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Old May 13th, 2002, 10:21 AM   #1
 
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Episode 2 entirely in digital

ABC news ran a story Saturday nite about the conversion Hollywood is making to digital....(don't flame me, I'm just repeating the story). According to ABC, the conversion is coming. The holdup is due, in part, to the $150,000 cost of digital projectors that movie theaters don't want to cough up. Again, according to the story, Star Wars episode 2 was made entirely in digital, which is natural since there are a lot of special effects. EP2 was transcoded to celluloid because of distribution problems to theaters that don't have these hi $$$ projectors.

They interviewed several movie-goers after the screening of EP2....none of them could tell the diff between digital and celluloid....which proves a point, eh? The general movie-going public doesn't know, doesn't care, and does still pay.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 12:57 PM   #2
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Yes, Ep 2 was entirely shot in digital with regular run o' the mill high definition video cameras in 24p mode. Then it was cropped to obtain the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, so it lost even more resolution. I don't know what resolution the digital effects were rendered at, but just about everything in the movie is a digital effect except for the actors themselves. Look closely and you can see some anti-aliasing. If you look in the darker scenes you will see compression artifacts. Check for it when you see the movie. 99% of theaters will be running film and you will still be able to see this. It probably looks a bit better in DLP since it originated in digital.

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Old May 13th, 2002, 04:23 PM   #3
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I thought the trailer looked great on Europes biggest screen ;-D

"They (the audience) are not goin to watch the foreground. They are not going to watch the background. They will be listening to the music..."
- George Lucas
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Old May 13th, 2002, 06:58 PM   #4
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George Lucas actually said that?

Yeah, when I go to the movies, I watch what's in the background. I never even notice the actors. And I just hum along with the music as I'm doing it. :)

By the way, the music isn't anything special this time. I didn't notice anything new worth buying the soundtrack for. Episode 1 had "Duel of Fates" and Episode 2 uses that same theme briefly on a wide shot of something. But no new exciting music that I noticed.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 07:13 PM   #5
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Just heard a report on NPR by some folks that made side-by-side comparisons. They said the digital appeared to better, or at least as good, but that the celluloid version wasn't an optimal showing. What's an "optimal" showing? In most theaters, I wonder if the celluloid showings in the last week or two of a run look anything like the first? I'm guessing that many operators don't really care, since there is always a line outside with money in their fists.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 07:30 PM   #6
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Video is getting better, and the cost vrs appearance gap is getting shorter. HDTV and Film both look dynomite, and in the next couple of years digital projection will make DV a more common choice I presume. I mean, its all tools in a toolbox. Movies can suck shot on film or video, and with the new technology will come a whole slew of new techniques and professionals.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 08:55 PM   #7
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There goes the resolution. I might as well watch it on TV in 2 years.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 09:54 PM   #8
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Honestly you really can't compare Star Wars Episode 2 on film to Star Wars Episode 2 on DLP. The film has very low resolution due to the limited source material. That's like converting your DV project to film and saying the TV version looks better, sharper and more vivid (which it would). Is that the fault of film? Definitely no. Now compare Star Wars Episode 2's picture quality on a 55 foot screen to Dude Where's My Car's picture quality on that same 55 foot screen (both projected with film). Dude Where's My Car will have much better image quality. Sad, isn't it?
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Old May 13th, 2002, 10:05 PM   #9
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I just don't like to spend the $$$ to look at the DV look via the big screen. This is just personal taste.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 12:48 AM   #10
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Maybe DLP is good enough to fool most audiences. Does that mean they should just leave it at that, make it a standard and that's as good as movies will ever be? That's like saying VHS is good enough for most people (which it is) and just leaving it at that. Why do you use MiniDV if VHS is good enough for everybody? Please explain. NTSC is plenty good enough for everybody, so what the hell are we doing trying to make HDTV a standard? We must be fools! Hey, if it's good enough for the masses, then it's as good as it'll ever need to be, correct? That is your logic. I could go on and on but I'd get bored.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 05:20 AM   #11
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New technology makes me angry too. That, and that gosh darn rock and roll music.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 05:59 AM   #12
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DLP conversion

I think I can safely say that when Episode III comes out, the majority of theaters will still be completely DLP-free. Regal Cinemas, who happens to be the largest theater chain in the world, will certainly not be making the change any time soon because they're incredibly loathe to sacrifice money to something so insignifigant as a better theater-going experience for it's patrons. (Debates on DLP quality aside - I haven't seen it firsthand)

I'm a projectionist at a 20-plex in Florida and Regal wouldn't even dish out for the Dolby Digital EX (with a 7th overhead/rear channel added) that was created by Lucas/THX for Episode 1. Not even for one unit!

And as far as digital artifacts, I notice them all the time on TV and occasionally on DVDs but as many times as I've seen the Episode II trailer on our 54 foot screens, I've never noticed any artifacts at all, so I think that Lucas probably isn't sacrificing as much quality as a lot of these posts imply. I mean, damn, it looks nice.

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Old May 14th, 2002, 10:33 AM   #13
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Re: Digital bet

<<<-- Originally posted by Mark Percival :

So I think that by the time EPIII comes out we'll see a good chunk of the theaters on digital projection. Even if films are shot on actual film it will be much cheaper to transfer to digital and then distribute digitally to the theaters. Economics will win in the end. And don't go quoting film resolution figures. 20% the resolution of film? Come on. -->>>

In ten years maybe, but not three years. Too much cost for too many systems in too short a time. I think that Lucas is blowing a little smoke, hoping to prod the industry on digital projection. If there aren't significant increases in digital projection houses by the time of Ep III, no way is he going to hold the movie out of the film houses. These movies cost to much to make to sacrifice all that potential box office.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 10:37 AM   #14
 
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Dale...

Well, in fact Lucas has already shown his commitment by distributing EP2 on celluloid....eh? He' s not stupid. Now, if the studios decide to subsidize the purchase of digital projectors with the money they save on distribution right now, it'll happen in less time than 10 yrs.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 01:05 PM   #15
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mark makes a good point...

I cant predict the future, though economics will have its way.
Though i do know I support Lucas's role in the industry and whom
might fallow along. Im chose to see EP2 on a digital projected theatre for
two reasons...

1. to support the advancement and technologically evolved ideas in any sort
of industry inculding film. (im still inspired by retrospective creativity and ideas.)

2. and to experience a flawless picture for the first time in big theaters.
By flawless i mean by ways of clean picture free of pops and scratches
heavily infested in projection reels.

Ive read some posts on here before stating that film projection shouldnt be
scratched or damaged if kept under the right care. Ive yet to see a flawless
peice of motion picture film, atleast the theaters ive been to. Though ive always thought of these things as more or less part of the films organic and visual experience. anyone ever think of this in that way? I know i have.
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