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I saw Star Wars in a regular theater the other day.. I noticed one thing that bugged me.. One scenes with alot of white and bright colors they picture seemed to be flickering almost.. Has anyone else seen this when viewing it in a regular theater? I still want to see it in a Digital theater..



CHris
 

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Yes, I have noticed this effect on several film movies in the recent past. The problem is that 24 frames-per-second is too slow to adequately reproduce smooth motion. The flickering is most apparent in bright scenes where the contrast between projector gate open (projecting the film frame) and projector gate closed (between film frames, when no light is projected and the screen is black) is greatest. Some or most projectors even flash each frame twice - but flashing the same frame twice does nothing to smooth motion, it just makes the flicker somewhat less noticeable.


Ironicly, I believe what sensitized me to film flicker was the critical viewing and side-by-side comparison of digital projectors. I've also noticed of late that film jitter (the image jumping around from frame-to-frame) obscures fine detail, and any screen other than a torus (i.e. curved in both directions) compromizes fine corner-to-corner focus. Lastly, I find the reel change cues typical of the usual 35mm film distribution print to be intrusive (actually, I always did).


If you can, go see SW: Episode 2 in a DLP theater for comparison. I believe that (at least for a movie heavy with digital special effects) it's already superior to film. Another interesting comparison is to view the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou on DVD on your digital projector. This movie was shot on film, then the raw footage was digitized, then the editing and special effects (including the altering of color balance which gives the film a unique look) were done. Viewing the DVD gives you a digital image two generations closer to the original than a film distribution print - comparable to Episode II on film.


Gary
 
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