Ask Al: Digital Films and DCPs
October 20 (Friday)
Welcome to our reoccuring “Ask Al” column where we ask projectionist Al Reid to answer your burning questions about life in the projection booth. This month’s questions are from Cinematheque-fan, Danny Nowak.
How do you receive a digital film?
Digital films either come to us on a hard drive or via a download link, usually as a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) or as a .mov file that we convert into a DCP.
How does the anti-piracy system work?
Most films from major studios are encrypted and then unlocked (for a set number of days determined by the distributor) with an electronic key specific to the venue’s projector. Moreover films can only be loaded on to a DCP server (and then deleted), but never transferred off from them.
Does the Cinematheque pay fees?
Yes, usually there is a minimum screening fee and a percentage of the box office should sales exceed that minimum.
Can anyone order a movie that way if they have a digital projector?
No, DCP servers are very specific computers that need to be set up by a licensed technician and then “married” to a projector.
Also, what is the latest on laser projection. How does it work?
Laser projectors are a newer form of light engine (aka light source) that use one to three colour lasers to produce a brighter and more vibrant image for less power that a typical lamp based source. If using less than three lasers, a phosphor colour wheel and filters are used to generate a more complete colour spectrum. Laser light engines are becoming more common place in home theatre projectors and premium commercial projectors as the upfront cost is coming down and are generally maintenance free for the life of the projector.
Have a question for Al?
Send it to: askAl@thecinematheque.ca
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|2023-Nov||The All Staff Listicle: Fall Film Festival Edition||The Cinematheque|
|2023-Oct||Ask Al: Digital Films and DCPs||Al Reid|
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