U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Kodak shrinks with changing times

Re: Kodak shrinks with changing times

on 3/10/07 18:52, Ryuji Suzuki at rs@silvergrain.org wrote:

> One thing that news reporters never seem to learn is that the
> biggest users of films are those who don't have cameras. On
> one end there is a big market for release prints of motion
> picture, and on another end there is medical imaging
> application. 

I didn't post the following here as it was mainly a digital issue, but a
week or two ago I went to see the Pixar film, "Ratatouille" (which is great

A card appeared at the end of the appallingly presented ex TV converted for
cinema commercials which said something like "Kodak Digital Projection

I pricked up my ears, or whatever the visual equivalent is. The images were
probably the best that I've seen in any cinema at any time, no dust, no
scratches, no weave (almost all cinema projectors do this, usually
imperceptibly) no jumps from badly spliced patchups by projectionists,
resolution sharp right to the ends of the rat's whiskers, clean shadows and

I spoke to the projectionist afterwards, and I'm told that the distribution
of this format is made by shipping a hard drive.

The normal means of distribution, which has been the norm since early last
century, is to ship around very heavy steel cases containing release prints
on 2,000 ft spools. These need, in most cinemas these days, to be made up
into very large rolls for the platter projectors, and broken down at the end
of the season.

Judging numbers of release prints required and circulating them is an
enormous cost in the motion picture business.

I'm sure that the savings in warehousing and shipping of release prints, the
quality of presentation, the flexibility of programming, are obvious. Poor
houses? Grab another picture on hard drive. Great houses, could run in 2
cinemas? Grab another copy on hard drive.

How far are we from a central "release print" distribution point without
even the hard drive transportation requirement?

BTW the cinema that I saw this "film" in was not a NY or LA premium first
release top ender, just the local multiplex in an outer Sydney suburban
shopping mall. 

I've not seen a non-animated production via digital projection, perhaps
someone who has can comment?

I love(d) film in my cutting room days, its tactility and the joys of
holding a 24th of a second in my hand, but the few occasions that I dealt
with releases and all the hassles with prints were a pain.

Regards - Ross

Ross Chambers
Blue Mountains 
New South Wales