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Old July 27th, 2005, 09:03 PM   #1
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Big News for Digital Projection.

Finally a digital projection standard agreed upon for theatres. I figure another three years before they figure out who will pay for it.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050728/...digital_movies
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Old July 27th, 2005, 09:46 PM   #2
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Report: Theaters To Go Digital

The major studios have reportedly agreed on new technical standards for digital projectors and are close to an agreement on a financial plan to introduce them in the nation's theaters, the New York Times reported today (Wednesday), noting that an announcement of the agreement is expected to be made later today. The newspaper, citing two unnamed executives, said that Digital Cinema Initiatives, a joint studio effort to develop the standards, has agreed that the new projectors should have the capability of being upgraded as technology becomes more advanced. The studios are also reportedly close to an agreement on a plan whereby they would borrow money to install the projectors in theaters, then use the money saved from lower print costs to pay down the debt. Theaters would be responsible for maintenance and upkeep.

From imdb.com.

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Old July 28th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #3
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thats the coolest breakthru ever.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 06:41 AM   #4
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Studio's to foot the bill for digital projectors? Awesome, anyone else interested in opening a theater chain...
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Old July 31st, 2005, 09:18 PM   #5
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What does this mean exactly? More independent DV features being screened? No more film outs? What?
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Old July 31st, 2005, 10:01 PM   #6
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The immediate impact, is that the number of film prints struck, will decrease... which SHOULD save the studios money. And the quality of the 'film' you see, should be better as good a week after it opens as the day it premieres.

Does this mean your home-made MiniDV feature will be shown in the multiplex? Only if your buddy runs the projector and can get the house on an off-slot.

There is, an additional side effect, that may not show up immediately. The ability to 'dump' a film and get a new one, might... MIGHT shorten the life cycle of features, but since the screening times won't change, it might ... MIGHT accelerate the number of features in production.

Just as the number of cable channels increasing, creates a need for content... the ability to dump a 'loser' film a night or two after it opens, and book something in it's place might create an increase in demand for features. I just hope the corresponding glut of garbage doesn't occur in the cinema, the way it has on cable.

But I'm not holding my breath.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 10:38 PM   #7
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Billions will be saved after the first year, the P&A costs will cover the projectors--smart that the studios are footing the bill. Many predicted that was the only way for it to work.

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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:37 AM   #8
 
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Well,

Not sure if this is good or bad.

Cool for digital projection everywhere, but now any digital movie shown on their equipment will be their movies. That will be a stipulation, you can be sure of it. Any help the dv/HD indie filmmakers would have gotten by bypassing the studios just went out the window. Matters will end up being just as bad, if not worse, for even if an indie feature gets shown, it won't bring in money quickly, and the studios/theaters will dump it even faster than before. It is possible therefore that we will see much more garbage. But heck, garbage and Hollywood are pretty much synonomous at this point.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 02:02 PM   #9
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You are correct... my brother in law owns several indie theaters (including a new multiplex opening in a couple months) and the studios want more and more control. The cost of upgrading to digital is prohibitive in all but the top 10 or 20 markets so the studios have this new plan to help speed things along, the result however could be even more control by them.

The public in general is fairly ignorant of the abusive practices by the studios. Next time you complain about your $9 movie ticket, just realize that the movie theater is getting no more than $3 of that, especially in the opening weekend. That is why your soda is $4. Multiplexes have killed the bottom line for most indie theaters because now that a big feature is on multiple screens at the same theater, everyone who wants to can see the movie on opening week where the studios make the highest %.


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Old August 1st, 2005, 02:22 PM   #10
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The one thing I wonder, is how the studios will bypass this because of the laws put forth years ago forbidding them from owning theatres...

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Old August 1st, 2005, 03:40 PM   #11
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Can you say Clear Channel?
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Old August 1st, 2005, 03:55 PM   #12
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You might see something different happen with commercials. Digital projection would make it easy to insert or remove commercials. It may be that you now see a lot more commercials, with greater targeting (film genres have different demographics watching them, and there may be localized ads). You may also see greater HD production for movie theatre ads.

You may see a slightly greater volume of independent films being released, because it's cheaper to do so. It won't cost as much to release a film because you don't have to pay for prints.
You're still probably going to see blockbuster-style productions from studios, because studios see the greatest profit potential from them.

At the same time, it might just be business as usual. To put a film out, there's still considerable marketing costs (at least $1 million to promote a film?).

You might see a lot of classic films re-released in theatres, because now it's cheap to do so.

The viewing quality should improve. However, in the short-term there may be some growing pains where people are still learning how to implement the new technology properly (like how CDs first came out).

Just my guesses anyways.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 11:57 AM   #13
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What does this mean exactly? More independent DV features being screened? No more film outs? What?
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It also means less piracy, I think.
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Interesting, if true. And interesting anyway.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 11:43 AM   #14
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Is there any word on what the technical specifications of these standards are?

Resolution? Colourspace? Compression algorithm? Bandwidth?

While people are rightfully hoping for a gain in quality, what happens if compression starts rearing its ugly head with a vengence? It's quite possible that a digital presentation may actually degrade the movie-going experience if not handled well.

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Old August 9th, 2005, 12:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven White
Is there any word on what the technical specifications of these standards are?

Resolution? Colourspace? Compression algorithm? Bandwidth?

While people are rightfully hoping for a gain in quality, what happens if compression starts rearing its ugly head with a vengence? It's quite possible that a digital presentation may actually degrade the movie-going experience if not handled well.

-Steve
If they're smart, they will use some sort of lossless compression along with very strong encryption. With pure digital, maybe they will finally get beyond the current 10bit color limitation.
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