Joint venture selling off assets
After 3½ years, $8.4 million and the creation of a technical spec the six big studios hope will drive future growth of the film biz, digital cinema Initiatives is now little more than a name.Joint venture founded by the six majors and MGM shut its doors Friday, two months after completing its raison d’etre, a single standard for quality and security of digitally projected pics. (Daily Variety, July 28) Some industryites had hoped to keep DCI alive for certification, assuring that manufacturers of d-cinema equipment meet stringent standards of the org’s spec. Instead, studios have decided to sell DCI’s assets and lay off remaining employees. DCI lives on as a legal entity only, with a pair of studios handling administrative and technical oversight for d-cinema on behalf of film biz in rotating one-year terms. Disney and Fox are the first to take on that task. Tech execs from studios will meet under the auspices of DCI if any adjustments in the technical spec are necessary in the future. Yet to be resolved is how studios will verify whether d-cinema equipment on the market actually meets DCI standards. That could be done on a voluntary basis by manufacturers, or through some testing procedure set up by the studios. Former DCI CEO Chuck Goldwater, who left last September, was recently tapped to lead Christie and AccessIT’s joint venture to fund d-cinema rollout (Daily Variety, Aug. 1). Walt Ordway, DCI’s chief technical officer, who headed the org in its final year, said he will retire.