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Re: Electronic Cinema

> 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

I agree Christopher,
I believe new technology will allow "risky" projects to be released.
It's not dissimilar to the audio/music industry where the reduction in
production costs has caused an explosion in content being available. Another
example is the print industry where desktop publishing has allowed an
incredible amount of niche magazines to emerge because of the reduced
production costs and availability of tools.

In fact the music industry is a good example.....bear with me on this, it
might get boring,.....when electronic instruments came out (synthesisers)
everyone said it would kill conventional instruments such as violins etc
(this is close to my heart being an ex professional musician).
People debated about the sonic nature of real instruments, synthesisers and
samplers. What has actually happened is that electronic instruments have
become dominant whilst conventional instruments have become a smaller high
end/specialist/niche solution.
Not killed off, but repositioned.

I'm speculating that film will have a high end role for a very long time but
that role will reduce but not disappear as other technology improves. There
will always be a place for very high quality or specific looks. There is
also an enormous wealth of knowledge and skills surrounding those working
with the medium from cameramen, directors, engineers etc.

In television broadcasting, so much used to be shot on film including the
news...now only expensive commercials (spots) or high quality drama is
originated on film. A reduction in usage but film has a firm hold in these
high quality areas "for now".

We are seeing the same pressure on film in the movie making arena.
I believe going to the cinema should be a quality experience or you may as
well pick up a DVD or VHS and watch it at home on home cinema (putting aside
the anti social nature of this). The increase in home cinema equipment sales
may be a reflection on the poor "experience" people can get in average
cinemas. The high entrance cost, shabby prints, tiny screen etc.
If most cinemas still had a single quality large screen presentation the
experience would be much different.
The only improvements I have noticed in cinemas has been sonically, the
sound systems can be very impressive whilst picture quality has not kept up.

I think that it is exciting that lower production costs may bring film
projects to life that would have been excluded before. There will also be a
huge amount of "dodgy" content created...just like television.

"Lock stock and two smoking barrels" is a film that would have worked easily
in an electronic medium with it's burned out whites and gritty street
stylised looks. Not everyone's preferred taste but a successful film. The
look contributed to the story telling.

Electronic cinema the new punk rock?  ;)

Paul Grace
"anarchy in the UK"

disclaimers: I don't work for Kodak, Fuji, Sony or any connection to Lucas
etc etc .I do own a bolex super 8mm camera and still use it for fun.

Thanks to DAV and Dave Walker for support in 1999
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