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35mm Screenings of STAR WARS 7


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#1 James Compton

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 01:07 PM

 I started this separate thread for folks looking to go see STAR WARS : THE FORCE AWAKENS on 35mm/. I will update with info as I get it.

 

 Los Angeles : The VISTA THEATER  - in East Hollywood.


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 01:15 PM

HOLY CRAP!!!!

That's what I'm doing during the week next week! WOOT! :)

Thanks for that!
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#3 Jay Young

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 04:39 PM

Ironically, apparent an ArcLight cinema projector glitched, and then skipped to a later part of the film?

That wouldn't happen in 35mm!


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 08:26 PM

There is whole history of 35mm print projection mishaps, including missing reels, reels shown out of order, reels not rewound properly, etc.  I seem to recall such a fiasco when "Return of the Jedi" (or was it "Phantom Menace"?) premiered in San Diego -- I think the last reel was missing.


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#5 KH Martin

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 09:30 AM

Not sure if it was this forum or not, but I remember somebody saying a screening of the Coens' MAN WHO WASN'T THERE in the pacific northwest had a reel two that was in COLOR -- now that is a pretty huge screwup, since it was only foreign markets that demanded (and got) non-monochrome versions of the film.


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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 12:43 PM

Well, I'd say 90% of the time I see digital projection something is wrong. I've seen 3 digital films in the last 2 weeks and all of them had major problems. One projector had white lines in the upper left hand corner streaking across the image on any bright spot. Reminded me a lot of analog noise one would experience on an NTSC monitor. One projector had green and red channel separation, so anything red in the movie, would overlap onto blue and green channels. Finally, during my digital viewing of star wars, the lamp on that projector was on it's way out. So it flickered for most of the show, so any bright section of the film was just like a candle waving in the wind.

So yea... you wanna talk about film projection issues... I rarely see standard non-laser digital projection that actually has NO issues. The only film I saw this WHOLE YEAR that had no issues was the big theater at Sherman Oaks galleria Arclight for 'Bridge of Spies'. Funny that it was one of the few movies shot on film and it was the only digital projection that had no problems.
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#7 Mark Dunn

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 01:18 PM

Oops, wrong thread.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 20 December 2015 - 01:19 PM.

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#8 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 02:20 PM

Well, I'd say 90% of the time I see digital projection something is wrong. I've seen 3 digital films in the last 2 weeks and all of them had major problems. One projector had white lines in the upper left hand corner streaking across the image on any bright spot. Reminded me a lot of analog noise one would experience on an NTSC monitor. One projector had green and red channel separation, so anything red in the movie, would overlap onto blue and green channels. Finally, during my digital viewing of star wars, the lamp on that projector was on it's way out. So it flickered for most of the show, so any bright section of the film was just like a candle waving in the wind.

So yea... you wanna talk about film projection issues... I rarely see standard non-laser digital projection that actually has NO issues. The only film I saw this WHOLE YEAR that had no issues was the big theater at Sherman Oaks galleria Arclight for 'Bridge of Spies'. Funny that it was one of the few movies shot on film and it was the only digital projection that had no problems.

 

The digital projection here in NYC has been top notch...even in the smaller theaters.  I really can't say I've seen anything of the sort. 


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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:25 PM

I can't recall any noticeable digital projection problems all year in Los Angeles.  Certainly on the whole, digital projection has been a lot more consistent than film projection ever was.

 

The biggest factor for me is that 2.40 projection, since it doesn't involve anamorphic lenses anymore, is a lot better -- I'd say that half the theaters I used to see movies in were unable to hold focus evenly across the frame with their anamorphic projection lenses.  That was one reason I was such a fan of 70mm blow-ups in the 1990's and before, the projection quality was so much better.


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#10 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 12:35 AM

The digital projection here in NYC has been top notch...even in the smaller theaters.  I really can't say I've seen anything of the sort.


Well, I bet ya just don't notice. I've been to theaters all over the country, including in NYC to watch movies and honestly, seen problems everywhere. Heck, I was just in Boston to watch 'Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation' in the biggest theater the town has which is IMAX (AMC Boylston) and it looked like poop. I mean if I hadn't gone with my dad, I would have walked out. It was blurry, it had inconsistent colors from the left to the right of the screen, the double 2k projectors were clearly out of alignment and it wasn't bright or vibrant. The credits at the end had aliasing edges on every character.

I don't mind seeing issues on my $910 DLP projector and BluRay source, but I do mind seeing issues when I pay money and take the time to watch something in the theater. Film is a flawed format to begin with, so "perfection" doesn't exist. It's far easier to over-look minor things like a scratch or piece of dirt in the gate, then it is to ignore any issues with digital projection considering my measly setup at home LOOKS BETTER then 90% of the theaters I've been to. It has better contrast ratio because it doesn't have a stupid bright lamp, it has more color separation because it has a 7 seg wheel/single chip instead of only using RGB like cinema projectors. I sit 8 feet away from the 6 foot wide screen and it looks great with zero of the issues I see at almost every theater I go to.

Mind you, I saw Jurassic World at the Chinese with the new IMAX 4k laser projectors and they were FLAWLESS!!! I studied the image very carefully and I was MORE than impressed. So IT CAN BE DONE!!! It's just, theaters can't afford to spend 1.5M per projector and until laser projection costs decrease, it's going to be that kind of money. So far, the Hateful Eight 70mm projection at the DGA is probably the best projection I've ever seen. Prior to that, it was Interstellar in 70mm at the Cinerama Dome. Just flawless in every single detail, perfect presentation and the way it should always be!!!!
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#11 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 11:05 AM

The glaring issues you mention would be obvious to most movie-goers.

 

Well, I bet ya just don't notice. I've been to theaters all over the country...

 

I too have been to theaters all over the country, Tyler - just like most others on this board.  And I have a very discerning eye - just like most others on this board.  But you notice problems with digital projection that few others do?

 

Can you honestly say that your bias against digital projection does not play into this, Tyler?...


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#12 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 12:08 PM

I've only had a couple of instances where the DCP had issues, a couple of them here in NYC, but I have been to several 35mm screenings that suffered projection problems. 

 

I was in the second showing of "Inherent Vice" at the Angelika and the first two reels had a scratch down the right hand of the frame. Recently I saw "Klute" at Lincoln Center (well trained projectionists there) and a few reels in there was a small issue of the changeover going awry (quickly fixed). I saw an IB print at the Hammer in LA of "Vertigo" that had flutter and the film had to be stopped for 20 minutes while it was worked out. 

 

I prefer watching film prints, mostly for the richness of the colors and depth of blacks, but my experiences with them having issues far outnumbers the few times I've seen digital go bad. 


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#13 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 02:21 PM

I too have been to theaters all over the country, Tyler - just like most others on this board.  And I have a very discerning eye - just like most others on this board.  But you notice problems with digital projection that few others do?


I just spent a day watching 70mm prints that were out of focus, you may have read that post in the Hateful Eight section. Anyway, I asked Quentin Tarantino afterwards if he saw any problems and he said it looked great. There were a bunch of filmmakers there, hanging around Quentin and none of them noticed. Even the projectionist really didn't see the problem. Yet, I have the still image of the test pattern showing how badly out of focus it was. If the filmmakers and my very picky friends didn't notice... umm, I just don't think people really notice much! It's not film vs digital because I went right to the projection room on that Hateful Eight screening to see what was up and it was a FILM screening. It's just, we don't get very many film screenings anymore and there is no excuse for them to be bad.

Now, I spent years in the broadcast industry, building facilities all over the country. I've also done display installations of various types and even the fellow broadcast engineers I've worked with, they couldn't tell the problems I saw. Once I pointed them out, they saw them too, but it actually took me using a laser pointer and circling the problems on the screen, for them to see it. So I'm not saying my eyes are better then someone else's, I'm merely saying I've been through the ringer a lot more when it comes to installations like theater systems. I know how digital cinema projectors work intimately because I've had to service them and honestly, I can tell pretty quickly if a projector is calibrated properly or not.
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#14 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 02:51 PM

Now, I spent years in the broadcast industry, building facilities all over the country. I've also done display installations of various types and even the fellow broadcast engineers I've worked with, they couldn't tell the problems I saw. Once I pointed them out, they saw them too, but it actually took me using a laser pointer and circling the problems on the screen, for them to see it.

 

Well, this leads me to the other point I was going to make.  I see minor glitches on virtually every exhibition (digital & film) that I go to - a little soft-focus on one shot, some excess noise on another - but that doesn't ruin the show for me.  I could be completely wrong, but you do come across as someone who expects a flawless exhibition, regardless of the format, every time around.  That's what we all aim & look for, but it's not always achieved (for whatever reason.)  I can overlook minor technical issues (like the ones mentioned above) as long as I enjoy the overall presentation.


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#15 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 03:54 PM

Right, but my point is... digital projection SHOULD BE FLAWLESS!!! There is absolutely zero reason for it to be anything else but perfection. Why? Because my little home theater projector, which uses similar DLP technology, works great! I understand the technology is apples and oranges, however there is really no excuse. Theaters today are absolutely no better then what I can see at home on BluRay, so why should I spend 4hrs of my life trekking to the theater, waiting in lines, sitting around people who are stinky AND paying for all of it?

At least with film, you're getting an image that can't be presented at home. It's a special experience that can't be replicated/duplicated in any other environment then the cinema. Digital theater systems are pretty much the same content, whether it's seen at home or at the theater. Today with 4k BluRay and 4k laser-based home theater projectors going for reasonable prices, what's the point of even going to the cinema? Yes, at this very second the content libraries haven't yet made that push for 4k content at home, but it will happen very quickly. Considering I just learned that 'Force Awakens' was released in 2k for 2D presentations... and more than 50% of the theater projectors in this country are still 2k, no wonder the quality at the cinema looks like crap. We went from around 3k resolution in 35mm prints, to 2k being the "standard" for most films today.

So.. it's not that I'm really a huge film advocate, it's that.. technology is suppose to make things better. Digital technology has changed everything and even the very early CD's, were a HUGE/GIANT leap better then anything else on the market, to the point where the masters weren't good enough. Computer technology is the same thing, every iteration is FAR superior to the previous and even though the average user may not see these changes, our current computers are vastly faster then ones of only a few years ago. Yet here we are... film technology when done right, still looks better then digital. Digital projection technology has been the same since its inception 20 years ago! We still use DLP imagers, we still use xenon lamp sources (now slowly migrating to laser) and our source material is STILL mostly 2k, which is lower resolution then the technology it replaced.

So my beef with "digital" filmmaking is the fact it hasn't made cinema any better. It's just turned cinema into television and people have caught onto that, which is why most people simply don't go anymore. You can't drag them back with laser projection and 3D (both offered at home), but you can drag them back with an experience they can't get at home EVER!
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