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Old September 16th, 2005, 02:02 PM   #1
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Disney Backs Digital Distribution

Is film distribution entering its twilight?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/latimests/20...aldistribution
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Old September 16th, 2005, 08:13 PM   #2
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I sure hope so! The picture will be better, and as people become used to it, it will take over. When it does, us semi-pro low budget types will no longer have to face that huge hurdle of ponying up large sums of money for a tape to film transfer. This is a step in the right direction (although I'm sure that there will be a lot of people who disagree ;) ).
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Old September 16th, 2005, 08:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Gipson
Is film distribution entering its twilight?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/latimests/20...aldistribution
150 screens by year end? Wow, that's only just over 3 months time. That's quite aggresive if it holds true.

Man, if one of those projectors doesn't make it to Atlanta.. grrr.

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Old September 17th, 2005, 11:53 AM   #4
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Just a thought. But how long before people (perhaps rich ones still) could buy a projector that can display the original digital master?

We have all this talk of BluRay and HD DVD etc, but what would be much nicer is if we could actually view the original digital version of the film in our homes!
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Old September 17th, 2005, 12:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
Just a thought. But how long before people (perhaps rich ones still) could buy a projector that can display the original digital master?

We have all this talk of BluRay and HD DVD etc, but what would be much nicer is if we could actually view the original digital version of the film in our homes!
That would be quite nice and I guarantee you several directors and producers will almost certainly do this (Why not, some already have their own 35mm projection rooms). And there are definitely folks with enough money to burn to buy a 100K projector.

Now getting a studio to provide you with the digital copy.. that might be another matter :)

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Old September 17th, 2005, 01:29 PM   #6
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but that's what peer-2-peer is for :-P

- Mikko "has never downloaded a movie"
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Old September 17th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #7
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There's no mention of what resolution will be projected, but I've got deep misgivings about this switch. If it doesn't end up being a huge improvement over film the studios will really shoot themselves in the foot. If you have an HDTV at home, and a Blue Ray player, why are you going to go to the movies if the image looks about the same? I have to wonder if movie theaters aren't going to go the way of the drive-in in the coming decades. Will 24p disappear? Frankly, I think the studios are completely nuts to mess with their tried and true formula.
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Old September 17th, 2005, 02:58 PM   #8
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Since the deal uses Christie digital cinema projectors I think you'll find the answer to the resolution question here:

http://www.christiedigital.com/produ...ifications.asp

and here:

http://www.christiedigital.com/produ...ifications.asp

Both of their products feature 2048x1080 (so-called "2K") native resolution DMD chips.

I'm sure there were a lot of people who thought it was nuts to abandon the tried and true system of horse-drawn transportation in favor of cars too - and you could still make a good argument that this was a bad thing. Unfortunately economics are going to drive this change for better or for worse so I think the real challenge will be putting it to the best possible use.

Unfortunately your comment about "why not just stay home and watch HDTV" is the way people are already thinking. The movie theatre business is a shadow of its former self. It's a sad comment on our society. Nobody really wants to interact with other people in a group activity, like a movie theatre - let alone attend a live theatre production. So we further separate the haves and have-nots based on who can afford home theatres....
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Old September 17th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #9
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I'm all for progress. Who knows, maybe it will look much better. Seems awful risky though. It's pretty hard to get too excited about 1080p. Hope we aren't stuck with that as the standard for the next 100 years.
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Old September 17th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #10
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Well unfortunately Hollywood always gravitates to what is "good enough." That's why we're watching 35mm film in theatres today instead of 70mm or 3-strip Cinerama :-)
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Old September 17th, 2005, 03:23 PM   #11
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That's kind of my point. If they were smart they would be moving in the other direction, some kind of format that they can promote as being better than what people can get at home. As it is, they could end up accelerating an already destructive trend, all to save a few pennies.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 08:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt
If they were smart they would be moving in the other direction, some kind of format that they can promote as being better than what people can get at home.
DLP/Digital Film Projection has been around for a while now, I remember seeing 'Monster's Inc.'[or was it 'Toy Story 2'?] in digital, and I don't think any level of HDTV we get home can come close to what is being thrown up on to that huge screen just in terms of size, brightness and clarity.

It is not like they are advertising it as "Go to the movie theatre to watch TV."

I actively seek out the DLP version of a film if available-- the last two "Star Wars" films, "The Incredibles" "Collateral" and "Spider-Man 2" were really amazing looking projected digitally.

The pictures are rock solid, no film scratches, splotches, spots, hiccups and anything else for that matter.

And deep down inside, I always wonder what happens to all those theatrical film prints after its run.

Besides, with all movie theaters being able to project digitally they can rent out the theaters for corporate presentations and one can in theory do, that DeBeers commercial where you surprise you wife with home movies on the big screen.

One big caveat about DLP though, the last digitally projected film I saw at the Ziegfeld here in NYC was "Revenge of the Sith" and I suspect the projector has developed a "dead pixel" thing...I saw one black vertical line that was throughout the film.

Now unless they fix, replace or repair it...ouch!
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Old September 18th, 2005, 08:43 AM   #13
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Ever since "widescreen" was introduced along with air-conditioning to get people back into the movies it's been a dual with television and the comfort of home. Got to offer the folks something 'better'... however that's percieved. Maybe its stereo, no - surround sound, no -THX or Dolby, no -"stadium seating, no - IMAX, no... DIGITAL PROJECTION, no - DIGITAL 3D...

Yup, expect to swap out one set of problems for another. No more hairs in the gate, scratches in the film, faded color. Nope, now we get dead pixels, scrambled signals, failing drives, random drop-outs, mis-read color cues... Hey, it's technology. There's a million things that can go wrong. And Murphy is there to make it happen. There IS NO FOOLPROOF projection system. Period. End of discussion.

Wow, a new film opens up, box-office is not what we expected, no problem, pull it down after the first two days, and throw another one up there. No chance to grow any 'legs' or word of mouth... no commitment to show it. All those millions down the drain... Wow, any small indy can make a film capable of screening 'up there' on the big screen... distributors become awash in a sea of submissions with a race to the bottom.

Don't get me wrong. Digital filmmaking is the wave of the future. No question. And there will always be people who appreciate the communal experience of grouping together in the dark to view an image bigger than they could ever hope to project at home. But is it going to 'save' movies?

Movie making and distribution has always been an evolving process. Always been about survival of the fittest. Capitalism in its rawest form. (for better or worse) The only thing constant in the last 100 years has been 'film' as a medium for capture. (in all its myriad formats) And thats going fast.

I've always believed that the cream would rise to the top. That the best movies would win out, that taste would always triumph in terms of quality content. But theres a reason why people paint pictures of Elvis on black velvet...

Because SOMEBODY BUYS THEM.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #14
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Old September 19th, 2005, 06:18 AM   #15
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Boyd wrote: "It's a sad comment on our society. Nobody really wants to interact with other people in a group activity, like a movie theatre - let alone attend a live theatre production."

Yeah especially since:

1. So many people in movie theaters are rude @ssholes.

2. Movie theaters make you watch tons of stupid previews that you didn't ask to watch.

3. Hollywood can't make a mind blowing movie to save it's life...hence why it's slowly dying.

4. You will be lucky if the sound or image in the theater doesn't have some annoying problem with it.

5. Movie tickets are the exact same price as a lot of DVDs at Walmart (they are 11 bucks in some places in NYC.) Why pay 11 or 10 bucks for a crappy Hollywood formula movie when you can own a classic from the 1980s

If anything, I would say that the decline in ticket sales is a sad comment on the coce heads that run Hollywood.
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