Undeniable Fact About AOTC #25: First Global DLP Release

Not only was AOTC the first film shot on high definition cameras, it was also the first film to be exhibited digitally worldwide. TPM did have a limited release that was digitally projected during the summer of 1999, but that was only in a couple of theaters. The one nearest me was in New Jersey.

With AOTC, there were two digital screens in the entire Washington, D.C. metro region. Fortunately one of which was at a multiplex close to where I used to live, so that’s where I saw it the second time and immediately I noticed the difference. Not only was the edit better–I loved how Padmé took Anakin’s robo hand at the end of the film–I realized it was like watching a DVD on the big screen. “Film sucks,” I thought. And I still do.

Today digital cinema is common all over the world. What a big difference in just 12 years!

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8 Responses to “Undeniable Fact About AOTC #25: First Global DLP Release”

  1. Hunk a Junk Says:

    And even though JJ is using celluloid film to shoot EpVII, in the end the movie is going to be transferred, released and shown digitally anyway. But “purists” will be happy. I guess.

  2. StarWarsVII Says:

    Wow, I had no idea that Attack of The Clones was a pioneer in this field. Thanks for the info!

  3. madmediaman Says:

    Yup, I remember making a near weekly trek Summer 2002 to Arrowhead Fountains which was the first digital theater in Phoenix. My buddy Doug and I went their opening weekend after seeing the film opening night in a standard cinema. We were stunned.

    Certain shots (especially low light shots) had some odd pixelization going on in the film transfer, or lacked clarity in shadows and looked a little muddy. We both kind of expected this as we had worked for years with celluloid, and were just now (at the time) making the leap to digital cameras ourselves.

    We were floored when we saw AOTC digitally. Gone was the pixelization, and muddy shadows. They were rich and held detail. Doug, a cinematographer, turned to me during the Padme Lake Retreat scene and said, “Film is dead. Just imagine the technology in 5 or 10 years.”

    We both talked about it afterward and agreed, with the ability to capture more and more information and better lenses with more depth of field, there was really no reason to work with film as a medium anymore, outside of some perceived nostalgia factor. And mind you this was digital in its infancy. There were pretty big limitations at the time and AOTC certainly exposed a few of them, but it was clear, the audience had no idea they were watching a film shot on video.

    Doug’s been working on a film for a few years to put a lot of these ideas to the test. This is a trailer for a full length independent feature he’s been working on called Blackout. The idea being that this was some sort of “lost” film noire from the 50s. All shot on video, trying to emulate the look of the era:

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Here’s the other thing: a digital copy looks just as good after five or six weeks as it did opening day. Film? Not so much.

  4. madmediaman Says:

    And this is one of my favorites by Doug. Replicating a Word War II era education film in color:

  5. lovelucas Says:

    I don’t have the tech lingo but good to know members of this group not only do but also have practical experience. George is responsible for creating so many tools that are used by so many others who don’t get condemned but praised –

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