Thursday, May 26, 2011

David Cohen sounds off on Dimensional Cinema ..

... and makes some important points and criticisms. For those with Variety subscriptions, please read the article.

Mr. Cohen highlights what I've written before in this forum. Theaters are showing dimensional prints too dark. However, the article puts the root of the problem at the lack of a standard and the proliferation of different formats. Between RealD, Dolby and now Xpand, few directors and/or studios are taking the time to create the proper 3D LUTs* to ensure the movies are viewed the same in all theaters.

* 3D LUTs (lookup tables) are used to calculate preview colors for a monitor or digital projector of how an image will be reproduced on the final film print.


Some have concluded long ago that stereoscopic cinema was nothing more than a ruse to get audiences to pay extra for tickets. Now, we're seeing how greed has blinded the studio execs to the most basic of principles of marketing .. get the audience to come back! Its all fine to charge a premium for a product that is superior to its predecessor. But to offer a superior product and deliver the dregs, is to alienate your customers and force them into finding alternate ways to entertain themselves.

The lack of a standard for dimensional viewing is reminiscent of other format battles (memory cards for digital cameras first comes to mind) that have plagued our wallets. What's worse, there exists the Digital Cinema Initiatives to address this very problem.

Mr. Cohen's article finishes with a quote from Cinematographer Guild Pres. Steven Poster that points out that movies shown in theaters have to match the quality (and clarity) of Blu-Ray and DVDs being released. If people begin to realize they're unable to see key elements or items on the screen because someone didn't care enough to ensure a maximized theatrical experience, audiences will begin to vote with their wallets and choose the little disc over the plush seat and bag of popcorn.

Or, maybe like this blogger, they'll find the traditional "flat" copy and enjoy the extra room in the theater to stretch out.


Anonymous said...

Are these projectionists union members? Do theaters have IT departments like other modern businesses?

moviegoer said...

Funny, I thought the quality in the theaters was the standart that the discs should try to emulate, and not the other way around....I get that in some theaters, the quality is not up to par, but there are some excellent theaters where they do care about the picture quality and that the floor is clean. I keep going to those ones.

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