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'Deathly Hallows: Part 2' Director David Yates' Letter to Projectionists

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July 12, 2011

David Yates Letter to Projectionists

It's becoming a trend for filmmakers to write notes to projectionists and attach them with prints/harddrives sent to theaters. While we've featured some of these letters from the likes of Michael Bay for Transformers 3, and Terrence Malick for Tree of Life, I've heard from projectionists that they receive letters like this quite often. I received an email from an FS.net reader named Thomas, a projectionist and Harry Potter fan, who sent over the letter he received with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 written by director David Yates. It again speaks of how projectionists are very important to the theatrical experience.

Here are the two pages of the letter written by David Yates that were sent with Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The final Harry Potter movie arrives in theaters this weekend, starting on July 15th, in 2D, 3D and IMAX.

David Yates' Letter to Projectionists

David Yates' Letter to Projectionists

On the second sheet above, they provide directions for the 3.5 foot lambert requirement, since there was a massive debate last time about Bay's use of the measurement "6-foot lamberts" when Stanley Kubrick says no less than 15 foot lamberts. Either way, it looks like viewing it in 3D will be darker than Kubrick suggests, so they're still trying to keep it as bright as possible. It's also worth noting he says that the 3D is "elegant and empathetic to this final story." Maybe that's a good sign the 3D conversion might be worth it. Plus, he's dead on saying that "the way it is presented can make or break the experience of seeing it for an audience."

I love that director's are now addressing the concerns of 3D head on, directly with the projectionists, in such a hospitable and appreciative way. I really hope this sparks up a stronger desire for perfect projection at all times in cinemas around the world, big and small. "We need you now to complete the journey with us."

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  • Makes no difference to me, nothing will hamper my viewing of this film so I'm playing safe and watching it in ye olde 2D
  • Kaim
    3d made Thor an eyesore for the most part. Was this shot in 3d or post?
    • Anonymous
      Both films were converted.
  • Anonymous
    Despite what Yates said about the 3D being empathetic to the story, the fact remains that as it was a conversion, it is still going to be subpar and unecessary, but of course those involved won't be saying that.
    • I feel as though some conversion has been incredibly good over the past year. This is not the cheap conversion we've seen from last years releases, but but a new wave of conversion involving a lot of pain staking time and many man hours to get the look right. Green Hornet was the first success at making it work, and I think many of the shots in Transformers 3 that were converted look spectacular.
  • The 3D was actually well done. Saw the film yesterday, and nothing about it was distracting. Some scenes actually look really cool in 3D as well. 
    • That's part of the problem w/ HP7 - EVERYONE and their mothers have already seen the damned film. World premiere, my ass.
  • cool but ill be enjoying it in 2D 😀
  • Dom
    At least he knows how to address people properly unlike Mr Bay!
  • Notalent
    Another note to mention, although previous Potter films also have long credits. This one has 12 minutes of credits. Anyone know if this is the longest credits for a Potter film?
  • David
    Bay's letter probably should have instructed the projectionist to end Transformer's 3 an hour early.
  • Bobbygee
    As a projectionist that takes his job seriously it is nice to receive recognition as part of the movie going experience, especially as Hollywood seems to have suddenly taken notice. It's a shame that right now a lot of us (the cinema chain I'm with is currently going through the 'consultation' process.) are being prepared for mass redundancies and hour cuts. If only the business could step in and explain why automated machines shouldn't be left to do a job that people are still needed to ensure runs at optimal levels. But, heck, as long as the cinema chains maximize their profits, right...
    • John J
      I totally agree. I'm a former projectionist and I lost my job due to the chain replacing 35mm with automatic digital projectors. Directors can write letters all day long about how the film should be shown, it's not going to have any effect at all.
  • Jussi Siponen
    Sigh... There was a debate on the Film-Tech forums about this practice some time ago. The general concensus was that most of these "letters to the projectionist" are pointless. So far they have boiled down to "please show this picture according to established industry practices". Operators who care about presentation will put on a good show regardless of the presense or absense of these letters and those who do not are not going to magically improve by receiving one of these letters. As a projectionist I appreciate these letters when there is something unusual about a particular title (e.g. titles that start with sound and no picture or vice-versa, 3D titles with unusual masking such as G-Force, etc.), but they are a waste of time in cases where they say, essentially, "show the film properly." They might as well start saying things like "ensure the projector lamp is on" and "focus the picture". As it is, to me these letters make the director come across as a pompous ass, who expects his film to be treated differently from any other.
  • Diggles
    i wonder will all the managers read this letter after they have uploaded and scheduled the data ...sorry film ...no it is data, there are no projectionists anymore just dont spill the popcorn ...now thats a message they will heed !!
  • MZ.Bieber
    Harry potter part II was horrible there were to many chesees parts which came out of no where i was so mad but i ll b a HARRY POTTER fan 4 life
  • Daniela Flores
    how can i send a letter to you?

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