Hollywood leaning towards digital projection!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Terrell, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    TF.N has an interesting article on digital projection. One major hurdle is funding, as they are rather expensive. Here's and excerpt followed by a link. Interesting read.
     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Until the systems cost considerably less than 35mm setups AND look better than well-maintained film presentation, digital projection will remain a specialized thing. Theater owners get absolutely no benefit from these installations and they are the ones being asked to finance the systems! The studios are the only ones who will profit (due to reduced print costs, etc.) from the installation of digital systems - they should be the ones willing to bear the upfront cost of the changeover.

    And I'd like to see a digital system that will still be usable 50 years from now - many 35mm systems last a lot longer than that!
     
  3. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    I don't know the technical details Peter, but a friend of mine who has seen both film and digital said the digital looked clearly better to him. But I agree with you that right now, it doesn't benefit the theater owners. It benefits the studios far more and they should bear the cost. And you know theater owners don't want to raise ticket prices.
    Drinks and popcorn already cost $50.[​IMG]
     
  4. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    I've seen a bunch of the digital presentations in New York (and the original test runs in New Jersey). Some looked nearly as good as film, some did not. The best, obviously, were the animated films. "Regular" films looked okay, but there was something vaguely "wrong" with the picture. The chief advantage to digital projection is the absence of wear on the print, although, in a properly maintained projection booth, you can run 35mm film for hundreds of passes (at least 6 weeks) with no visible wear, either.
     
  5. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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  6. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Do you guys think this is coming faster than we initially thought? I mean if 7 of the largest film studios have formed a venture to come up with a digital standard, and to hammer out issues, that seems pretty significant. I certainly didn't expect them to do this in such a short manner of time.
     
  7. Michael St. Clair

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    DLP is superior when it comes to noise and wear.
    DLP projection, as it exists today, is totally inferior to film when it comes to resolution. There is no comparison.
    Unfortunately, in the real world, DLP is not necessarily inferior when it comes to resolution. This is not a good thing, it is because mass printing of film is often not so great, the projectors are not so great. And the management which runs and maintains film projectors is often not so great. DLP is a nice, clean, dumbed-down, low-res image...which often looks great because film is not living up to its true potential.
    I'd rather see the money spent on making film look the way it can, which (if the movie is shot well) will blow DLP away. Rolling out DLP in mass right now is settling for a very clean image that is lacking in detail.
    Just like CD is not what it was cracked up to be, neither is DLP.
    Better to wait for future digital projection (which will be to today's DLP as SACD is to CD). Better to stick with film for now until we have digital technology that is truly superior, not just lacking in noise or scratches.
     
  8. Nick_Scott

    Nick_Scott Second Unit

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    Whatever happened to the 48fps 35m format?

    Is it DOA? Seems like a better alternative to DLP.

    nick
     
  9. Paul Jenkins

    Paul Jenkins Supporting Actor

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    I think that if the digital folks can get the economics of the DLP technology figured out, film is history. Yes, film looks better than DLP if you compare best film to best DLP. But, do you really think the theater companies and movie studios care about that? If there is an economic motivation to go digital, which people are working on achieving, then they will go to it. From distribution to copy protection to ease and consistency of projection, digital has the potential. It will just be a question of *when* not a question of *if*

    IMHO
     
  10. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    I agree Paul. I think Michael is right that another 5-10 years from now, digital will have improved by quite a bit over what it is now. The technology will mature eventually. I myself would love to see whata digital film looks like. We don't have one in my state.
     
  11. Paul Jenkins

    Paul Jenkins Supporting Actor

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  12. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    I agree - the image quality at Cinemark Legacy is very good.

    I don't think 48fps will ever be economically feasible-it is just too much film to deal with. This is why film is run at 24fps and not 30fps.

    I look forward to seeing improvements in DLP resolution and when this happens, film is history.
     
  13. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    Digital projection is going to put the final nail in the coffin for 2nd run theatres and first runs in the smaller cities and towns. These houses have all they can do to hang on now and can't afford twenty grand for a decent sound system let alone hundreds of thousands for a complete projection system. Sure, the big cities have their multiplexes but there are millions of filmgoers who depend on the others too. When the big chains start converting, guess who's going to pay for it. It won't be long after that we'll see $15 tickets in the big cities.
     
  14. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    You may be right about 2nd run theaters Mark. Though I have to disagree about $15 tickets. That won't happen. Tickets increase simply because of inflation or a downturn in business. They won't increase ticket prices unless they have to. And if they can find a way to fund it, they'll do it rather than increase tickets. They may decide to charge you $10 buck for your damn Coke. That more than ticket prices aggravates the hell out of me.
     
  15. Trace Downing

    Trace Downing Supporting Actor

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    Something about the resolution differences between film and DLP, that nobody has addressed is gate jitter.

    Looking at still shots, the 35mm print is sharper and most likely more robust in color saturation. However in movement, a film projector's gate jitter wiggles enough of the film to deteriorate the focus of the image slightly. DLP has no gate jitter, and thus a smoother transition from frame to frame. So, I would assume that the relative lower resolution of the 1000 or so lines of DLP, is offset by film's need for frame gates, and the jitter that they cause, and thus evening out the resolution difference when a picture is in motion.
     
  16. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Down here in Smallville (Not actual name of town) we have no movie theaters, digital or analog. We have to drive 20-miles just to see the craptacular Hoyts cinema.

    Will DLP look worse? No. The theater is so poor that they couldn't make it look worse unless they burned it down. Watch LOTR in blurry-vision? I did. Johnny Mnemonic had a continuous loop of The Jackson Five playing during it for some reason. And lets not forget the ever-fun "Movies being projected two feet to the right of the screen!".

    But in the long run digital will be cheaper than current projection equipment. This is the way technology works. Sp in five to ten years, yeah..I'll probably finally be able to see movies in a decent format.
     

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