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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old May 14th, 2002, 01:41 PM   #16
 
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redone...

I agree...and, apparently, others must too because so many NLE plugins are available that offer film effects like scratches, hair, dust, etc.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 07:06 PM   #17
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Just because something seems better isn't typically reason to keep it around -- if so, we'd still have Beta, LPs, mass produced tube- type audio amps, etc. The driver in this will be the cost. If digital can be proven to cost less in the long run to deliver, scratchy film will be a thing of the past. Reality is the bottom line -- perceived quality will be only a secondary consideration. Most won't even care.

Here in Seattle, the DV equipped Cinerama has sold out far in advance of Thursday's opening. Due to the massive audiences, I won't likely see it until we're well into the screening iterations. I guess there is some small comfort in knowing it will look as good as the first showing, even if it isn't a "real movie".

Purists don't pay the bills. My guess is that celluloid is ultimately doomed.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 07:29 PM   #18
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I would agree that film is ultimately doomed. But DLP v.1.0 isn't going to do it. Not when a DLP movie has to be up-sampled for HDTV broadcasts.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 07:35 PM   #19
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It's something new. When sound came out in the early 1900's the quality of movies dropped for awhile because of all the problems with sound film technology. However, as time dragged on the equipment got better and so did the movies. Some directors refused to shoot sound, while others embraced it. However, the only thing film left in making movies today is the workprint. Most pictures are digitized for editing and special effects, then someone conforms the workprint. If I was making a movie and I could save a couple million shooting on hdtv, then another couple million uploading the print over the internet to theaters I would probably lean towards shooting on video. But for the next decade we will probably have dual distro (both film and Digital)
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Old May 14th, 2002, 08:13 PM   #20
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I've worked as a projectionist, and also in video production. I love my new miniDV Canon, and I continue to handle 35mm film, as well as collect DVD's. Occasionally, I shoot on 16mm FILM as well as video. New technology doesn't scare or anger me. I'll embrace any format which allows me to create what I want.

There's no doubt that digital projection will one day replace film. The quality will continue to improve. But the bill of goods that's being sold to the public right now seems a bit unrealistic. From an exhibitor's standpoint, the cost is prohibitive, as technology improves, one would have to upgrade their display equipment--and we all know how digital hardware changes. Anybody reading this on a Commodore 64...?

Upgrading film quality involves threading the latest Kodak print stock through the same ole' projector. And as long as common sense care is taken with the film and projectors, film needn't ever become scratchy or dirty. I've seen such presentations. It helps to have someone qualified running the show. These days, it's often someone from the candy counter threading up. Just imagine the havoc the average popcorn-jockey can possibly wreak on a $130,000 DLP!
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Old May 14th, 2002, 11:42 PM   #21
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Well Jedibugs is right, Regal has no intention of ever going with digital projectors. (this is where I would put one of those little emoticons that rolls his eyes) ;-)
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Old May 15th, 2002, 12:03 AM   #22
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The revolution will be tele-digitized, but not all that quickly... I know of some theaters in Texas still using World War Two surplus Brenkerts with changeovers, and no plans to upgrade anytime in the forseeable future.
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Old May 15th, 2002, 01:16 AM   #23
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Eeeewwwww Brenkerts! I had to use those as a projectionist at the Telluride Film Festival. They made me LOVE Christies when I didn't think much of them before. Though they do work. :)

Personally I think they should improve DLP image quality to slighty better than 70mm resolution. THEN they should make it a major force. Imagine seeing every movie in 70mm quality! That would kick ass! I'd be all over it, then. My main issue is that the technology is not mature, is still way too expensive (130,000 per screen so the STUDIOS can save $$$???) and that independent theaters (art houses) will suffer. When the quality goes up and the prices come down (which they will) then this will be a realistic issue.
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Old May 15th, 2002, 02:19 AM   #24
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Well I guess only time will tell, it's totally a guess on my part, but I'm williing to put money on anything. However I'm actually not ballsy enough to put a grand on it, but I will put $100 on it. But we need to lay out the rules first.

In response to Hillary about the havoc a popcorn-jockey could have on a DLP projector I completely agree, but there's a good chance he'll never have the chance to get his grubby hands on it. If its digitally delivered there's the possibility that the popcorn-jockey could be completely eliminated from the picture. Here's a quote from a wired article

"Enthusiasts for the technology think they have the right person in billionaire Phillip Anschutz, who couldn't be reached for comment. He controls 5,800 screens at United Artists Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Edwards Theatres, making him the most powerful exhibitor in the country. He also happens to be the largest shareholder in Qwest Communications, whose fiber optic network spans more than 104,000 miles globally.

For the past year, speculation has been rife among digital cinema buffs that Anschutz wants to install digital projectors at some of his theaters and use Qwest's fiber to download digital product directly from studios to theaters. "

If he could pull that off it would cut the distribution cost astronomically. Plus it would be so simple, someone types in the showtimes and on schedule the computer kicks each showing off. But if it actually happens is another story.

Anyways, all this is a total guess on my part. I don't think anyone can be sure with technology. But I'm willing to put up the $100 that by the time EPIII comes out that 2000 theaters are going to show it digitally. I'm not sure the exact figures but EPII is supposed to be on about 3000 screens. So 2000 digital for EPIII would probably be the majority. So thats the bet. $100 says that EPIII will be shown on 2000 digital screens in the US.

Either way, this thursday I get to see it on digital, should be cool to see how it really looks.

Mark
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Old May 15th, 2002, 10:52 AM   #25
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This much I do know: by the time Episode III is released, the current HD camera technology is going to be renting out at a significantly reduced rate for low-budget features, since the state-of-the-art is going to blow away the current specs. HDCAM as a format is not sufficientas a capture medium for the film industry due to the compression--regardless of Lucas successfully making this picture. I would be surprised if he used a Cinealta if he started shooting a project tomorrow.

The new buzz is on raw data stream from the camera. Phillips showed a system at NAB that upped the resolution from around 2.5 million pixels to 8 million pixels, and record out to drives as raw data. I saw with my own eyes what I thought was a long way off for video: overexposed sections of the frame brought down into proper exposure AFTER capture. It's dreadfully clunky at the moment, between the umbilical and the drives and the field processing station (imagine that being hauled over the dunes of Tunisia!) but it is clearly the future.

The relevant question to this discussion is whether or not these super high resolution files, which can easily be output to film to deliver a competitive image, will throw a monkey wrench in the projection debate. That technology will be under pressure to improve as the capture medium improves, and there's a good chance of obsolesence with the current DLP projectors, expensive as they are. No wonder the exhibition industry is dragging its feet!

I agree totally that economics will play the primary hand in driving these decisions, but sometimes economics are based not on the cheapest technology but on market pressure.

p.s. Also heard that in response, Sony is closing in on a Foveon-type chip, reputedly larger and higher resolution and reluctantly bypassing its beloved HDCAM recording to compete with the Phillips...crazy times ahead. Anyone want to buy my hot-rodded Arri 2c...? Gotta sell before it becomes an expensive footrest!
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Old May 15th, 2002, 10:59 AM   #26
 
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"....but sometimes economics are based not on the cheapest technology but on market pressure. "

Indeed!!! whether it's a "perceived" market pressure or real makes no difference....and market pressure can change overnight, depending on technology announcements, and fads. Inertia is a survival technique in an industry that makes things obsolete before the sticker shock has worn off.
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Old May 15th, 2002, 12:09 PM   #27
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<< Charles: "The relevant question to this discussion is whether or not these super high resolution files, which can easily be output to film to deliver a competitive image, will throw a monkey wrench in the projection debate. " >>

I don't know where this will end up from a digital-to-film perspective. But it sure sounds like I should be buying (stock in) the top hard disk manufacturers!
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Old May 15th, 2002, 01:41 PM   #28
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I believe Lucas actually recorded most material as raw uncompressed data via the HD cameras digital outputs to SGI stations. The HDCAM tape format is very limited (7:1 compression) in terms of blue screen work. So what we are watching on screen is (mostly) uncompressed 1080p cropped to 1:2,35 scope.

Anyway; I'm of to the premiere of Episode II which opens one minute past midnight here in Sweden. I believe Episode II is perhaps the most important technological break through in movie making since sound. Sound wasn't perfect in the beginning. That didn't stop people from making "talkies". In a few years there is no point in staying analog.
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Old May 15th, 2002, 01:49 PM   #29
 
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This hardware issue is one with which I have a little experience. I used to think that hard drive manufacturers would be a good investment....Seagate, in fact. As it turns out, hard drives have a MAJOR limitation in that they're mechanical devices, subject to all the unreliability that precision mechanical things have. I don't believe celluloid will ever entirely disappear until some major issues are solved, not the least of which is permanent and reliable storage media. To this end, I will put my money on something like non-volatile bubble memory. The day will come when data will be stored on media at the atomic level....research is already being done...but NOT by the HD makers. The storage media of the future will not likely come from these folks....but from a chipmaker like Intel.
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Old May 15th, 2002, 03:47 PM   #30
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wow atomic data storage...

sounds interesting...
have any literature on it???
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