LIVE CINEMA - Frequently Asked Questions
DOES IT HAVE TO BE 35MM? CAN WE SCREEN A DVD?
DVD is an excellent format for domestic use but it cannot offer the same quality as a good 35mm print, nor is it sufficiently robust as a technology to ensure a risk-free performance. Digital projectors are making rapid advances, but those which can match film quality are still very expensive and available in only a few venues. This is why many of the licensors that we work with will not allow theatrical presentations from tape or DVD, and this is a view that we have supported. We feel that the audience deserves to be shown the film in the highest quality possible.
Where we have commissioned a score, the music has been written to go fit our 35mm materials, reflecting any speed variations that we have specified. Even though, for some films, materials may be available from other sources (on DVD, 16mm or other format) the likelihood is that they may not synchronise with the score.
WE HAVE CHOSEN OUR FILM, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Once you have chosen which film you would like to present please fill in our film request sheet and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After we have agreed terms a contract and an on-signature invoice will be sent to you. We require payment of this invoice to secure the booking. Upon receipt of the signed contract and the on-signature payment, we will send you marketing and technical materials and, where applicable, a timecoded copy of the film (usually DVD). The print itself will normally be sent so as to arrive approximately one week before the performance.
HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST?
Charges will be quoted for each booking on an individual basis, reflecting the nature of that performance, box office potential, location, shipping requirements, insurance etc. The Film Request Sheet gives us the information we need to prepare a quote, and on receipt of that we will respond to you promptly.
HOW DO I GET THE PERFORMANCE LICENCE FOR THE FILM?
In the majority of cases we ourselves are the rights holder, or act as an agent for the rights holder, so can organise this for you. If you choose a film where this is not the case, we can provide you with all the relevant contact details.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT HOW MANY PLAYERS ARE NEEDED FOR A SPECIFIC FILM?
Orchestra numbers are shown in the relevant film page, as well as on each publicity sheet section next to each film. For further information on the line-up involved please contact the music publishers, also detailed in that section.
I CANNOT ACCOMMODATE AN ORCHESTRA FOR THE SIZE YOU SPECIFY, IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY I CAN SHOW THE FILM?
Whilst the combination of film and live orchestra – the genuine ‘Live Cinema’ experience - is hard to beat, we recognise that not all venues are suitable for a performance on this scale. We can in many situations help with a screening using a recording for the score; with Cinématheques and the like, improvised piano accompaniment is a common alternative.
DO WE NEED SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT TO SCREEN A SILENT FILM?
At the very least you will need a 35mm projector and in most cases this will need to be equipped for variable speed as very few of the films run at standard 24fps. Not only do most of the films run at speeds lower than 24fps, some also require speed changes during the film. If your projector does not have variable speed and the film you wish to present requires it, we may in certain circumstances be able to supply a Microverter to attach to the projector motor to achieve this.
There is no exact science about speed, it is a matter of judgment, but running a film too fast can be just as destructive as running it too slow. The correct pace can make all the difference between a film working or being dismissed as a pleasant nothing. The goal of presenting these films in the best way possible underpins all our work and our audiences have the right to expect to be offered a film at its best.
We have available for hire a ‘Microverter’ which can be attached to some projectors to vary the speed of a 3-phase motor (220/240v Delta type) to enable the films to be shown at the correct speeds. We will be happy to discuss this with you.
WE HAVE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE, CAN YOU PROVIDE ANY TECHNICAL HELP?
W e provide technical data sheets for your projectionist which detail any special requirements we recommend for these kind of performances. We also provide a detailed list of speed changes and are on hand to answer any questions you may have. Where appropriate we also provide a time coded DVD of the film to help your conductor and/or projectionist with synchronising film to music.
We can also supply a representative on site who will help you ensure your performance goes without a hitch. They are particularly useful for films with complicated speed changes or for a HiFi Presentation. Please indicate whether you would like a representative and we will include this in your quotation.
CAN YOU PROVIDE US WITH EXTRA MATERIALS FOR OUR PUBLICITY NEEDS?
If you require additional marketing materials over and above the 6 stills and brief history that are provided, we are happy to act as a consultancy and provide additional copy for your brochures. Please contact us with your request and we will provide you with a quotation.
WE ARE SHOWING OTHER FILMS IN OUR SEASON WHICH ARE NOT PROVIDED BY YOU, DO YOU HAVE ANY STILLS OR TEXT WE CAN USE?
We have a great deal of experience as film history consultants and have an extensive archive of stills and information at our disposal. We can provide additional copy, footage and stills for your brochures or books. Please contact us with your request and we will provide you with a quotation.