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  1. #21
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Lx;

    They are using the high speed projection at some of the new "rides" at theme parks such as the "Back to the Future" ride.

    JP;

    Yes, perhaps, but this is here! Now!

    PE

  2. #22
    CGW
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    This is a bit Chicken Little-ish. How many 3-D movies are in wide release? How many are showing in your area as a % of local screens? Same goes for "digital" projection. Know how major films are shot? Hmmm, what's in those big double hump magazines attached to cine cameras I see on locations? Just asking...
    Last edited by CGW; 09-03-2010 at 07:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #23
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    What's happening is that digital projector manufacturers are coupling with studios to try to drive theaters toward digital and they will propagate any bullshit story they can dream of to do it.

    They tried to say that digital projection will prevent piracy until full quality digital copies of new release movies showed up on the internet one day BEFORE they were supposed to be released in theaters.

    They tried to use the "digital quality" argument until the light engines in projectors started breaking down.

    Then they tried to push "new and improved" picture quality by upgrading from 2K resolution to 4K resolution. (2,000 lines versus 4,000 lines.) At one time they were saying that 2,000 lines was good enough until they started pushing 4,000. Then, all the theaters that bought into the 2K projectors had to buy new ones to get the 4K.

    Now they are pushing gimmicky kid's movies in 3-D just to promote digital movie technology. Mind you it costs another $10,000 or $20,000 to upgrade a 2-D projector to a 3-D projector.

    Studios and manufacturers are soaking theaters for hundreds of thousands of dollars PER PROJECTOR to upgrade to digital. They are subsidizing the purchases to drive theaters to buying digital then they are leaving them high and dry when these upgrades come along.

    They demand even more restrictive and expensive rental terms from theaters for the "privilege" of having digital projection. They are demanding that theaters "upcharge" customers for the privilege of watching in digital and in digital 3-D.

    Yes, more and more theaters are switching to digital. That's not necessarily a bad thing but I don't think that there will be any significant effect on film projection for another 5 to 10 years. Even after that, it will surely be a slow, downhill ride for film but that will take years to occur.

    Studios still have too much money invested in producing movies on film. They will not be able to scrap film cameras and production equipment overnight. The logistics and infrastructure of producing movies on film is already in place and has been bought and paid for. Do you think they are going to scrap tens of millions of dollars worth of equipment just to buy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment overnight?

    Do you think that theaters are going to scrap $50,000 movie projectors to install digital projectors that cost $250,000?

    Yes, you will see more and more digital movie theaters in the future but, at least for the time being, you will see one or two theaters in your average 10-plex converted to digital while the rest of the auditoriums are film.

    IIRC, as of right now, I believe 80% of the movie theaters in the USA and 85%-90% of the theaters worldwide are still using film. That is not going to change overnight, regardless of whether they are pushing 3-D movies or not.

    Like I said, most people in the theater business still think digital 3-D is a fad that is going to taper off fairly soon. Many think that is already happening.
    Most 3-D movies are cheaply made movies for young kids. Parents are not going to want to pay an extra $2-$5 per head for the upcharge to 3-D just to keep their kids from whining in this economy.

    Things will surely go digital but not as quickly as people think.
    Randy S.

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  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    This is a bit Chicken Little-ish. How many 3-D movies are in wide release? How many are showing in your area as a % of local screens? Same goes for "digital" projection. Know how major films are shot? Hmmm, what's in those big double hump magazines attached to cine cameras I see on locations? Just asking...
    But I bet the film consumption for making prints for distribution to theatres is a whole lot higher than the film consumption for shooting the original footage.

    I've done a little bit of work with digital cinema, though I'm not very plugged into it now. IMHO, it's clear that *distribution* will eventually go all- or nearly-all-digital eventually, for purely economic reasons, and the current 3D craze is giving that migration a significant bump just now. However, it seems like many people in what L.A. calls "The Industry" prefer to *shoot* on film and convert to digital, and the studios still use film as their archival format. As long as those two things are true, the demand for cine film won't go to *zero*---but losing the demand for film prints could put a serious dent in it, with attendant problems for Kodak and Fuji.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

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    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  5. #25
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    It occurs to me that maybe digital projection will eventually go away in favor of what would essentially be a very large TV screen.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  6. #26
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    We went to a movie theater that was all digital and a thunderstorm brewed up that shut the whole place down. The movie we were watching was never restarted, they just gave us passes to come back, which we haven't done yet. A film projector wouldn't be bothered by a storm surge like that.
    Gary Beasley

  7. #27
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    Power surges can affect movie theaters whether they use digital projector or film. The automation systems, essentially PLC-based machine controllers, can be shut down by power surges just as easily as computers and digital projectors can. The difference is that film projectors can be restarted much faster and easier. Just cycle the power and hit start. You might have to press a few extra buttons to cycle the automation to the right state but, once you have it running, it should just keep right on going from where it left off. A digital projector depends on its computer memory to play the digital movie file. If it loses power it can easily lose its place and it will have to be started over from the beginning. I do not believe that digital theater systems have the ability to fast-forward through the digital files. I believe it's all or nothing.

    Remember, once a movie has stopped for any length of time, regardless of whether it is film or digital, you take a chance of pushing that presentation over into the next showtime slot. Suppose a movie starts at 12:00 noon and runs till 2:30 PM. The next show starts at 2:45 or 3:00 PM, depending on how the theater stacks its schedule. Therefore, if your projector goes down for longer than 15 or 30 minutes you are going to have to delay the next show. You will have a lobby full of impatient customers, wanting to sit down and see the movie they paid for.

    So, regardless of whether you use film or digital projectors, a power surge might force you to cancel a show.

    The smart theater owner will install power surge protection equipment in every theater. Unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of theater owners who are that smart. Power surges do put a lot of theaters out of commission.

    lxdude is on the right track. If theaters keep going the way they have been going, most of them will go the way of the dodo.
    Crappy presentation, regardless of film or digital, and poor customer service will cause more and more customers to stay home and wait for the movie to come out on home video.

    That is more of a threat to film than digital projector or 3-D will be.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  8. #28
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    But I bet the film consumption for making prints for distribution to theatres is a whole lot higher than the film consumption for shooting the original footage.

    I've done a little bit of work with digital cinema, though I'm not very plugged into it now. IMHO, it's clear that *distribution* will eventually go all- or nearly-all-digital eventually, for purely economic reasons, and the current 3D craze is giving that migration a significant bump just now. However, it seems like many people in what L.A. calls "The Industry" prefer to *shoot* on film and convert to digital, and the studios still use film as their archival format. As long as those two things are true, the demand for cine film won't go to *zero*---but losing the demand for film prints could put a serious dent in it, with attendant problems for Kodak and Fuji.

    -NT
    The word missing in your take on "the industry" is "capture." Steve Jobs wants to stream everything into your house.If not him, then Google or some other gang of elf lords and their pals.Film still works for shooting a movie, which should be obvious if you've actually seen anything bound for a big screen shot recently. They use film. Lots of it. Is emulsion research dead for cine film? How much cine film did Kodak move last year? What do their financial statements tell us?

  9. #29
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Well, I actually was thinking of a point where a large monitor type screen could be installed in a theater and the signal fed to it cheaper than going through the steps of projection.
    I do think home video will put great pressure on movies at some point. No more talkers, no more crinkling candy wrappers or drinks spilled on you. And if someone else starts babbling you can tell them to STFU because, hey, they're family.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  10. #30
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    By the way, why is a 100 sheet box of Kodak 8x10 XRay film with two emulsions $26.00 while 100 sheets of Kodak 8x10 general photography film with one emulsion $550.00, 10 boxes of 10 sheets?
    Have you ever shot xray film? Whatever it is that they do to pictorial film to make it look good, well, they don't do that to xray film.

    Theaters should be charging a extra for film. It's the last thing that will differentiate them from home theater. Even 3D is hitting home theater now.
    f/22 and be there.

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