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Old October 11th, 2003, 05:42 PM   #1
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Red Dots on Theatrical Films

I just returned from a screening of "Kill Bill". On at least 5 or 6 times, I saw the pattern of (I thought) 4 red dots in a diamond pattern. I thought "what the hell was that?". I figured it was some sort of semi-subliminal thing inserted on purpose, maybe to be seen later on DVD. Or some symbol that would become significant later. Now I've read that it's just some anti-piracy thing. Is this really how the industry has decided to digitally watermark theatrical prints from now on? Does anybody have some concrete information about this?

It completely took me out of the movie each time it happened, and now I'm going to be looking for them everywhere! This has really gone too far. If you want to put some kind of digital watermark onto a picture, so that you can tell which theater it was taped from, make it something truly invisible to the casual viewer, or at least put it near the edge of frame - not in the middle of the picture! Where can we call/email/write to complain about this?
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Old October 11th, 2003, 06:45 PM   #2
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So you mean it appeared more frequently than the 'change the reels' dots?
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Old October 11th, 2003, 08:00 PM   #3
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I think someone got a laser pointer. I'm sure this isn't intentional. I've never heard of anything like that either.
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Old October 11th, 2003, 08:05 PM   #4
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No, this wasn't the "cigarette burns" for a reel changeover and no, this wasn't a laser pointer. This was a definite pattern, printed on the film, lasting for one frame only. It never happened in the same location within the frame, and was not at or near the reel changeover. I'm not even sure it was always the diamond pattern, but I'm certain that it was printed on the image, and I'm certain that it was one frame only.

I've seen reports of people seeing the same thing on Freddie vs Jason and Intolerable Cruelty. I have to think this is the start of some anti-piracy fingerprinting of film prints. I know a lot of people can't catch single frame flashes of anything, but I've been an editor long enough that it's very obvious to me and is really annoying.
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Old October 11th, 2003, 08:27 PM   #5
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I found a link (scroll about 1/4 down):

http://www.suntimes.com/output/answ-...y-ebert05.html
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Old October 11th, 2003, 08:51 PM   #6
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Same here, saw it at least 3 or 4 times during Kill Bill. Wonder if it is as the article states?
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Old October 11th, 2003, 09:43 PM   #7
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>I know a lot of people can't catch single frame flashes of anything

"You can't see it, but you know it's there. A big fat ... "
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Old October 12th, 2003, 06:18 PM   #8
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I saw the four red dots also. First time I've seen these things. Don't make a lot of sense to me.

As for Kill Bill - It was the worst film I've seen all year.
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Old October 12th, 2003, 06:35 PM   #9
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At a screening of School of Rock last night, one of the ad trailers was the "Set Painter" spot for respectcopyrights.org. Between crap code, Jack Valenti's Oscar screener jihad, and this new propaganda campaign, it seems Hollywood is lashing out at piracy every which way they can.

The message they're conveying is "When movies are pirated, you the consumer lose out," but it seems to be the industry's draconian responses to piracy are more disturbing to Hollywood filmmakers and enjoyers-of-film than anything else.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 02:44 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure I saw some on School of Rock this past friday... right on top of JB's face :-)
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Old October 13th, 2003, 07:35 PM   #11
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Kind of funny that those messages are being shown to paying customers sitting in a theater. That's like showing "Don't do drugs" ads to youth groups at churches.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 07:59 PM   #12
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John Heskett? You didn't enjoy "Kill Bill"? Really?

Well God Bless ya' John... I sometimes worry that all us "artsy types" have to jump on board with anything deemed "revolutionary" for fear of being seen as ignorant and unimaginative...

I saw "The Rundown" on saturday and while the trailer for "Kill Bill" played all I could think was, "Man, I wish we were seein' THAT!" I thought that SO much that I actually went back to the theater the very next day and DID see it.

All I can say is, "WOW!"... I haven't felt that strange since seeing "Cabin Boy" and thinking, "Did I just go mad? Are there REALLY millions of people watching this in theaters?" So yeah, you guessed it. I'm right there with ya'... 'aint nobody gonna' convince me that "Kill Bill" is any kinda' art... aside from a few cool scenes... that was about the least enjoyable movie I've seen. Ever.

Go to Blockbuster and rent the most violent karate/samuria/martial arts movie you can find... one from the 70's or OLDER... now mentally replace the hero and most villians with hot chicks. There, I just saved you eight bucks.

Yeah, red dots, no joke either... VERY DISTRACTING... just like the one framed Brad Pitt that kept popping up in "Fight Club"... since the rest of "Kill Bill" was so rediculously impressionistic, I figured this is just one more wacky stunt to make us talk about it... and if it is then it's working.

I'm beginning to think Quintin lost his robe after "Pulp Fiction" but because that movie was so revolutionary (and half-way decent) that people will continue to praise his fine garments as I just see him naked.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 08:25 AM   #13
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And while you're complaining about the "red dots" throw in a complaint about the pointless whirly-twirly zoom-spin strobe baloney. What an amateurish waste of effort that is.

TV ads have been using whirly-twirly etc for some time now in an attempt to mesmerize viewers like the technique does to animals. My family and I have had the pleasure of changing the channel as soon as the whirly-twirly nonsense starts. CBS has started introducing it in football games they broadcast (please, I just want to see the real action on the field, not the producer's spin on what he/she thinks the action "should" be). And, a local TV station started using it in their news. I no longer watch that program.

Down with red dots, whirly-twirly, zoom-spin, strobe baloney!

Nick
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