Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Article about Kodak and Digital Cinema

   
Author Topic: Article about Kodak and Digital Cinema
John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 05-12-2002 01:02 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The business section of today's Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle newspaper has an article about Kodak's role in Digital Cinema:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/biznews/0512story1_business.shtml

Bob Mayson, General Manager of Kodak Digital Cinema, and Les Moore, Development Manager for Digital Cinema, were interviewed by business editor Ben Rand.

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: +1 585 477 5325 Cell: +1 585 781 4036 Fax: +1 585 722 7243
e-mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion


 |  IP: Logged

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7929
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-12-2002 06:55 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good article.

It's interesting to see the emphasis on "alternative content" with respect to digital cinema, but the details always seem to be a bit fuzzy (no pun intended) whenever this concept is discussed by its proponents.

What companies produce this so-called "alternative content"? How do they make money? Is it provided to theatres in the same way as movies (i.e. the distributor gets a per centage of the boxoffice gross versus a minimum guarantee) or does it work differently (e.g. does the producer simply four-wall the theatre and collect the boxoffice gross? is it a flat-rate rental? something else?)?

When would this ordinarily be shown? My understanding is that, in the case of most first-run engagements, the distributor of the film can forbid the use of the auditorium for any other film programming (i.e. the theatre can't even run a midnight show of a different film in the same house), at least for the first few weeks of an engagement. How would this affect the showing of "alternative content"? Would it be shown in the daytime or on "slow" nights? And how would the film distributors react to this? Or would it be booked just like film programming, with a specific auditorium and/or number of weeks committed to that particular program?

For those who have been involved in "alternative content" screenings using DLP and other formats: have they been financially successful?

 |  IP: Logged

John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 05-12-2002 07:55 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Programming alternative content will involve exhibitors negotiating with distributors. Today's "rules" can be changed if it is mutually beneficial to both parties.

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: +1 585 477 5325 Cell: +1 585 781 4036 Fax: +1 585 722 7243
e-mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion

 |  IP: Logged

Paul Linfesty
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1378
From: Bakersfield, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 05-12-2002 08:03 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just how many screens in any given market can support "alternative" cinema at any given time. I've read how this can help theatre owners pay for the conversion costs to digital, but realistically, will every auditorium equipped with digital projectors have enough content that people want to see? It seems to me that only if that happened on that broad a level would it be enough to cover the expenses, at least by the claimed standards of this particular argument.

An example given was a "live" performance of "The Lion King." I might want to watch that on home from a tape or DVD, but if I went to the theatre at theatre-style prices, I would want the real thing.

 |  IP: Logged

Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5160
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-13-2002 09:21 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I thought the article was balanced -- none of this "film is dead" crap, but of course, you would expect Kodak people would be sure to avoid that when talking with reporters. Still on the other hand, it would have been nice if the reporter hand conjured up a picture of the Kodak exec discussing digital projection with an exhibitor rather than Britney Spears.

It is interesting to note that one of the issues mentioned was that "advertisers are salavating to better get their messages across to movie-goers." I'll bet! I guess once you are basically projecting video on a big screen, seems like the "alternative programming" will include lots and lots of commercials. Think of it, being able to watch the WWW Smackdown repleat with an endless stream of digital commercials. How lucky for the movie-going public!

I take it the statement that digital projection will surpass film quality is referencing 35mm film quality. If you want a technology that surpasses 35mm film quality, try the 40 year old 70mm projection system.

I am not quite sure how alternative programming can significantly change the theatre usage pattern. Yes, theatres are dark roughly 60% of the time -- most of that is when people are sleeping. The other percentage is off peak hours. It isn't clear how offering a video version of The Lion King for $25 on Monday at 10am is going to fill up the theatre. But off-peak is off-peak no matter what you put on the screen. Personally I don't see how offering a video of The Lion King stage production will interest anyone at all, but that's my own anti-schmaltz bias, although I admit, I did take my nephews to see it (but was careful to take my Dramamine pills first).

Then again, I am not quite sure what makes program software suppliers think that they will be able to get people to come into movie theatres to see a video of the state production of The Lion King instead of just showing it on pay-per-view or DVD rental or sales?

I think it will be very hard to change that hard wiring that our brains have: we expect to see movies in a movie theatre, video on our TVs in our home theatre. People already balk at movie ticket prices; I have no doubt they will be even more reluctant to pay even higher prices for what they will perceive should be free on their local PBS TV station.

We were once approached by a company that wanted to offer us alternative programming via video feed. They were using a moster Barco projector. We looked at their alternative programming -- it was decent stuff -- the Bolshoi Ballet, some symphony orchestras and some sports. It was basically stuff you could see every day on PBS. What was the point? Alternative programming is great and might work well in ceertain nitche demographics, but as salve for what is ailing the exhibition industry, I think it will fall quite a bit short of what the proponents envision.


 |  IP: Logged

David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4016
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 05-13-2002 12:26 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank, I agree with most of your comments, especially the part about changing the hard-wiring of people's brains. That's probably the toughest nut to crack, and it applies to the content suppliers, exhibitors, and the ticket-buying audience.

I could see alternative programming maybe having some appeal in smaller communities, off the beaten track. A live (or life-like) presentation of The Lion King or Bolshoi Ballet (to use your examples) is something few people actually get to experience in their lives. If an exhibitor brings that presentation to a "movie theater", with state-of-the-art digital projection and sound, will people be interested, and how much will they pay to see it? How much does the exhibitor need to do to differentiate the experience from movies? Will advertising and marketing expenses for such specialty shows drive up the cost of tickets too much? What if the presentation is a rock concert, Super Bowl or WWF Smackdown? Would bringing in that type of more rowdy crowd run the risk of the the theater being trashed? Many things to consider.

Anyway, John, thanks for sharing that article.



 |  IP: Logged

John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 05-13-2002 12:52 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've suggested to my friends at Texas Instruments that they should concentrate on the idea of selling DLP projectors to sports bars, that might really benefit from showing 9 x 16 foot HD-video images of sporting events.

There certainly is a market for large-screen, closed-circuit, pay-per-view events, such as the Tyson/Lewis boxing match on June 8.

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: +1 585 477 5325 Cell: +1 585 781 4036 Fax: +1 585 722 7243
e-mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion


 |  IP: Logged

Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-13-2002 01:23 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sports bars would be a perfect place for DLP. Imagine a screen that is almost the entire height of the wall and has at least a 16:9 aspect ratio. Throw in a bunch of drunken losers and you'll have a party! Of course you'd have to make sure none of the losers stumbled between the projector and the screen.


 |  IP: Logged

John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 05-13-2002 01:52 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joe said: "Of course you'd have to make sure none of the losers stumbled between the projector and the screen."

Use rear screen projection! Just be sure none of those losers fall INTO the screen.


------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: +1 585 477 5325 Cell: +1 585 781 4036 Fax: +1 585 722 7243
e-mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion


 |  IP: Logged

David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4016
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 05-13-2002 01:59 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Or throw their beer or nachos-with-cheese at the screen.

 |  IP: Logged

Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5160
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-13-2002 10:23 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually when Henry Klause (KLH, which then morphed into Advent) produced his first Advent VideoBeam 1000 -- the first video projector I think for the home/non-broadcast industrial use -- his primary market, even before the home market, was bars and the primary marketing hook there was the ability to present sports games on a bright, 10 foot screen (normal NTSC ratio), a giant for the time.

The projector was designed so that it could be serviced in-field so every component was modularized and, as he put it, short of a bomb going off under the thing, it could be repaired without need of hauling it to a repair shop. Would be nice if DLP projectors were designed that way.

I bought one of the first VideoBeams off the assembly line and to this day it presents a spectacular picture as far as video images go, and still out-shines any of the current consumer projection tvs on the market, more than 30 years later. Talk about ingenius design engineering!

So you are right, John, things haven't changed much -- sports on a big screen and bars just naturally go together. But why give away that stuff to the Texas Instruments guys -- let Kodak be the first to market to the bar industry!

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.