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Warning! Do not see The Painted Veil in cinemas in UK.


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#1 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 06:36 PM

Went to see the film The Painted Veil at Odeon Covent Garden in their digital projection. Was looking forward to Stuart Dryburgh's sumptuous anamorphic cinematography, but was royally disappointed.

Film is pan and scan projected at 1.85:1 or 16:9. Why this is, I have no idea. Even the trailer for the film is in 2.40:1 in cinemas.

My guess is that Momentum Pictures and/or Odeon Cinemas decided that the digital projection would look better in full height 16:9 so as to use the full resolution. Which doesn't make any sense at all, since I saw the Curse of the Golden Flower projected in its correct 2.40:1 at the exact same cinema less than a week ago, and it looked fine.

Anyway, avoid it like the plague, at least digitally projected. Has anyone seen the film in a cinema in the UK in the right format?

Shame on Stuart's gorgeous cinematography - the film would have looked great if they hadn't ruined all his compositiopns with this imbecile idea.

Momentum and Odeon can expect to have to cough up a refund for me.
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#2 Jonathan Benny

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:28 PM

Film is pan and scan projected at 1.85:1 or 16:9. Why this is, I have no idea. Even the trailer for the film is in 2.40:1 in cinemas.


This is incredibly worrisome - particularly if it is going to be future policy with digital projection in cinemas.

AJB
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:28 PM

Well to a DOP I'm sure it was a dissapointment.

Would "Johny Lunchbox" understand a word you said?

R,
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:35 PM

Would "Johny Lunchbox" understand a word you said?


His nerdy brother would.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:44 PM

That's a damn shame. It looks like a good movie just jam-packed with gorgeous photography. I wonder if theaters here are doing the same.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:57 PM

So, was it actively panning and scanning? Or just cutting off the sides of the frame?
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#7 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 05:28 AM

I thought Digital projection was supposed to prevent this sort of thing:)
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#8 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 06:45 AM

Why would you even think about croping a film like that.

People who go and see a these sort of films don't go for the cutting edge storytelling, the gripping pace nor the moving acting.

The go to see the 'sumptuious' and 'beautiful' vistas and photography.

<_<
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#9 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 07:13 AM

So, was it actively panning and scanning? Or just cutting off the sides of the frame?


It was active.
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#10 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 07:50 AM

It was active.


Thats insane.

:wacko:
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#11 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 01:06 PM

My guess is that Momentum Pictures and/or Odeon Cinemas decided that the digital projection would look better in full height 16:9 so as to use the full resolution.

DCI has a native aspect ratio of 2:1, not 16:9. Both 1.85:1 and 2.39:1 are "cropped" from that, so there's no significant difference in resolution between the two ratios.
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#12 Phil Connolly

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 12:06 PM

Yuck - maybe the producers were trying to save money by just producing one 16:9 digital master - rather than a 16:9 digital master for TV and DVD and separate 2.35:1 master for D Cinema.

Still doesn't seem worth it, I don't understand the aversion to 2.35:1 and the need to crop down to 16:9 for DVD and TV release.

Reminds me of the time my local cinema projected Citizen Kane at 1.85:1 - nice
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#13 Keith Mottram

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 12:59 PM

this has got to be a mistake, as for the dvd release they'd release it in 235:1, therfor there must be a digital master in the correct format. i can only think that some monkey has passed on the television master and no one else has noticed.
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#14 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 04:28 PM

Here's the answer from Odeon Cinemas (Maddison being my fellow DP friend):

"Dear Mr Maddison,

Thank you for your email. You are absolutely right concerning our showing of The Painted Veil. We had a number of pre-release screenings on 35mm and were fully aware that the film was 1:2.40 aspect ratio. After our last pre-release screening we were instructed by Momentum Pictures to send back the 35mm print, as they would be supplying us with a digital copy. On Thursday 26th we received a hard drive with instructions that we were to screen the movie in 1:1.78. On noticing this our projectionist immediately informed Arts Alliance (the company Momentum used to master the movie for our digital servers) who told him that they themselves had informed Momentum and were told by them that this was how they wanted it (our projectionist, like yourself did not agree with this). After viewing the film on Friday night, and confirming that it was a pan and scan version we contacted Momentum and requested a 35mm copy so that it could be shown in its correct ratio. We were told by them that due to being part of the UK Film Council's Digital Screen Network we were contractually obliged to show the movie in the digital format. We will be passing on your complaints to our head office and Momentum Pictures so that hopefully this situation does not arise again.

Checking your email, we could find just your email address. If you could give us your postal address, we would be pleased to send you a pair of complimentary tickets for you to return as our guests which we hope you will accept with our best wishes.

Kind regards,

Silvia Saliva
Cinema Manager"

The complimentary tickets arrived today, apparently. I urge anyone who can muster the energy to complain to distributor Momentum Pictures - I will.
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#15 Max Jacoby

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 04:35 PM

We were told by them that due to being part of the UK Film Council's Digital Screen Network we were contractually obliged to show the movie in the digital format.

Thank you Digital Screen Network...
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#16 Chris Keth

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 12:38 AM

Silvia Saliva
Cinema Manager"


Hehe. Excuse me for this but that sounds like a perfect porn-star name if ever I heard one.
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#17 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:00 AM

Well it does say in the DCI spec that a film with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 is to be shown in 4096 x 1716 for 4K and 2048 x 858 for 2K. So even if DCI has a specified aspect ratio of 2:1 they shouldn't crop the image so as to utilise the entire frame, but show it in it's natural aspect ratio.
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#18 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 11:09 AM

Alexander, I'm afraid you misunderstood me. I was just pointing out that since DCI media and hardware have a native aspect ratio of 2:1, it doesn't really make sense to pan & scan a 2.39:1 movie to 16:9 in order to gain resolution (as Adam first suggested).
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 11:27 AM

UK Film Council publicly revealed as being incompetent mouth-foaming bovines.

UK production industry reacts with an overwhelming and countrywide explosion of deadpan disinterest.

Planet revolves.
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#20 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 11:38 AM

I'll have to correct myself: it seems that DCI's native AR is about 1.90:1 (2048x1080 or 4096x2160), not 2:1. So you would actually gain 26% resolution if you pan & scanned a Scope film to 1.90:1.

Don't get me wrong - I'm absolutely not advocating such practice. I can definitely live with Scope in "cropped" 2048x858 - at least while we wait for 4K to become standard.

Edited by Antti Näyhä, 07 May 2007 - 11:40 AM.

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