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Keith Walters

The end of film for TV production?

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An 819 line interlaced monochrome system was tried in France after the war, but it was never a commercial success.

-- J.S.

Actually it was the monochrome TV standard for France, in commercial use from 1949 to 1986. Certainly no other country was interested in using it, so it wasn't successful that way, but millions of French Couch potatoes seemed content with it.

 

However, while the 819 line system is theoretically capable of higher horizontal resolution than 525 or 625 line systems, in practice no video source available at the time (apart from electronic pattern generators) could actually produce anything like that resolution. They had originally envisaged an 819 line compatible colour system, but eventually they realized that was never going to happen, so they decided to use 625 lines like sensible people. (The story of how comprehensively they managed to screw up the SECAM system reads like something Inspector Clouseau would have been proud of).

 

The same goes for the German experiments. You could up the scan rate of just about any camera tube to any figure you like, but the resolution is still going to limited by the scanning spot size. It's also going to drastically reduce the camera sensitivity. So while they may have managed to get an iconoscope tube to run at 1,000 lines, it could only be used in Death Valley at Midday lighting conditions.

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Could a three gun, RGB laser scan line out a satisfactory movie image onto a screen? It could do continuous beam as analog or a pulsed beam for digital.

Experimental systems of one sort or another have been around since the 1960s.

The biggest problem used to be the relatively short lifespan of the argon laser used to produce the blue and green beams.

Lasers are not terribly efficient as light sources, they're just very good at concentrating light into narrow beams. Once you spread it out onto a 50 foot screen it starts to look pretty dull. Hence you need a very powerful laser, which requires a lot of maintenance and has a very short operational life, much less than a normal projector lamp.

Mechanical stability of the scanning drum is another major issue.

 

This is however exactly the system used in the ArriLaser, although it doesn't work in real time.

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... if you claim that you never see dirt, scratches, and flicker in a theater you must either be vision impaired or attending only studio screenings of one-off prints. ...

AC Electricity would be a significant contributing factor in causing flicker. If a Projector's Light were powered by DC, there should be no flicker phenomenon.

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AC Electricity would be a significant contributing factor in causing flicker. If a Projector's Light were powered by DC, there should be no flicker phenomenon.

 

What?

 

Flicker is visible in film projectors because the typically 48Hz stroboscopy of the rotating shutter is, just about, and especially on bright scenes, visible to the human eye.

 

Effectively no serious theatrical projector uses an AC lightsource, anyway - everything from carbon arc up to xenon has relied on enormous rectifiers to produce DC power for the lamp.

 

P

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Your opinion, not fact. And not shared universally.

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, we get it. You don't like EFilm. I don't know why, nor do I care. I'm quite sure that not having the Karl Borowski seal of approval is not going to substantially hurt their business. Not to mention that I think it will come as a surprise to the producers and directors of photography of pictures like "Iron Man," "Angels and Demons," "Revolutionary Road," and countless others that their movies looked "crummy."

 

I'm, frankly, pretty offended by your statements here. If I am not credible to you, then I am not going to waste anymore time talking to a brick wall.

 

Look up the 4K for yourself. It was a link on the net to a newspaper article I think. I sure-as-hell am not going to do leg-work for someone who couldn't care less about my learned opinions.

 

As a cinematography/lab tech afficionado, my JOB is the highest image quality possible. Entertainment is entertainment, but that doesn't mean that the best actors and craftsmen in this industry should adopt a "good enough" attitude.

 

Would you like working with a good enough grip or a good enough film lab? How about the good enough lightbulb company?

 

 

I am not against reductions in quality when it is necessary to telling the story. No tripods, zoom lenses, shakey-cam, S16, high-speed HD? Don't have a problem with any of that.

 

But a DI on a movie like "Julie and Julia" or "Inglorious Basterds" where I could spot maybe a dozen shots involving CG and no "challenging lighting situations?"

 

Sounds like someone was being lazy and I don't like it.

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As a cinematography/lab tech afficionado, my JOB is the highest image quality possible. Entertainment is entertainment, but that doesn't mean that the best actors and craftsmen in this industry should adopt a "good enough" attitude.

 

Would you like working with a good enough grip or a good enough film lab? How about the good enough lightbulb company?

 

I am not against reductions in quality when it is necessary to telling the story. No tripods, zoom lenses, shakey-cam, S16, high-speed HD? Don't have a problem with any of that.

 

I don't agree with Karl's views on DI. DI is just too useful to ignore. Good DI can pass almost undetectably. But, I agree with his concerns about the influence of digital. I suspect so many have had to learn to "make-do" with the new format to keep the bills paid. We should be driven by our art to get better, instead.

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It's actually lower-end photographers who embraced Digital in order to cover up their lack of skill. With Digital they can cheaply take hundreds of pictures in order to get a few good ones. Film requires skill to use -- whether you be a photographer or cinematographer. Lower-end cinematographers will be the ones to eagerly embrace Digital. It will make them look more skilled than they are. However, they'll regret it in the long run as they suffer retrieval problems.

 

Once the mags are loaded or the hard drives are hooked up its all the same. When it comes to operating a camera, not creating an artistic image, film is actually easier than running a RED.

 

Also, You really think that only "lower-end" photographers/cinematographers use digital? Peter Jackson/Steven Soderbergh lower-end?

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I don't agree with Karl's views on DI. DI is just too useful to ignore. Good DI can pass almost undetectably. But, I agree with his concerns about the influence of digital. I suspect so many have had to learn to "make-do" with the new format to keep the bills paid. We should be driven by our art to get better, instead.

 

I think a (calibrated, properly-done) 4K DI is as-good-as if not better than the 35mm optical route. Colors are a bit flat, but resolution is probably better, especially if you are eliminating one or two generations.

 

2Ks, however, almost look out-of-focus or underexposed to my eye.

 

 

Again, I wouldn't be a vehement opponent of this process at all. . . if it were done right at a reasonable resolution.

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I'm, frankly, pretty offended by your statements here. If I am not credible to you, then I am not going to waste anymore time talking to a brick wall.

 

Look up the 4K for yourself. It was a link on the net to a newspaper article I think. I sure-as-hell am not going to do leg-work for someone who couldn't care less about my learned opinions.

 

Saying that an entire theater chain is "sending back" 4K projectors is a pretty major statement that I or anyone else would be pretty foolish to take on faith from a post on an Internet forum. I did attempt to find even one article anywhere that corroborated your statement, but all I could find were articles - quite a few of them - detailing the deal between Regal and Sony to supply all of their theaters with Sony's 4K projection equipment. So no, I don't trust your "learned opinion" on this when I can't find any way to confirm its truth, and particularly when I only find information to the contrary, either in print, electronically, or via conversations with people I know who are deeply involved in such things.

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Saying that an entire theater chain is "sending back" 4K projectors is a pretty major statement that I or anyone else would be pretty foolish to take on faith from a post on an Internet forum.

 

No it is not a major statement. Do you know how few 4K screens are currently out there?

 

I am sure it is only a temporary thing, mind you, but 4K projection has stalled in a big way for the time being.

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http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/mkt-digitalci...Locations.shtml

 

Can't find the article. May have been just a smaller chain, but there clearly aren't many 4K facilities currently in operation.

 

This is just Sony 4K projection, but how many other manufacturers are there?

 

 

Why are we even arguing this? Do you or does anyone else here really think that 2K is "good enough"?

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Here's the thing: Texas Instruments are reported to be working on new generation 4K DLP systems.

One could be forgiven for suspecting that Sony are making a big push to get their LCOS 4K systems out there, before anybody realizes there might be other options.

 

DLP modulators are generally more efficient light-wise than any type of LCD and do not suffer significant aging effects.

They are also the only true "Digital" projectors. Each micromirror's "on" time is controlled by a binary number stored in its associated frame memory.

Unless the micromirror actually fails, there is no mechanism whereby this can change, now, or ten years down the track, so it is a true "Digital" controller.

 

With LCD, the binary number is converted to an analog voltage that controls the resistance of a MOS transistor in series with the AC Drive.

As the LCD ages and/or heats up, the analog characteristics of these components can change, because it is really just an analog device driven by a digital signal.

(Just as a so-called "Digital" camera is really an extremely analog pickup device attached to a digital processor).

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http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/mkt-digitalci...Locations.shtml

 

Can't find the article. May have been just a smaller chain, but there clearly aren't many 4K facilities currently in operation.

 

You stated that Regal Cinemas, specifically, was "sending back" 4K projectors. Articles I found say very much the opposite:

 

http://www.dcinematoday.com/dc/PR.aspx?newsID=1443

http://www.sonyinsider.com/2009/05/19/rega...eater-near-you/

 

This is just Sony 4K projection, but how many other manufacturers are there?

 

None with actual product at the moment. By late next year, at least 2 TI DLP Cinema manufacturing partners are expected to have 4K DLP product.

 

Why are we even arguing this? Do you or does anyone else here really think that 2K is "good enough"?

 

That depends on 1) screen size, and 2) whether the viewer prefers better contrast (the DLP Cinema technology has noticeably better blacks than the Sony SXRD system) or smoother edges (primarily visible only at very large screen sizes).

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I am sure it is only a temporary thing, mind you, but 4K projection has stalled in a big way for the time being.

 

The digital projection rollout - 2K, 4K, doesn't make any difference - as a whole has stalled because of the current worldwide economic situation. The adoption curve that was predicted as little as 1 1/2 years ago has changed considerably because of that.

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Once the mags are loaded or the hard drives are hooked up its all the same. When it comes to operating a camera, not creating an artistic image, film is actually easier than running a RED.

 

Also, You really think that only "lower-end" photographers/cinematographers use digital? Peter Jackson/Steven Soderbergh lower-end?

 

Dustin, go to DVXUser.com and see how many of those guys could actually load a 400' mag of 16mm or a 1000' mag of 35mm. How many could even use a focus puller?

 

Peter Jackson is a director, not a DP. He doesn't operate anything, that I know of. So what if he had some dream sequences shot in RED, he made his mark in LOTR which was 35mm film. He is unlikely to duplicate his success in that. He really isn't much of anything anymore, to be honest.

 

Soderbergh? You mean the man who made Che but, as Keith so nicely pointed out, couldn't make it to the multiplex. I would say doing straight to DVD work does make you lower end.

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...I would say doing straight to DVD work does make you lower end.

 

I'll correct myself...it did manage to get up to almost 100 screens in the UK and upwards of 50 screens in the USA at it's high point and bring in such whopping total US returns as 1.7 million despite it's approx. 30m budget. :lol:

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Peter Jackson is a director, not a DP. He doesn't operate anything, that I know of. So what if he had some dream sequences shot in RED, he made his mark in LOTR which was 35mm film. He is unlikely to duplicate his success in that. He really isn't much of anything anymore, to be honest.

 

Well, he's got a reasonably high profile picture coming out pretty soon ("The Lovely Bones"), and as a producer, he produced the recently released and reasonably successful "District 9," and will be producing the upcoming Hobbit pictures. I wouldn't exactly call that "not much of anything anymore."

 

Soderbergh? You mean the man who made Che but, as Keith so nicely pointed out, couldn't make it to the multiplex. I would say doing straight to DVD work does make you lower end.

 

No, I think he probably meant the man who made "Sex Lies and Videotape," "Solaris," "Traffic," and three very successful "Oceans" pictures, among other more experimental projects.

 

For some reason, you seem to be very dismissive of pretty successful people with a proven track record.

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Well, he's got a reasonably high profile picture coming out pretty soon ("The Lovely Bones"), and as a producer, he produced the recently released and reasonably successful "District 9," and will be producing the upcoming Hobbit pictures. I wouldn't exactly call that "not much of anything anymore."

 

 

 

No, I think he probably meant the man who made "Sex Lies and Videotape," "Solaris," "Traffic," and three very successful "Oceans" pictures, among other more experimental projects.

 

For some reason, you seem to be very dismissive of pretty successful people with a proven track record.

 

And how many of those successful productions of Soderbergh's were shot on the RED Michael? Proven track record or not, it doesn't make their use of a digital camera suddenly canonize digital. It seems funny that Che, the movie that many REDHeads are saying is a symbol of the RED revolution, is a bust.

 

As far as Peter Jackson, he will not match LOTR and his career can only be on the decline from there. And I wouldn't count on The Hobbit being shot on RED. Producer? Pft...that title carries no weight anymore...Joe Simpson is a movie "Producer." Hell, even Beyonce's dad is a Producer now.

 

For the record, Soderbergh's movies and shooting format are: Traffic - 35mm; Ocean's Thirteen, Twelve, and Eleven - shot on 35mm; Solaris - 35mm; Erin Brokovich - 35mm; Out of Sight - 35mm; Sex, Lies, and Videotape - 35mm...Che - RED One. Nuff said.

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Flicker is visible in film projectors because the typically 48Hz stroboscopy of the rotating shutter is, just about, and especially on bright scenes, visible to the human eye. ...

Are you sure that modern Projectors only expose each Frame twice and not three times? Even my 30-year-old Super8 Projector uses three exposures per Frame for a total of 54 exposures per second. I personally don't experience any problem with flicker. It may vary from person to person. Lack of focus is the problem that bothers my eyes.

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Are you sure that modern Projectors only expose each Frame twice and not three times? Even my 30-year-old Super8 Projector uses three exposures per Frame for a total of 54 exposures per second. I personally don't experience any problem with flicker. It may vary from person to person. Lack of focus is the problem that bothers my eyes.

Three-blade shutters projectors are normally only required for films shot 16-18 frames per second.

They went out of fashion for cinema in the 1920s when films went to 24 frames per second.

 

Apart from giving better motion rendition, 24 frames per second has the same harmonious relationship to 60 Hz AC mains that it does to 60 field/sec NTSC, so lamp flicker was not such an issue in 60Hz countries. In 50Hz areas, films were sometimes run at 25 fps to avoid this problem. Nowadays virtually all cinema projectors use flicker-free DC-driven Xenon arc lamps, and most of them use lightweight electronic power supplies in place of gigantic Transformer/rectifier/filter choke monstrosities of yesteryear.

 

There is nothing to stop anyone from fitting a 3-blade shutter to a 24fps projector, except that it will produce a considerable light loss.

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As far as Peter Jackson, he will not match LOTR and his career can only be on the decline from there.

You have to wonder how much difference it really would have made if PJ (or whoever) wasn't available to shoot/direct/produce {insert favourite cinematic masterpiece}. When you look at all the people involved in a production of that size, all of whom do something, and are expected to do it well, do you really think it could make that much difference?

 

Surely it would just be a case of "next cab off the rank".

Then again, I look at what Bryan Singer did to Superman Returns.... :(

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Are you sure that modern Projectors only expose each Frame twice and not three times?

 

Very sure, because I've actually taken shutter assemblies out of projectors and worked on them, and I can count to two.

 

P

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And how many of those successful productions of Soderbergh's were shot on the RED Michael? Proven track record or not, it doesn't make their use of a digital camera suddenly canonize digital. It seems funny that Che, the movie that many REDHeads are saying is a symbol of the RED revolution, is a bust.

 

As far as Peter Jackson, he will not match LOTR and his career can only be on the decline from there. And I wouldn't count on The Hobbit being shot on RED. Producer? Pft...that title carries no weight anymore...Joe Simpson is a movie "Producer." Hell, even Beyonce's dad is a Producer now.

 

For the record, Soderbergh's movies and shooting format are: Traffic - 35mm; Ocean's Thirteen, Twelve, and Eleven - shot on 35mm; Solaris - 35mm; Erin Brokovich - 35mm; Out of Sight - 35mm; Sex, Lies, and Videotape - 35mm...Che - RED One. Nuff said.

 

Look bud I love film to. Things are changing though and you can hold onto the past all you want, but I choose to embrace because one day you might be eating your words. I think some of the folks, that are die hard film, have put so much time and energy into mastering it, that switching over and relearning the digy world is scary to them. I was in that boat. Still in it actually.

 

You should read Soderbergh's comments about RED. Another thing to consider is look at the impact that camera alone has already made in such a short time. Wait till Epic comes out.

 

Lets just say one day you saw an image blown up on a huge screen that was really, really, amazing. If you found out or knew that it was shot by something other than a film camera would you come on this site and say "The End of Film". I would guess "not" because your in such denial.

 

What part of Sac are you from? I'm from the Roseville area.

 

Peace

 

Dustin

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