Self-Certify – What does this mean? …and why do we want it?
Certification, or Certifying, is a process that reviews the state of something, or some things, or some action(s) – often the processes that creates, assembles or completes something – then determines whether these items or processes meet standards that someone says are “the standards to meet.” The standard might be set by the boss, or the owner, or it might be set by a Standards organisation.
In the movie business, the Standards organisation is The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, which is called SMPTE (pronounced Sim Tee.) The ISO, an international Standards organisation relies upon SMPTE to generate the standards for cinemas around the world.
There is an important difference between standards and recommended practices. Standards make certain that equipment and software works together. But specifications about things like the light level that we expect in a cinema theatre is detailed in a Recommended Practice. And, the recommended light level can be higher or lower by 10%.
Here is the important part: Some cinemas will take advantage of that 20% high or low. Some cinemas will say, we want to stay within 10% …some might say I want to check every day and be within 2%.
: Quality and how do we get it to the customers before they notice problems?
In the old days there were several trained technicians in every cinema facility. They were called projectionists. Some were very skilled in sound and picture techniques. Some were apprentices. But if you had ever seen two of these people respond to a blown bulb in a projector, with safety procedures and speed, you would know that they were not just lucky people with simple jobs.
In the Grand Scheme of Things, Cinema Test Tools wants to deliver tools that help you Self-Certify the routines and processes that can help ensure that the Director’s Intent is getting portrayed on the screen …and that they are accomplished. We do this for the Producer and Director – who had the first vision – and for your customer – who has the last vision.
How do we create tools that will ensure the director’s intent?
In the cinema there is the facility itself, and there is the equipment that makes it possible to see and hear a movie. and systems to keep that those systems working well. Some facilities will want things working ‘perfectly’ and some
The answer is to build in some systematic checks on the equipment and systems that we are responsible for. Name it…the equipment? Detailed, but certainly. Safety and security…lots of hidden and unknown details. Those too.
Generally, we are responsible for a quality picture with quality sound and a safe and comfortable experience. But there is so much nuance in that simple sentence.
How do we find the nuance? Find out what an expert do that seems so natural that you don’t write it down when you are watching them?
- Describe each process generally, then write down each detail that is done to keep the equipment at top performance.
- Then, write out a procedure so a person knows what to do to check that each thing from Step 1 is being done.
- Some things may need to be done everyday, like security checks. Some things might only need to be done every once in a while.
So, this is it – we have done it. The Checklists that automate quality control. Your Eyes. Your Ears. Your ability to communicate and learn, and observe, and communicate even better!