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TECHNICOLOR Victim Again 26 Oct 2001 11:09 #2236

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I have read other posts on this and other forums and come to the conclusion that no one has put into words the REAL thing that bothers me about having to "work" with Technicolor for shipping. I am always the victim and THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT!!! No one to complain to and nothing will ever be changed - just put up and shut up. Pay whatever bill Airborne sends you even if it is wrong. After all neither Airborne nor Technicolor could possibly have made a mistake. They are perfect in every way. I can't express my frustration in any way. That manual they sent us is a joke. No complaint department listed even.

I know everyone has stories. Here are mine.

Last night (Thursday at 6:15 p.m.) we called wondering where our film was. We were finally told that the other theater it was being shipped from hadn't confirmed a pickup time and so no one from Technicolor had bothered to call us and tell us that our film would not be coming in until midnight. Of course, they could have called us and told us that our film was coming Sky Courier and that they were waiting for a pickup time. But no! We wouldn't have been there at midnight since we finished at 10:40. Of course we had talked with them on Tuesday when they wanted to schedule a pickup of our print of Max Keeble to ship to another theater tonight. We gave them a nice time, but tonight we are not happy about sending out our film while not receiving the new film. No film in house to run if they screwed up!They didn't even apologize - just oh well!

Then there is print quality. We went through 4 copies of The Others before deciding that the 4th print with sparklies running through was just going to have to do. At least it didn't have fingernail on blackboard scratches through the whole thing! We don't accept poor quality prints, but Technicolor attitude is that we are not first run (we are, actually) so we shouldn't expect our customers to see a perfect show. They are helping to kill our industry by making it very difficult to put on a quality product that people can't get at home. Why go out to a theater that shows scratched prints? We have a policy that poor quality prints leave at the end of the week if we can't get a good print.
Atlantis was another good case in point. We tried 4 times to get a good one. All four were scratched, but the last copy was supposed to come in Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. We paid someone to sit there all morning. No print! We called several times and were told that it was on the truck. Finally at 5:00 p.m. we called again and were told that the print was delivered at 10:15 a.m. Who signed for it we asked. Print was delivered at another theater. Since Airborne was now closed, could we go and get it? I hate paying for shipping when I have to go and pick it up myself anyway.
I can appreciate all the trouble that Technicolor went through to get us those 4 prints over 3 days and I don't pay the bills after the first one BUT They make me pay emotionally because I have to insist and insist and insist that we cannot run the print in Technicolor detail AND my husband must be available to receive the print at whatever hours they can get it here not to mention putting the film together over and over. The whole process is exhausting.

Pickup problems:
If you have a good Airborne driver that you can trust you can get along, but what about when the driver changes or has a substitute.
Holdover? - They don't know what that means so they book it as attempted pickup and you get the bill. Just try straightening this out! The theater is always wrong and you must prove that you are right. In the meantime you will be put on COD which is how they punish anyone who gives them too much trouble. Or getting billed for the aforementioned multiple shipments of a film that was received damaged.
Victim of booker's mistake - they booked you for weekend with Monday pickup only you didn't know that. You thought you were running weekend to weekend with it and don't have it ready on Monday at 4:30. Instead you are hanging up the telephone at 4:00 having just talked with your booker and deciding that you will not keep the film for the weekend. Airborne arrives at 4:10 and wants film within 15 seconds or you will pay attempted pickup fees. This makes me want to call booker back and say that I have decided to holdover the film even though I don't have any time slots left for it because I don't want to pay Technicolor for a decision I just made.
We love our other service - the one used by Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, New Line and Paramount. They have a key to the front door and they always do what are supposed to. When we get a bad print they replace it without a fight. In fairness - we have exhausted them twice on getting good prints and gone up to the warehouse to pick out a good one ourselves. But we like their service and price - we pay only $20.00 each week we have something in or out - that means that we can ship out or in any combination of films for $20.00 whereas Technicolor makes us pay for every print regardless of quantity being moved. I don't feel that I am being whipped around without any say with them. I trust them and they have never abused me.
If I were voting I would have fired Technicolor long ago and I can't understand why the movie companies they supposedly work for don't realize how poorly they are served.

I know that this is probably the longest single post in history. I apologize but I am so mad and I can't get any satisfaction anywhere else.

Just for fun please add your stories.
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Re: TECHNICOLOR Victim Again 26 Oct 2001 16:22 #2237

  • RoxyVaudeville
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I don't know how to add anything to that. I can just agree with you and add that most of those situations have occurred to me as well. I understand your frustrations, as I have them too.

My comment is in regards to their attitude that it's "NOT FIRST RUN"! What difference should that make? A good quality print should be delivered even if you're last run. It's right in the contract, in the fine print. Every theatre(and patron)deserves a good print. However having said that, and having seen many many posts here and elsewhere about bad prints, I must admit that my theatre which is subrub almost always recieves good prints. Seldom are they scratched, or have bad sprockets... sometimes a little dirty, but not too bad. Usually fine after one pass through the film cleaner. So I wonder... why all these bad prints? Is it more prevelent in different areas of the country. Or am I just very lucky. Everyone from the film terminals to the distributors know how concerned I am of presentation, and that I consider my theatre a class house, even though it is sub run and in a small town. After thirty three years of bitching about quality... maybe it paid off.
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Re: TECHNICOLOR Victim Again 26 Oct 2001 18:10 #2238

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The don't care, they don't have to. I know I was never asked if I wanted to go to Techni-boo-boo. No one told me when the rate went from $15.00 to $17.50 to $18.20 a move. Being that the exhibitor is totally out of the loop when it comes to their decisions, they are being protected by something in the industry that doesn't care about us. They have so much to do with whether our screens are dark or not, yet I have never dealt with people who are so uninformed about the nature of our business. How many of you have laughed thru their questionaires? I have NO sympathy for them -- which seems to be exactly how they feel about me. Persoanlly, I'm just waiting. One of these days they are going to do something actionable to me or someone I know, and I will be happpy to see their "Dangling Privates" hanging from the flag pole. I know if I ever sue them, part of the settlement will be that the head of Techni-doo-doo spend 100 hours each building-up prints from their reels, listening to customer complaints about the quality of the films, will spend one hour doing community service for every hour we have waited for a pick up or delivery that never came (10 hrs for 1 hr if that hr was an exhibitor or employee waiting Xmas eve or missing Thanksgiving dinner with a family), and will have to untangle their billing procedure WITHOUT a calculator.

Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: TECHNICOLOR Victim Again 27 Oct 2001 00:39 #2239

Technicolor's reels suck. Their billing system sucks, but that may improve now that they have taken over National Screen's billing too. I have had a lot of problems with damaged prints, but their representatives have always been very friendly and helpful. My theatre is in a remote area and usually there is no way they could get me a new print before my 3-4 day run is over--but they try. At least they are there to answer the phone.
My other major depot closes Friday afternoon at 4:30 and doesn't open until Monday morning. My print of Hearts in Atlantis is scratched.--Weird horizontal scratches--They won't even get my message until Monday. The guy that ships for them charges way more than Airborne for a shorter distance. If I liked to drive, which I don't anymore, I would try to put him out of business.
BTW, My W.B. print came on the @#*%@^* technicolor reels!

[This message has been edited by BurneyFalls (edited October 27, 2001).]
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