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Plate Voltage
04-16-2012, 02:44 PM
I read the PDF file of the Academy's archiving report that was posted earlier, and my experience at work to date with digital archiving pretty well agrees with what the Academy's were. That concerns me.

Mainecoonmaniac
04-16-2012, 03:29 PM
It's purely a business decision. It's great for Hollywood, but bad for theaters. Just think, no need to make prints of movies. Also, this reduces piracy because this prevents prints from being digitized on the sly. With digital films, it's sent via satellite. All this requires expensive infrastructure paid for by theater owners. I'm sure there will be expensive software and hardware upgrades too. I can watch movies digitally at home, why pay $15 to go to a theater?

Diapositivo
04-16-2012, 04:49 PM
I am not sure the digital revolution will make piracy harder. If music history is a lesson, it will make it easier.
When the original is analogue any analogue copy will introduce a degradation in quality. Once you have a digital copy (either of an analogue original, or of a digital original) each copy is identical to the original, a pirate paradise.

With videotape I could record an Opera broadcast on TV and see it, but the video and audio quality were not the same as the original TV show.
Now I can record an Opera broadcast on digital TV on a digital medium and see it at exactly the same quality as before. I can also make as many copies as I want without degradation. It really is a very near DVD convenience at no cost. I expect this new technology will deeply affect DVD sales in the long run.

It's probably a child play to record "on the fly" the cinema theatre satellite transmission. Even if it is encrypted somehow during transmission it must be decrypted before projecting the image on the screen. That image sent to the projector is a digital unencrypted film and can be recorded presumably without many difficulties.

In my opinion, the transition to digital will certainly make the preservation of "secrecy" about a new release easier but, in the long run, will heavily damage the "long tail" of cinema revenues (especially DVDs, and possibly even TV broadcasts).

Movies producers might go back to film so that they can postpone the piracy risk to the DVD release phase.

Mainecoonmaniac
04-16-2012, 05:58 PM
So true about piracy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but all encryption for DVD has already been cracked. I think if it's sent through the air, this might make it easier to pirate. I think it's unfair making the theaters shoulder all the cost of the digital conversion. Maybe movie houses should take a stand and not convert and see what happens? The old movie projectors are still good after decades of use. I don't know how long the digital projection systems will last. There's always planned obsolescence where theaters are forced to upgrade to stay in business.

Marc B.
04-16-2012, 06:47 PM
Another bummer...production and manufacture ended last year for new, film-based movie cameras.

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/film-fading-to-black

TexasLangGenius
04-16-2012, 09:59 PM
Another bummer...production and manufacture ended last year for new, film-based movie cameras.

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/film-fading-to-black

Yeah, I know, right? It all seems doom and gloom, but at least Bolex still makes 16mm cameras! I can't wait to get mine repaired!

I like how the so-called "experts" commenting at the bottom of that page say they like the visual quality and archival properties of film, but no-one just can't be bothered with the cost!

"Oh, yeah. Film is great and all, but who likes to pay for stuff?"

Well, I have a little system where I save part of my salary for shooting and processing film each month. If a lowly graduate student can find ways of saving money, so can the cheapskate movie studios. I'm not anti-digital, but one will have to pay for the cost of making a picture in either film and processing or buying expensive digital cameras, projectors and software. Choose your poison! :D

Digital's good for beginners on a budget and can open up possibilities that analog can't (I've made some wild abstract photos with my digital camera that required post processing), but overall, I love analog.

I pay a premium for quality, and I also plan to keep the analog flame burning by learning as much as I can about analog photography.

"Illegitimi digitali non carborundum!"

Diapositivo
04-17-2012, 04:23 AM
I like how the so-called "experts" commenting at the bottom of that page say they like the visual quality and archival properties of film, but no-one just can't be bothered with the cost!

"Oh, yeah. Film is great and all, but who likes to pay for stuff?"



What the experts were saying is that there is a cost in the transition to digital. Capital requirements will be partially shifted from production to projection. Archiving will be made more expensive because, with digital, archiving is much more of a "running cost".

Producers are basically trying to "shift" the costs to cinemas. In the long run, if this process continues IMO this could bring to more producers and less cinema firms, as the production side will become less capital-intensive and the projection side will become more capital-intensive.

That can be good for creativity. Imagine how easily a cartoon could be produced by a team of a few persons, without the need to find a producer with heavy shoulders financially speaking and willing to risk money on the project.

On the other hand, under this hypothesis the cinema as a family business is going to disappear. We can expect the need for large capital requirements and need of scale economies to shape the industry in favour of large "chains" of cinemas, or even an industry integration: cinema theatres owned by film producers, or in fact film producers owned by cinema theatre owners as the latter would be the big guys.

I wouldn't bet on the fast dying of traditional cinema though. Digital at the moment can only offer a certain, not large, resolution. That can be good for TV sets. If you drive and pay for a cinema seat, you can't easily be satisfied with "high resolution" digital screens. Further progress is probably needed before digital can really compete. Maybe we will have a double industry, with film projections thriving side to side with digital projections.

Brian C. Miller
04-17-2012, 10:09 AM
The only "win" scenario I see is independent producers shooting film for art houses. It's the major studio that want the theaters to transition to digital. But somehow I doubt that it would be enough to, say, prop up Kodak.

M.A.Longmore
04-17-2012, 10:14 AM
.
http://motion.kodak.com/motion/Products/Customer_Testimonials/Sam_Bayer/index.htm


Sam Bayer
"I love film like I love my wife and I'll never cheat on either of them"
Director, cinematographer, madman. Sam Bayer is a lot of things. One thing he's not, is a fan of shooting digital. This is your opportunity to hear Sam explain in his own words why he chooses to shoot film every time.


Read more: http://motion.kodak.com/motion/Products/Customer_Testimonials/Sam_Bayer/index.htm#ixzz1sJLnQiUF

Ron
.

Mainecoonmaniac
04-17-2012, 10:37 AM
It seems that owning a movie theater is a capital intensive enterprise. These cost will be passed on to movie goers which definitely means ticket prices will go up. Currently, movie tickets are too expensive for me and I wait for the release on Netflix. I'm not going to assume that other movie goers are like me. Will tickets get so expensive because of this technology that movie house will go extinct because it's unaffordable for an average cat like me? If I'm going to pay more for something, I'd expected added value which digital cinema does not deliver.

ROL
04-17-2012, 11:04 AM
I knew I loved Tarantino for a reason - from the article:

"Jefchak works at the New Beverly, which is owned by Quentin Tarantino. A regular at the art-house cinema, Tarantino bought the place in 2007, when it was in danger of closing. The New Beverly still plays traditional reel-to-reel 35mm, and Tarantino has said that the day the cinema puts in a digital projector is the day he burns it to the ground."

My wife doesn't love Quentin ('s theatre). She had to sit 2 rows directly behind his massive noggin at a screening there for Inglorius Basterds and missed the middle one third of the movie. Not the middle of the movie, the center third of the projection onto the screen! Well, at least the snacks were free. :laugh:

DREW WILEY
04-18-2012, 05:42 PM
The whole name of the game is to establish big monopolies by controlling production from capture to
dedicated distribution and projection. Independent theaters will be driven out - but that's the whole
point! No different than certain gas station chains. They find someone to take on a franchise and
build it up, then force them into a capital-intensive "improvement" contract (typically a Mini Mart),
then immediately jack up the wholesale price our their own brand of gas. They do it region by region.
So the lease holder bankrupts and the already running business reverts to the petro company itself.
I almost never go to theaters anyway - if it ain't in Technicolor, why bother?

Klainmeister
04-18-2012, 05:49 PM
I saw a premier of some winter sports films last September (in prep for the season) and woefully disappointed at the digital quality. I was up front and could see squares the whole time. WTF. And the weird ghosting with fast movements almost made me ill to my stomach. The silliest part is the fact that the digital technologies used for both filming and projection were advertised when we first sat down.

I'm not sure I can stomach that again. Give me film or give me nothing at all.

MattKing
04-18-2012, 05:58 PM
The whole name of the game is to establish big monopolies by controlling production from capture to
dedicated distribution and projection. Independent theaters will be driven out - but that's the whole
point! No different than certain gas station chains. They find someone to take on a franchise and
build it up, then force them into a capital-intensive "improvement" contract (typically a Mini Mart),
then immediately jack up the wholesale price our their own brand of gas. They do it region by region.
So the lease holder bankrupts and the already running business reverts to the petro company itself.
I almost never go to theaters anyway - if it ain't in Technicolor, why bother?

Drew:

A friend of mine was in management with one of the smaller Canadian gas companies. He used to say that the retail margins on gasoline sales were so narrow that every station that put in a "Mini Mart" operation immediately increased their retail profits tremendously.

And car washes made more money than gas sales as well.

ricardo12458
04-18-2012, 09:01 PM
GIVE ME FILM OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-R

amsp
04-19-2012, 05:16 AM
I saw a premier of some winter sports films last September (in prep for the season) and woefully disappointed at the digital quality. I was up front and could see squares the whole time. WTF. And the weird ghosting with fast movements almost made me ill to my stomach. The silliest part is the fact that the digital technologies used for both filming and projection were advertised when we first sat down.

I'm not sure I can stomach that again. Give me film or give me nothing at all.

Much like the 3D gimmick. It only took two movies for me to say never again, and this is supposed to be the future of cinema? I'm not even old enough to be nostalgic or anything, but it's obvious to me that things nowadays are moving in the wrong direction on many fronts. Quality, skill and craftsmanship is being replaced with cheap, fast and convenient. Film related businesses are struggling while Instagram, a cellphone app that adds some crappy filter to your low-res photo and uploads them to a website, sells for a billion dollars. I mean seriously, wtf?

Steve Smith
04-19-2012, 05:34 AM
Much like the 3D gimmick. It only took two movies for me to say never again, and this is supposed to be the future of cinema?

I have seen advertisements for Titanic saying is now in 3D. How can that be? Surely it wasn't filmed in 3D?


Steve.

benjiboy
04-19-2012, 05:47 AM
Related or not to this thread, I find it sickening that we live in a world where thousands of people can loose their jobs just so a few already extremely rich people can line their pockets with a couple of extra millions. Oftentimes at the expense of quality and workmanship at the same time. Ahhhh, progress.
It's the way of the World and it's not going to change "Capitalism is savagery"

polyglot
04-19-2012, 07:04 AM
I have seen advertisements for Titanic saying is now in 3D. How can that be? Surely it wasn't filmed in 3D?

Steve.

No but you can fake it. Some pseudo-3D titles have objects placed in distinct layers and look really bad but computer vision is advancing to the point where it's possible to generate depth from optical flow in the scene and use camera motion as a source of parallax; very similar mathematics to synthetic aperture radar. Results vary but can be excellent with a little manual tweaking.

There were some good (academic) demos about 2008 showing 3D scene reconstruction (triangles meshes and textures) just using video from a moving camera. I expect by now that the process is more reliable though of course I've no idea if that's what any particular studio is doing.

Thomas Bertilsson
04-19-2012, 08:06 AM
No but you can fake it. Some pseudo-3D titles have objects placed in distinct layers and look really bad but computer vision is advancing to the point where it's possible to generate depth from optical flow in the scene and use camera motion as a source of parallax; very similar mathematics to synthetic aperture radar. Results vary but can be excellent with a little manual tweaking.

There were some good (academic) demos about 2008 showing 3D scene reconstruction (triangles meshes and textures) just using video from a moving camera. I expect by now that the process is more reliable though of course I've no idea if that's what any particular studio is doing.

A friend of mine was dabbling with this a few years ago, creating 3D pictures from regular 2D photographs. The idea was to break the picture in layers, and have custom software approximate what a stereo view of that scene would be like, based on what the surrounding looks like. It worked out OK, but it was 4-5 years ago, and a lot has happened since with technology.

I've seen one movie in 3D, and frankly will not pursue it again, as it looked awful to me. At the same time, when I go to the cinema, I usually sit far back where I can't tell enough difference between digital and film projection to care, and basically have no preference whether the film was shot with digital or with film, as long as the movie itself is good. I do care about the movie itself, how good the story is, how well the characters are developed, directing, convincing acting, cinematography, gesture, suspension of disbelief, lighting... And that's the main reason I don't find myself attracted to many of the movies out there anymore. The last inspiring movie I watched was Lars von Trier's 'Melancholia'. However it was filmed, it was a spectacular movie and worth seeing.

We, as a subset of society, are worried about this switch from film to digital, mostly for the simple fact that movie film production largely dictates still film production, and we don't wish to see it vanish. If Kodak did not make Vision movie stock, could they continue making just still film?