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John Poore

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About John Poore

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  • Birthday 01/24/1947

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    Editor
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    MPLS
  1. I found it quite emotional because I know the HISTORY behind it. My mother was a war bride from Liverpool and met my dad while in London as a member of the WAC. (They first met on an open air double decker bus) So if operation "Dynamo" had not been a success, Britain would most likely have been invaded. The fact that it was so successful (300k soldiers repatriated) was crucial to the outcome of WWII. Probably also to my very existence. The rest of you might be speaking German and Goose-stepping. As a film student of the 1970's I have always sought out 70mm films on the largest screen available. I am lucky enough to live in MPLS/St Paul where the Zoo Imax still has 70/15 projection. I found the film very engaging and had to go back again to evaluate all the technical issues in producing the film. I did not find the ratio changes or focus issues at all distracting and experienced the same emotions the second time around. I'm definitely going back for a 3rd viewing before it ends this weekend. On another note: I have a 40" Sony HD 4/3 and 16/9 combo tube type TV and would love to see an Imax non-windowboxed Blu Ray
  2. Minnesota is not listed but I just purchased a ticket for the first showing at 7PM July 20th at the MN Zoo Imax theatre. See attachment.Minneapolis has a lot to see and do. Why not make it a weekend. The Zoo is just a few minutes south of the airport and Mall of America.
  3. My favorite theatre was the Ellen in Bozeman, MT where I went to MSU for film & TV. I was lucky enough to arrive just 2 years before the long time manager retired. He was 80 years old and played the pipe organ almost every day. His rendition of "Chatanooga Choo Choo" included all the chuffing and bells and wistles of a steam engine leaving the station. He insisted on maximum "showmanship". The changeover from Cartoon reel with previews to the main feature included checkerboard traveler close, footlights up projector 2 and lamp start, CHANGEOVER, curtain open, footlights down, check focus, projector 1 off, and lamp off. All of that in 15 seconds. After a few weeks I was able to get er done. The next summer he made me head projectionist for two theatres and a Drive In (The Starlight) now long gone. I forgot about the main drape, a gold waterfall which was light with yellow footlights. Show start was house lights out, waterfall up change to blue and yellow foots for the green & white checkerboard, start projector open dowser, checkerboard open, foots down, and the show is on. I LOVED DOING THAT. It was a real thrill when the timings were all just right. "SHOWMANSHIP" Two of the theatres had Motiograph projectors that I just loved. If threaded properly the had very little intermittent noise. The trick was to get the top and bottom loops just right. One sprocket hole either way and the racket commenced. They also had more room in the head for fat hands, not that mine were fat, it was just easier to thread. It was also to do a very fast rethread after a film break, although I luckily had very few of them. Sorry if I ramble on and on, I just love sharing with a younger generation.
  4. Yes, I agree. My home theatre includes a 40" Sony XBR tube TV for Classic Films (especially B&W) and a 48" Sony 16x9 for live TV and Blu Ray. I own at least 1,200 films on DVD & Blu so, no I don't go out to movies as much as I used to. But I always search out these special presentations. I should point out that I last worked as a projectionist in 1974. Since then I have tried to visit "the booth" when I can, but automation means there is seldom anyone there. One family owned multiplex I did visit went out of their way to maintain film quality by installing humidifiers to "mist the booth". They also HAD a system to run one print in two or more screens using a back and forth roller system and guides running down the wall to the next projector. Very fascinating and must have been fun to thread!! But those days are now gone.
  5. As a film student in the late 70's I got to see a lot of 70mm film in a school sponsored trip to Hollywood. (Patton, Paint Your Wagon, Airport [#1] etc). I love the film medium!! That being said, I also love digital because the medium does not have film damage - scratches, oil deposits, paper punch cue marks thru 8 to ten frames, etc. I was dissappointed with "Hateful Eight" in 70/5 because the brand new print had green lines down the right side of the film for quite a few minutes. That would be a quality control issue but the film damage is due to poor film handling at the theatre. I worked as a projectionist while going to college and for another 2 years afterwards. I saw some pretty badly mutilated prints coming from supposedly FIRST RUN houses. So that is why I cheer for digital - the guy in the booth can't damage the print. All of that said, I still search out 70mm releases as long as I know they are on a truly big screen. 70/5 or 70/15 on a 50 foot multiplex screen is just a waste of my time! CHEERS and CUDOS to Christopher Nolan and anyone else that keeps film alive with TRUE ROADSHOW QUALITY films and presentation. The one thing about the Imax Projector is the use of the rolling gate and a smooth film handling chain that reduces the amount of film deterioration. The MN Zoo Imax owns some 70mm15perf prints that have had many showings but still look very good. So by all means search out film presentations but for the run of the mill Hollywood product give me a digital print every time.
  6. My 1970 Cinematographer Manual says that 35mm Vistavision is 35mm x 8 perf and has a projectable area almost identical to 70mm 5 perf and can be optically printed to 70mm prints almost 1 for 1. So there is no "blowing up" of the frame. That is why Lucasfilm used Vistavision cameras for the fx work on the original trilogy. The cost of 35mm neg was much less than 70mm and the Vistavision cameras were easily modified for multiple pass fx work.
  7. As a former projectionist I have a comment on this issue. In my era ('65-'72) all of the theatres I worked at had apature plates that were filed out to match the dimension of the screen. The largest theatre I worked was a 1,500 seat house with a 40 degree down angle to the 80 foot screen which was curved in by about 3 feet and had both top and bottom masking curtains. The apature plates for Scope had a decided curve to the top and bottom. Since the masking was brought in quite a way for the Flat films they did not show as much curve. The top masking was raised 2-3 feet and the sides brought in 4 feet. We could also adjust the top masking to provide masking for any flat ratio from 1.66 to 1 to 2.0 to 1 (rare but I ran into one). We simply adjusted the framing knob to match the bottom of frame to the bottom of the screen and then manually adjusted the top masking. In a multiplex I was working at one screen was set up for full 2.35 to 1 Scope with a cantilevered screen with neon around the back of the frame. When set to the proper dim illumination it had the effect of looking thru a window. For flat projection the effect of the contrast between neon backlighting and bright picture was a "natural" black mask. The second screen was in a smaller auditorium and both scope and flat were framed at 2 to 1. As a film student I thought this was terrible!!! MY POINT: Aspect ratio can be manipulated anywhere in the film chain from production to exhibition.
  8. I use Sony Vegas and the crop feature for clips allows for infinite unsqueezing of anamorphic sources. There are not presets but with a little experimentation you can save a custom preset of your own. The key is to select the drop down for "maintain aspect" and select "NO". To make sure it is correct measure the image on your monitor and divide the width by the height and it should give you the ratio.
  9. The college I attended had a 35mm set up for student union film series. The anamorphic lenses had a large dial on top so that you could adjust the anamorphic setting. If we had only 1 or 2 flat previews we would often run the first reel with the left projector set for a windowbox look on the trailer and then unsqueeze on the studio logo for the feature. Of course, if there wasn't room for the trailers at the head of reel one we would use a separate short reel for them and just change lenses before reel 2
  10. Jesse First I must state that "Rogue One" was an Optical print to 70mm 15 Perf film. Although the prologue for "Dunkirk" filled the entire Imax screen the R1 projection was of a Cinemascope letterboxed format similar to pre high def DVD or VHS. This still presents an image roughly similar to 70mm 5 Perf. As far as the image Quality, I could detect no difference in image quality. I do know that for films that are shot mixed film and digital the digital portions are often overlaid with film grain to make them look more alike so that the different scenes don't have a jarring effect. Someone else can comment on that. I am not a cinematographer but have a BS in film and television from Montana State University and traveled to LA in the late 60's when MGM had their auction sale. We saw "Paint Your Wagon", "Patton", and "Airport" All in 70mm 5 perf. In my travels over the last 40 some years, I have always sought out any 70/5 presentations I could. The recent "Hateful Eight" was disappointing to me as the screen size at the Edina Cinema was not comparable to the old movie "Palaces" where I saw these films. The one benefit of the MN Zoo Imax is the very large screen. ( They claim the largest in the upper Midwest ) I am of a generation who witnessed the end of the "Showmanship" era of movie theatres. Main drapes that slowly rose or opened, Masking of the screen by black travelers for the previews and cartoon, closing of the drape between those and the main feature, not to mention special lighting on the main drape and pipe organ etc. All of that went away with automation. My edition of the AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER doesn't cover Imax but the description of film formats and the process of blowing up or optical printing of various formats from one to another is very informative.
  11. The Imax theatre at the MN Zoo is approximately 85 feet wide by six stories high (60-70 feet?), When using their 70mm 15 Perf projector the image goes wall to wall and floor to ceiling. The Imax digital goes to within 3 or 4 feet of the edge of the screen. So, no it does not compare exactly. See my post in the Dunkirk thread for a description of my visit to the projection booth.
  12. New member here. I signed up because I recently had a tour of the Minnesota Zoo Imax Booth. They had sent out an email blast that they had not received the hard drive for their newest attraction so they would show a 70/15 Imax of Star Wars: Rogue One. I arrived early enough and got the tour. The projectionists were in the process of changing the booth from Imax digital to 70mm. The digital projectors are slid to the left on metal rails and the 70mm projector is moved about 5 feet forward into the window. Two 3 tier platter systems are to the left. All of the audio and hard drive systems are on the right. The print of Rogue One had a 5 minute full Imax prologue of "DUNKIRK" . It was not a "trailer" but the actual prologue with a coming soon at the end. The projectionist told me they expected to get a 70/15 print in July. The Zoo Imax is the largest screen in the upper Midwest and is approximately 60x85 feet. They show Imax science programming in the mornings and Hollywood epics in the afternoon and evening. Saint Paul is home to a convertible Omnimax/Imax theatre at the Science Museum.
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