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Old May 19th, 2002, 01:22 AM   #61
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It's always fun to hear how great people think DLP is and suddenly they wish film was gone. That's natural I suppose, but guess what, there will be bad DLP theaters just like there are bad film theaters once 100% conversion takes place in a long long time from now. Exhibitors will get cheap and cut corners on lighting. Ever see a 4,500 watt xenon try to illuminate an 80 foot screen? I have. You only get around 10 fl's at best, but hey, it saves a few nickels and dimes. And DLP requires a 7,000 watt xenon to achieve the same brightness as a 4,000 xenon for film. That's gonna look horrible until they increase the technology which is done on a daily basis (how can exhibitors keep up?). In case no one noticed, the exhibition industry is rife with bankruptcy. Lucas thinks that there is "some kind of conspiracy" (his own words) in the exhibition industry since they REFUSE to buy DLP en masse. Brilliant Lucas is not. After spending tons of dough on DLP you bet cinemas will cut other corners to make ends meet. Trust me you have not seen the end of bad presentations with the arrival of DLP.

At least I know NEVER to see a movie in Las Vegas. I guess the theaters there suck much ass. That one guy who keeps posting from Vegas says every time he visits a theater the film is scratched and dirty. Is Vegas full of amateurs?
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Old May 19th, 2002, 03:20 AM   #62
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I don't know about you guys living in the US but here in Europe there is an on going debate about D-cinema (DLP) and content. The idea is that D-cinema opens up a whole new type of venue. Most cinemas only show films in the night time. With D-cinema you get your hands on HD content that you can put up for day time viewing. Everything from small independent films (that could never afford prints) to the soccer world series. This means $$$ to the exhibitor if he is smart. So there is not just money spent on DLP technology - you can earn some too. Profits 35mm can NEVER bring you. I think holding back this type of evolution is one of the thing that annoys George Lucas.
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Old May 19th, 2002, 06:34 AM   #63
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Seriously, DLP has all this untaped potential as a medium for delivering all types of entertainment. Think about how cool this could be; local distributors could be showing all sorts of media be it the super bowl, to motion pictures. What I love about the Digital fomat is that You can release on the big screen, cable, DVD as easy as making a choice. Video has truly become a motion picture making format. No question there will be good and bad DV movies, and good and bad exhibitors, but the format is the key. There is no excuse anymore guys! If you want to be making movies you can.
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Old May 19th, 2002, 07:53 AM   #64
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That's the spirit!
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Old May 19th, 2002, 11:01 PM   #65
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The reviews are poor. I'd rather go see Spider Man. Perhaps Enterprize will have a movie out some day (shot mainly with film). I think video's for TV. But who knows..., maybe one day DV will have resolution on par with film.
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Old May 20th, 2002, 05:49 AM   #66
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Has any of the Star Wars films ever gotten good reviews? Don't think so. Does that make them bad? Don't think so. ;-)
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Old May 20th, 2002, 10:02 AM   #67
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I just saw Episode II, in DPL last night (1024-1280 res- texas instruments), and I must admit it looked a lot better than I was expeting and for a prototype system its very impressive.

The picture quality was better than some 35mm films (Harry Potter for example) but I don't think its quite up to the best 35mm can offer yet, compaired to something like the "thin red line" or the "the straight story" - 35mm film can still look significantly better. The DLP blacks were never black, details got lost in dark scenes (When actors wore black you couldn't really see the folds in the robes) and there wasn't as much detail as well shot 35mm. That said the colors were very good and the lack of weave was nice, but I'd be disapointed if the current spec was adopted as the standard, double the resolution and increase the contrast ratio to something approching film and I'm sold.

I think digital has the potential to be better than 35mm film in terms of picture quality but to say its already better is jumping the gun a bit.

That said I'm sure many people wouldn't be able to tell the difference - but then lots of people still watch movies on VHS and are happy with pan and scanned movies.
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Old May 20th, 2002, 11:21 AM   #68
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How Episode II Reached Digital Theaters

Interesting item in the Chicago Tribune on this subject, and on Boeing.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/chi-0205200012may20.story?coll=chi%2Dbusiness%2Dhed
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Old May 20th, 2002, 06:44 PM   #69
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Phil said what I've been trying to say, only a bit more eloquently. But I don't think that people on this forum are getting the message. The attitude seems to be:

"Digital...yeah!!!!!!! Digital means PERFECT!!!!! I am impressed by NTSC resolution so of course I'm gonna be impressed by 1024 lines of resolution that DLP offers. It's good enough as it stands now, bring it on! Yeah!!!!! Film gets degraded each time it is run, and I also believe everything I read."
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Old May 20th, 2002, 09:41 PM   #70
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I'm not at all certain that folks here believe that "digital" is necessarily better than film. If anything, "Episode II" might just showcase where each has visual strengths and weaknesses. As Roger Ebert recently noted, film looks best with film projection and digital looks best with digital projection.

But within a practical range of tolerance I think we'll gradually discover that audiences really don't care about the subtle little aspects that so deeply disturb videographers, filmmakers and projectionists. That said, it's logical to assume that digital production and delivery will move forward aggressively during the coming years.
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Old May 20th, 2002, 10:31 PM   #71
 
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I agree with you Joe. I've already heard comments from movie goers that digital is "perfect". I could only chuckle, quietly. The common perception is that because digital does not degrade when copied, all copies are therefore perfect. Quite a leap, for sure.

As for the folks in here, Ken is also right, the differences are recognized. Neither celluloid nor DV is perfect.

Reminds me of an expression I hear frequently...."perfect is close enough". ;-)
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Old May 21st, 2002, 02:31 AM   #72
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Episode II sucks.

Episode II sucks. It's not, as many of us STAR WARS fanatics were hoping for, the 25-years-in-the-making super-prequel that would erase the doubt incited by Episode I, make true believers out of infidels and new converts out of the disinterested. It fails both technically and aesthetically, and these two separate failures are distinct and unlinked.

This is the forum to discuss its technical failures, but I won't be able to write this entire post without venting about the film's absent artistry. First, let me say that until a year ago, I was one of those who believed that the long-prophecied digital revolution would rain upon the cinematic industry decisively and unmercifully in 2002. 24P would be a proven replacement for traditional photochemical acquisition, DLP would render projectors obsolete for exhibition, and satellite broadcasting of high definition digital content would be very near on the horizon as the be-all-end-all of theatrical distribution. I was telling all my peers in the film school at USC this in 1997, back when 24P and DLP were unknown as acronyms. And in the months leading up to Episode II, I've been involved in prep to shoot a film on 24P. But after seeing Episode II (and also a screening of the Roman Coppola film CQ, shot on film and about the love for film), I wouldn't recommend anyone ditch 35 mm stock in favor of 24P. 24P isn't ready for prime time yet.

Episode II has some serious image issues. Compression artifacts, swimming in a manner reminiscent of mosquito noise, become unbearable in shadowy backgrounds. The dearth of dynamic range makes foregrounds appear flattish. And the up-sampled image is soft.

As for the CG and animation, it's ridiculously bad, on par with the work done on the Special Editions and The Phantom Menace. Yoda looked far more real as a puppet. Why is ILM still using a scanline renderer rather than doing things right with a good global illumination renderer and HDRI environmental radiance map lighting? CG work stopped being impressive with this film. No longer are we wowed with all the cool stuff that can be done in movies, because we've seen it all, and it's all overkill. The concept of the "digital backlot" movie doesn't seem thrilling any more, it just seems lazy. And watching characters walk everywhere they go--or just plain stand still--looks absurd on screen. Actors need environments to play with as much as they need other real actors to interact with.

The unfortunately mediocre acting, atrociously bad dialogue, unfunny humor, nonexistant story, and pointless pilfering from The Matrix and Braveheart make this film just another prologue to the original STAR WARS trilogy rather than a cool movie that stands on its own. We should call them preambles rather than prequels.
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Old May 21st, 2002, 06:01 AM   #73
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I'm going to state something that's probably going to p*** a lot of people off:
I'm willing to step down in quality to get a wider variety of films to choose from. That's what digital distribution will provide. Good (not great) image quality and an excellent distribution opportunities.

I'd rather watch everything in HD than only Harry Potter (and a few other blockbusters) in 35mm. There are a lot of great films out there that we never get to see or that never get's produced because of distribution difficulties.

And I think Episode II is a great film (being a Star Wars fanatic).
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Old May 21st, 2002, 06:19 AM   #74
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I liked it to.

And frankly, the cgi in star wars was incredible. A couple of polysylabic words does not change that. Chill out brothers, digital has/will bring good things. When I hear people decry the format because of some image issues, I stop and wonder about all the bad movies that have been released on film. I heard one guy say "I aint paying to see half the resolution" or some other nonsense. Content is the core of a picture, and I believe some of the best new films will come from a Digital format.
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Old May 21st, 2002, 09:12 AM   #75
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Back in 1977, the first STAR WARS movie (I guess now referred to as Episode 4) was not only released in 35mm, but also in 70mm. Projection in 70mm provided a brighter, sharper and more grain-free image than the 35mm scope format (which in itself was very good).

Although the original camera footage was the standard 35mm, the blow-up allowed the advantages of projection with the larger gauge film and provided an extremely immersive quality.

This move to digital represents a giant leap backwards in picture quality from what was available, and I suspect those who are touting the DLP so much here have no such frame of reference to understand what actually has been lost.

For it to truly be considered "progress," there really should be improvement. If we just refer to the STAR WARS series, this new acquisition and projection technology represent a substantial loss of image quality in favor of convenience and expense (Primarily in eliminating scanning camera film for CGI).

Digital projection may allow a greater opportunity of theatrical venues for more indie films, but the marketplace will eventually decide if that is sustainable or such projects are better suited for IFC or the Sundance Channel.

I'm with the others who write that digital projection is ready when it's at least as good as 35mm. They really should be striving to equal 70mm.

"Good enough" just isn't.
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