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Hollywood ruining film prints on purpose (those red dots you're seeing)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Vince Maskeeper, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    How would they get the other theater's dots unless that print was also bootlegged?
     
  2. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Or re-arranges the dots so that they spell out "Fu*k You, MPAA!" [​IMG]
     
  3. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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  4. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    The culture of instant self gratification has really hit a new high when a person is unable to wait a few months for a proper release of a film.

    Personally, I think it is a matter of "I'm too fucking cheap to spend money on a licensed copy, so I think I will spend countless hours of connection time downloading a "free" copy." I cannot figure out the mentality of the pirate. Why would you spend hours and dollars ripping and hosting movies for other people to download for free? These guys have to have rocks in their proverbial skulls.

    If ISP's could find a way to monitor download time and start charging for it, a lot of downloading of pirate copies would end. If someone had to pay for seven hours of download time at, say, ten cents a minute then the downloading of movies would cease. Of course, that would screw everybody not just "cheap bastards."
     
  5. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    In my best George Castanza voice:

    Hollywood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Dan
     
  6. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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  7. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    They were all over the theatrical showing of the Extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

    The one that's been out on DVD for a year now.

    In the Lothlorian section.

    On Galadrial's face.

    Cate Blanchett's face.

    Her face.

    Several times.

    I'm too tired to do much beyond...

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I have a co-worker whose spouse works for a theater chain, and it was discovered that one of the bootlegs for film originated from one of their theaters. The audio on the bootleg was so good that the studio and the FBI (reps from both showed up once it was determined which print the bootleg was made) thought it had to be an inside job, so they did their investigation, but nothing came of it, except perhaps to scare the perps into not doing it again (for the next week had a big film opening, and the studios didn't want the same theater being the source for another bootleg again).
     
  9. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    The next movie I plan on seeing in the theater is RETURN OF THE KING. If it is ruined with these dots, that will be the last movie I see in a theater, unless and until I find out, (from others here, for example), that they have ended this stupid practice. Then I will always just wait for the DVD and pray they haven't trashed those too!
     
  10. Chris Will

    Chris Will Screenwriter

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    I have tickets to the Trilogy Tuesday showings of LOTR. These tickets cost $35 and if these dots are in any of the 3 movies I will demand my money back. I'm not paying that much to go see a ruined print of the movies. I'm going to e-mail New Line now and express my concern even though I know it will not help. This is just another reason to stop going to the theater anyway. I enjoy movies at home in my home theater more so why waste the money. At home you have no lines, no expensive popcorn, no crying babies (leav them at home you dumb parents, if you can't then stay the f- at home), no cell phones ringing and DVDs without the dots. Why bother with movie theaters, it is not worth the trouble. While bootlegs are a problem I do not beleive that they are as big a problem as Hollywood wnts us to think. Good movies make plenty of money in theaters (even some bad ones like the Matrix sequels) and DVD sells are sky high. So where are they loosing money, really? They are driving away their most valued customer, us. The bootleggers will always go to the movies b/c it is their "office", soon they will be the only ones going to movies.
     
  11. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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  12. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    I am confused by this. So there are red dots that are "ruining" the moviegoing experience by being "all over" a part of the movie. Then I read that it shows up in 8-10 FRAMES of tens of thousands?? I saw Last Samurai recently and didn't notice anything. Maybe the annoying red dots were laser pointers in some screenings?! [​IMG] Are they burning in as they sit on screen for what seems like seconds as some folks make it sound or are they nearly subliminal in terms of time on screen? I can't figure it out. I guess I lack observational skills because I have yet to see any dots.


    Myopically yours,

    Phil
     
  13. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Phil,

    at least 5-10 times these patterns of red dots will appear on the screen for as long as a cig burn does. The difference is that they will be smack in the middle of the frame usually on a flat-colored background such as a wall where they will standout.

    Just like cig burns it is possible that people will not notice them, but then the bigger question is what is the point in the first place? Is this really the best way to solve pirating, but intentionally downgrading sections of the film?


    Keep in mind that there are plenty of viewers who also don't mind misframing, screen tears, soundtrack glitches (like a speaker being out), the house lights left on, the green glow of an exit sign, etc.

    But that doesn't make those things "good", nor does it mean that we should just accept them.


    During Master and Commander this pattern of brownish dots popped up as often as an internet pop-up ad. It started driving me nuts.

    I mean, if they are subliminal and you don't mind it, then how about we bring back subliminal ads...maybe one that says "Phil, you want to send Seth $10 today". [​IMG] :p)
     
  14. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    The dots are brown to reddish-black. They are arranged geometrically. They appear at the edges of persistence of vision. They flick into existence and then flick out. They "dance" all over the screen: appearing in different areas of the screen within in the same scene. Consequently, your eye is attracted to these flickering "ghosts". The result is your eyes start roaming all over the screen trying to follow the dots not the action taking place in the movie; therefore, they take you out of the moment and reduce enjoyment of what you have paid to see.

    If you do not see these dots, count yourself lucky. Once you do see them, you will quite quickly join the ranks of the disgruntled. [​IMG]

    Edited: sounded kind of harsh at the end.....wasn't meant to be.
     
  15. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    Phil,

    The dots you saw in Last Samurai were printed by Technicolor's CAP code system, which are less intrusive than the code that's being printed by Deluxe these days.

    Some recent Deluxe-printed films that have had noticeable, ya-cant-miss-it CAP code printed throughout one reel:

    -Elf - Reel 2 was aghast with a cap marker every 20 seconds or so.

    -Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World - Reel 3 had markings all throughout the storm sequence, a pivotal part in the film. Deluxe tried to hide most of it by placing it on the first frame of a new shot, but I still saw it.

    -Underworld - I think it was reel 3 or 4 where the code was going absolutely NUTS, every 20 seconds or so, during an action sequence.

    -Kill Bill - Reel 5, which contained most of the showdown fight sequence, had a ridiculous amount of tetris-like blocks all throughout the reel, and was incredibly irritating. I wonder what Tarantino thought of Deluxe destroying the visual integrity of the film in the hopes of snatching a few pirates (an added twist of irony: a workprint release of Kill Bill, free of CAP code, leaked online a few days prior to the film's release, so everyone just downloaded that).

    Jason
     
  16. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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  17. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    I hate them with the burning-hot intensity of 10,000 suns.

    With today's technology, you'd think they could do the cap coding on a single frame. We wouldn't see it, but you could capture it digitally on any pirated dvd.
     
  18. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Even if something's just on one frame, you can see it- I've seen cue tape flash by onscreen even when it's only on one frame. The flashes of Brad Pitt in "Fight Club" before his character actually came into the story were only 1 frame each also.
     
  19. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    Jason, thanks for the information about Technicolor prints vs. Deluxe prints. How do you find out which company supplied the prints for which films? I never thought I'd be basing my movie-going on which company supplied the prints, but that may happen.

    Some people just look for excuses to avoid going to the movie theater. I roll my eyes at them, because to me there are only a few excuses worth taking seriously (I'm broke. I'm blind. I have kids. I live in nowheresville and the only theater within 50 miles is a shitty miniplex that only plays the top Hollywood movies). Anything else is just whining.

    I'm too much of a movie junkie to quit going to the theater, but I'm really upset right now. For now, here is my plan:

    1) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which I've already bought tickets to (2 different showings), is the last big deal "Hollywood" movie I pay full price for.

    2) I'm going to start giving my money to small-budget indie films. I do already, but it will increase. Especially if...

    3) I've already seen the smaller film and it's possible to pay for a ticket to the smaller film and walk into a bigger movie I'm interested in seeing. I'll be doing that a LOT in the coming year. Luckily I live in a city that has several theaters where it's possible to do that. This week I'll be seeing Master and Commander again, only this time Pieces of April will get the money.

    4) If I can't do that for whatever reason, I'll only be going to matinees and $5.00 Tuesday screenings for the bigger movies, if I really HAVE to see them.

    5) I will search high and low on the Internet (and elsewhere) for every possible bootleg outlet, and do whatever I can to get copies of red-dotted films that have had the red dots removed to watch in our home theater.

    Petty and immature? Yes, of course. Do I care? Not a whit. If I'm going to be punished for something I didn't do, I'm going to do it. (the older you get, the more fun it is to revert to childhood tantrums)



    Phil, go see Master and Commander then get back to us.



    Chris Will, they ARE on Fellowship, unless it was just my print because they knew I'd be there and they wanted to piss me off [​IMG] and I'll find out next week when I go to see the Extended Two Towers (tickets were bought long ago) how bad they are in that. In Fellowship, I first noticed them right before they get to Lothlorien, when Haldir and the gang are standing on the bluff overlooking Lothlorian. It's a shot from behind the elves/men/dwarves looking at the far off mushroom shape of the Lothlorien trees. In the top left center of the screen is a bit of blue sky, and that's where I saw the first one. After that, they show up several times in Lothlorien, usually on Galadriel, because she's so glowy white and they show up better on her.
     
  20. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    My husband wrote me this e-mail and I thought it was very interesting. With his permission I'm pasting it here.

    =======
    The dots don't have to be manually removed. I imagine that someone is
    working on a plug-in for video editing systems that automatically identifies
    the dots. In order to MPEG encode the material, the amount of change from
    one frame to the next - the "delta" - has to be identified. These red dots
    cause a recoginizable pattern. The plug-in can mark these points to allow
    for manual removal, or even automatic cloning from the previous or
    subsequent frames. I'd be suprised if someone is not already working on
    this.

    So, why they doing this when it will be pointless? I believe they are doing
    it to force the theater chains to convert to digital projection. I'll bet
    that the digital copies will not have these dots at all. They are not
    "needed".

    In a digital distribution system, there are no prints to steal or borrow
    overnight. The digital files are encrypted with an effective system that
    requires a fresh key from the distributor every time the film is played.
    And, most importantly, there is a system for projecting the digital image
    that screws up digital cameras. It works something like this:
    DLP, the most popular theatrical digital projector system uses three chips
    (for red green and blue) covered with tiny mirrors reflecting the light
    source through the lens onto the screen. How long the chips remain in one
    position or the other determines the intensity of the color on that part of
    the screen. For a full explanation see Texas Instrument's web site at
    DLP.com.

    The "protection" would come from showing the digital copy at a frame rate
    several times that of film's 24 fps (video is at 30 frames/60 fields).
    If the DLP projector is at 120 frames per second, for instance, some of the
    frames could have patterns or dots or even text on them. If the frame rate
    is great enough, this should be below the threshold of human perception.
    If the "security" frames are interspersed randomly, the human eye wouldn't
    see them, but a digital camera would pick them up.

    The problem from Hollywood's point of view, is that the theater chains are
    not converting to digital. The reason is simple: Hollywood gains all the
    benefits and the theater chains gain very little. And of course Hollywood
    wants to theater chains to pay for it all. With an all digital distribution
    chain the studios no longer have to make thousands of prints at several
    thousands dollars each. They no longer have to ship them at hundreds of
    dollars each. They no longer have the security problem of copies in various
    hands. And theaters can no longer sneak in an additional showing or two
    without authorization from the studio. All the theaters gain is an
    additional feature to sell to their existing clients. They don't get to
    share in any of the savings the studios are getting and they have to spend
    ten times as much on a digital projector as they did on the film ones they
    already own.

    So, these moronic dots are Hollywood's way of trying to force theaters to
    spend the money to convert to digital - they could offer to cut them in on
    the savings or subsidize the projectors, but they are cheap jerks. "Piracy"
    is, for the most part, a red herring. A few people selling home burned DVDs
    or VCDs for the period between the theatrical opening and the DVD release is
    not a serious threat to Hollywood's profits, and they know it. Even some 13
    year old downloading a crap DiVX copy of a current film is not. But
    eliminating prints is a potential savings of billions to the studios.
    Follow the money.
     

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