June 7, 2000
1:00 PM   Subscribe

Titan A.E.'s crappy animation lends itself to this experiment.
posted by highindustrial (14 comments total)
GOOD GRAVY yes, the animation looks uber-lame. Thanks so much for stating this to the general public. For me, at least, it validates my own point of view in the face of non-believers...and that's never a bad thing =)
posted by NickBarat at 1:08 PM on June 7, 2000

So what does the transmittal of the movie over the Internet (which has already been posted, BTW) have to do with the crappy animation?
posted by daveadams at 1:35 PM on June 7, 2000

MPEG only writes changes to the screen. I suspect (though I'm sure high will correct me if I'm wrong) that he means that since Titan's animation is crappy -- not much movement, not many changes on the screen -- the file size is smaller than it would be with good animation, hence the bandwidth required for the task is less, hence...

Only an educated guess, mind you.

posted by aurelian at 2:12 PM on June 7, 2000

I thought maybe that was what highindustrial was going for... I suppose any animation would compress better than live-action footage.

So if a 90-minute, sorry-ass animated flick is 50 gigabytes, how big would Gone With the Wind or Titanic be? Yikes. And they plan on beaming this stuff to individual theatres via satellite. Even if they all could afford digital projectors and the other required equipment, it will probably be a few years before that kind of bandwidth is cheap enough to allow it.
posted by daveadams at 2:17 PM on June 7, 2000

I don't see where highindustrial gets that Titan A.E.'s animation is crappy, and basically any film would lend itself to this experiment since they will be downloading the film in its entirety before it is projected:
...90-minute movie will be projected after it has been downloaded from Burbank rather than shown simultaneously with its transmission over the Internet. Real-time projection is effectively prevented by the sheer size of the computer file containing the movie — 50 gigabytes...
And yes, live film would not compress as well for the same reason we save photos as JPGs instead of GIFs. Still the film will not be projected in real time, it will be downloaded first, then projected.
posted by tremendo at 2:46 PM on June 7, 2000

I don't see where highindustrial gets that Titan A.E.'s animation is crappy

He propably saw the same trailer that I did, PHEW!
posted by Mick at 3:02 PM on June 7, 2000

You know, I volunteer at a wonderful rep house in Berkeley, CA. The projectionist there, Josephine, is a perfectionist--checking the focus obsessively, using carbon-arc projectors, and so forth. She points out that film projection is a 100-year old technology, and the folks at the local multiplex still manage to screw it up frequently. What's going to happen when they have to deal with dropped packets?
posted by snarkout at 5:25 PM on June 7, 2000

snarkout: They won't.

Before the practice is widespread, technology will be developed to deal with the dropped packets. With movie creators getting more and more anal about what theatres their movies can be shown in (ala Phantom Menace) I doubt many will accept degradation.
posted by cCranium at 6:37 PM on June 7, 2000

No need to worry about these digital experiments. Roger Ebert sez: I have seen the future of the cinema, and it is not digital. He sounds convincing to me.
posted by tremendo at 6:54 PM on June 7, 2000

Ebert is right, almost. I'm not sure why, but he didn't mention IMAX HD - I can't find a dang thing about it on IMAX's crappy website. IMAX-HD is, as I was told, 48fps also (a 24fps full length imax film is already 200 pounds).

I've always been pissed about the technologies in theaters. They are more than happy to upgrade to thx dts surround sound audio, but not a soul mentions the most important feature of film, the image. The lack of quality on 35mm film wears me out. I dream of the day when MV48 or IMAX-HD comes around. Frame rate would please me, but a larger format film would be nice too (not screen size, just film) - 70mm x 70mm frames (15-perforation 70mm), three times larger than regular 70mm, 10 times larger than 35mm.

Back to Eberts point, Digital Screens just aren't going to happen. I don't want them to happen either. I want HDTV at home, and higher Q film in the theater.

posted by jamescblack at 8:17 PM on June 7, 2000

Best quote of the piece:

"'I'll make a special offer. We're leasing MV48 for $280 a month, but for $2,800 a month, which is closer to the per-screen cost of the digital system, we'll throw in a little chrome plate that says 'digital' on it.'"
As huge a fan of Anything Digital (TM) as I am, this sounds like a much better solution. I don't watch TV through my computer because the image is still horribly pixelated (although it IS an old video card), and I can quite easily stroll the 10 meters to my living room.

The whole point of paying outrageous movie prices is for an experience of quality that just can't be had at home, both visually and aurally.

jamescblack: I'm assuming he didn't put IMAX HD in because he lumped it in with all the other special equipment requiring technologies, which is probably too bad.
posted by cCranium at 6:02 AM on June 8, 2000

It only goes to show that a good movie(28M) comes from a good idea, told well.
posted by
plinth at 6:10 AM on June 8, 2000

I'd be happy with projectionists in the booth to keep the darn things in focus, James--I'm happy to watch things on 35mm, even 16mm or projected video if that's all that's available, but I hate it when things go awry. Most theaters put the whole film on one platter and have one projectionist for the whole building, so it takes a while for him or her to get there when problems crop up, which is why I'm so dubious about digital projection; it's a way for movie companies to save on the cost of film and for theater chains to reduce labor cost.

Thanks for the Ebert link--I guess Josephine and the art of carbon-arc projection aren't quite consigned to the dustbin of history yet.
posted by snarkout at 10:31 AM on June 8, 2000

plinth: thanks for that link, it's hilarious.
posted by cCranium at 2:25 PM on June 8, 2000

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