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Dear Projectionist

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Tim Wilson
Re: Dear Projectionist
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:59:32 am

Exactly the problem with this whole discussion. Bay brings up what is well known as an issue, says that Paramount have developed some first-of-their-kind technologies, and asks these guys to make sure the right lens is on the projector -- which it is demonstrably usually not.

And the guy responds that Bay's movies are too long, and they're no good. Thanks.

In other words, you're right Mr. Bay, I'm not interested in paying attention to how your movies look, because I don't like them.

Yeah, yeah, he's kidding. But I bet he's not. He's a dick. Whether you like Transformers or not, Bay's efforts in both technology and outreach will make a bigger difference in how well I see even my black-and-white, European movie where everybody is sad and nobody dies even though they really, really want to than Mr. "Look At Me! I'm Telling Off Michael Bay" ever will.

I really hate guys like that.

Can you tell?


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Mike Cohen
Re: Dear Projectionist
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:30:54 am

Not sure if this is pure satire or if Mr Bay actually sent such a letter..? Or are we suggesting that Bay is the type of director who would send a letter like this.
The movie looks to be a visual masterpiece within the scifi action genre. I had some choice words about Pt 2 but I think Bay realized the error of his ways. Just to be on the safe side I am going to see this in 5D.

Bring it on.

Mike Cohen


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Scott Roberts
Re: Dear Projectionist
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:22:03 pm

To me, that letter from Michael Bay really shows why a lot of people don't really like him as a person. He's in a constant battle of good intentions vs. smarmy attitude.

I 100% agree that the projectionists should use the correct settings to properly light Transformers, and I'm looking forward to seeing how good these settings will make the film. But what Bay has done here is basically implying that the projectionists weren't about to do their jobs. Whether or not the projectionists were going to do their jobs in the first place isn't the issue here. You have to assume that they were going to do the job they get paid for and use the correct settings, and this was pretty much Bay saying "I know you're awesome, and you guys are a significant part of this process, and I'm sure you would have used the correct settings anyway, because you're great. But seriously, use the correct settings on my movie... Seriously guys, use the correct settings on my awesome movie. Don't screw it up."

And it's understandable why Bay would worry about these settings, he needs Transformers 3 to go great. He tarnished his already shaky reputation (as an explosion loving rich guy snob who beds supermodels) with Transformers 2 being somewhat lackluster, and he needs this new one to beat expectations.

But c'mon, next time if you want to say this, just include a letter, generically from Paramount, reminding them about the settings, enclosed with the film reels. Don't send some condescending letter reminding people to do their jobs. I hate when I'm about to do a project or a task or something, and someone tries to remind me of it like 10 minutes before I'm about to do it, as if I wasn't about to do it anyway.

Good intentions vs. smarmy attitude.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Dear Projectionist
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:39:11 pm

Once upon a time at the annual medical convention where our videos were shown, I would sit next to the projectionist to make sure that he or she did their job correctly. We had more than one previous experience where the projectionist did not properly connect the video deck to the projector, thus making the image appear either blown out, too dark or black and white.

Had I not been there on each occasion, I certainly would have heard about it after the fact. The client assumed that any problem with the video playback was due to a bad videotape, because the projectionists generally had no technical knowledge so they assumed that the problems were someone else's problem.

On one occasion I arrived in the auditorium and several video authors were freaking out because the videos were playing back at about 300% luminance and nearly black and white. Immediately it was assumed that all of the videotapes were somehow faulty. Upon inspecting the video connections I discovered that a terminator was placed on the wrong input of a DA, leaving a loop through connection wide open. I pointed this out to the projectionist who told me to mind my own business as he messed with the picture controls on the projector.

Not content to have more than one video playback at 300% luminance, I simply moved the terminator to the correct position, and the problem was immediately solved. I was then taken outside the room by the projectionist and told that both he and I could get into trouble with the union for what I just did. Yadda yadda, my job is to ensure good playback of videos that people have flown in from all over the country to present.

So maybe when he was coming up in life and did AV at his local college auditorium, Michael Bay encountered similar situations. Most projectionists know what they are doing, but a few do not. Better not single out anyone so give everybody the same instructions.

Mike Cohen


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Mark Suszko
Re: Dear Projectionist
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:22:54 pm

The reality of today's megaplex environment is that pro projectionists are spread thin, the operations are highly automated, with much of the job now relegated to some pimply teenager or the manager themself. Management likes reduced power on projection because longer lamp life = lower operating costs = more profit. Also, not swapping-out the 3-d lens set for 2- d showings means saving several hours of employee time per day, and allaowing more showings per day. Again, this = more profit.

Bay is complaining to the people with the responsibility, but without power to do anything about the problem. His letter should have gone to theatre managers and the CEO's of the companies owning the theatres.


BTW, that response letter, fake or not, was an excellent burn.


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Dear Projectionist
on Jun 28, 2011 at 10:47:30 pm

You all know my feelings on Digital 3D, I'm with Bay and I'm interested to see "Platinum six" and see if there is any difference. I also love a good sarcastic comment, especially when it gives the finger to a big powerful egomaniac (which I suppose compensates for how contrived the response was).


[Mark Suszko] " His letter should have gone to theatre managers and the CEO's of the companies owning the theatres."

Mark, I agree 100%. I've worked at a movie theater and projectionists are fantastic, terrible and everything in between. For Bay, it takes a distorted, over compensated perception of his own balls to send a letter to projectionists thinking, "They will be so happy to get a letter from me that they will do whatever I say, just like all of the studio hands and assistants I work with." Wrong. Mark, your argument makes more sense.


Jeff


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