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Digital hopes hit reality wall for Ep II

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael*K, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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  2. Paul Jenkins

    Paul Jenkins Supporting Actor

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    Interesting article, it was spot on about the economic realities on upgrading all those theaters. With all the new megaplexes, you would have thought that the adoption would have been faster, but once again the lack of industry standards and the establishment's attitude towards digital film product are holding it back.
    I doubt that in 3 years you will see the transformation people have predicted. I hope I'm wrong. Luckily, here in Plano we have a wonderful DLP theater right down the road which is where I hope to see AOTC [​IMG]
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Having seen both digital projections of TPM in Burbank and Winnetka, I was less than impressed with the quality of the picture from digital projection - sure it didn't wear like normal film, but it just looked...soft and artificial. Yes I know TPM is largely CGI hence artificial, but this was even more so in comparison with the 2 shows I saw in the Mann Village.
     
  4. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I'm going to the same theater, Paul. I hope it's the best kept secret in the Metroplex. Otherwise, I may have to see it elsewhere for the first showing and catch it there when the crowds thin out a bit.
     
  5. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Is there anywhere I could obtain a list of the 20 or so theaters that use Digital Projection?
     
  6. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Lucas and his people were deluding themselves if they thought that many theaters would be equipped with DLP. There was no way that Episode 2 was going to be an exclusive DLP presentation. Theater owners would have - rightly - boycotted the film and filed a class-action suit against Lucas and Fox. They very nearly did it with the "digital sound only" requirement of Episode One. There is absolutely no economic advantage for a theater owner to install digital projection at this time.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    The price of admittance to DLP is formidable. Projectors start at $50,000+. The only way it will pay off in the long run is the money saved on duplicating and distributing prints.

    And it says a lot when you consider the fact that the criterion by which we judge theatrical DLP projection quality is by noting how close it approaches the resolution and depth of 35mm or 70mm film prints.

    DLP is probably the future. However, it's clearly not ready for prime time yet.
     
  8. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Note, too, how uncannily similar the situation is to the rollout of HDTV. Interesting, huh?
     
  10. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Except that HDTV is a siginificant improvement over conventional broadcasting. DLP theater projection still doesn't look as good as a decent 35mm setup with a clean print. The people who can afford it the least - the theater owners - are being asked to foot the bill so the studios can save money? Sounds like they've got it bass-ackwards...
     
  11. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    But their is no thing such as a totally clean print. Every print has some amount of dirt or elements on it. That is a pain in the ass. Digital doesn't have that problem. It's totally clean. You can argue about everything else, but film will always have those little spots and hairs on the final print. Digital films ala AOTC won't. That is one advantage of digital over film.
     
  12. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    It's the classic case of theaters not installing DLP because there is not enough digital films out there and studios not making DLP films because there is not enough theaters that will support them. The typical vicious circle.

    At least Lucas has the sense to take the first step, someone has to start, and it's least likely to come from a theater owner whose only profit is selling 25 cents worth of popcorn and carton for $5.00.
     
  13. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Sorry, Anthony, I don't think that's the situation. It is of no benefit to the theater owner to install digital projection equipment at this time. There is no set standard for distribution yet (satellite, DVD-ROM, hard disk, who knows?) and the projection unit will most likely become obsolete within 10 years. 35mm projectors have a lifespan well over 50 years, as long as they are oiled. DLP projection will have many of the same problems that 35mm projection has, especially focus and light output (not to mention 3 to 5 inch-high dead pixel arrays!). DLP will not solve poor presentation. The only real benefit from DLP will be that the print will always be clean, as Terrell noted above (although many theaters maintain clean prints, you just need to find the theaters near you that do). But until all the other variables are ironed out, it's not likely that DLP units will see widespread use.
     
  14. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    I think Peter is right that at this time it makes no sense for theaters to install it. However, I think the reason it's not in theater's interest to install digital projection is because no films are being released in that format, except for AOTC.

    However, I do think digital projection will eventually surpass film in every respect, in terms of detail, resolution, cleanliness of the picture, etc. Many home theater enthusiasts made the same arguments when it came to DLP and CRT projectors. They stated when DLP first came out, that CRT projectors still provided a better picture, and a more filmlike image. However, 5 or so years later, DLP has caught up with CRT, and in some cases has surpassed CRT in terms of picture quality. Eventually, I believe digital projection will surpass film projection. But at this time, it makes no sense for theaters to install it. More films need to be released in the digital format, and that's not gonna happen until more theaters install it. But digital projection is only gonna get better. As it is, it's still pretty damn good.
     
  15. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Didn't realize there were only 20 nationwide. Suprised that Kansas City has one (not too far from me in Olathe) Saw "Dinosaurs" in DLP. Actually, I've been pretty impressed with how well DLP looks, especially on repeat viewings. No hairs that pop across the screen, no "blops" or little bumps within the film.. it has a ways to go, but I found it to be a great experience.
     
  16. mark_d

    mark_d Second Unit

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    Isn't "rainbow effect" associated with DLP projection? Or is that something else. I was watching what was, if memory serves, a DLP demo at my local retailer, and while I thought the picture quality was pretty much exceptional, every time I moved my eyes to take in the big picture, I was getting flashes of colour.

    I was told that this was rainbow effect and that it was just one on those things that some people see. Nothing can be done about it.

    Could it be that one day I will not be able to visit the cinema? If so, I suppose it'd be a good excuse for upgrades...

    Mark
     
  17. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Whatever happened to the method of projecting at 40 (or was it 60?) frames per second? What was it called? Wasn't it supposedly a significant improvement over regular film? I remember Ebert saying that was the route studios should go over DLP.
     
  18. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  19. Paul Jenkins

    Paul Jenkins Supporting Actor

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    RobertR,

    1st, the CRT versus DLP debate is regulated to HOME theater, not a true movie theater. CRTs do not have anywhere close to the power to project on a large screen in a movie theater. The CRT versus DLP debate in the home theater for small screens, is, as you said, a debate, with CRT winning the picture quality debate only under ideal circumstances and with lesser DLP projectors.

    2nd, DLP technology has caught up to regular film projection technology in the theater, the DLP theater in Plano is one example you should go see for yourself, it rivals the best projection system with a prestine print.
     
  20. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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