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Re:Transformania I

I'd like to first thank Dave Satin et al for their time and hospitality for
Transformania 1. I realize that people are on edge to find out which is a
better machine.  But to tell you the truth, this Transformania should
continue in other parts of the US to get a better consensus of how people
feel about the machines in question.

I saw an IP film that showed basically a set with black columns, black
shiny floor and black background.  Also in the background were blue sky and
clouds rapidly passing by.  The eye catchy portion of the set was the
numerous (very good looking) women performing aerobics and exercises with
very colorful workout clothing.  Only best primary correction was used (no
secondaries) for both Ursa and Spirit.  The difference I saw was that
colors seemed to be more vibrant.  Blacks especially on the shiny floor
looked better on the Spirit.  In comparison, the Cintel's black looked
stretched because it was lighter shade of black, Spirit's just looked
cleaner and blacker.  The real kicker was when I saw the luminence only
changed, (I forgot what that was called) the blacks didn't change - the
picture just got more contrast(y) or "ballsy" as someone had said.

One of the rolls of negative showed a woman in a kitchen.  She moves from
the foreground of the counter around to the back of it.  One of our
observers noticed the wood grain pattern showed up much better on the
Spirit.  Yes, I agree but later I started wondering how important that
difference was because we were eyeing with a fine tooth comb.  That wood
grain was not the focus and only appeared for about seven to ten seconds.
The viewer at home would not really care and most likely not notice it
consciously.  Again - it looked good but the only people that would
probably flip out, if the detail wasn't clear, is the Client.

Another roll of negative was shot outdoors.  It was a convertible with the
top down and four people in it.  The roll was overexposed and in both cases
of the machines, I would say it took our Colorist Eli, the same amount of
time to perform best primary corrections.  Again, the color difference
struck me.  But this time, there was something else, I think I felt a
subtle difference.  The Spirit's picture seemed colder.  This was subtle
for me because I couldn't tell right away what it was that bothered me.

I think it is those films that are tricky, difficult, cross processed or
where human error has occurred (labeled wrong, exposed wrong, process
wrong) which will show the strengths and weakness of the machines in
question (and maybe the Colorist).  Aside from obvious differences, subtle
differences were just that - subtle.

Final opinion:
"The look", was created because of the major difference of how the Spirit
was engineered - Xexon lamp vs. CRT.  The Spirit does perform better color
and cleaner look. As far as the grain issue goes, I'm sorry to say that the
comparison was not totally fair.  My observation and opinion, is the Ursa
had an older CRT and it did look somewhat noisy (no offense Dave).  Of
course the Spirit look clean.  But in all fairness, I would have preferred
to made comparisons with a CRT that would have been even eight months old.

But the TIGers know damn well that as long as the Client is pleased with
what they get, they'll come back for more.  They really don't care how it
gets done as long as they're happy with it.  In SMA's situation and any
other post, having both machines would cover a larger range of client