Will Digital Theaters Replace Film ?

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  • George Bellefontaine
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Jan 2001
    • 7637

    Will Digital Theaters Replace Film ?

    I haven't seen digital cinema and don't expect to anytime soon in my neck of the woods. But I have been reading some interesting articles on it. Cost savings to the movie industry would be phenomenal, but to the theater chains and what few independents there are left, the costs are tremendously high.Question is, will the younger generation take to the digital image more quickly (or more easily) than the hardcore film lovers? I'm an oldtimer and loved film, but I've gotten pretty used to the digital image in my HT and I think I could easily adjust to a 60 foot digital picture in the local cinema house. How 'bout you people, will you accept the digital image as easily as me ?




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  • John Holmes
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 2703

    #2
    I recently watched a movie that was shot with all Digital cameras. It was the one that was shot it real time, with four seperate images on the same screen (can't recall the title for the life of me)!

    Anyhow, the digital picture was great! I think it will replace film. And not too long down the road either.




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    • George Bellefontaine
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Jan 2001
      • 7637

      #3
      I know the movie you're referring to,John, but damned if I can remember the title either. I didn't realize this was shot digitally. Very interesting. Dvd should look good on my projector.




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      • P-Dub
        Office Moderator
        • Aug 2000
        • 6766

        #4
        I had a chance to see JP III in digital. What impressed me the most was the lack of nicks and stuff throughout the movie. I wasn't too critical on blacklevel, brightness and all that, cause honestly I can't tell the difference. It looked good, and in some cases better than film.

        I think this will be the wave of the future. The small guys will have a tough time of it, but I think there will still be a market for traditional film. The studios should save a ton of money from the reduced number of prints they have to make.

        The movie you're talking about is Time Code

        John it might have been shot with digial cameras, but was it being displayed in a digital format?




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        • John Holmes
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Aug 2000
          • 2703

          #5
          Ah yes Paul, That's the one. I'm not sure about the display part. I just remember the hype about the way in which it was shot.

          I thought the picture was pretty damn good though.




          "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
          "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

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          • KennyG
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Sep 2000
            • 745

            #6
            I haven't seen digital yet, but if the blacks are not black, count me out.
            One of the reasons I go to the theater is to calibrate my eyes...and to see a realistic presentation. Without blacks there's nothing realistic about it.
            If digital theater can't create blacks, then my HT becomes a better display than the theater...why would I bother with them?

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            • Buzz Goddard
              Senior Member
              • Dec 2000
              • 128

              #7
              There are still flaws in digital presentations, but there are advantages besides distribution costs. The image does not deteriorate, and it is steady. Once you have seen it, the judder in film is harder to take, and I hate rushing out to a theater to stand in line at a premier just so the picture still looks decent. A week later and the print shows noticeably worse.
              I suspect this will evolve like the LP vs the CD.




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              • Buzz Goddard
                Senior Member
                • Dec 2000
                • 128

                #8
                BTW. At NAB this past Spring, George Lucas announced he will never make another film...

                Using film.
                Digital only for him from here on out.




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                • George Bellefontaine
                  Moderator Emeritus
                  • Jan 2001
                  • 7637

                  #9
                  That bit about George Lucas is very interesting, Buzz, but not surprising.He likes to be right there on the cutting edge of technology.




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                  • Buzz Goddard
                    Senior Member
                    • Dec 2000
                    • 128

                    #10
                    I haven't seen digital yet, but if the blacks are not black, count me out.
                    One of the reasons I go to the theater is to calibrate my eyes...and to see a realistic presentation. Without blacks there's nothing realistic about it.
                    If digital theater can't create blacks, then my HT becomes a better display than the theater...why would I bother with them?


                    This is kinda semantical, but still a good point.
                    Neither film nor digital video can produce black.
                    Thye can only make things lighter.
                    Want your theater dark? Turn off the lights, draw the shades first!




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                    • Bob
                      Senior Member
                      • Jul 2000
                      • 802

                      #11
                      For the movie audiance, at least those that never get to see film at its' best, digital projection would be a possible improvement. Don't forget, right now anytime that a film is presented at a theater using a digital system it is calibrated for the best veiwing. If it became the norm it would still be subject to most of the problems of film, old projector bulbs, dirty lenses, improper calibration. About the only thing that would be different is dirt and scratches on the image wouldn't appear. Sound would remain the same in most theaters.
                      The financial aspect of changing over is pretty daunting. The theaters certainly can't afford it, at least not unless the distributors give them some way to recoup the cost. Raising ticket prices and letting the theaters keep the difference between the old price and the new wouldn't go over well with us movie goers. Prices can't be to out of line with rental prices in order for the theaters to stay competitive with the rental market. I don't see the distributors letting the theaters share in the profit from ticket sales, and I don't see how all the production companies could reach any kind of business cartel where they cover the cost of the chang over.
                      Another thought on digital film making and projection is this. While many, many video architectures have come and gone with more to come in the future and many of the older ones already turning to brittle dust, film has remained essentially the same. You can still pick up one of the oldest peices of film in existance be it from Edison or Griffith, hold it up to the light and see the image. It can still be projected on the newest film projector. While there are a lot of pluses in digital cinema I'm not convinced that they overcome the minuses.
                      By the way, I hope the Mr. Lucas meant that he wont be making anymore films of any kind, period. He ran out of ideas a long time ago. Let's face it he really only had two to start with and he has just kept plugging away at them for all these years. The Raiders series seems to be over and the continueing Star Wars series gets worse with each new episode.

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                      • George Bellefontaine
                        Moderator Emeritus
                        • Jan 2001
                        • 7637

                        #12
                        Interesting post,Bob.
                        I personally feel that digital cinema will eventually replace film, though I'm not convinced it's the best thing that will happen.One thing is certain, it will be a long slow process, probably starting with the big corporate owned chains.As for old George L. I'm with you,Bob.




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