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Old 12-22-2003, 11:47 PM   #1
QuickSlash
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Shield Three red dots?

The first time I saw RotK, I noticed that on a few occasions, a small triangle of three red dots popped up for a second or two. I asked friends locally if they'd seen it, but they hadn't. When I went again today, I saw them, and am fairly sure it's not just defective film.<P>The only time I noticed them was during the trebuchet attacks at Minas Tirith. There're a few that're just right in the middle in the sceen, or possibly a little to the right. They appear right after the trebuchet's fired and the material moves forward (or, in the first instance, to the left). <P>I'm wondering if anyone else has seen these things, or if anyone knows what they'd be used for. I originally thought they could be part of the background that was supposed to be covered, but there's a few shots where this doesn't make sense. I don't know. Help me out.<P>Very best.<P>[Edit: Multitasking leads to bad grammar. All better now.]<p>[ 12:50 AM December 23, 2003: Message edited by: QuickSlash ]
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Old 12-23-2003, 11:47 AM   #2
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Sting

Can't say I've noticed what you are describing, and I'm not sure this is connected, but something I always notice now is the black dot that appears towards the bottom right corner of the screen that signifies a reel is about to change.<P>I was a projectionist at university (yes, I was a proud AV geek - though likely that won't surprise anyone) and we had to switch from one projector to the other manually when a reel ended. The dot signifies that you have something like five seconds before the reel ended, so you would see the dot, count 1000-1, 1000-2, ... and then click over. When you got good at it the folks in the theatre wouldn't even notice.<P>The thing is, before I was a projectionist I never noticed the black dot and would rarely notice reel changes. Now I spot them everytime and they are mighty annoying. <P>H.C.
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Old 12-24-2003, 10:05 AM   #3
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My damn english teacher knew about that, told us it ruined every movie he saw now he knew, and then proceeded to tell us all about it. I hope he is destroyed.
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Old 12-24-2003, 03:19 PM   #4
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Sting

<B>Quickslash</B>, I did notice the red dots. I do not have an explanation for them. They certainly knocked me off balance when I saw them flashing on the screen.
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Old 12-25-2003, 01:20 AM   #5
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Oh good, I'm not insane. Those three dots drove me nuts. All this seroius action is happening and all of a sudden these three red dots pop up on the screen a couple of tiems. I don't know what they are, but they are on every single bloody print. All I can say is something went wrong when the fillm was being developed.
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Old 12-26-2003, 06:12 PM   #6
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Question

I've never seen anything like those red dots in a movie before, so I doubt they're connected to the black reel-changing dots. They were very blatant and huge at our theater. The person who was supposed to change the reel wasn't too bad, though. Sometimes it was obvious, sometimes it wasn't.<P>Hobbit Snatcher, I took a photography class this summer where I developed my own film, and I doubt it could make dots like these. To me, they looked pretty much perfectly circular, and they were in different places in the frames. If there was a developing problem, I think the dots would be seen on the same place of screen every time. But I don't know for sure; I didn't do motion picture film.<P>I just tried to google the red spots, but I didn't find anything. Not positive what to call 'em, though I tried a few different things with lots of OR's. ;\
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Old 12-26-2003, 09:06 PM   #7
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Those different types of (very obtrusive) markings are called "cap codes" and are supposed to be an anti-piracy measure.

This is from a recent column by Roger Ebert:

Quote:
Crap codes -- excuse me, cap codes -- have enraged a lot of Answer Man correspondents. Will Sparks of Charlottesville, Va., writes: "I saw 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World' yesterday and was disgusted by the number of times that I saw those hideous dots during the film, especially during the chase scene around Cape Horn. Do the studios think we're too dumb not to see them?"

Why are the dots so big and visible? Why not do something subtle and subliminal? Because the dots are intended to identify prints that have been pirated by analog means -- i.e., by being videotaped off a screen. Hollywood is in a paranoid seizure about piracy right now, spending a fortune on security guards who body-search movie critics while the real pirates steal from within the system.
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Old 12-27-2003, 12:59 AM   #8
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Thank you, Mr. Underhill. That tells me a lot. I found more info here: <A HREF="http://www.phildennison.net/archives/000028.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.phildennison.net/archives/000028.html</A> This person saw these in the back to back showings of all three movies. <P>One thing that I don't get is how it makes any difference. If someone actually went into the theater and held up a video camera, wouldn't it just make a copy of the red dots? Does this do *any* good at all?<P>At least it's not just LotR doing it. After googling this, I found things about them being blatant in 'Master and Commander' and 'Kill Bill (Volume One).' It'll probably be in every movie seen from here on out; just hopefully it won't be so obvious next time. Might just want to rent the video then.<P>Very best.
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Old 12-27-2003, 01:31 PM   #9
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Sting

Yeah I don't get it either. Maybe they don't want us to understand it. Hey a question for the projectionists out there. Do most movie theaters have to have someone switch the reels manually or do some have an automatic switch?
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Old 12-27-2003, 05:13 PM   #10
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Sting

That drove me crazy also! I've known what the three dots are for a while (and also what that black dot in the corner is), and if I'm not really "into" the movie, it gets completely ruined for me.
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