by Elisabetta Brunella, Secretary General of MEDIA Salles
In the most recent of its initiatives,
“Focus on Europe online”, during which – using an innovative
procedure – MEDIA Salles continued, during the course of Cinema
Expo International, to accompany exhibitors with its INFORMATION and PROMOTION
activities on behalf of European films, a specific focus on digital cinema
could not be missing.
And so this special edition of “DGT online informer” is published,
placing the emphasis on specific aspects of the digital transition in
Opening this issue is an interview with Anders Geertsen, who, in his dual
role as Director of Distribution with the Danish Film Institute and Director
of the commercial module at the European Digital Cinema Forum, spoke at
the seminar held at CEI on 26 June 2006.
As regards theatres, the issue gives voice to two protagonists of different
sorts of experiences. In one case there is the “lesson” learned
from a private company – Nordisk Film – which has been a pioneer
in the adoption of digital projectors in Europe. In the other, in the
words of Fiona Deans, our guest in the column “Women in Digital”,
public intervention is highlighted – that of the UK Film Council,
aiming to launch the first national digital circuit – and its prospects
for development. Readers who would like to know more about these two topics
will find the presentations given during the 2006 edition of the course
“DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas”
on the webpage http://www.mediasalles.it/training/dgt_prog06.htm .
As regards the companies concerned with technology which offer products
and services for digital cinema, there are a story on Éclair Digital
Cinema and news announced at CEI by Barco, Cinemeccanica and XDC.
And finally, fresh off the press, the announcement of the new Board of
Edcf, elected this very day, 29 June, in Amsterdam, to which MEDIA Salles
wishes all the very best for its future work.
A change at the top: Jens Rykær back
at the helm of MEDIA Salles
Rykær, from Denmark, a past President of MEDIA Salles from 2001
to 2004, returns to the helm of the Association. At the meeting in Cannes,
held on 24 May, the Committee appointed another member as Vice President,
Walter Vacchino (also Vice President of Anec, Italy), responsible for
relations with the Italian Government.
This is how Jens Rykaer voices the questions that exhibitors are asking
themselves as they face the digital changeover: “a large scale implementation
of digital technology in cinemas worldwide is still a somewhat distant
vision. The questions of standards, security and distribution strategy
are still discussed, but the overall challenge for cinema owners is of
course economy. The investment in D-Cinema is – as we know –
costly and – quite honestly – the bottom line is, what’s
in it for cinemas and their clients? Other segments, will benefit very
much from the switch whereas cinemas “just” face expenses.
Investment plans that make sense and that would be manageable, especially
for small and middle-sized operators: this is what we need to have very
soon, before other players in the marketplace enforce their will”.
Director of Digital Cinema, Arts Alliance Media, UK
joined Arts Alliance Media (AAM) in September 2002 and am currently
Director of Digital Cinema, responsible for the growth and operations
of the digital cinema business in the UK and Europe. In particular I
head up the rollout and operation of the UK Film Council’s Digital
Screen Network, Europe’s largest 2k digital cinema network.
AAM is Europe’s largest digital cinema services provider, with
seamless end to end digital cinema solutions encompassing equipment
selection and integration, operator training, installation and support,
and content management and delivery.
In February 2005, we were selected to rollout the UK Film Council’s
Digital Screen Network (DSN), a $20m contract.
(click here to see the whole article)
must go digital
Interview with Anders Geertsen
By Maria Vittoria Gatti
Geertsen, director of distribution at the Danish Film Institute and
director of the commercial module at the European Digital Cinema Forum,
was one of the speakers at the session entitled “Tackling Digital
Cinema Head On: Its Impact On The Landscape of European Exhibition and
Distribution” at CEI on 26 June 2006.
He is not fond of the term “roll-out” and believes that
Europe should pay for the transition to digital. Why? Because “we
Europeans, should not lose control of our own exhibition sector”.
Not only the large chains but small exhibitors, too, should keep control
of their theatres which, otherwise, would even run the risk of closing
down. We asked him a few questions to find out why, how to avoid this
risk and how to come up with a “European path” to digital.
(Click here to read the entire
|Building the Network
experience of Nordisk Film Cinemas (DK)
by Jan Petersen
Film Cinemas was founded in 1915 as a subsidiary of Nordisk Film, the
oldest movie production company still in operation, with divisions spanning
all the areas of the movie’s life cycle. Nowadays Nordisk Film Cinemas
is the largest cinema chain in Denmark, with a market share of 42%.
They started installing the digital equipment in August 2004 with the
first three screens. At the end of 2004, 7 feature films were digitally
screened, including the first Danish digital release. And in 2006 they
were the only place outside the United States to obtain Ice Age 2 in digital
format. This, explained Jan Petersen, IT Manager of Nordisk Film Cinemas,
during the MEDIA Salles course that held in Kuurne last April, was possible
because “we talked to the right people, we have the right equipment
and we therefore got the movie. Building the network is essential”.
Click here to read the whole of Jan
Petersen’s talk at the MEDIA Salles course “DigiTraining Plus:
New Technologies for European Cinemas”.
in the United Kingdom as at 31/12/2005:
31 projectors DLP CinemaTM
|Éclair Digital Cinema and the
The first European
full-length feature to have used the JPEG2000 compression format is the
French film Les Bronzés 3, amis pour la vie, presented
at the last IDIFF in Cannes by Éclair Digital Cinema.
According to Gwendal Auffret, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer,
the films that should benefit from the higher quality guaranteed by the
JPEG2000 format should be not only American films but also those produced
in Europe, ensuring that audiences receive better sound and vision and
distributors better security as regards contents.
Launched last year in October 2005, Éclair Digital Cinema –
a spin-off of the Éclair Group, fortified by its wide experience
in post-production – is the first laboratory in Europe to have as
its objective the circulation of Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs)
conforming to DCI specifications amongst film distributors.
On the exhibition front, Éclair Digital Cinema has chosen to collaborate
with Doremi Cinema Servers, so that they are in a position to provide
theatres wishing to project films in JPEG2000 format with a complete service.
The first chain to turn to Éclair Digital Cinema was Nordisk Film,
with the aim of upgrading its own digital screens from the MPEG2 format
to JPEG2000. For the moment this upgrading regards the screens of the
Palads and the Imperial (the largest venue in Scandinavia with 1,100 seats),
in Copenhagen, and the BioCity, in Aarhus.
The upgrading of its digital projection systems has allowed Nordisk Film
to share with Twentieth Century Fox the boast of being the first to internationally
distribute a digital film in the new JPEG2000 format. This was a dubbed
version, with another carrying Danish subtitles, of Ice Age 2
prepared and distributed by Deluxe in conjunction with Éclair Digital