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TOPIC: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT

Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 22 May 2006 09:46 #22405

  • Ken Layton
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There's still too many unknowns/unanswered questions about video projection.

If I were building a new theater I would stick with film equipment.
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 22 May 2006 10:44 #22406

  • rodeojack
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I know there are a lot out there that don't agree with me on this, but... I think the technology is still "maturing". When I saw digital cinema on a 98 foot drive-in screen, I was very impressed... more so than I thought I'd be. Still, I think I'm getting a better overall image from film. I know many others feel otherwise, but I can't help feeling that the reason for that is because they aren't getting what's available from film, be it because of age, problems, and/or misadjustment in their equipment or screens. For some of them, a brand new digital projector (and possibly a new screen)would represent an improvement that they possibly could have experienced with a similar upgrade in their film systems.

It's pretty close though, and maybe, possibly inevitable... eventually (maybe), which probably accounts for the disagreement over whether it's good enough right now.

Considering the $$$$ involved, it wouldn't hurt you any not to be so close to the head of the line. Get all the information you can. Look into this "Cinema Buyers Group", which is out there to research and negotiate for the equipment. Watch what the "bigger guys" are doing, and try to keep the hype in perspective.
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 02 Jun 2006 13:05 #22407

  • Cinemateer
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I saw Revenge of the Sith twice, once on film and once on a 2k digital projector. WOW, was there a difference. The glow of the lightsabers seemed so much clearer and the digital effects were very lifelike. Film will go by wayside eventually, no doubt, it's just a matter of time. Anyone still cooking their dinners over a firepit?

However, when considering digitial, also keep in mind that eventually, once the server technology is perfected, exhibitors will be able to download and program the entire theater to show the movies at the proper times automatically throughout the day... maybe even the entire week. Think of the savings in time! You would literally just choose the screen, movie, and showtime and click- you're done! No changing reels, splicing, lifting film onto platters, etc.

Even if the picture quality was only the same as film, the savings in time and labor is why I'm most excited about digital.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 02 Jun 2006 16:37 #22408

  • rodeojack
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If digital quality was the same as film, we wouldn't be having many of these debates. The problem is that many people do not yet believe that digital (especially 2k) matches what even a release print, properly projected, can put on your screen.

Much of the debate I see tends to center around live action stuff. You know what you should be seeing, and digital doesn't yet match the nuance that you get with film. Digitally produced effects are custom made for this stuff, since they were born in a computer, and you don't have any live reference to base whether you're seeing true reality or something close.

The sales people say it's ready. A lot of the techs and engineers I've spoken with give it more like another 5 to 10 years.

On the other hand, if you've got a worn out projector, underpowered lamphouse, worn out reflector, shot bulb and 50 year-old lenses, a brand-spanking new digital projector will definitely look "better than film".

As for the makeup of a theatre's program, there's no question that it'll be a lot easier. Some of the older owners I know are already salivating over not having to haul film cans & splice everything together. For them, "drag & drop" sounds awfully good.

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited June 02, 2006).]
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 03 Jun 2006 09:42 #22409

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Absolutely. Depending on how the computer interface is developed, we would drag "Da Vinci Code" and drop it onto screen 1 and choose the start times, drag "MI-3" and drop it onto screen 2 and choose the start times, etc, etc, and let it go. You would almost not need a projectionist at all except for in the mornings. Who wouldn't love that? My hope is that we will get to set up the schedule on a weekly basis instead of just daily. We haven't heard much about this aspect of the digital revolution yet though, everyone is still comparing digital projection quality to film. I guarantee you, it's here, and the 4k's will be even better.

Instead of dreading the change, we should be embracing it... what an exciting time to be an exhibitor!
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 03 Jun 2006 10:48 #22410

  • sevstar
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Easier, no doubt! But not as easy as just drag and drop. Don't forget the primary reason for Digital as far as the studios are concerned. Print cost savings and security.

Right now virtual prints are either downloaded to special hard drives or shipped pre-loaded. But are unuseable until a security key or key code is downloaded to a specific hard drive serial number connected to a specific projector serial number.
And time coded for a specific playing time, let's say 2 weeks. Without a new unlock code the drive locks after thursday night of the second week.

To just unplug and move the drive to another projector / screen is not all there is to it. Once removed from it's original coded projector it will lock up as a security precaution. And a new key code will have to be obtained for the other projector / screen.

So a good question I would have is this. How easy is it to get with the person who approves and transmits these unlock codes.

And example senario: X-Men 3 is in our big 275 seat house. Coded for that house for 2 weeks. Since we already knew we would move it to a smaller house once Cars is released. But already X-Men is down 70% Friday to Friday. So I want to swap X-Men in the 275 seat house with The Break up in the 175 seat house. For the balance of this weekend for saturday and sunday. Is someone available either late friday night or early saturday morning to allow me to facilitate those moves? Would Fox give permission to make the move? Right now with film I just move it. Unless a specific house is part of the contract.

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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 16 Jun 2006 19:18 #22411

  • Mike
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"print cost?" I am hearing there will be a 1200.00 +/- digital print fee per film for savings. And we're doing this why?

Michael Hurley
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 16 Jun 2006 21:11 #22412

  • jacker5
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I was told by a senior projectionist in one of the leading major chains that film is defiantly out.
Smaller windows and smaller and smaller takes are killing the Indies! Larger chains are starting to movie into small markets (Sort of like Walmart's) and taking over and killing the little guys with 15 screeners! Hence all the mergers to dominate the markets!
I know all the old-timers and stubborn Indies will shoot this down but the truth is and I hate saying this, it will come sooner than later and it will be a sad day indeed!
Over the last few months I was going to buy a twin cinema (Different locations) at incredible low prices and sort of panic in the sellers voices to buy, buy at down rite insane prices.
After all research in both markets of small town with populations of under 10,000 with nearest competion maybe 40 miles, there were plans for 8-10 screen multiplex from Carmike and Regal!
I have found lately there is a tremendous amount of cinemas for sale either very low or very high!
I am going back to being a projectionist and end my pursuit to buy a theater at such trouble times!
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 17 Jun 2006 23:44 #22413

  • sevstar
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"print cost?" I am hearing there will be a 1200.00 +/- digital print fee per film for savings."

Add to that the $2,300.00 per year 10 year mandatory service contract. If you go with Christie D-Cinema.


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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 18 Jun 2006 02:37 #22414

And let me just ask again to the Film-ech/Bigscreenbiz.com community...

How many (%) of the first-run/blockbusters are being released in digital?

Is it still only about 12 a year?

Since 1987
Since 1987
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 23 Jun 2006 22:18 #22415

  • jacker5
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All films can be released in digital so there is no problem for getting material it is just the cost!
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 28 Jun 2006 09:54 #22416

  • John Pytlak
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The number of feature films available for Digital Cinema presentation is growing:
http://www.dcinematoday.com/dc/titles.aspx

Current - Domestic
Garfield: A Tail Of Two Kitties
Jun 23, 2006 - Fox
The Fast & Furious 3: Tokyo Drift
Jun 16, 2006 - Universal Pictures
Cars
Jun 9, 2006 - Buena Vista
The Omen
Jun 6, 2006 - Fox
The Break Up
Jun 2, 2006 - Universal Pictures
X-Men: The Last Stand
May 26, 2006 - Fox
The DaVinci Code
May 19, 2006 - Columbia Pictures
Over the Hedge
May 19, 2006 - Dreamworks
Poseidon
May 12, 2006 - Warner Bros.
Mission Impossible III
May 5, 2006 - Paramount Pictures
Stick It
Apr 21, 2006 - Buena Vista
The Sentinel
Apr 21, 2006 - Fox
The Wild
Apr 14, 2006 - Buena Vista
Ice Age II
Mar 31, 2006 - Fox
ATL
Mar 31, 2006 - Warner Bros.
Inside Man
Mar 24, 2006 - Universal Pictures
Stay Alive
Mar 24, 2006 - Buena Vista
V for Vendetta
Mar 17, 2006 - Warner Bros.
The Shaggy Dog
Mar 10, 2006 - Buena Vista
Aquamarine
Mar 3, 2006 - Fox
Eight Below
Feb 17, 2006 - Buena Vista
Annapolis
Jan 27, 2006 - Buena Vista
Glory Road
Jan 13, 2006 - Buena Vista
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Dec 9, 2005 - Buena Vista
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Nov 18, 2005 - Warner Bros.
Chicken Little
Nov 4, 2005 - Buena Vista
Flightplan
Sep 23, 2005 - Buena Vista
Sky High
Jul 29, 2005 - Buena Vista
The Island
Jul 22, 2005 - Dreamworks
Madagascar
May 27, 2005 - Dreamworks
Star Wars Episode III
May 19, 2005 - Fox
Sin City
Apr 1, 2005 - Miramax
Robots
Mar 11, 2005 - Fox
Constantine
Feb 18, 2005 - Warner Bros.

Superman Returns
Jun 30, 2006 - Warner Bros.
The Devil Wears Prada
Jun 30, 2006 - Fox
Barnyard
Jul 6, 2006 - Paramount Pictures
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Jul 7, 2006 - Buena Vista
You, Me And Dupree
Jul 14, 2006 - Universal Pictures
Monster House
Jul 21, 2006 - Columbia Pictures
Miami Vice
Jul 28, 2006 - Universal Pictures
Apocalypto
Aug 4, 2006 - Buena Vista
Accepted
Aug 11, 2006 - Universal Pictures
The Reaping
Aug 11, 2006 - Warner Bros.
Beer Fest
Aug 25, 2006 - Warner Bros.
The Children of Men
Sep 29, 2006 - Universal Pictures
The Guardian
Sep 29, 2006 - Buena Vista
The Last Kiss
Oct 6, 2006 - Dreamworks
The Prestige
Oct 20, 2006 - Buena Vista
The Santa Clause 3
Nov 3, 2006 - Buena Vista
Flushed Away
Nov 3, 2006 - Dreamworks
We Are Marshall
Nov 10, 2006 - Warner Bros.
Transformers
Nov 17, 2006 - Dreamworks
Deja Vu
Nov 22, 2006 - Buena Vista
Invincible
Dec 1, 2006 - Buena Vista
The Good Shepherd
Dec 22, 2006 - Universal Pictures
Meet the Robinsons
Mar 30, 2007 - Buena Vista
Shrek 3
May 18, 2007 - Dreamworks
http://www.kodak.com/go/dcinema


John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Cell: +1 585-781-4036 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
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Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 28 Jun 2006 12:42 #22417

  • Tom Watkins
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It would be nice if there were some real answers to all of this. Some say "now" some say "5-10 years" etc...

Any new word on financing help? Is 2K on the way out? if so, what about all the money already invested in 2k technology? I'd be pretty upset if I spent that much on a digital projector only to see a better one come along so fast. Are we going to see the larger chains dump the 2k units for 4k? Man, must be nice to have lots of $$$..eh?



Tom Watkins
Magic Lantern Theater
Bridgton Maine
Tom Watkins
Magic Lantern Theater
Bridgton Maine
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 30 Jun 2006 21:38 #22418

  • theBigE
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James Cameron is pushing 3-D in Europe. Story here:
http://www.variety.com/VR1117946102.html

James Cameron unveiled Wednesday the details of a presentation he'll make here at Cinema Expo today to push 3-D digital cinema with European exhibs.
While the "Titanic" helmer aims to persuade European exhibitors that 3-D and d-cinema are the wave of the future -- and can enhance their biz models -- he's just the latest high-profile director to weigh in on the stickier issues facing distribution and exhibition these days. M. Night Shyamalan addressed U.S. exhibs at ShowEast to voice his opposition to distributor notions of shrinking the time between a film's theatrical and DVD windows. And Cameron made a 3-D push at ShoWest.

Cameron told Daily Variety on Wednesday that he's also in town to gauge the progress of the d-cinema rollout in Europe as he formulates a timeline for the 3-D pics he wants filling pipelines to hit theaters. Cameron said 3-D's future lies in the release of CG-animated pics, such as "Chicken Little," and as a means to bring blockbusters from "Star Wars" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to "The Lord of the Rings" and "King Kong" back to the bigscreen.

"If you have digitally produced (films), you can do 3-D titles," he said. "And with 3-D you've got a marketing hook. You've got some sizzle and some heat. It gives you a new lease on life."

Such plans will likely be of interest to exhibs here, as cinema operators are looking for ways to give auds experiences they cannot have at home and to encourage repeat viewings of event pics.

Cameron -- who delivered to exhibs their biggest hit of all time in "Titanic" -- has cut together a reel showing off what 11 films would look like in 3-D. Reel includes "Star Wars" and "King Kong" footage, "dimensionalized" as 3-D, along with clips from "Chicken Little" and "Robots."

If Cameron gets his way, his pics "Titanic," "Aliens" and "The Terminator" will come to life as 3-D projects, and he's already begun tests on "Titanic" as a 3-D feature.

He said the technology also makes piracy obsolete. "You can't have piracy," he said. "Even if you pirated the film, you still wouldn't have a place to show it."

Europe is behind North America in adopting plans for a wide digital rollout. Studios are pushing the agenda here -- Cameron was here with a contingent from Fox -- but exhibs want a system via which studios will foot the bill for the systems through fees that would be paid until exhibs recoup their investments.

Cameron's November pic "Avatar" is one of a series of upcoming films, including Disney's "Meet the Robinsons," that will be released in 3-D versions.

Cameron said the hurdles to implement 3-D won't be technical once d-cinema has its day.

But there's still that pesky problem of selling a style of film exhibition seen by many as a campy lark that was aimed at drawing fans to pulp films years ago and fell out of vogue.

"People think of it as those red-and-blue glasses," he said. (Now fans wear a version that doesn't skew colors.) "I can get (that idea) converted when people walk into a theater. It's not something you need to qualify. It's a simple problem."

Also at Cinema Expo on Wednesday, Warner Bros. and Disney took turns showing off product reels and high-profile tentpole releases for exhibs.

Warners, which followed its reel with a morning screening of "Superman Returns," unveiled footage and trailers for Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water" as well as "The Lake House," "The Ant Bully," "The Reaping," "The Prestige," "Blood Diamond," "The Assassination of Jesse James," "300," "Zodiac" and "No Reservations."

Studio also brought to Amsterdam 17 minutes of footage from its CG-animated "Happy Feet," its musical comedy about penguins. After "March of the Penguins," the studio apparently sees gold in the black-and-white birds.

Disney, meanwhile, unveiled "Cars" as well its "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel.

It screened "Cars" with headsets that could be ordered up by exhibs in English, German, Italian and Spanish. And the unspooling of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" marked the pic's first non-U.S. screening.

Prior to the evening "Pirates" show, the studio showed off a product reel with pics including "Meet the Robinsons," "The Guardian," "Goal 2," "Deja Vu," "Ratatouille" and the latest "Santa Clause" installment, starring Martin Short and Tim Allen.
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Re: DIGITAL is IN, FILM is OUT 01 Jul 2006 02:13 #22419

  • cat
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One of my local chains (Cinemagic) just opened their 16-plex and the only things digital there are the preshow and Dolby Digital Surround EX. They use Toshiba projectors for their Screenvision digital preshow (poorly framed and low-res) which makes me wonder if digital is really ready for prime time, at least at the smaller chains. The local Regals, IIRC, use Christie projectors for their digital preshows and it's an altogether more convincing presentation.
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