International Edition No. 17 - year 2 - 27 March 2007
DIGITAL PROSPECTS AND STRATEGIES OF EDCF
Mr Wilkinson, EDCF was founded
in 2000 mainly on the initiative of public institutions, particularly
in Northern Europe, and in fact its first President was Åse Kleveland,
then Head of the Swedish Film Institute. Today the President of EDCF is
a representative of one of the Continent’s leading cinema exhibitors’
associations. From the public sector to that of business: would you like
to comment on this shift?
New Technologies for European Cinemas"
28 March - 1st April 2007
I feel my contributions to international marketing both in the international fashion business and most recently in digital cinema exhibition have benefited from my MA in Economics coupled with the four languages I speak.
Being interested in new technologies and how they would impact on cinema with the advent and the future potential of the D-cinema, I started with XDC in January 2006.
By a long lead, XDC is the leading digital cinema service company in Europe. It offers technical and financial customized solutions to the cinema business and all the necessary related services distributors and exhibitors need to show motion pictures flawlessly and securely.
WHY TO TAKE PART IN "DIGITRAINING PLUS"?
Opinions and expectations from participants in the 2007 edition
The Finnish Film Foundation’s task is to support and develop Finnish film production, distribution and exhibition.
The Finnish Film Foundation owns SES Auditorium Ltd which is located at the Foundation’s headquarters, in an old brick storehouse in Helsinki. There are 150 seats in the cinema.
SES Auditorium is not used for commercial screenings. The auditorium can be rented and used as a meeting and congress facility. The Foundation also holds screenings of children’s films. Cultural film weeks are organized in co-operation with different embassies and cultural associations. However, our most important customers are Finnish film production and post production companies, who use the auditorium as a test screening venue.
Our 35mm film projector is Cinemeccanica’s Victoria 5 with continuous speed control, and film gates and optics for 1:1,37, 1:1,66, 1:1,85 and cinemascope formats and the digital projector is JVC DLA-M2000LE. We have DTS and SRD digital sound systems.
Our current technical film screening and audio equipment is good and up to date but we cannot yet offer our customers sufficient digital screening technique. We are therefore going to purchase new equipment that allows us to provide the Finnish film industry with the best possible service.
Most future films in Finland are posted digitally but using RGB or YUV colour space and there are notable differences in different colour spaces, so simple preview would enable these problems to be avoided. There is also one 3D production in development in Finland. I had the opportunity to attend a digital 3D test screening which clearly indicated that the digital 3D technique opens a completely new field of possibilities outside the range of the traditional techniques. The old 35mm 3D horror and action movies gave us merely a vague idea of what kind of an experience a digitally made 3D can be.
I look very much forward to meeting my colleagues and hearing and seeing the presentations of specialists in digital technique in Kuurne in March 2007.
After almost one year of research at university on the theme of digital cinema for my thesis in 2004, I hope that this training course will allow me to know more on the subject and more especially on the evolution during these last 3 years. In my view, digital technology announces a revolution in the cinema industry. Such a technological evolution will indeed have a direct influence on all cinema professions, from directors to owners. Belonging to latter category, it seems crucial to me to inform myself as well as possible in order to be able to anticipate all these changes and to find appropriate solutions to equip our cinema quickly enough. As a consequence, I'm eager to discover from a theoretical point of view what the latest technological developments are, to see how digital cinema evolves in the different European countries and to learn what impact this technology will have on the film market. From a practical point of view, I'm also interested in seeing concretely how a cinema is equipped with this technology, what the consequences are on the daily work and what means can be used to finance the infrastructure changes. Last but not least, I hope to meet professionals from all over Europe who will each have their own point of view, experience and knowledge on this subject.
Finnkino is the largest theatre operator in the Nordic Region. We have theatres in all the biggest cities in Finland and in all the Baltic states. In Finland our market share is around 70% with 90 screens. In the Baltic our market share is almost 90%. Overall we aim to sell up to 10 million tickets this year.
Finnkino is still expanding and we currently have several constructions going on in Finland and abroad.
Last October we installed Finland’s first DCI-compliant Digital Cinema system in our flagship theatre, Tennispalatsi.
At present, Finnkino wants to study the coming digital presentation technologies, and my role as Technical Manager, is to discover the technological practices of the trade.
As I am based in the Tennispalatsi theatre, my work is both managing the projection technicalities and the technical crew, and being in charge of the direct customer service.
This year our company is trying to run a pilot project using digital projection for alternative content.
We do have almost daily use of our e-projectors in B-to-B–type special events for companies in addition to digital commercials, which we introduced in Finland at the start of 2007.
In the Baltic we have had digital commercials for a few years now.
Most likely in the future I will be concentrating more on the digitalization of our theatre network.
I'm attending the “DigiTraining Plus” course with high expectations. Sweden is a “small pond” when it comes to cinema exhibitors and digital experience. Folkets Hus och Parker, where I work with Art House Cinemas, is one of few digital exhibitors in Sweden and after more than 6 years of experience we crave for input from others. My goal for this training therefore is to network, challenge, listen and absorb all the information I can from the other exhibitors and experts. What's the European digital experience over the past few years? How do other smaller exhibitors manage with the new 2K standard? What does the available content look like in different countries? What experiences when it comes to alternative content? What can we expect and demand in the future?