Wednesday, May 25, 2011

And After All the Hard Work....

Are you sure you want to do that, Dave?

When I color grade for something that is going to be digitally projected on the big screen, I tell the Director, "remember, this is what it looks like, because even after all this work it may end up looking not-so-great at some of the screenings."  There are so many reasons, the projector was never set-up properly, the globe is too old,  an inadequate projector, ambient light in the auditorium.....Now you can add a new possibility to the list of uncontrollable exhibition variables that make you wake up in the middle of the night (yeah, I do tend to obsess about this stuff):  the theatre may project your 2D project through a 3D lens.  Hey, who'll notice that you've lost 85% of the original brightness?

This is a really interesting article.  Who knew that you need a password and "security clearance" to open a projector?  It also has a neat infographic that does a nice job of quickly explaining aspects of digital projection.

Yes, I know, people who have graded broadcast television for years are laughing at me.  Go to your local electronics retailer and look at the variations of the same image displayed on different brands and models of televisions.   And, yes, then there's the vivid mode setting.   Add to the mix wide variations in compression/bandwidth through different cable providers, Internet distribution and you quickly realize that you "do your best and forget the rest."

10/31/11 ADDENDUMThis article summarizes Sony's response to the claims of the article I cited. It was published a couple of days after I wrote this post. I first saw it this morning.  As it concludes, regardless as to who is at fault, sometimes the theatrical experience can sometimes less than satisfying despite all the hard work and good intentions of everyone involved.

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