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Kodak's Expanding "Vision"
by Christopher Probst

Kodak's Expanding "Vision" | Vision and Vision Premier Color Print Films | Vision 800T 5289 Color Negative Film | Kodak's ScreenCheck Certification

Kodak's ScreenCheck Certification

Despite Eastman Kodak's continued efforts to improve the moviegoing experience — evidenced by the ongoing progress of their camera-origination, intermediate, and print films — the last critical link in this chain has, until now, gone unregulated. While filmmakers relentlessly strive to make films of the highest image quality, all of their efforts can be quickly undone by poor theater conditions: dirty screens, out-of-focus optics, and underpowered projection lamps.

However, Kodak is currently launching an ambitious exhibitor-certification program designed to ensure an optimum level of quality in every theater's viewing environment. This includes proper maintenance and calibration of both the projectors and sound reproduction systems, setting a maximum level of darkness in the theater by controlling ambient light from exit signs and other sources, and routine cleaning of the screen and the projection booth's port glass.

"Even if an audience doesn't know they are watching movies in a cinema optimized for high-quality projection, they are aware of enjoying the movie on that screen," says Sean Lohan, director of business development for theatrical distribution. "Our early surveys indicate that when a public sees a movie on a big screen with a brightly lit image in a sufficiently darkened environment, they find the experience more enjoyable. Many say they would even travel farther and pay a little more to see films on that screen."

Kodak's ScreenCheck program will certify theaters that meet its rigorous standards and issue the theater advertising materials for lobby display. "We believe this will have real value for exhibitors," opines Lohan, "because the Kodak brand name is among the most trusted in the world and is widely recognized and associated with quality. We believe movie fans will make that association and recognize that the cinemas which have been certified by Kodak have great screens."

Lohan notes that there are many cinemas that already meet the qualifications for the Kodak certification. Once a screen is certified, however, it will be revalidated up to nine times a year with Kodak's engineers measuring the brightness and evenness of the onscreen picture. This is to ensure that the screen can be masked for all possible aspect ratios with no cropping required, and that all sight-lines are clear. Additionally, Kodak's teams will measure the steadiness of the film running through the projector and see to it that the film itself is properly handled and cleaned.

With other parallel quality-assurance programs such as LucasFilm's THX sound certification, audiences now have the ability to view movies in the manner in which the filmmakers intended. "It's not about projecting pretty pictures," Lohan concludes. "It's about providing an environment where the audience can temporarily embrace a fantasy — to let the audience see the beauty and subtleties in the images captured on film. Details in colors, contrast and textures are all part of the story."

For additional information about Vision 2383, Vision Premier 2393, and Vision 800T 5289, contact your local Kodak representative. For additional information on the Kodak ScreenCheck program, contact Sean Lohan: (323) 468-4217, e-mail: [email protected].

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