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HTTYD in Massachusetts
Topic Started: 11 Mar 2024, 11:08 (2750 Views)
hictooth
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Archivist of Berk

Was going to post this on the Dragon Chat, but then realised that a forum post may suit this even more!

So last week I went on a trip to Massachusetts, to do a real-life Grapevine meetup, where I'd show my 35mm copy of HTTYD1. I met Sparrowhawk, @Theotherunknown and @NightoftheFury, as well as someone who isn't on these forums.

If you don't know - films before 2012-ish were sent to cinemas not as hard drives or digital files, but on analog film, to be projected by shining a light through each frame in sequence, 24 times a second. I'm into old technology and film, and I have a copy (two, in fact!) of HTTYD1 on 35mm film - a copy that will have been used in a cinema to show the movie to an audience in 2010!

I have a projector at home, but it's always more fun to project in a proper cinema, with others watching too. I've taken my film to cinemas twice before (where I made this video before), but both times in the UK - this would be the first time in the US.

I've included some pics & descriptions below, so you can see what dragon-antics we got up to!

The film itself
 
Below is the film itself - it comes on 5 reels, each ~20 mins long. And then my Build a Bear dragon helping me pack the box!

The projection booth
 
And here is the projection room (or "projection booth") of the cinema we showed it at! They have two projectors, this is needed to switch between the 5 reels. You start a reel running on one projector, and then as it ends, you start the next projector. If you time it right, the audience doesn't notice that there's been a change! This is known as "changeovers" in the projection world.

For the nerds like myself, these projectors are Philips DP70s - considered to be one of the best projectors ever made.

Threading up the film
 
To project analog film, you need to thread it up in the projector. This allows the projector to advance the film 24 frames every second, shining a light through the current frame, and onto the screen. Below shows the projector first without any film threaded, and then with film threaded in it.

Watching the movie
 
And once that was all done, we watched the movie! If you've not had the chance to see HTTYD1 in a cinema before, it's a treat, and worth doing if you get the chance. Everything is much better on the big screen. And the quality is far superior to the DVD, and even the BluRay.

Here are some shots of the film as we watched it. It looked stunning!


And of course, my favourite scene, Forbidden Friendship:

The "lost" animation error
 
Did you know that when HTTYD1 was first animated, there was an error? You'll remember that when Hiccup first sketches Toothless in his notepad, he sees the missing fin and rubs it out. Later on we see the smudged fin when he places his notebook down on top of the dragon manual.

But - the original animated version of the film had a mistake - they used the wrong texture for this second scene, so the tail appears unsmudged! If you saw the movie in cinemas in 2010 you may have spotted this - but it was then fixed for the dvd/bluray editions, and has also been fixed in cinema re-releases. So watching a 35mm copy is really the only way to see this difference!

Below is a screenshot of the smudged fin that you'll be familiar with from the DVD, and then a picture from the cinema showing that it originally had the error!

Astrid - "Hictooth"?
Hiccup - Yeah, it's not my snappiest comeback.
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Dragonrider's Fury
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That sounds awesome! It's too bad I'm half a continent away from Massachusetts; I'd have loved to attend, and meet up with a few Grapeviners in person. Are you planning on doing something like this again sometime?
Proverbs 25:11
 
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 15:1
 
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

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hictooth
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Dragonrider's Fury
11 Mar 2024, 12:27
I'd have loved to attend, and meet up with a few Grapeviners in person. Are you planning on doing something like this again sometime?
Yeah, it would have been fun to have you!

This is the third time I've done this - two before in the UK. There certainly will be other times in the future (I'm considering another in the UK at the moment, actually!), but they will likely be closer to me than you!

I won't say I'll never do one in the US again, but it requires finding a friendly cinema, and also carrying the 20kg (~45lbs for you Americans!) film print around the airport, in a box that doesn't have wheels or handles (I didn't want to check it because of it's value and fragile-ness) was the most exercise I've done in many years, and really tired me out!

But if you're ever planning on coming to the UK... let me know ;)
Astrid - "Hictooth"?
Hiccup - Yeah, it's not my snappiest comeback.
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Theotherunknown
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There were dragons, when I was a boy...

Glad I could make it out! This was loads of fun, and I'm hopeful I'll see some of you again in Europe sometime.
How many times must I fix my signature over the years?
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Dragonrider's Fury
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hictooth
11 Mar 2024, 14:12
I won't say I'll never do one in the US again, but it requires finding a friendly cinema, and also carrying the 20kg (~45lbs for you Americans!) film print around the airport, in a box that doesn't have wheels or handles (I didn't want to check it because of it's value and fragile-ness) was the most exercise I've done in many years, and really tired me out!

But if you're ever planning on coming to the UK... let me know ;)
Yeah, that's understandable! It would be nice if you could do one near me sometime, but airfare is pricey and that's a lot of weight after a while (although it seems like there should be a better carrying solution :P ). And you can bet your 35mms and your plushie dragons I'll let you know if I'm ever coming to the UK! 8)
Proverbs 25:11
 
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 15:1
 
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Team Pathetic Banner

Awesome Secret Odin 2019 GIFt set from Inhonoredglory. Thanks a ton! :-D
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hictooth
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Aaaand one last picture, the HTTYD poster that we all signed!

Astrid - "Hictooth"?
Hiccup - Yeah, it's not my snappiest comeback.
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Dragonrider's Fury
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hictooth
18 Mar 2024, 17:27
Aaaand one last picture, the HTTYD poster that we all signed!
-{snip}-
Aw, that's awesome! ^_^
Proverbs 25:11
 
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 15:1
 
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Team Pathetic Banner

Awesome Secret Odin 2019 GIFt set from Inhonoredglory. Thanks a ton! :-D
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