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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Three Studios Join Technicolor in D-Cinema Plan (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Three Studios Join Technicolor in D-Cinema Plan
Bevan Wright
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 176
From: Fountain Valley, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 04-12-2005 07:21 AM      Profile for Bevan Wright   Author's Homepage   Email Bevan Wright   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Three Studios Join Technicolor in D-Cinema Plan

Long link

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Marking a big step forward in the rollout of digital cinema, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures and Sony Pictures have teamed up with Thomson's Technicolor Digital Cinema unit to guide their transition away from celluloid film.
Joe Berchtold, president of Technicolor Electronic Content Distribution Services, will manage the d-cinema process for the studios.

Berchtold and Technicolor declined comment, and none of the studios would confirm the development, but according to multiple sources, Technicolor is set to play the role of third-party integrator and will develop a proposed economic model into a full-fledged business plan.

The plan is expected to include specifics about financing, usage and equipment, among other details.

Just as significantly, the deal would allow the technology company to approach other studios that have not yet signed up -- chief among them Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox -- to encourage them to join the three studios. All the studios have avoided dealing directly with each other out of concern of running afoul of antitrust regulations.

The deal marks an important advance toward the rollout of digital cinema -- a process that has stalled in recent months as financing parties have pitched business models to the studios.

Digital cinema had been progressing during the past few years once the seven major studios banded together to form DCI -- the consortium designed to develop technical specifications for digital cinema.

With that process nearly completed, it was clear that a smaller group of studios had to move forward to develop financing plans, because the seven studios were worried about antitrust concerns, among other issues.

While the specifics of Technicolor's plan have not been released, the three-studio coalition initially solicited financing plans for a rollout of 15,000 screens. The request for proposals went to Technicolor, among other parties, including one group led by former Sony Pictures executive Alan Levine.

The initial deployment, according to one source, will cover the installation of 3,000 theaters nationwide and could start by year's end. The systems installed would be DCI-compliant.

According to another source familiar with the deal, a 3,000-screen rollout would cost about $200 million in total financing. The money will likely come from a combination of equity financing from the participating studios and debt financing from banks.

A studio source confirmed that each studio is contributing a significant amount of money to get the rollout going, and the studios would offset that investment with the savings from eliminating print costs.

The studios want to develop a complete and detailed plan before officially announcing it and presenting it to both the exhibition community and the Department of Justice.

Technicolor's deal with the three studios does not preclude the distributors from entertaining other financing plans. According to sources, the Technicolor deal is nonexclusive, and some believe several competing rollout initiatives would benefit the parties involved.

Technology vendor Christie, a maker of 2K digital projectors, has floated an aggressive financing plan and is looking to bring in other partners. According to one source, a few studios have shown interest in that plan.

Christie could not be reached for comment at press time.

Technicolor tried its hand at digital cinema installation a few years ago. In a partnership with chipmaker Qualcomm launched in 2000, the company had intended to provide a proprietary integration system for digital cinema. That partnership was disbanded in 2003 after the studios formed DCI to create a standard for the new technology.

Regardless of who finances the rollout of digital cinema, most observers agree that the majority of the costs will be handled by the studios. Exhibitors have been reluctant to shoulder any of the costs because most of the savings will be realized by the studios.

[ 04-12-2005, 08:48 AM: Message edited by: Adam Martin ]

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

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From: Lexington, KY, USA
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 - posted 04-12-2005 10:02 AM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
who is going to pay for all the lamphouse consoles that will need to be replaced because they are insufficient to handle the light output of some of these DLP units?

Even then the light output as far as I know requires a 7K bulb that will add to the cost since it will need to be changed more frequently.

I hope they do understand that once they produce on a broader scale that more issues can tend to pop up do to various reasons.

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Jon Miller
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: San Diego, CA, USA
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 - posted 04-12-2005 06:02 PM      Profile for Jon Miller   Email Jon Miller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And who is going the cover the cost of projector head upgrades as higher-resolution systems are inevitably introduced? I just can't foresee a digital projector head having even one-fifth the technological longevity of a well-maintained Simplex or Century 35mm head...

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Bill Enos
Film God

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From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
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 - posted 04-12-2005 08:41 PM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have had two DLP machines in our booth, both owned by others and from leading manufacturers (which I will not name). The first was a 1K device and worked pretty well until a $5000+ board blew and it took the mfgr. 4 months to replace it. Number two is a 2k, it puts a great pic on the screen but it now has reliability difficulties. Sometimes must be booted 3 or 4 times before it will consent to operate correctly The rep. draws a blank on a solution. If digital is to be widely distributed it has to get a hell of a lot better than our experience indicates. It doesn't seem to be quite ready for prime time. An extremely complex and apparently not particularly reliable means of accomplishing a simple end.

[ 04-13-2005, 07:13 AM: Message edited by: Bill Enos ]

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 04-12-2005 09:11 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It can't be that close to fruition, or they'd've had a big blowout at ShoWest.

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5242
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 04-15-2005 10:25 AM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Boys, this is it. It's all over with now.

For those who will need a job...

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Christian Volpi
Master Film Handler

Posts: 349
From: Arlington, NE
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 04-15-2005 10:38 AM      Profile for Christian Volpi   Author's Homepage   Email Christian Volpi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If my company switches over 100% to digital I will quit the biz for good. It's a good thing that I am planning to go to school in the fall to study Mortuary Science.

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5242
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 04-15-2005 10:54 AM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good for you, Christian! I'm glad there are people like you, who can do that kind of work. I knew a guy in high school, and all he wanted to do was become a funeral director. He absolutely loved it.

I also knew a projectionist in Houston who, after seeing the writing on the wall when the non-union kick started, enrolled in mortuary school. He said he chose it because it was a job that couldn't be automated! [Wink]

He also showed me some of the textbooks.. with pictures! [Eek!]

When DC gets a good foothold (and it will, eventually), there's going to be a lot of people looking towards other lines of work.

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Bill Enos
Film God

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From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
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 - posted 04-15-2005 11:34 PM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It looks to me like the money in D-Cinema will be in fixing the things, with a tech for every 5 or 6 machines and a 2 million dollar inventory of parts they could be on screen 70% of the time.

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Christian Volpi
Master Film Handler

Posts: 349
From: Arlington, NE
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 04-16-2005 09:53 AM      Profile for Christian Volpi   Author's Homepage   Email Christian Volpi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Tim Reed
Good for you, Christian! I'm glad there are people like you, who can do that kind of work.
My dad works for a funeral home. He doesn't do anything with the bodies but he sells hearses and limo's for the side company owned by the funeral home. Fleet Systems I'm always going to the funeral home to help wash the hearses and detail them and I even help my dad deliver some of the cars that he sells. Since I'm always around different funeral homes throughout the midwest I see alot of bodies and have even been asked to help out once in a while (i.e. heavier bodies require more help being lifted into the caskets) and I even watched a couple of embalmings to see if I could handle doing it for a living. At first it was a little...shall we say...off putting but you eventually get used to it. Somebody has to do it.

[ 04-17-2005, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: Christian Volpi ]

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

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From: prospect ky usa
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 - posted 04-16-2005 05:29 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a clip file starting 1946 on the subject "film will be gone in two years." Indeed, I thought so myself when I left Broadcast for Altec Service Co in the '70's.

So far, I see only interesting laboratory prototypes with LOTS OF technicians running around trying to cover an 80 ft screen.

It is a good thing that this industry has LOTS OF MONEY!!rolleyes

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Floyd Justin Newton
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From: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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 - posted 04-16-2005 05:34 PM      Profile for Floyd Justin Newton   Email Floyd Justin Newton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Christian--

When I retired from the booth about 20 years ago that's
exactly what I did. I went to Mortuary Science College,
got my license, and now I am a Happy Embalmer! One thing
about this biz.... NO AUTOMATION!! The theate business has
long gone-down-the-tubes. It has been completely consumed
by GREED....the EVIL of ALL evils.

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5242
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 04-17-2005 12:07 AM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Christian Volpi
Somebody has to do it.
Precisely. Btw, your link doesn't work.

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Robbie Hidalgo
Film Handler

Posts: 47
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted 04-17-2005 01:13 AM      Profile for Robbie Hidalgo   Email Robbie Hidalgo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bevan Wright
The plan is expected to include specifics about financing, usage and equipment, among other details.
Frankly, I think Bevan is obviously hinting here that he is going to finance the whole thing himself. [uhoh]

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Bevan Wright
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 176
From: Fountain Valley, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 04-17-2005 08:23 AM      Profile for Bevan Wright   Author's Homepage   Email Bevan Wright   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Strange how this thread turned from D-cinema to funeral homes, mortuaries and embalming.

Certainly doesn't seem to be the push for systems like there was for the last Star Wars, infact, I wouldn't be surprised if this episode was on less D-cinema screens than the previous episode.

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