floyd Justin Newton   Email Floyd Justin Newton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jared--

I sent you an Email at about 10:00AM CT

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Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3835
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000


 - posted 03-16-2005 11:32 AM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In this town? All the time. All the farging time. [Mad]

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Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1496
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 03-16-2005 01:38 PM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Short answer: Yes.

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Dominic Espinosa
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1172
From: Boulder Creek, CA.
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 03-16-2005 02:44 PM      Profile for Dominic Espinosa   Email Dominic Espinosa   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I only feel like that every day I go to work.
Since I started working at my current location a year ago the managers can now see scratches, but no one can tell the difference between SR and DTS or SDDS.

Unfortunately in the world of theaters, there is the office politics and the massive latency that seems to plague most chains.
Such as the case with ordering new lamps, every chain I've ever worked for takes FOREVER to get a damn lamp shipped out.
Same thing with most supplies.
As for technical work...If your techs are that bad, at least you're in the right place, check out the tips, manuals, and the search feature and you'll find a lot of information.
Hopefuly in time you'll be able to change their thinking, get them to care, and at the very least be able to fix some of this stuff.

As far as the speakers go, I'd start by checking for loose connections, continuity (to detect a broken wire), etc.
Then start trouble shooting the equipment. A/B chain is difficult without the right equipment, but if all you're running is stereo you should be able to do a limited amount of service.
Post up about your questions after you search the forums. It's amazing how much information you'll find.

Good luck!

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Dean Kollet
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 591
From: Florida State University
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 03-16-2005 04:43 PM      Profile for Dean Kollet   Email Dean Kollet   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
that's why I quit working for AMC, long story short.

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