×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Exhibs cautious over digital

D-cinema talk hushed at ShoWest

LAS VEGAS — It’s like everybody’s agreed to mark time.

For now, vendors of wares and services for digital cinema have to occupy themselves with creating brand awareness and maybe some jockeying for strategic alliances.

That’s because exhibs still show precious little interest in spending dollar one for electronic storage and projection technology they fear could quickly become outmoded when d-cinema systems sort out lingering issues of standards and formats.

So at ShoWest 2002, there has been scant d-cinema news, other than assorted product-upgrade announcements from wannabe vendors like Texas Instruments/DLP, Kodak, Barco and others. And would-be providers of electronic-distribution services such as Technicolor Digital and Boeing Digital are circling potential clients while knowing enough to keep quiet on how anybody might pay for the proposed conversion to digital exhibition.

Last year at ShoWest, a proposal by Technicolor to finance up to 1,000 digital-projector installations produced a loud, collective yawn from the exhibs. So, at ShoWest 2002 there’s little more than a giant educational seminar afoot, as d-cinema proponents attempt to demonstrate how systems work and how remaining engineering challenges are being addressed.

A Boeing pitchman explained to those passing through the aerospace giant’s d-cinema suite that satellite systems would “store and forward” movies and programming to theaters. That involves downloading content to ground-based computers for forwarding to individual theaters, rather than live feeds from airborne birds as in TV satcasting.

As for the hardware involved, Boeing touts “open-architecture” systems compatible with any of the goods being hawked elsewhere around the Bally’s hotel ballrooms that are site to d-cinema displays here. Similarly, Kodak’s d-cinema maestro Bob Mayson said the film giant is currently talking with four companies about distributing d-cinema programming to prospective installations by satellite, fiber optics or DVD.

And as for the movies themselves, there’s been a handful of studio product available for digital distribution to the 20 d-cinema test sites scattered throughout the U.S.

In fact, MGM is offering a digital screening of its upcoming “Windtalkers” feature film via a DLP installation at ShoWest. But much more content would be needed to provide a steady supply of digital movies, should d-cinema spread substantially.

More Film

  • Javier Bardem Elle Fanning Salma Hayek

    Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek to Star in Sally Potter Drama

    Production has begun in Spain on Sally Potter’s untitled family drama, starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, and Laura Linney. The story is described as a chronicle of a wild day in the life of a man on the edge, held together by the unconditional love of his daughter with Bardem and [...]

  • avengers infinity war

    Disney Makes History Again With $7 Billion at Global Box Office for 2018

    Disney has topped $7 billion at the global box office for 2018 — with three weeks left in the year. Disney reached the milestone on Dec. 9, marking only the second time in history that any studio has hit that landmark. Disney set the record in 2016 with $7.6 billion. “Avengers: Infinity War” led the way [...]

  • Filmax Snags Top Spanish Kids Feature

    Filmax Snags Top Spanish Kids Feature ‘The Lunnis’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Barcelona-based sales agency Filmax announced today at Argentina’s Ventana Sur market, that it has acquired the rights to the film adaptation of RTVE’s preschool children’s part-puppet, part-live action and part-animated kids’ show “The Lunnis,” titled “The Lunnis and the Great Fairy Tales Adventure.” The announcement was made with an accompanying trailer for the film, slated [...]

  • Payroll Specialist Cast & Crew Sold

    Payroll Specialist Cast & Crew Sold to Investment Fund EQT VIII

    Payroll specialist Cast & Crew Entertainment Services has been sold by Silver Lake to the investment Fund EQT VIII for an undisclosed price. Cast & Crew, based in Burbank, Calif., and founded in 1976, touts itself as the premier provider of technology-enabled payroll and production-management services to the entertainment industry. Services include payroll processing, residuals [...]

  • Steve James Chicago Story

    Participant Media Partners With Filmmaker Steve James on Documentary 'Chicago Story' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Participant Media is reteaming with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Steve James and his longtime production home, Kartemquin Films, on his latest documentary, “Chicago Story.” Participant Media will finance the project, which will be produced by James and Zak Piper. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann will executive produce with Alex Kotlowitz and Gordon Quinn. James, Piper, and [...]

  • 'Metro 2033' Film Project Halted Because

    'Metro 2033' Film Project Halted Because 'A Lot of Things Didn't Work'

    It appears that MGM’s film adaptation of “Metro 2033” is no longer happening because “a lot of things didn’t work,” according to VG24/7. “Metro 2033” is a novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was also adapted into a series of successful survival horror shooters from video game publisher THQ and developer 4A Games in [...]

  • Jirga

    Film Review: 'Jirga'

    Buried within the closing crawl of writer, director, cinematographer and co-producer Benjamin Gilmour’s unfortunately cryptic but nonetheless fascinating debut film “Jirga” are shout-outs for security, political and cultural liaisons, as well as an Afghan film advisor. These credits speak, however quietly, to the no-doubt-delicate and clearly arduous making of a film that finds a guilt-ridden [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content