Meeting Report - Sep-Oct 2000

SEPTEMBER 27, 2000
PASADENA CONVENTION CENTER

Over 200 members and guests attended the meeting at the Pasadena Convention Center, which began with a presentation by Martin Euredjian, MediaReef.com, on the practical aspects of providing streaming media on the internet.  This was followed by a panel discussion with Dennis Brockenridge, E-Studio Live; Mark Chatinsky, ASC; Tom Kobayashi, EDNet; and Mike Maples, consultant; who gave accounts of their personal experiences and answered questions from the audience.

The meeting continued with a lively panel discussion and Q & A session on "Digital Cinema vs. Film" by Bob Hopkins, Sony High-Definition Center; John Hora, ASC; Rob Hummel, Technicolor; and Garrett Smith, Paramount.  The relative screen image qualities of D-cinema and film, both subjective and objective, were debated.  It was concluded that a limitation on the development of D-cinema is lack of a viable business case, particularly when a number of theater chains are currently in financial difficulties.

Alan Masson - Secretary/Treasurerj


OCTOBER 18, 2000
PACIFIC HOLLYWOOD THEATER

The Hollywood Section co-hosted the meeting at the historic Warner Pacific Theater on Hollywood Blvd., with an audience comprised of SMPTE members from around the country, who were attending the SMPTE conference in Pasadena; Hollywood Section members; and invited guests from Entertainment Technology Center (ETC).  The theater is the site of the new digital cinema lab operated by ETC, an organization founded by USC and sponsored by various motion picture studios to promote and study cutting-edge technologies important to the future of the entertainment industry.  This event previewed the opening of the lab and featured presentations by Thomas MacCalla, ETC; a panel discussion with members of the Technology Advisory Board (TAB) of ETC; and various demonstration clips of digital cinema.  Members were welcomed with an electrosonic video wall greeting by MacCalla and Jim Korris, ETC, and treated to traditional movie theater snacks including popcorn, hotdogs, and sodas.

The meeting began with a brief panel discussion and Q &A session with SMPTE board members, Robert Kisor, Paramount Pictures; Gavin Schutz, Liberty Livewire Corp.; and John Mason, Eastman Kodak Co., followed by the introduction of JohnSittig, Cinerama/Pacific Theaters, who presented a history of the theater from its original construction as the flagship operaton for Warner Bros. through its days as a true 3-projector Cinerama house during the 50s and 60s, to its subsequent dissectioninto a multiplex.  MacCalla then introduced TAB panel members Bill Hausch, Sony Pictures; Brad Hunt, MPAA; Dave Schnuelle, Lucasfilm; MaryAnn Grasso, NATO; Garrett Smith, Paramount; and Tad Marburg, Warner Bros.  Each spoke briefly on the importance of the lab facility and its future in helping define the problems and challenges in bringing digital cinema to reality.
Examples from several digitally mastered films, which included clips from The Perfect Storm, The Phantom Menace, The Insider, American Beauty, Mission to Mars, Little Buddha, and Cider House Rules, were shown.  Each clip had been transferred to either a Cintel C-Reality or a Phillips Spirit telecine.  The projection system consisted of a Texas InstrumentsDLP Cinema projection display in 1280 x 1024/24P, played back from an AVICA Filmstore, Panasonic D-5, or QuVIS QuBIT.  Projection brightness was measured at 12 fL.

Future plans for the digital cinema lab include facilities for side-by-side digital and conventional film projection.  A new Stewart Screen has been ordered and the sound system is undergoing reconstruction with the assistance of JBL, Crown, THX, Dolby, Sony, and DTS.  Other companies, including SGI, Sarnoff Labs, Snell & Wilcox, and Strong Film Projector will be providing equipment to outfit the lab.  A grand opening is planned for the first quarter of 2001.

Phil Squyres - Section Manager