Saturday, 9 April 2011

Film projectionists vs hard drives...

How many times do you find yourself in the cinema these days and there's something wrong with the projection, or the sound? For me n Ant it's about once a fortnight. And yes, we tend to go find someone and tell them it's wrong. My favourite is when some part of the audio blows out the rest of the audio and you can only tell because you've already seen the film. The staff looked at me very suspiciously at Cineworld last year when I explained to them that there was supposed to be a very famous song playing during a fight scene over the clashing, bashing noises until I told them I'd seen the film before. Other than that though there seemed to be a mountain of problems especially ratio issues. Not sure whether this was in digital rooms running on autopilot style, or normal projection rooms where idiots were running them because all the proper projectionists had fucked off or been fired. Either way this article comments on it, though doesn't seem to have paid much attention to the increase in errors by cinema chains in the past and this year.

Film projectionists are losing their jobs and being replaced by hard drives

Good thing or bad thing? I can't decide... Well, actually I can - completely getting rid of all non digital screens doesn't sound like that good an idea to me, what with so many old films not being updated to even dvd. I don't like the idea of eventually finding a bunch of old films somewhere in the world in the future and nobody knows how to play them or where the hell they would because the last normal projector was dismantled ten years ago. You know it's gonna happen... On the one hand this could be great for huge, and I mean HUGE, film festivals and outdoor festivals of all kinds, where showing dozens of films at the same time for a large audience made up of many niche groups who usually wouldn't congregate together due to their disperate visual tastes, could be managed with a revolutionary level of mobility and flexible design. Other than that though, I still pine for the old fashioned cinemas. Those giant, two screening behemoths. In Cardiff we had a beautiful one with a grand staircase running in the middle of the wide walkway so you could get up to the second screening room entrance, or split around the stair to get to screen 1. The rooms were those canyons, steep enough that some idiots head was never silhoetted against the screen ruining your view, massive screen, booming audio flooding around you, no stupid blue lights on the gangway disqualifying the point of sitting in a darkened room, and if you sat up in the heavens in an unpopular film you could get away with a bit of the nasty as long as no one was sat in the 8 rows in front of you.

I have fond memories of those rooms. And not just because of that last point; very loudly eating popcorn and other munch to ruin the solemnity of the Passion of the Christ with my best friend. First time I saw Fight Club before anyone else had heard of it. Every Saturday on my own when I was in high school, watching any and everything to take the edge off. I loved those rooms, the brilliant acoustics, the total anonymity of being one amongst so many, the ability to be completely submerged in you sat right in the middle, not just of the aisle but stratregically the whole room. The concession stand being so small they never expected people to not bring their own stuff. Sweeping past the one ticket seller down the hall with no one looking at you amongst the hundreds of other people going in.

Then they made it into a HMV. One which I resentfully exploited by constantly returning music I'd 'enjoyed' at home and getting my money back. My favourite and most reliable and trusted reason was 'ah, well see, it was for me best friend's birthday but her bloke got it for her as well and 'course, she don't wanna tell 'im... you know'. You'd think it'd get old quick but that one works every time. And I remained so resentful I did that on average once a week for five years.

Anyway. I want one of those cinemas back. If I ever got into a position where I didn't mind and could afford plowing money into something that might not pay off, I'd totally build one again. Fuck it, I'd probably buy a mansion and turn all but four rooms into animal sanctuaries and one massive cinema, complete with vertigo inducing steepness and an unneccessary but gorgeous giant staircase.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...