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Author Topic: Two Cannes screenings affected by projection problems
Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7044
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 05-20-2017 01:08 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: deadline.com (my emphasis)
‘Okja’ One Of Two Films Marred By Fest Tech Problems Today: Cannes Controversy

After the global press suffered long lines and an even slower metal-detector check yesterday morning at Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck, two movies today experienced major technical issues: Netflix’s Okja in competition, and the Chinese film Goddesses In The Flames of War, a market title.

The Cannes Film Festival promptly issued a statement this morning, taking full responsibility for the Okja snafu (see below). The Bong Joon Ho-directed movie has been much subject of controversy here given it’s the first time a streaming service has been included in competition.

At its press screening today, the movie was delayed by a further 15 minutes after its aspect ratio was off with a portion of the image on the ceiling. Both times Okja began to screen, it was met with loud booing from what is led to be the French contingent in the audience, because of the technical disruptions.

One observer said, “You can’t guarantee that the booing will occur at the premiere tonight.” Cannes press screenings have a history of drawing notoriously vocal crowds.

The Netflix logo was met largely with cheers when it first hit the screen, but the problems taxed the audience that got up early only to have the experience disrupted. The crowd seemed more forgiving by the end credits, as boos turned to cheers for the film about a girl who protects a rare animal.

Meanwhile, a Goddesses In The Flames of War screening was canceled due to technical issues, leading some to wonder — what’s going on here at Cannes? This is clearly an embarrassment for the festival, particularly Okja since it’s so high profile.

Netflix also has Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories in competition. Both Okja and Meyerowitz Stories aren’t receiving a theatrical release, and that’s hard for some here at the fest to swallow: At the jury press conference, Pedro Almodovar and Will Smith were divided over the future of cinema, particularly on a small screen.

After booking Okja and Meyerowitz Stories, Cannes made a new rule that its competition films must have a traditional theatrical release in France after the French Cinema Federation (FNCF) objected to the inclusion of two Netflix films in the fest’s official lineup. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings responded on Facebook, saying: “The establishment closing ranks against us.”

Even though Amazon Studios is known to be a streaming service — they were here last year with Cafe Society and Neon Demon, and here again this year with Wonderstruck and You Were Never Really Here — the fact is the label is a loyal practitioner of theatrical windows. Said Haynes yesterday at the Wonderstruck press conference: “The film division at Amazon is made up of true cineastes who love movies and really want to try and provide opportunity for independent film visions to find their footing in a vastly shifting market.”

Here’s Cannes’ response to the Okja misfire this morning:

“A technical incident disrupted the beginning of the screening of Bong Joon ho’s film, Okja, which was shown this morning at a press screening at the Lumière Auditorium. The session was interrupted for a few minutes but was then able to carry on as normal.

This incident was entirely the responsibility of the Festival’s technical service, which offers its apologies to the director, his teams, the producers and the audience at the showing.”

I'm guessing a KDM problem for the canceled show, possibly resulting from time zone confusion. As for the image on the ceiling, as simple as pressing the wrong preset button?

Still, I feel sorry for the techs involved. To have that happen at arguably the world's best known film fest can't have been fun.

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Mike Schulz
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 122
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: May 2007


 - posted 05-20-2017 04:10 AM      Profile for Mike Schulz   Email Mike Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sounds like they need to hire me for the next Cannes festival! I even have experience with running many different Netflix screenings and I can guarantee that the image will be projected onto the screen and not the ceiling!

Who do I need to call for this position? Anyone know?

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1553
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted 05-20-2017 09:07 AM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Schulz
I even have experience with running many different Netflix screenings
Same here Mike, but I have had several screenings where the
Netflix logo is actually a different aspect ratio than the
feature. As you know almost all Netflix stuff is 1:77/Flat,
but I've had a few shows where it looked like the Netflix
logo was FC,and so it DID overshoot the maskings. But it
was only the logo, which lasts, what..maybe 4 or 5 seconds?

I even recall warning one of the publicity reps about it
before one screening so that she wouldn't "freak-out".
I'll try to get a picture next time I get a drive like that.
(I may even have one in the booth still)

I'm not speculating what the problem at Cannes was or
that it had any connection whatsoever to an off-ratio logo.
If it was a simple 'wrong aspect ratio' problem, it should
have been correctable in about 10sec, and not 10min as
we all know.

As far as working there, this is what I always tell people:
"If you want to see films in France, go to Cannes; but
if you want to see films in cans, come to my house! [Roll Eyes]

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

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From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 05-20-2017 06:50 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My response to Reed Hastings: No one is against Netflix and their original content. What we are against is you wanting to include your movies with other theatrical releases for the sake of the prestige, but being unwilling to provide a theatrical release window. It's not that we are against streaming services, it's that we want to protect the viability of the theatrical experience.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7044
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 05-21-2017 12:57 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Jim Cassedy
As you know almost all Netflix stuff is 1:77/Flat, but I've had a few shows where it looked like the Netflix logo was FC,and so it DID overshoot the maskings. But it was only the logo, which lasts, what..maybe 4 or 5 seconds?
In that case it shouldn't have been a problem, because they should have had a 1.77 screen file set up that masks off all the other pixels. That's what I've done at our theaters: I've set up presets with separate screen and lens files for 1.19, 1.33, 1.37, 1.66, 1.77, full container (all with the F frame height pixel count), and 2.20 Todd-AO, 2.39, 2.55 and 2.79 (S). For 1.77, the "open" pixels are 1920x1080 (2K - same principle applies to 4K, just with bigger numbers), and all the others are set to black in the screen file. So if I did play a DCP that had a 2048x1080 logo, followed by a 1920x1080 feature, the extra pixels would not be projected, just like if I played a 1.37 print through a 1.85 aperture plate.

And besides, the difference between C (2048x1080) and F-177 (1920x1080) is extra width, not height. So I can't see any way in which this would explain anything being projected onto the ceiling.

What could explain it is if (a) there were no screen files set up at all in that projector - the entire light engine was wide open, and the only difference between flat and scope was a lens zoom - and (b) they started the show in scope by mistake. There is a height difference between flat (1080 pixels) and scope (858). So if the screen is common height, and you start to play a flat DCP with a scope setting that only zooms the lens - no masking of unused pixels - then 858 pixels will be magnified to fill the screen, and the remaining pixels will be projected with 111 above and 111 below the screen.

All you would then need is a DCP with an incorrect aspect ratio tag in the CPL (happens all the time at fests - I reckon that about 10-15% of the festival DCPs I receive have either the aspect ratio tag wrong, the audio channels tag wrong, or both) and a KDM that only opened a few minutes before showtime, after the walkin is underway, and you have a recipe for the glitch described.

With this in mind, this worried me a little:

quote: Article
This incident was entirely the responsibility of the Festival’s technical service, which offers its apologies...
Unless the festival organizers know for a cast iron, beyond a reasonable doubt fact that this happened because of a completely avoidable error by one of the projectionists or techs involved, this strikes me as being a little too willing to throw them under the bus. Maybe they do know that, because they didn't issue a similar apology about the other show (the one that had to be completely canceled).

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Mike Schulz
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 122
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: May 2007


 - posted 05-21-2017 03:12 PM      Profile for Mike Schulz   Email Mike Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7044
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 07-22-2017 02:17 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can't now remember where I heard or read this, but it turns out that the Netflix logo projected on the ceiling was a protest by festival staff against letting movies that did not have a theatrical release compete at Cannes.

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2308
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 07-22-2017 06:55 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've heard the "wrong time zone on the KDM" reason before... several times.

I don't get this. If it's such a big deal, why are they being stingy about the keys? If it's such a risk, turn the damned thing on for the whole month. Then, make up some new rule that says a key has to be open at least 3 days before the first showing or it gets booted (yah, I know... not likely).

Some of the stuff I get is unlocked for 3 months after I'm done with it.

Seems simple... maybe?

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