Movies, and the Entertainment Technology for Movies, involve a lot of components. Each have many procedures, that is, many steps to accomplish the goal.
In addition to all the organized madness, there are a few absolute, overarching rules. These are our topic.
The first rule is to fulfill one goal: To allow for, and follow the director’s intent.
The second is a force of nature, whether it is in Filmmaking or Engineering, Design or Production: To allow for but not be overwhelmed by the Art of Compromise.
The Director’s Intent Rule is reflected in each link of the chain of events that goes into making the movie, whether it is any of the steps of Scriptwriting, Lighting and Camera work, CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery), Post Production and Exhibition. They all need to align so that the ideas of the Director get from the first lens at the camera through to the final lens at the projector.
The Art of Compromise Rule implies that there will be some changes from the ideal at many (every?) step of the process. The real story of great movie making – and making art in any field or endeavor – is to balance the the realities of available assets with the steps required to create the proper effect from the audience. Like most endeavors in life, the realities and problems deal with time, money, technology and/or people. Regardless, the result must not allow the audience to slip from the effect that the director wants to create.
Suspension of Disbelief is the term that describes the state of being that an audience is expected to slip into, and remain “in”, during a movie. (In contrast, this is the opposite of a critic’s state, who is expected to analyze the components of the movie, and how they work together and cleverly serve our needs with their information.)
In the movie theater, the Director’s Intent rule deals with delivering the sound and picture with enough quality that the audience responds with – and maintains – the proper suspension of disbelief so that the ideas and message of the movie are unimpeded. These will include comfort issues, and this entails more than the feel of the seats and air conditioning – which are important. In the U.S. it would also include the proper smell of popcorn in the lobby, for example. Around the world, it includes a room without distractions caused by mobile phones.
One purpose of this site is to examine the ingredients that help or hinder these rules when watching a movie in the modern “Digital” auditorium. We’ll do our best to explain things, hopefully without a lot of math. We’ll get expert opinions. We’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the companies who cater to the audience – hopefully they are finding the proper compromises that balance perfection and affordability.
We’ll also answer your questions, sometimes as they are received, and sometimes when their answer fits into the topic of the weekly segment.
Good luck to us all.