... so what you are saying is
a paid professional who installs a film projector system
isn't allowed to tell the people who own the projector ...
after the test reel of film went through it for the first time, that the
color balance and contrast is off ?? and the same EXPERT
isn't allowed to say, that the reason why the film projector
seemed to project so poorly is because it needed to be MAINTAINED
not because film isn't or the "dated" technology ?!
no idea what you are calling ostracizing ...
is it because the other people in the room didn't want to believe what they heard ?
it was his JOB to have an opinion and i would imagine
if he didn't tell the client ( or his boss ? ) the contrast and balance needed
adjustment, and the projected movies with a poorly adjusted projector
and got complaints from the people paying 10$ / seat he would not have been
in a good place.
oh well ...
Last edited by jnanian; 03-01-2013 at 05:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I think this quote applies to his post:
Originally Posted by jnanian
"I used to want to change the world. Now I just want to leave the room with a little dignity."
'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde
I think the wrong assumption in the video is that quality is hard to judge.
Quality is never hard to judge for the trained eye, and the trained eye is much more "uniform" in understanding quality than the untrained eye. I mean "quality" meaning "quality" not "art" which can entirely exist without quality.
Art is too subjective for us to spend a word more. It's the typical useless discussion.
"Quality" is different. Quality is blatant when it is there, to the knowing, the trained eye (or taste etc.).
The "knowing" is knowing because he saw thousands of pictures. The mind knows how to differentiate. Human minds inevitably recognizes the best in the sea of the ordinary. It only has to swim enough.
The same can apply to ceramics, watchmaking, cuisine, wine making, leather goods etc.
I wouldn't tell a proper Rolex from a faked one. A dealer or a knowledgeable customer (or a thief) would distinguish them at distance.
Originally Posted by batwister
i think you are reading things into what he said, and how he said it that probably didn't happen.
you are claiming that he made these people feel like ignorant fools, and dopes, and to be honest
that seems like it would be out of character for randy.
i have been asked my professional opinion about things and even given unsolicited advice ...
my opinion went against the beliefs of the people who asked me for it ... does that mean i am a jerk too ... ?
There are many great photographers that never get anywhere because they are lousy marketers and lousy businesspersons. That in a nutshell is what it is about. Being good at it is simply the first thing that is necessary. If you seriously think the kitten and sunset brigade are competition, you are doing it wrong.
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My complaints about movie theaters are that they display the movie too dark. Daytime scenes look like nighttime and night shots look like, well. I've heard they do that to save electricity on the arc used for the light. Less electricity less light in the film projector although I don't know how this applies to digital projectors.
There are many people who just can't see the difference and there are many people who just refuse to admit that the can see a difference. Out of the group of people who can see a difference, many of them are quickly loosing the ability to tell the difference at all.
The funny thing I'm only one who apparently notices. When I check with my wife, she says why make a big deal out of it. So I complain to the theatre manager and they say, yes they'll take care of it right away and nothing happens. So I swear off that theatre and go to another that projects dark movies too.
Not one of the other patrons seem to care. So theatres don't care either and display dark film. I want my money back!
The sea of images
Xenon lamps in movie projectors, be they digital or film should not be operated below 80% of their max ratings. Doing so will shorten their life. The cost of replacing a xenon lamp, $1,000 and up, is far more expensive than the cost of the savings in electricity. Further, xenons can and occasionally do fail explosively, taking out the reflector, damaging film or the inside of the projector. In a digital projector, the cost of a new light engine is a significant fraction of the cost of a new projector.
The reason why movies are dim is twofold:
First digital projectors project dimmer pictures. The standard brightness for 35mm. film projection is 16 ftL or 54 cd/m2. The standard for digital is 14 ftL or 47 cd/m2. That's nearly 15% lower. That's the standard. Many theaters do not meet those standards.
The second reason theaters are dim is because they don't replace their lamps as often as often as they should. The warranty lifespan on the average xenon lamp is between 1,000 and 2,000 hours. If a lamp fails under warranty, you get a prorated refund toward the cost of a new lamp. If the lamp explodes while it is under warranty, through no fault of your own, the company will often pay part or all of the cost of repair. Most theaters burn their xenon lamps for 1.5 or 2 times the warranty life span. That is quite reasonable to do. It saves money on the cost of replacing lamps without undue risk. However, if you burn your lamps much longer than that, two things happen: the risk of failure/explosion increases and the lamps lose brightness. Still theater managers try to cut costs by burning their lamps beyond reasonable limits. That's probably the biggest reason why movies in theaters are dim!
When I was a field service tech for one of the largest theater chains in the country, I was regularly called to theaters to solve problems with dim pictures, often because of numerous customer complaints. 90% of the time, replacing the lamp solved the problem. I regularly replaced lamps that were 3,000 hours old or longer. On occasion, I found lamps that had been running for 6,000 or 7,000 hours! The glass envelopes were BLACK!
No, it wasn't supposed to be my job to change lamps. That's supposed to be a job for theater personnel. I was responsible for maintenance, upkeep and repair for 100 screens in 10 or12 theaters spread out over five states. My job was to train people to change lamps, not necessarily to do it all myself. Many theater personnel are either lazy, inept or think they can save money by being cheap.
Those are the real reasons why movie theaters have dim pictures. That's also the reason why may attitude sometimes appears to be so stubborn. I was paid to be an asshole. Some say I play the part well. (I resemble that remark! )
When there is a customer complaint, that presents problems for theater management. They often give rain checks or passes for free movies but are usually hesitant to give refunds. The movie distributors in Hollywood take as much as 80% or 90% of theaters' box office revenue. That figure is based on ticket sales. They don't care if you gave refunds or not. Theaters still have to pay. A theater manager who gives a refund is losing money.
I now operate a single screen, special venue style theater, similar to IMAX. I am solely in charge all phases of daily operation from box office to concessions to operating the equipment. I try very hard to do things right and to make the best presentation possible but, yes, I still make mistakes.
If I got a complaint from a customer like Alan, I would do everything I can to fix it. If the guy was as knowledgeable as him and if I had time, I'd likely give him a quick tour of the booth. Unfortunately, I could not give a refund unless the movie was interrupted or did not play but a rain check or pass isn't out of the question.
Most people who have concerns are usually happy with that and, maybe, some free popcorn.
Randy Thanks for the info. The worse part about my complaining is that they really just ignored me after I complained. Some beautiful movies are just destroyed because they are so dim. That's a shame. It's like looking at photos here that are a stop or two too dark. With less contrast. Anyway I appreciate the background with Xenon lamps and how the industry works.
With xenon lamps, you can't change them or make repairs without shutting down and interrupting the movie. In the old days, when carbon arcs were used, operators could make some adjustments on the fly. (Arc gap, positive/negative carbon alignment, feed rate and reflector alignment.)
Originally Posted by Alan Klein
I have operated carbons only a few times. The guy who showed me even demonstrated how to change carbon rods without extinguishing the arc. (Joinable carbons.) I would never do that! 100 amps DC and 3,000º C! I ain't going near that while it's live! This guy was an old-time operator. That's the way they did things, then. A good operator will know how fast his carbons burn and how much film he has left. He'll make sure he has enough "stick" in the projector before he starts.
Silly me, got off on a tangent without addressing the question...
The point I was getting at was, even if the staff at the theater took your request seriously, they wouldn't have been able to do anything until the movie was over since they were probably using xenons. If there was a competent tech on staff, they could have done the maintenance in between shows. A good tech can change a lamp in 30 minutes or less. If there was not a competent person on staff, it should have been done by the next day.
When I was a field tech, I would occasionally be called to a theater to handle the problem but, as I said, it wasn't strictly my job. There should be somebody there who is able to do it. If I had to go to a theater to do it, I might need a day or more to get there, depending on what else was happening. Unless that theater was down or unless there were major complaints, it would not have been a priority. Driving 8 to 12 hours and staying overnight in a Motel 6 just to change a stupid light bulb is not something I would relish doing, neither would the company want to pay my mileage, room and food bills. If I had other theaters with more pressing problems, I would have to handle them first. Changing lamps would normally be a low priority call. I would probably end up doing a drive-by as I was going between theaters.
The real problem is what we were talking about to start with. Most people have a lower expectation of quality, these days, and I really do believe that many people no longer have the capacity to tell the difference.
Your average, apathetic, teenaged theater employee who watches movies on his iPhone just doesn't understand what a good movie presentation looks like and, when he is called away from the important business of chatting up the girls at the popcorn stand, he finds the request to be more of an annoyance.