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Re: Consumer Reaction To Digi-Projection

>  After a release print
> makes its first run at a premier theater, it is normally returned to the
> distributor, who usually makes an effort to clean and repair it if need be.
> Then it goes out on the "second-run" circuit--small town and discount
> After that, it typically goes back to the distributor, gets fixed up again,

Does the public want to view low standard worn out prints? I know I don't.
If the quality of prints were higher and the standard of projection better,
then E-Cinema would be slower coming.

> gets exported for release in another country.

The UK probably ;)

> 2.  The major public demonstrations of electronic projection to date have been
> with animations like "Tarzan" and "The Phantom Menace" (which was a cartoon in
> more ways than one, in my opinion).  Nobody is bragging about how well it
> up with nature and real-life shots where the cinematographers have been turned
> loose to really practice their craft!

That's true Chris. But this is the start and the technology is improving
very fast. A great print properly projected looks beautiful. As you say,
animations are very forgiving, I agree. However "Shakespeare in Love" was
shown at NAB for E-Cinema evaluation I understand.

> 3.  The latest trend in film projection is unitized, all-enclosed machines
> instead of open ones with separate platters.  These tend to keep the film a
> cleaner and in better condition, since it is not out in the open any more.
> Kodak is making great strides in film technology, and there is no reason to
> think that they've come to the end of the road on future development.  Not to
> mention the fact that Technicolor is working on reviving the IB dye film
> printing process.  Better film and projectors might make electronic projection
> less competitive than it appears now.

I doubt if anyone will feel confident  in purchasing new standard projectors
now E-Cinema is around unless they are large format. It's not just a
technology issue, film handling and Projection skills are poor.

You mention Technicolor.....
See below. They can see the writing on the wall. Look where they are putting
their money.

"August 6, 1999
Looking to secure a place for itself in the coming era of digital
exhibition, film processing giant Technicolor has acquired a 49% stake in
L.A.-based Real Image Technology.
Technicolor, a subsidiary of the U.K.'s Carlton Communications, is paying
$23 million for the stake, with an option to buy another 11.5% at
prenegotiated terms. It has also agreed to invest a further $60 million if
trials of Real Image's approach to the technology prove successful.
Real Image has spent the past five years working with studio,
theater-circuit and technology execs to develop standards for the electronic
distribution of feature films."

Check out "The Blair Witch project", this is interesting as a lot of people
are prepared to accept this kind of crap quality in this movie, you will be
horrified but this is what is on the street and making very very good sales
from an original $30K production on mainly Hi8mm. This is the bottom end.
This is the punk rock of movie making. It looks terrible but fits with the
concept. This is the worst opposite scenario where the film was shot mainly
on video and transferred to film at 4MC for print release. I believe
shooting on film is still very very secure for most quality projects, it's
the distribution medium that is changing. That could be a good thing. But
"Blair Witch" has rattled Hollywood as much as the dark side.

kind wishes

Usual disclaimers: I have no commercial interest in E-Cinema, indeed I make
my living from film.

Thanks to Complete Post/Bob Blanks for support in 1999
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