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Re: Electronic Cinema

Paul writes:

>That's fine but we are in a transition phase and I don't understand some
>people in our industry tolerate such poor projection standards of film in
>our traditional cinemas today either. Small screen multiplex cinemas and
>poor film care has paved the way for an easier transition to EP.

Unfortunately, what artistic control producers have over the final product
does not appear to extend to the movie houses themselves.  Although I'd have
to say that things actually look and sound better in the various New York
area theaters I've visited recently than they did a couple of years ago, I
agree with you.

>> Release printing is a very different business than negative developing.
>Yes but it will impact stock manufacturers and the development of film if
>their revenue is seriously depleted. The labs in London service both neg
>print, they will lose business.

I asked the "dreaded question" to some friends of mine at Kodak, and
interestingly enough, they told me that  motion picture print stock is
something they'd obviously like to sell as much of as possible, but it is
not a major part of their overall business.  My guess is that widespread use
of electronic cinema could mean some plant closings and lay-offs, but I
think Kodak will keep right on making motion picture negative (as well as
print) stocks as long as anybody wants to buy them.  I do not know anybody
at Fuji to ask, but I'd imagine their situation is similar.

>> While electronic cinema is likely to impact the release print business,
>That's an interesting thought.
>The cost of the negative on a project is a small portion of the budget.
>Going EP actually effects the distribution cost's not the production costs.

I know I oversimplified a bit; you're right that electronic cinema has a lot
more to do with distribution than making movies, but consider this:
distributors do not invest in prints, advertising, or anything else if they
feel a picture is going to be a dud.  Likewise, theater managers don't want
to waste screen and set-up time on pictures they don't think anybody is
going to come in and see.  Now if you replace the cost of a print with the
cost of downloading a file or burning a few data disks, and if setting a
film up is nothing more than a mouse click on a computer screen in a theater
manager's office, it becomes a whole lot easier to take chances on films
that would otherwise be neglected.  In turn, this could stimulate demand for
more pictures from the studios.

Best regards,
Christopher Bacon

Thanks to DAV and Dave Walker for support in 1999
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