The countdown has now started for the MEDIA Salles course “DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas”, to be held in Kuurne, Belgium at the head offices of Barco from 5 to 9 April. This is one reason why this issue still contains a wealth of articles and ideas on digital projection. Space is given to several situations here: from a company in America that promotes the screening of arthouse movies in cultural centres and multi-screen theatres operating outside the big city centres, to a work group formed by Italian exhibitors to respond to the challenges of digital; from a brief but detailed account of one of the most highly appreciated alternative events in electronic cinema, to a new column, “Women in Digital”, where women take it in turn to present their work in the field of digital cinema. And continuing what was begun in preceding issues, we publish the data regarding theatres with DLP CinemaTM projectors in Belgium (click to see the table). Moreover, a brief trip inside the world of 3-D is included, with the presentation of the first computer-animated feature film to be conceived, designed and created in 3-D. The producers are the Belgian nWave, whose chairman, Eric Dillens, will be at the MEDIA Salles course together with the film’s director, Ben Stassen, to talk about the “new horizon” of 3-D. To obtain the necessary information on the Kuurne 2006 agenda, the updated programme can be consulted. A brief and punctual summary will also be given of “DigiTraining” during the course.
Enjoy your reading: we look forward to seeing you in Kuurne.
Digital for Independent Films:
by Marina Vecchio
Since 2002, they have been working in America on a unique way of interpreting the use of digital technology to support cinema projection. They are called Emerging Pictures and Giovanni Cozzi, who is their President, explained the role played by the company with regard to digital technology in a recent meeting with MEDIA Salles.
“Our mission - states Cozzi - is to encourage a different approach to digital technology from that promoted by Hollywood where, in the last few years, the emphasis has been placed almost exclusively on advantages which – in the production phase - regard mostly special effects and the opportunity of significant gains in efficiency, also extending to the distribution phase. Moreover, as regards projection, the improvement of quality of sound and vision has been stressed“.
3-D Cinema: nWave
“To fully utilize the potential of 3-D cinema, you must design and produce a film differently than you would a 2-D film. It’s a different medium. It involves more than just adding depth and perspective to a 2-D image”. This is the opinion of Eric Dillens, Chairman of nWave. In fact it is nWave, leading Belgian producer and distributor of 3-D films, after having created three-dimensional versions of several titles originated in traditional format, that is now making the first computer-animated feature film to be conceived, designed and created in 3D. The title of the film is Fly Me To The Moon, and its release is expected by summer 2007.
On the afternoon of Thursday 6 April, Ben Stassen, director and executive co-producer of Fly Me to The Moon, and the Chairman of nWave, Eric Dillens, will lead a session on the DigiTraining Plus course, entitled "Focus on the process of creation and of production of 3-D".
| Unique Prize Draw offered by Barco to
3 of the trainees:
"Have a Digital Cinema projector in your theatre for free for 1 month"
We have started our “digital adventure” as pioneers in Italy back in the pre-history of digital cinema, i. e. in 2001. We had equipped one of our screens, “Fire Theatre”, with the digital technology available on the market at that time, i.e. the first-generation 1.3K DLP Cinema™ projectors and a server that was initially a QuBit. Over the following years we have always paid close attention to the evolution of the equipment and gradually adopted all the technology that allowed us to make additional improvements to the presentation system.
At present we have three digital screens inside the ARCADIA complex: Fire Theatre, Air Theatre and our biggest auditorium called Energy. All three theatres are fitted with 2K digital projectors, DLP CinemaTM technology and Avica, Dolby and QuVis servers.
For around 5 years the ARCADIA was the only Italian cinema equipped for digital screening and the great difficulty was to obtain movies in this format from the distributors. For this reason we decided that the best strategy was to convince other fellow exhibitors to equip their own theatres, so that the demand for digital copies would provoke a rapid response from distribution. And this is what happened: since early 2005 our first two fellow exhibitors – Furlan and Giometti – have joined ARCADIA and equipped their theatres.
And so, since 2005, with the release of Shark Tale and Constantine, a host of requests to make digital copies available has brought a prompt response from distributors. Nonetheless, despite some relief, the problem has not yet been completely solved, since not all films distributed in digital format on the international market succeed in gaining digital distribution in Italy, too. Particularly at present, in a phase of transition from the compression system currently used to that indicated by the DCI specifications, great difficulty is still found in obtaining titles in digital format.
In the future we shall continue to pay
attention to the progress made in digital technology and, together with
our fellow exhibitors, we will make sure that in Italy a wider variety
of titles are distributed in digital. In the future, we shall go on following
this path and, step by step, deal with all the issues that up to now,
in an experimental phase like the one we are experiencing at present,
have not yet been solved.
Exhibitors for digital: an
"The basic reason for applying to the course is to update my knowledge and my information of digital technologies regarding cinemas.
We are pioneers in digital cinema. Four years ago we digitally screened “Star Wars Episode II” in Helsinki for the first time ever in Finland.
From reading the industry press it’s evident that for digital cinema there will be big steps in the near future. The time when this will really happen is sooner rather than later even if we don’t know exactly when".
| Digital at the service of “alternative
Amongst the numerous applications of digital screening, its use for special events, devoted mainly to "visual music", has had special connotations since the very start: it has been the reason for a large number of spectators to fill theatres, often simultaneously and in several different countries. For many of them these events were the first opportunity to come into contact with the digital screening experience.
One of the events that has certainly left an enduring memory in the history of entertainment, thanks to digital technology, is the “David Bowie Live & Interactive Event”.
8 September 2003: the UCI CINEMAS
Marconi of Rome and the ARCADIA of Melzo (Milan), holders of the exclusive
rights for Italy, invited their spectators to an exceptional date involving
68 cinemas simultaneously worldwide. It was the live digital satellite
screening of the David Bowie concert for the world première of
his album “Reality”.