Για τους Αγγλομαθεις, ενα πολυ ενδιαφέρον ποστ που δημοσιεύτηκε στο Avsforum απο τον RoB Hahn, διευθυντη Φωτογραφιας της παλαιότερης ταινιας "the Score" με τους Robert De Niro/Edward Norton (αλλα και αλλων οπως το Stepford Wifes, War, Looser ), στο οποιο σχολιαζει την τελικη εικονα που παιρνουμε στα εμπορικα σινεμα σε σχεση με την παραγωγη του φιλμ, αλλα και σε συγκριση με αυτο που βλεπουμε σπιτι μας...
The single worse experience I have as a cinematographer is seeing my work projected in a local theater. You know I work my ass off for months & months lighting each shot, attending to minute details, then later timing the movie (color-correcting each shot, adjusting the levels) only to watch the final product being butchered by old, dark bulbs, out of focus lenses, and misframed. Basically, (and I'm not the only Director of Photography that feels this way), once the release prints are made, I let it go, meaning I completely drop my expectation of ever seeing my film properly projected again. The only time I expect the possibility of a good showing is at the premiere. Why? Because they usually show one of the 5 prints that were made off the original negative and they usually show it at a fine theater (like the huge screening room on Paramount's lot). I usually get a chance to pick the exact print I want shown, but even then, under this very carefully monitored situation, one can't relax.
When "The Score" was shown at Paramount (using a print off the negative), the place was packed with stars & the industry elite (you know, a red carpet affair). Being Marlon Brando's last movie (and also starring Robert De Niro & Edward Norton) there was a lot of interest. I'm very proud of the look of this movie & I wanted this screening, at least just this one time, to go well. So did I relax? No. I sat in the balcony (next to Conrad Hall) on the aisle. I wanted quick access to the projection booth. Sure enough at the 1st reel changeover (this was an anamorphic film), the picture was out of focus! Having gone through this many times before with other films, I expected this, so I jumped out of my seat and flew into the booth; the Paramount projectionist was rewinding the first reel. I gently yelled, "The picture's soft!" "Oh really? It was fine this afternoon?" He actually let me focus the projector myself.
Jeesh! Even during this one event, an event that should have had the odds stacked in its favor of going beautifully, there were problems. Unfortunately, one can't only worry about dim bulbs and lazy projectionists. The film prints themselves can be the problem. 2000 prints are made off of an Interpostive (which itself was made off an internegative, which itself was made off of the original negative). I sometimes ask the studio if I can spot check these prints. Sure, they say, but we won't pay you. OK with me.
So I sit & watch every 50th print. You can't believe the variation I see. Print #150 has a green 4th reel. So I check print #149 to see if there's a pattern. There isn't. On print 149, reel 4 is fine, but reel 2 is 3 points too bright. When I bring this up with the lab, they say, it's within tolerances. When I ask the studio to fix it, here's what they say: "Red, green, blue, yellow... it doesn't matter - the picture will make money." I kid you not.
So like I mentioned, I've learned that when a film I've shot is released, I let it go and have no expectations (unless it's shown at the Ziegfeld in NY - there _are_ great movie houses). So what is my only hope? The Hi-Def transfer and the hope it will be properly projected in a theater like Art's. In order for that experience to be better than what one can get in a commercial house, the screen should be big, which gets us back to your 14' screen. My 65" image, though at times heartbreakingly beautiful, just can't do what your theater provides. When I saw "King Kong" (the Empire Building sequence), that did it for me. I have to have that.
So it's all a compromise really. If I can have what you had with your CRT stack (and what Cliff has now) on a 14' screen, that would be the best. But what you have right now is awesome enough and way better than what we get at most commercial houses.
-Rob (sorry for the long post!)