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TOPIC: constitutional?

constitutional? 07 Apr 2012 22:57 #38236

  • Mike
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The health care debate made me wonder about the requirements to purchase digital equipment. I'm not going all constitutional on you guys but may I ask a question? I get the security requirements for a hard drive system that protects the security of the print. But do you believe it is constitutional or legal to also require specified sound-projector-screen? NYC recently mandated that in a very near future all cabs will be one model which won a design contest. Is that any different than what has been done with digital?
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Re: constitutional? 08 Apr 2012 01:36 #38237

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Health care vs hollywood's digital conversion. Mike I think you are talking apples and oranges.

Let's first take health care. For example look at my 25 year old son. He is unable to find a full time job in his field so he is still living at home and currently covered by our family health care plan. Next year when he turns 26 he must come off our plan. Thus he must either buy health insurance or pay a penalty tax. My son is very healthly, takes care of himself and had not been to see a doctor in several years. Why should he have to buy something he will not use just to "spread the costs around". That to me is unconstituional as a deprevation of property without due process or choice.

Contrast that with the hollywood's digital conversion. Nobody is forcing you to be in the motion pictures business. If you dont like the specifications you simply dont have to participate. Prehaps the best way to describe it is that you do have a choice. For example your theatre could instead be used for live performances. Same thing with car insurance .... you want to own a car you must have car insurance..... you dont want to own a car you dont have to get car insurance ... but you still have a choice.
Last Edit: 08 Apr 2012 01:36 by muviebuf.
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Re: constitutional? 08 Apr 2012 21:43 #38241

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The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other. If you're purchasing or renting a product from a company, that company has every right to control its product. The company may have some limits, but if you're licensing someone else's product for exhibition, they're free to set guidelines.

Another example - you can't buy Coca-Cola, add whatever ingredients you might like and still sell it simply as "Coca-Cola."

Movies are a product like any other, and companies that own them are allowed to protect them.
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Re: constitutional? 09 Apr 2012 13:12 #38243

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so if the film companies have a complete right to dictate why have they been completely awol for the last 50 years? Have any of you ever had a film company dictate sound, screen, projector previously? What's changed that gives them the right now?

Regarding health care: what percent of people who never use health care have leukemia, contracted aids, were hit by a car, had a child born with disabilities, or were diagnosed with cancer? Zero.
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Re: constitutional? 09 Apr 2012 17:08 #38247

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I didn't or wouldn't say that film companies have a "complete right to dictate" anything.

What's changed - very obviously - is the format in which studios choose to distribute their product. Very generally speaking, they can do that as they see fit, really. It's their business, their product and their choice.

Also, the studios aren't saying you can't run a theater if you don't convert to digital. At some point, they just aren't going to accomodate you if your gear isn't in sync with their product. Why should they??

I'm sure there are plenty of VCR enthusiasts who are angry that they can't buy movies on VHS any more, too, but...that's life! Companies don't have to keep manufacturing something just because you or I want them to.

I'd never get into talking about political things or healthcare here, but another huge difference is that it's impossible to fairly compare something that occurs in the private sector with a requirement imposed by government. When you buy movies from a studio, you're willingly entering into an agreement with another business. You don't HAVE to do business with them if you don't like their terms. And if they no longer make or sell a product that you can use, (again, generally) they don't have to keep making or selling it just for you.
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Re: constitutional? 09 Apr 2012 18:57 #38249

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Mike wrote:
Have any of you ever had a film company dictate sound, screen, projector previously?

It was less than 10 years ago that the film companies changed all the optical soundtracks thereby requiring everyone to install red light readers.
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Re: constitutional? 09 Apr 2012 20:57 #38252

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as I recall we had them installed for about 150.00 each. :)
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Re: constitutional? 13 Apr 2012 03:58 #38269

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The whole idea of anyone dictating standards has always been amusing, especially if you've been in this business for any length of time. Regardless of whether you have (had) THX certification or brought in the latest gizmoes for fine tuning the equalization in your theatre, it still seems that every room has its own personality. Do you really think you can walk blindfolded into a "calibrated" 500 seat auditorium, and then a 50 seat viewing room and not notice a difference? How many of us have light meters on our benches, so we can check for standard illumination levels every day? Y'know, if you don't have one, you're probably cheating your audience.

Then there's the myriad differences between individuals. We are just not built the same. I don't hear the same as you do... or Grandma does. So... who's to say that we're hearing anything the way a producer intended? Maybe he's burned his hearing out from years of headphone use. Wow... everything he creates is blasting loud! That might actually explain a lot.

With "standards" as a goal, at least we have a benchmark to aspire to... but maybe that's the way it should be left.

As for the obsessed out there, just remember that we went through this with CinemaScope, Dolby, digital sound and now this new stuff. In pretty much every case where new technologies came out, someone tried to limit access to those theatres that spent the money on the new gadgets. In pretty much every case, greed prevailed. Wasn't it a certain creator of space-based adventure movies that first tried to limit his films to those theatres that had installed Dolby optical? Same guy tried it again with digital cinema. How did that work out?

Regardless of the hype in the trades, I really doubt anyone here will ever be visited by a member of the screen or sound system police.

Interesting thought, though...
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Re: constitutional? 13 Apr 2012 14:38 #38271

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I think once you take the VPF out of the equation, booths will soon look like the flight deck from The Matrix. "Standards" are always espoused by the people who want to kill off smaller competitors. Yet what "standards" do the biggest chains have? Extreme pricing, impersonal service, and "have a nice day" from a kid in a red vest. That's "standards" you can believe in. The majors are essentially decorated vacuum cleaner traps, owned by aliens, baited with movies, and one purpose only: sucking up bucks. That they seized on this , with the complicity of NATO, to kill off the smaller theatres is repugnant.
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