Artistic Intent – Why We Are Here
The Producers and Directors all believe that if they make their vision come to life – make the story into a movie – it will be shown in a way that makes the audience see and hear what they created with the same splendor they created. Were they wrong?
Quality Management Basics
If something is managed properly, then there is control over the quality of the items being delivered, and assurance that the end user will be satisfied. Quality Management | Quality Control | Quality Assurance
- Ideas Behind The Checklist
- Routines to Self-Certify – Checklists and Employee Training – Part I
- Routines to Self-Certify – Checklists and Employee Training – Part II
- How to: Manager’s Walk Through
- How to: Manager’s Walk Through – Part 2
- Units of Measurement
- Where to Judge The Auditorium
- 3 Letter Acronyms – KDM, CMS, FLM and more about Encryption
Cinema Basics – Audio
Some say that a movies sound is 50% of the movie. So, it better be good, eh?
Cinema Basics – Picture
Sound has nuance. Picture has a thousand words for nuance. Let's learn some.
Your picture and sound equipment get calibrated according to a schedule that management thinks is appropriate for your facility – sometimes in 6 month or 12 month or 18 month intervals. But we all know that things happen in between. With the right tools, you can become the judge.
Some of our customers use the large speaker systems to know what the actors are saying, some read the words with special "closed caption" equipment...some listen to special tracks on headphones. The equipment is called Accessibility Equipment. We have to understand it and test it to make certain our customer gets the best experience possible.
- The Other-Abled, and You
- Accessibility To Inclusion In Cinema – Prelude
- Promise, Promises and Great Expectations
- The Access Community
- Accommodation, In General
- Accommodation, Open Captions
- Accommodation, Closed Captions
- No Technology Before Its Time
- Industry Coordination
- Different Paths; …and Finally, Results
- DCP Production – Narration and Closed Caption Creation
- Currently Available – “Personal” Closed Caption Solutions
- Specialized Audio Systems for the Blind and Partially Sighted
- Signing In Cinema
Life happens in real time. Sometimes we read about it. More rarely, we are there. And after, we wish that we could have practiced a little bit before being thrown into it.
Units of Measurement
This lesson about measurements might get a little technical, but we will try to keep it light.
Remember that saying from the baseball player Yogi Berra? He said, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” We find that is true all the time. In theory, 10 minutes exists. 10 minutes and I’ll be done with this! Give me 10 minutes, then we’ll go. In practice, it is always 12 or 15 or more minutes. 10 minutes doesn’t really exist.
In theory, you don’t really need to know each little thing involved in the measurement of sound and light, or why the engineers expect (and respect) the terms.
In reality, the little things can leave us in a swimming mystery if a word or concept seems important but we can’t grasp it.
So, let’s do some grasping – just enough so that we get enough information without diving into the confusions of the internet.
There is a group called the International Organization for Standardization, which most people call the ISO. As you can guess, they organize standards. Other groups bring standards to the ISO, standards about fire safety or electrical safety. For our industry, the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE) develop standards and bring them to the ISO for worldwide implementation.
The ISO also organizes the most basic of definitions. It has been decided that there are 7 basic units of measure, and everything else can be derived from them. These International Standard Units are abbreviated as SI Units, and they are:
|mol||mole||amount of substance|
You don’t need to know much more than that for most of these.
You can go your entire life without using the mole unit, even if it is fun to think that there is a single number that scientists use for counting the number of atoms in a box. In the same way, only people in a special part of the science world use the Kelvin scale – although, many people use the Celsius scale which uses the unit of degrees in the same way (except that 0 in Celsius is the temperature that water freezes at, and 100° C is the point that water boils. In the Kelvin scale, 0 Kelvin is the coldest of cold that nothing can go colder, which is called absolute zero.
Most people will also know what a second is, and we should all be glad that a second is accurately defined and everyone uses the same definition around the world.
In the cinema auditorium we will use the second since sound travels so many ‘lengths’ of distance every second. That length is usually called a meter, and sometimes spelled: metre. Some countries – well, one country, uses the length of feet, which is about 1 third of a meter (or one meter is a little more than 3 feet). Sound travels at 383 meters per second. That is pretty fast. Most auditoriums are not that long. So, the sound from the speaker gets from the speaker to the audience in less than a second.
But the speed of sound is nothing compared to the speed of light. Light goes almost 300,000,000 meters per second – 3 hundred million meters every second! For our purposes, that is instant.
Ampere is something that is used every day in the cinema projector room, but we usually call it ‘amps’. The projector bulb uses energy to create light. That energy sends a The energy that flows throught the cables to get turned into the light of the projector’s bulb can be made higher or lower – we measure the amount of that energy as so many amps. When the bulbs brightness gets weaker as it ages, we have to increase the amperage, or amps.
There are two more Standard Units, kilograms and candela that we are more familiar with. We use kilograms every day, because it is the unit of measure for weight. And, of course, speakers have weight and movie screens have weight, so we have to have floors that are designed to hold these weights safely. But usually these things are decided years ago.
Candela is really the most interesting measurement for us. Up above it is called ‘Luminous Intensity’.
Luminous is a neat word that comes from the word for Light, which is lumens. And candela comes from the word for ‘candle’. But in the world of standards they don’t just use any candle, they specify it so that anyone, anywhere can create the exact same light if you happen to have a wick made out of pure platinum and a certain amount of the exact wax.
Intensity is also an interesting word, because it hides a sophistication that we need in our work. Intensity is used to describe the strength of something, but we always need to use it with “per unit”. Candela deals with the strength of the light we are using, but we need to use it ‘per’ something like second or meter or screen.
The unit we use is ‘per square meter’. The abbreviation is cd/m2.
To understand this better, let’s look at this picture. First, we see that the energy from the burning wick and wax is converted to light, which leaves the candle in every direction.
This article is a Work In Progress – more soon.
This lesson is still a work in progress. The following needs to be incorporated:
|Contrast Ratio||Ratio||measurement – part of a nit|
|10||100 nits to 10 nits||–|
|100||100 nits to 1 nits||1 nit is a 1,000 millinits. That makes sense, right?|
|1,000||100 nits to 0.1 nits||100 millinits|
|10,000||100 nits to 0.01 nits||10 millinits|
|100,000||100 nits to 0.001 nits||a thousandth of a nit – a millinit!|
|1,000,000||100 nits to 0.0001 nits||a tenth of a millinit!|