Category: What We Face

Different things…with an emphasis on ‘different’.

mp4 Samples of Managers Walk Through Series DCPs

The following mp4 files are taken from the same sources as the free DCPs available for the non-technical cinema manager, the ones used to check the cinema auditorium. The only difference is that the sub-titles are burned into these QuickTime files. In the DCPs, the sub-titles are a file that the server and projector use to create the sub-titles. Perhaps the higher compression shows bands in the greys as well, but on the big screen they should look and sound fabulous.

This first sample is derived from the site, to give a bit of interesting “other” after using the Align1 and Faces1 DCPs. Continue reading “mp4 Samples of Managers Walk Through Series DCPs”

7) Measuring Light

There are many goals and many purposes for this project that you are involved with. There are many things that need to be done.

The top layer has to do with ensuring that the presentations in the auditoriums are the quality that the CEO of the company intends them to be – acknowledging that not every room is a Palace of Perfection. Another layer has to do with ensuring that each patron is satisfied with what the facility and staff have to offer, which also includes an educated staff that is able to communicate intelligently with patron and tech staff.  Fortunately, they don’t all have to be done at the same time. They can be added too and tweaked and made better and more as time goes on.

So, if at first you don’t have the organizational support to download DCPs onto a USB drive, then get the DCPs into the Media Player/Projector system right now – you can still download some audio and light measuring tools, and experiment with them until you can use them easily in a dark room.   Continue reading “7) Measuring Light”

What’s It Mean? Distortion?

Let’s go through a few terms that everybody uses but which have a specific meaning if you need to get an idea across easily to the Tech Team to get a problem solved.

Distortion – Distortion is a term used to describe an imperfect reproduction of the original sound or picture.

Since we in the cinema were not there for the recording or post production mix, we really don’t have a way to know if something is being played back correctly. We can presume that grossly cracking and ugly sounds are not right. But if the sound seems “dark” or “jagged”, maybe that was what the director wanted.

But we can assume a few things and be right most of the time.

If you ask any sound mixer, they will say something like, “We mix the dialog so that it sounds like the natural level for the person speaking in the scene. Then we mix the music and sound effects around that so that everything can be heard.”

Statistically, something like 80 or 85% of the dialog comes from the center speaker. The rest is mixed in the center and left or the center and right speakers.

So, we know that if the dialog doesn’t sound natural and if it is coming from one of the side surround channels, that something is probably wrong – and should be reported.

What does it mean, ‘natural’?

That is a great question and the answer is amazingly simple and amazingly complex.

Human languages are incredibly complex. There are some parts of words that you can throw away and no one notices.

but there are some sounds that, if they go missing, the word doesn’t sound like a word – or maybe it could be one of 20 words.

What’s It Mean? Contrast…

Let’s go through a few terms that everybody uses, but have a specific meaning if you are going to get an idea across to the Tech Team to get a problem solved.

First, Contrast – Simply said, in the cinema, it is the range or difference between what looks like white and what looks like black on the screen. In most auditoriums, there is no real white on the screen or real black on the screen. There are many reasons for this, and it will always be. But there is a range that each room is capable of, and the equipment is in a war to try to make it stable, which it always loses. Continue reading “What’s It Mean? Contrast…”

1) How to: Manager’s Walk Through

The most difficult thing about this Quality Assurance process is being prepared to write while in the dark. After that it is just paying attention to what is being played and – most importantly – its affect on you.

It may take 10 or 15 evaluation before you get comfortable. Every time after that you will notice something you hadn’t seen or heard or experienced before. Continue reading “1) How to: Manager’s Walk Through”

0) Ideas Behind The Checklist

The amazing thing about picture and sound is that no one understands either of them completely, even after thousands of years of study. So don’t feel like you are the only one. It was only 110 years ago that Einstein proposed what seems to be the best working theory for light, but they were just untested theories. Now, every year, someone makes progress proving another piece of his ideas.

More recently, it was a long and hard 15 year transition from film to digital projection. A lot of lessons have been learned. And now it seems projectors are changing again, to laser light…yet another set of ideas in the constant march toward trying to fulfill the Director’s Intent. Audio also has many topics that are argued about in the professional groups. There’s always something to learn. Continue reading “0) Ideas Behind The Checklist”

Artistic Intent…Protecting the Dream

We would like to introduce a new product line to you.

The Manager’s Walk Through Series is a product line of DCPs and checklists that help the non-technical manager evaluate the auditoriums under their care.

We look forward to helping you help present the best possible version of the Director’s Artistic Intent on your screens – which is what I bet we all woke up thinking about, eh?

Coming soon, to theaters and drive-ins everywhere. (I always wanted to say that~!)