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View Full Version : LA Weekly: "Movie Studios Are Forcing Hollywood to Abandon 35mm Film."


Matthew Chmiel
04-13-12, 12:32 PM
A great article posted in yesterday's L.A. Weekly: "Movie Studios Are Forcing Hollywood to Abandon 35mm Film. But the Consequences of Going Digital Are Vast, and Troubling. (http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-12/film-tv/35-mm-film-digital-Hollywood/)"

I'm not going to post the entire article as it came out to twelve pages when I tried to do a copy and paste, but it's a great read. Some key portions:

Shortly before Christmas, director Edgar Wright received an email inviting him to a private screening of the first six minutes of Christopher Nolan's new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. Walking into Universal CityWalk's IMAX theater, Wright recognized many of the most prominent filmmakers in America — Michael Bay, Bryan Singer, Jon Favreau, Eli Roth, Duncan Jones, Stephen Daldry. If a bomb had gone off in the building, he thought, it would have taken out half of the Directors Guild of America.
"It was a surreal experience because it felt like we were all going to get whacked," Wright recalls.

As the directors settled into their seats, Nolan addressed them with words ripped from the plot of an old Batman serial.

"I have an ulterior motive for bringing you here," the British director announced.

And then he made a plea for 35mm film.

Nolan pointed out that The Dark Knight Rises was made on celluloid. That he is committed to shooting on film, and wants to continue doing so. But, he warned, 35mm will be stamped out by the studios unless people — people like them — insist otherwise.

The new format is called a DCP, or Digital Cinema Package. It is a virtual format, a collection of files stored on a hard drive. Roughly the size of a paperback novel, the hard drive is mailed in a lightweight, foam-lined plastic case to the theater, where it's inserted (or, in the lingo, "ingested") into a server that runs the digital projector. DCPs won't run on traditional film projectors, however. So if they want to play the new format, theater owners must update their equipment.

For this privilege, exhibitors can expect to shell out from $70,000 to $150,000 per screen. Because the studios will save so much money on shipping costs, they've agreed to help finance the conversion. For the next 10 years, they will pay theater owners a "virtual-print fee" for each new release shown digitally.

To speed the conversions along, the studios are using a classic carrot-and-stick model of coercion. The offset money is the carrot. The punishing stick? Studios will no longer be releasing 35 mm prints.

It's not so bad for first-run theater chains, which play only new releases. Art-house and repertory theaters, however, which play classic and older movies, are largely dependent on print loans from studios. Increasingly, the prints are remaining locked in studio vaults. Last November, 20th Century Fox sent its exhibitors a letter to that effect: "The date is fast approaching when 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight will adopt the digital format as the only format in which it will theatrically distribute its films. ... We strongly advise those exhibitors that have not yet done so to take immediate steps to convert their theaters to digital projection systems."

John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, drove the point home at the association's annual convention last year in Las Vegas. "Simply put," he said, "If you don't make the decision to get on the digital train soon, you will be making the decision to get out of the business."

Belove, of Cinefamily, believes many theaters will choose just that.

"Hundreds of art houses will go out of business," he says. "Already some theaters are shoving under."

Belove recently returned from a conference of art-house theater owners. Most of the attendees were operating on annual budgets of less than $500,000. Upgrading on that budget is prohibitively expensive.

"The pressure's on me," he says. "I know I'm going to be forced to do a major outlay."

But the alternative also is lousy. Already there are films he couldn't show for lack of a DCP-compliant projector. He couldn't get a print of A New Leaf from Paramount for an Elaine May retrospective he wanted to do. Ditto for Saul Bass' Phase IV for a Bass retrospective, and Andrzej Zulawski's The Important Thing Is to Love for a Zulawski retrospective. Studio Canal in France would supply only a DCP.

"This is classic cinematheque stuff," Belove says with frustration.

And then there was Valentine's Day. Instead of a 35mm print, the studio offered Belove either a DCP or a DVD of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

While Cinefamily couldn't show the DCP version without a costly upgrade, it could choose to show a DVD or Blu-ray. Blown up on the big screen, however, a relatively low-resolution DVD looks, in Belove's opinion, terrible.

"We can look at a DVD right now," he says, walking into the darkened auditorium. On the screen, a trailer is playing. A man and a woman are having sex. "See how the blacks aren't black?" Belove whispers. "That's DVD. Look at the textures. Look at his jacket. Look at his face. You can't see a lot of detail."

After the trailer, the feature begins. "OK," he says, "now it's film. See how much blacker the black is?"

Stepping outside, Belove lights a cigarette and runs a hand through his hair. "Why would I charge people for a format they could see at home?"

There's a lot of great trivia within the article (like Pixar deleting all of Toy Story 2), but it's an interesting read. There's only three theaters left here in Vegas that project in 35mm (all being independent chains: a multiplex, a drive-in, and a second-run) and who knows if they'll go all digital or just end up out of business based upon how the business is trending. It would suck especially for that drive-in as I had some of the best moments of my young adult life there.

Ash Ketchum
04-13-12, 12:50 PM
Is there any way Nolan can override the wishes of the studio and set up special screenings in 35mm at selected sites? I'd much prefer to see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES on film than digital.

Why So Blu?
04-13-12, 12:57 PM
It's a great article. I wish they'd gotten Robert Rodriguez in on the discussion.

Mabuse
04-13-12, 01:19 PM
1. I thought I read that Nolan shot The Dark Knight Rises in full IMAX 70 mm. Is that not the case?

2. That article claims James Cameron's Avatar got the ball rolling back in 2009. The 3-D blockbuster could only be shown via digital projectors, and so the first wave of theaters upgraded in a hurry.There were 35 mm prints of Avatar, they were 2D. And the IMAX 3D prints were on celluloid too.

Terrell
04-13-12, 01:25 PM
Interesting article! I can appreciate Nolan's passion for 35mm film. But I can also understand why studios not want to use it any longer. Studios are all about the bottom line. Everything about film is difficult. It's difficult to use, store, restore, etc. Almost everything about digital is cheaper, easier, and better, unless you prefer the look of dirty, yellowed film prints, cigarette burns and flicker.

I'll never understand the aversion to improving technology some in the filmmaking industry have. They're luddites. I suspect Nolan could create a film with 4K digital or future 8K digital, that could produce the look of film along with a vastly superior image quality. The desperate need to save film is something I'll never get. Again, I can understand preserving classic films in this format. I've seen many movie shot in digital, and I didn't enjoy the film less because it wasn't film. In fact, the cleaner, flicker-free image was much more pleasing.

I know my opinion will be unpopular(as all of them seem to be here), and I also know it's unpopular to say anything halfway positive about a film studios. But I can understand the motives in this situation.

DaveyJoe
04-13-12, 01:38 PM
^Now I understand why you like Len Wiseman.

CloverClover
04-13-12, 01:43 PM
It's all very silly. Especially the digital fear tactics. If you keep enough back-ups there's no risk.

35mm is great but unnecessary, film directors need to stop having nostalgia about it and just go digital. They should be grateful on their knees there is still an audience for theatrical cinema, and they should be doing their best to adapt to it.

Even I myself prefer film to digital, but it's a small issue ... make something good and it can even be on a VHS tape. It's lame, they act like they're entitled to shoot on film, not caring that it's irresponsible to the producers who were kind enough to give them millions.

CloverClover
04-13-12, 01:47 PM
I know my opinion will be unpopular(as all of them seem to be here), and I also know it's unpopular to say anything halfway positive about a film studios. But I can understand the motives in this situation.

I agree with you. It was a bigger issue 5+ years ago when digital wasn't as good. At this point though there is no reason, it is just directors with nostalgia being stubborn and afraid of change, thinking like they know better. 35mm isn't a big loss. Focus on making something good, that is what matters. If these directors want film, they should take a couple million out their bank account and make an indie film. or pay for the extra cost out of their salary. I would respect that. but they want to use other peoples money for it, as if they're entitled to it. that is where they're just being mules

Matthew Chmiel
04-13-12, 01:47 PM
Is there any way Nolan can override the wishes of the studio and set up special screenings in 35mm at selected sites? I'd much prefer to see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES on film than digital.
He has a lot of power, but he doesn't have that much power. I would say a majority of the screens The Dark Knight Rises plays on will be digital only based upon the sole fact that AMC, Cinemark and Regal have upgraded a majority of their theaters to DLP.

1. I thought I read that Nolan shot The Dark Knight Rises in full IMAX 70mm. Is that not the case?

2. That article claims There were 35 mm prints of Avatar, they were 2D. And the IMAX 3D prints were on celluloid too.
1. Nolan shot a little under an hour of footage in 70mm. The remainder of the film was shot in 35mm.

2. A majority of Avatar's IMAX 3D screens were digital as IMAX started the conversion to digital projectors in 2008. I posted in a thread on HD Talk which had a list of theaters still projecting IMAX in 70mm to this day and there's 50 theaters are so left in North America.

I know my opinion will be unpopular(as all of them seem to be here), and I also know it's unpopular to say anything halfway positive about a film studios. But I can understand the motives in this situation.
When I saw The Dark Knight in 2008, I saw it three times. Once in 35mm, once in 70mm IMAX, and once in 2K digital projection. The 35mm and 70mm prints beat out the digital version by a long shot; it was nearly a night and day difference.

However, that was in 2008 and now we're in 2012. 4K projectors are becoming the norm in most theaters now. AMC and Regal have gone exclusively to Sony's Digital Cinema 4K projection system. You also have other chains that are competing with IMAX and coming up with their own large-screen formats that either use top-of-the-line digital projectors like Cinemark's XD and Regal's RPX. While film will eventually go away, at least the theaters are offering some incentives on why one would want to catch a film in digital. Based upon my past experiences, I prefer digital setups as there's less chance for fuck ups. The few times I've gone and seen a film in 35mm recently, there's always been something that is off. Let it be misframed projection, to ghosting, to whatever. Those issues tend not to exist in digital theaters.

Another problem is studios aren't releasing any content in 4K other than Sony. I would assume The Dark Knight Rises will be released in 4K like Inception, but where's the content to take advantage of this technology that exists?

Mabuse
04-13-12, 01:51 PM
Here's the potential pitfall. Digital is NOT cheaper for exhibitors. If they sink a lot of money into digital at the same time attendance is dropping (and it is dropping) you're going to see more theater chains go out of business and further consolidation. Many of you may not remember this but 10-12 years ago exhibitors were sprinting to build the biggest multiplexes possible, 20 to 30 screen monsters, and just as they finished construction attendance dropped, many chains went bankrupt, and the theaters today are very different, consolidated under only two companies nation wide.

People's appetite for movies is still very high, but how they watch those movies is changing. More and more each day "going to the theater" is just one of many options a viewer has when he/she wants to see a movie. There will always be a place for theaters, but asking them to sink big bucks into new and ever changing digital projectors right as the landscape is changing might kill theaters completely.

arminius
04-13-12, 01:53 PM
It's all very silly. Especially the digital fear tactics. If you keep enough back-ups there's no risk.

35mm is great but unnecessary, film directors need to stop having nostalgia about it and just go digital. They should be grateful on their knees there is still an audience for theatrical cinema, and they should be doing their best to adapt to it.

Even I myself prefer film to digital, but it's a small issue ... make something good and it can even be on a VHS tape. It's lame, they act like they're entitled to shoot on film, not caring that it's irresponsible to the producers who were kind enough to give them millions.

>rotfl<

Matthew Chmiel
04-13-12, 02:24 PM
Here's the potential pitfall. Digital is NOT cheaper for exhibitors. If they sink a lot of money into digital at the same time attendance is dropping (and it is dropping) you're going to see more theater chains go out of business and further consolidation. Many of you may not remember this but 10-12 years ago exhibitors were sprinting to build the biggest multiplexes possible, 20 to 30 screen monsters, and just as they finished construction attendance dropped, many chains went bankrupt, and the theaters today are very different, consolidated under only two companies nation wide.

People's appetite for movies is still very high, but how they watch those movies is changing. More and more each day "going to the theater" is just one of many options a viewer has when he/she wants to see a movie. There will always be a place for theaters, but asking them to sink big bucks into new and ever changing digital projectors right as the landscape is changing might kill theaters completely.
... and that's why the studios need to help pay for more of these digital installations. Not every theater, specifically the independently owned ones, will be able to afford to convert all of their screens over to digital. The studios need to foot some of the bill just like they foot the bill for 3D glasses.

However, if theaters want to succeed, they need to focus more on the customer service aspect as well. What benefits do I get going there besides seeing a movie on a larger screen and better sound system than I have in my house? While I love the theater closest to me because the staff isn't full of fucktards, another theater I go has the most inept staff in the world.

Mabuse
04-13-12, 02:27 PM
... and that's why the studios need to help pay for more of these digital installations. Not every theater, specifically the independently owned ones, will be able to afford to convert all of their screens over to digital. The studios need to foot some of the bill just like they foot the bill for 3D glasses.

As the article points out the time is rapidly approaching when studios will no longer subsidize conversion and the cost will be entirely upon theaters.

Supermallet
04-13-12, 06:05 PM
Here's the potential pitfall. Digital is NOT cheaper for exhibitors. If they sink a lot of money into digital at the same time attendance is dropping (and it is dropping) you're going to see more theater chains go out of business and further consolidation. Many of you may not remember this but 10-12 years ago exhibitors were sprinting to build the biggest multiplexes possible, 20 to 30 screen monsters, and just as they finished construction attendance dropped, many chains went bankrupt, and the theaters today are very different, consolidated under only two companies nation wide.

People's appetite for movies is still very high, but how they watch those movies is changing. More and more each day "going to the theater" is just one of many options a viewer has when he/she wants to see a movie. There will always be a place for theaters, but asking them to sink big bucks into new and ever changing digital projectors right as the landscape is changing might kill theaters completely.

This is why studios AND exhibitors have been so big on 3D. It gets people into theaters and can't be pirated.

The thing is, though, digital is inevitable. The studios are saving money, and they make the movies. The distributors will have to keep up. In the long run it may mean the studios will have to continue to subsidize, but it's going to happen.

Of course, as someone who works daily with 70mm IMAX, I would love for some film formats to stick around. There are no digital systems capable of reproducing the fidelity of 70mm IMAX, and I would hope that IMAX doesn't rush to a digital solution that is inferior, but money is money.

devilshalo
04-13-12, 07:38 PM
You would think studios would not support this format for fear of piracy. :shrug:

Matthew Chmiel
04-13-12, 07:39 PM
Of course, as someone who works daily with 70mm IMAX, I would love for some film formats to stick around. There are no digital systems capable of reproducing the fidelity of 70mm IMAX, and I would hope that IMAX doesn't rush to a digital solution that is inferior, but money is money.
IMAX is rushing to a digital solution with their laser projectors that will be replacing all existing 70mm and digital setups currently in place. While that laser projector will most likely be 4K in resolution, nobody knows if it'll be a similar system to what exists now and consist of actually 2 4K projectors.

It'll be interesting how IMAX plays out within the next few years.

Solid Snake
04-13-12, 08:06 PM
Here's the thing of film from a visual standpoint. It has a look. Each stock has it's look. A look that can't be created by digital. YET. It's closer than ever now. But I like to shoot on 16mm to make my projects. that's my preferred film. I don't have a reason for 35mm yet. And digital is such a pain in the ass when it comes to motion, the blur it gives off at times etc. I'll keep shooting on film until it's gone. My 16mm film has a look. A look that can't be created by digital yet unless it's in post. But that's pointless when I'm shooting.

Terrell
04-14-12, 11:08 AM
Now I understand why you like Len Wiseman.

I don't really give a damn what you think, nor did I ask for your opinion. You're just another nimrod on the internet who thinks his opinion is superior.

As for Wiseman, I have no special affinity for Wiseman. I happen to think he's a pretty good director. He certainly has room to improve. I thoroughly enjoyed Live Free or Die Hard. Too bad the studio had to chop it up so they could sanitize it. I also liked the original Underworld, and I enjoyed the two hour pilot to Hawaii Five-O that he directed. I'm also interested to see what he can do with Total Recall. If you don't like that, tough sh*t.

I also love the work of Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Ridley Scott, and Paul Thomas Anderson. Then again, I'm not a film snob. I don't need every film to be Best Picture caliber to enjoy it, nor does it need critical approval. I also don't need your approval of my tastes.

Now, would you like to add something substantive, or would you prefer to continue being a smartass?

Terrell
04-14-12, 11:15 AM
He has a lot of power, but he doesn't have that much power. I would say a majority of the screens The Dark Knight Rises plays on will be digital only based upon the sole fact that AMC, Cinemark and Regal have upgraded a majority of their theaters to DLP.


1. Nolan shot a little under an hour of footage in 70mm. The remainder of the film was shot in 35mm.

2. A majority of Avatar's IMAX 3D screens were digital as IMAX started the conversion to digital projectors in 2008. I posted in a thread on HD Talk which had a list of theaters still projecting IMAX in 70mm to this day and there's 50 theaters are so left in North America.


When I saw The Dark Knight in 2008, I saw it three times. Once in 35mm, once in 70mm IMAX, and once in 2K digital projection. The 35mm and 70mm prints beat out the digital version by a long shot; it was nearly a night and day difference.

However, that was in 2008 and now we're in 2012. 4K projectors are becoming the norm in most theaters now. AMC and Regal have gone exclusively to Sony's Digital Cinema 4K projection system. You also have other chains that are competing with IMAX and coming up with their own large-screen formats that either use top-of-the-line digital projectors like Cinemark's XD and Regal's RPX. While film will eventually go away, at least the theaters are offering some incentives on why one would want to catch a film in digital. Based upon my past experiences, I prefer digital setups as there's less chance for fuck ups. The few times I've gone and seen a film in 35mm recently, there's always been something that is off. Let it be misframed projection, to ghosting, to whatever. Those issues tend not to exist in digital theaters.

Another problem is studios aren't releasing any content in 4K other than Sony. I would assume The Dark Knight Rises will be released in 4K like Inception, but where's the content to take advantage of this technology that exists?

I would agree wholeheartedly as it pertains to 2K. I didn't find 2K digital projection to be all that good. 35mm and 70mm easily beat 2K by a country mile. But I don't see that problem with 4K, and future 8K(and you knows it's coming sooner than we think).

I also agree with your point about it being more difficult to screw up a digital screening than a film screening. I've seen many 35mm presentations ruined from the projectionist not knowing what he's doing.

I just think at the end of the day, it's more important what's on the medium, ie the movie, rather than what the medium. Is the Dark Knight going to be a different movie on digital versus film? I highly doubt it.

You would think studios would not support this format for fear of piracy.

To be honest, film never stopped piracy, or even slowed it down. That's the unfortunate truth.

Supermallet
04-14-12, 01:01 PM
You would think studios would not support this format for fear of piracy. :shrug:

The digital files are encoded and require a time-sensitive key to unlock. I have not yet heard of any digital prints being leaked.

IMAX is rushing to a digital solution with their laser projectors that will be replacing all existing 70mm and digital setups currently in place. While that laser projector will most likely be 4K in resolution, nobody knows if it'll be a similar system to what exists now and consist of actually 2 4K projectors.

It'll be interesting how IMAX plays out within the next few years.

I know that IMAX is looking to replace film with laser projectors, but if they can't do better than 4k (and two digital projectors is a stupid solution), what's the point? What differentiates IMAX from regular digital at that point? Nothing. They at least need to get a digital solution that can do 8k, imo, if they plan on staying in business.

RocShemp
04-14-12, 01:26 PM
1. Nolan shot a little under an hour of footage in 70mm. The remainder of the film was shot in 35mm.

Really? Wasn't the plan to shoot the action sequences in IMAX and the dramatic scenes in "standard" 70mm?

Matthew Chmiel
04-14-12, 10:25 PM
I know that IMAX is looking to replace film with laser projectors, but if they can't do better than 4k (and two digital projectors is a stupid solution), what's the point? What differentiates IMAX from regular digital at that point? Nothing. They at least need to get a digital solution that can do 8k, imo, if they plan on staying in business.
70mm IMAX has a resolution of around 10000 × 7000 (1.44:1).

2K digital cinema has a resolution of either 2048 × 1080 (1.85:1).

4K digital cinema has a resolution of 3996 × 2160 (1.85:1).

The reasons why digital IMAX uses two projectors is to increase brightness for large screen use and to hide the visible pixel grid. It might still have the same resolution as your normal 2K projection system, but digital IMAX has the capability of using 4K digital sources. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was sent to digital IMAX theaters as a 4K DCP. Since the projectors extract two separate images, the resolution could achieve something higher than 2K.

If IMAX uses two 4K laser projectors, the same thing applies. Better brightness, a less visible pixel grid and the ability to get sources that's greater than 4K.

It's not as great as 70mm film, but it'll be a far better digital system than what exists now.

Really? Wasn't the plan to shoot the action sequences in IMAX and the dramatic scenes in "standard" 70mm?
No, but Nolan could've shot additional scenes in 65mm a la Inception.

Nick Danger
04-15-12, 04:38 PM
We're going to go digital, like it or not. Studio economics support it.

Nolan sounds a little like Joe Walsh in the late 1980s complaining about CDs. Walsh thought that the only genuine rock and roll sound came from a vinyl record. The big companies ignored him, too.

Supermallet
04-15-12, 05:24 PM
70mm IMAX has a resolution of around 10000 × 7000 (1.44:1).

2K digital cinema has a resolution of either 2048 × 1080 (1.85:1).

4K digital cinema has a resolution of 3996 × 2160 (1.85:1).

The reasons why digital IMAX uses two projectors is to increase brightness for large screen use and to hide the visible pixel grid. It might still have the same resolution as your normal 2K projection system, but digital IMAX has the capability of using 4K digital sources. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was sent to digital IMAX theaters as a 4K DCP. Since the projectors extract two separate images, the resolution could achieve something higher than 2K.

If IMAX uses two 4K laser projectors, the same thing applies. Better brightness, a less visible pixel grid and the ability to get sources that's greater than 4K.

It's not as great as 70mm film, but it'll be a far better digital system than what exists now.

But will that be enough to get people to pay the (imo) exorbitant prices theaters are charging for digital IMAX? I wouldn't pay more for that, frankly.

Matthew Chmiel
04-16-12, 02:16 AM
But will that be enough to get people to pay the (imo) exorbitant prices theaters are charging for digital IMAX? I wouldn't pay more for that, frankly.
No idea. However, I do agree that the price for digital IMAX is bullshit. Why the increase in price despite the fact some digital IMAX screens are barely any bigger than a normal screen? The same applies to XD, RPX, DFX, whatever other "big screen" formats chains are coming out with.

It sucks as the one legitimate IMAX screen Vegas had, at the Luxor, had an amazing 68 x 48 foot screen. I was okay paying a higher premium seeing The Matrix sequels there. On the flip side, I'm not okay with paying a premium seeing a DNR'd to death version of The Hunger Games in digital IMAX (on a screen that's a bit smaller at 60 x 46).

Wait. Let me rephrase that.

I'm not okay with paying $3 as MoviePass covers the other $13 to see a DNR'd to death version of The Hunger Games in digital IMAX. ;)

Supermallet
04-16-12, 09:59 AM
Supposedly the laser system will allow them to fill the large-size screens, but if we're just talking about 4k (or two 4k's) then it still won't look great.

Matthew Chmiel
04-16-12, 09:51 PM
Supposedly the laser system will allow them to fill the large-size screens, but if we're just talking about 4k (or two 4k's) then it still won't look great.
I've only seen two films that I personally know were projected in 4K. Kick-Ass and The Social Network.

Kick-Ass was during a special occasion during ShoWest where they converted the Paris Theatre (http://lv1.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Paris-Theater-Seating-Chart.jpg), which holds up to 1500 people, into a gigantic movie theater. You know what? It looked awesome. I don't know what projectors they used or how large the screen was (it was big), but 4K projection could look spectacular.

I'm still skeptical if even 2 4K projectors will compare to 70mm IMAX, but we will see.

islandclaws
04-17-12, 02:34 PM
I know this is going to majorly hurt one of my favorite theaters, the New Beverly in Hollywood. Nothing compares to seeing classics in 35mm with a packed house, and replacing those prints with digital will lose a lot of the charm that comes with seeing those vintage films. I wonder how they'll react given that QT owns the property.

Why So Blu?
04-17-12, 02:39 PM
I know this is going to majorly hurt one of my favorite theaters, the New Beverly in Hollywood. Nothing compares to seeing classics in 35mm with a packed house, and replacing those prints with digital will lose a lot of the charm that comes with seeing those vintage films. I wonder how they'll react given that QT owns the property.

If you read closely in that article, New Beverly does have a digital projector. I doubt QT follows their day-to-day operations. Unless he's programming for the night or week then he leaves to management.

I love that theater, btw.

Supermallet
04-17-12, 03:42 PM
I've only seen two films that I personally know were projected in 4K. Kick-Ass and The Social Network.

Kick-Ass was during a special occasion during ShoWest where they converted the Paris Theatre (http://lv1.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Paris-Theater-Seating-Chart.jpg), which holds up to 1500 people, into a gigantic movie theater. You know what? It looked awesome. I don't know what projectors they used or how large the screen was (it was big), but 4K projection could look spectacular.

I'm still skeptical if even 2 4K projectors will compare to 70mm IMAX, but we will see.

I've seen three 4k presentations, Sunshine and restorations of Dr. Strangelove and Blade Runner. Dr. Strangelove was indistinguishable from 35mm. Blade Runner looked almost as good. I think Sunshine was a 2k file being played on a 4k because it didn't look great.

I think 4k can look very good. It can't look 70mm IMAX good, though.

Giles
04-17-12, 03:44 PM
interestingly quite a few movies at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival were digital projection.

TCM Classic Film Festival: Films (http://www.tcm.com/festival/programs/general/457410/films-index.html)

the Landmark theater chain has been the one hold out in keeping the digital conversion at bay - supposedly the Washington DC theaters: E Street and Bethesda were rumoured to get converted this spring - yet I have not seen any further claims or news regarding this.

Matthew Chmiel
04-25-12, 03:48 PM
Only to update the thread based upon past discussion:

Today’s the day when tech companies — especially in projection and audio — will make their big sales pitches to theater owners at their annual convention in Las Vegas. But one of the more intriguing developments in the industry is taking place in a private screening room in LA: Last week IMAX began showing execs from Sony, Paramount, Warner Bros, CAA and overseas movie chains a prototype of its new laser projection technology, incorporating the patents that it bought last year from Kodak. IMAX execs say that the process, which sends digital images through two 4K projectors, offers a much brighter picture than conventional IMAX print and digital projectors do, and with richer color saturation — including ultra dark blacks. That’s a big deal for IMAX: It’s trying to appeal to fanboys by scheduling lots of dark and brooding action films including Warner Bros’ upcoming The Dark Knight and Fox’s Prometheus. Unlike projectors that use bulbs, images from the laser technology don’t fade at the far reaches of the frame — and don’t dim over time. As a result, “we can now build screens that are larger than any screens that exist in the world,” says Greg Foster, president of filmed entertainment for IMAX. CEO Rich Gelfond adds that new process, to be rolled out beginning in late 2013, “is going to usher in the age of laser technology in a broader way.” IMAX is already looking at building screens that are about twice as wide as the 70-foot wide ones it frequently uses for digital projectors. With today’s technology the images become too dim on screens larger than that. That’s been a problem for IMAX; it has had to keep using conventional prints at its screens that run larger than 70 feet. Since ordinary IMAX film prints can cost as much as $50,000 apiece — as opposed to $175 for a digital print — it has been uneconomical for the chain to frequently swap films in and out of some of its biggest theaters.

Astrofan
04-25-12, 06:06 PM
On a different note, I don't understand the title of the article. "Hollywood" is either a name for a non-existent town, or slang for the conglomerate of movie studios that aren't even in LA anymore.

Going with the commonly accepted second usage the article's name would be, "Movie Studios Are Forcing Movie Studios to Abandon 35mm Film." Or I guess it could be, "Movie Studios Are Forcing Residents of the Hollywood Section of Los Angeles to Abandon 35mm Film."

Mabuse
04-26-12, 11:51 AM
"Movie studios" are movie stuidos. "Hollywood" is the people who work in the industry (even if they don't live in Hollywood). Hollywood is a neighborhood of Los Angeles. It's not a distinct city (like Beverly Hills) but it is a place, like Brentwood, Westwood, Bel Aire, etc. There's also a North Hollywood and a West Hollywood (which IS it's own city). Crazy.

Matthew Chmiel
04-26-12, 11:54 AM
also a North Hollywood and a West Hollywood (which IS it's own city). Crazy.
If I had an unlimited amount of money, I'd live in West Hollywood as the gays keep it in tip-top shape compared to the rest of Los Angeles.

Labor
04-26-12, 12:03 PM
Michael Bay, Bryan Singer, Jon Favreau, Eli Roth, Duncan Jones, Stephen Daldry.

Wow, thats like a who's who of utterly mediocre and disposable directors.

No surprise these are the people that are on Nolan's side. Hacks attract other hacks I suppose.

Solid Snake
04-26-12, 12:30 PM
That article doesn't mention they are on Nolan's side. Also you forgot to mention Wright. Where'd you get that they were on his side?

Singer used the Red EPIC, digital camera, for Jack The Giant Killer. Bay has used digital as well for TF3, part of it was still 35mm. Jones also has worked w/ Digital. Daldry used an Arri Alexa for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Not sure on Faverau or Wright, I'd swear it was 35mm for the both of them on their last films. So if anything some of these people would be the progression in not being on Nolan's side.

Looks like someone's got some blind hate.

gp1086
04-26-12, 12:36 PM
Pardon my complete ignorance on this topic, but can you all (or most people) tell the difference between watching movies that are film vs. digital? Personally, I could never tell / never noticed any difference up until reading this article a couple weeks ago. Only exception is the obvious difference of watching movies filmed in IMAX (i.e. Dark Knight action scenes) in the actual IMAX theater because the whole screen fills up, which looks amazing obviously. For watching at home though or normal non-IMAX screen, I don't really notice the difference.

bluetoast
04-26-12, 12:38 PM
Plus people "on Nolan's side" would include Tarantino and Spielberg.

Solid Snake
04-26-12, 01:29 PM
Talking about those two. Has Nolan ever met them? Or has any one of them met each other? You'd think w/ this coming they'd want to meet up and talk at some point.

I can't imagine Tarantino and Nolan in a room together. Spielberg would be a great in between for the both of them.

Mabuse
04-26-12, 01:53 PM
Pardon my complete ignorance on this topic, but can you all (or most people) tell the difference between watching movies that are film vs. digital? Personally, I could never tell / never noticed any difference up until reading this article a couple weeks ago. Only exception is the obvious difference of watching movies filmed in IMAX (i.e. Dark Knight action scenes) in the actual IMAX theater because the whole screen fills up, which looks amazing obviously. For watching at home though or normal non-IMAX screen, I don't really notice the difference.With early digital features I (and most people) could definately tell the difference. A film like Colatoral is obviously video and looks very different than film. Nowadays it's getting very hard to tell. Social Network and Girl w/ Dragon Tatoo are hard to tell it's video. A good way to tell is if nighttime or indoor dark scenes are underlit and yet still look sharp and have deep focus. 35 mm can't do that. Other than that I really can't tell and have been fooled a few times.

I actually prefer the look of early video (like Colatoral), when it was used to give a movie a look that was discernably different. Today's video is TRYING to look just like 35 mm. If you want to look just like 35 then use 35.

bluetoast
04-26-12, 02:07 PM
Talking about those two. Has Nolan ever met them? Or has any one of them met each other? You'd think w/ this coming they'd want to meet up and talk at some point.

I can't imagine Tarantino and Nolan in a room together. Spielberg would be a great in between for the both of them.

I don't know about any of them meeting, but there was a director's roundtable with Bigelow, Cameron, Tarantino, the dude who directed Precious and Reitman. Tarantino and Cameron were of course on opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to digital vs. film. It was all friendly, but cool to see those two together.

Strevlac
04-26-12, 07:10 PM
I've seen three 4k presentations, Sunshine and restorations of Dr. Strangelove and Blade Runner. Dr. Strangelove was indistinguishable from 35mm. Blade Runner looked almost as good. I think Sunshine was a 2k file being played on a 4k because it didn't look great.

I think 4k can look very good. It can't look 70mm IMAX good, though.

Probably because it's a modern DI production and only finished in 2K, like way too many films produced in the 00's.

Supermallet
04-27-12, 12:15 AM
Pardon my complete ignorance on this topic, but can you all (or most people) tell the difference between watching movies that are film vs. digital? Personally, I could never tell / never noticed any difference up until reading this article a couple weeks ago. Only exception is the obvious difference of watching movies filmed in IMAX (i.e. Dark Knight action scenes) in the actual IMAX theater because the whole screen fills up, which looks amazing obviously. For watching at home though or normal non-IMAX screen, I don't really notice the difference.

There are ways to tell if a movie is shown in digital or film. Digital will have pixels, although with modern projectors you'd have to get into the first rows to notice them (if the projectors are correctly calibrated and maintained). Also, there's no jitter in the image and there will never be any scratches.

Film does have jitter, and can have scratches and/or dirt.

Solid Snake
04-27-12, 05:22 PM
I don't know about any of them meeting, but there was a director's roundtable with Bigelow, Cameron, Tarantino, the dude who directed Precious and Reitman. Tarantino and Cameron were of course on opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to digital vs. film. It was all friendly, but cool to see those two together.

I remember it. And I enjoyed it a lot as well. Tarantino twitched a bit w/ Cameron kept saying that film would be gone and etc.