Consolidation Summer

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Tue, 09/13/2011 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

This has been a summer of consolidations in the digital cinema world. In recent weeks a remarkable number of companies announcing mergers acquisitions new partnerships and the expansion of existing partnerships. Clearly the digital cinema business is entering a phase of consolidation. In the most recent development Screenvision acquired UniqueScreen Media the cinema advertising division of Cinedigm Digital Cinema. Additionally Screenvision and Cinedigm have entered into a long-term agreement to partner their alternative content businesses with Cinedigm becoming a major provider of alternative content distribution and promotion for Screenvision.  According to the announcement the addition of UniqueScreen Media’s assets expands Screenvision's overall national cinema advertising network to 15 266 screens of which 10 622 are digital screens.  “UniqueScreen Media has been a great partner with whom Screenvision has collaborated for many years. Its team is passionate about the same thing we are – presenting marketers with engaging ways to interact with consumers by creating the most captivating cinema advertising experiences ” says Travis Reid chief executive officer of Screenvision. Additionally we have experienced solid success in delivering alternative content to our over 150 Exhibitor partners to-date and are excited to be partnering with Cinedigm to provide an additional pipeline of alternative content.” “We are very excited to now be partners with Screenvision creating a win-win for both companies and our customers ” says Chris McGurk chairman and CEO of Cinedigm.  “This partnership accomplishes two key goals for Cinedigm: First it further focuses our resources on alternative content marketing and distribution a core business where we can be the clear market leader now further enhanced by the Screenvision platform and relationships. Second given Screenvision’s leadership position in cinema advertising this agreement gives our exhibition partners a stronger advertising platform while at the same time Cinedigm exits a non-core business.” Recently I spoke with Reid to get more of his thoughts on the deal and on the future of digital cinema. In his view the reality is that there is an enormous upside for Screenvision in both cinema advertising and alternative content and this deal strengthens his company in both areas. Cinema advertising in particular has shown double-digit growth for several years and seems likely to repeat that success for several more years. Says Reid “Only a fraction of the major television advertisers” have tried cinema advertising. Another trend that bodes well for exhibitors he says is the fact that more companies are shifting their cinema advertising budgets from the television category to the out-of-home media category. That puts exhibitors in direct competition with such outlets as billboards and as Reid notes “Other out-of-home media don’t have what we have.” Key among those advantages is the fact that cinema advertising is “very measurable ” he says and is presented to a captive audience that has chosen to be in their seats. Cinema advertising also offers a wide range of interactive possibilities that advertisers are beginning to exploit. Screenvision recently worked with Sprint that offered patrons who texted a number on the screen the chance to win reduced-price movie tickets. Reid says the campaign was a success and a repeat of it and similar efforts are being discussed. Reid doesn’t anticipate major growth in 3D advertising until there is a larger base of 3D televisions in the home market because as he says the cost of creative is high and advertisers believe that there’s nowhere else to show that content. Despite this reality he says 3D cinema advertising has experienced “year over year growth” and he expects that to continue. Reid is also excited about the growth potential for alternative content based in part on a recent success. This summer Screenvision presented the New York Philharmonic production of Company the Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim which was recorded live month at Lincoln Center’s famed Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. Revlon was the presenting sponsor and as such received premium on-screen advertising before every presentation. The event took place in more than 500 theatres across the country and Reid says generated $1.7 million in revenue. Cinedigm Digital Cinema Screenvision ,2710
Guido of a Different Color,2011-09-14,West Hollywood based Hollywood-DI recently completed color correction for the upcoming feature films Guido. ,2715
Handling Unique Lighting Challenges,2011-09-14,Award-winning commercial/music video cinematographer Mark Williams’ recent music video Everlong for the female choir Scala posed a lot of lighting challenges. “We had several challenges to face shooting the Mark Woollen directed Everlong ” says Williams. “The story takes place in a single hotel room following five couples at different places in their relationships. Each of these contrasts the other. It is really a piece of visual poetry. Ultimately the entire room and our couples are consumed by nature.” To shoot this visual diary Williams decided to capture the entire video from a remote head on a jib arm using Phantom Flex cameras. With primary lighting from tungsten pars bounced into unbleached muslin over the set he found that he needed a consistent fill light source. His only choice was his trusty MiniPlus LED fixtures from Litepanels a Vitec Group brand. “When you shoot at high speed you need to use a flicker free source. Even tungsten lights flicker during a normal power cycle ” he explains. “The Litepanels don’t flicker. And being DC powered they are ideal for high-speed work as DC power provides consist output during a power cycle. I mounted two MiniPlus fixtures on the camera with the bracket Clairmont made for me and attached this with an Israeli arm. This way I could get the lights near the lens to act as very subtle fill for our actors. At times I would use the Litepanels onboard gel pack and diffusion for a little more subtle adjustment when needed. This allowed me more flexibility in getting the lights to match my bigger tungsten sources. I love the quality of light that I get from Litepanels. A subtle dial in or out a bit of diffusion and the blend is so imperceptible you don’t notice them. And when the camera traveled close enough to the actors to create shadow Litepanels mitigated it as well as creating a nice soft fill for the actors.” Williams says he bought his first set of Litepanels four or five years ago. “I use them all the time. I do a lot of car commercials for Mitsubishi Audi Infinity Lexus Toyota and more as well as major campaigns for everything from Coca Cola to Walmart Jenny Craig to Puma and Converse.  I started using the Litepanels on the car commercials and found them super helpful in interiors. Now I use them everywhere I need to add a small soft source. Being cordless allows me to place them anywhere with little fuss. They are always within an arm’s reach on set. We just drop them in wherever we need a little light.” Williams’ video for Scala’s single Everlong is in heavy rotation in Europe and was recently released in the U.S. Litepanels ,2716
Rising to the Occasion,2011-09-14,As part of a £20-million refurbishment effort London-based production company Sharp Cookies has produced a breathtaking 4D cinema film about the iconic Blackpool Tower. The immersive 4D cinema experience which incorporates incredible 3D images 7.1 audio surround sound and physical effects which include snow rain wind smell and a vibrating floor to name a few is shown in a purpose-built theatre beneath one of the tower's own arches. Visitors to the top will view the 4D film as part of their overall Blackpool Tower experience. The film was directed by Michael Hall co-founder of Sharp Cookies for Merlin Entertainments Group – the owner of many major entertainment brands such as Tussauds Alton Towers Sealife and The London Eye. David Cox also co-founder of Sharp Cookies was the stereographer and post-production supervisor on the project. Hall says some of the key challenges that had to be met when creating the innovative film. “Apart from the underlying challenge of creating a piece of world-class entertainment for Merlin ” he says “the refurbishment works being carried out in Blackpool meant that we could not film the actual tower including the building it rises from or the promenade and trams as they were covered in scaffolding or being re-modelled at the time.” “Needless to say though ” he adds. “These locations had to be the center piece of any film about Blackpool and the Tower. Sharp Cookies split the production into four main areas which included a green screen shoot in London; internal location shoots in Blackpool for the Tower Ball Room and Tower Circus scenes; a stereoscopic 3D helicopter aerial shoot of the surrounding landscape while all external footage of the tower and promenade was created in CGI. Clearly and not withstanding the fact that it was a stereoscopic large screen project the workload for post production was very high.” CGI played an important role in the making of the film and Sharp Cookies chose to interpret the restriction of having substantial on-going building work around the tower and seafront as an opportunity. Using CG allowed more freedom of camera moves especially around the tower itself. Cox took the original drawn story board into SGO's Mistika post-production system and cut each shot into different layers so they could present and consider the effect of Stereo 3D on the project. “In an experience film the 3D becomes a character in it's own right and as with all characters there are times when it is the star and times when it should be in the background ” he says. “Across shooting and post the amount and position of 3D was carefully controlled for example when the expressions of the child actor are the key messages from a scene the 3D is subtle and not over-powering. On the other hand carefully orchestrated 3D moments were placed through the film making the audience duck or reach out to touch hovering objects. With the film being under five-minutes in duration it was possible to 'turn up' the 3D effect without causing viewer fatigue but it was still vital to carefully limit and manipulate the 3D so that effects were strong but not uncomfortable. This usually means carefully linking the stereoscopic aspect of 3D with other depth-cues such as focus brightness and perspective.” Sharp Cookies shot the Blackpool project using two Red MX cameras mounted on an Element Technica Quasar rig. Zoom lenses were used for the stereo shoot rather than prime lenses. The common thinking for shooting 3D is that prime lenses provide a better match between the two images as zoom lenses invariably zoom the left and right images slightly differently. However because of the post workflow being carried out by SGO's Mistika the team were confident in Mistika's ability to rapidly align the left and right images and therefore be able remove any mismatches from the lenses. The benefit was that the team could shoot much more quickly because changes in framing did not require lens changes and rig adjustment. This was very important as the crew were shooting with young children and had time constraints to consider however they completed ahead of schedule every day and were even able to shoot many “bonus” takes. The post workflow had Mistika involved at the start and at the end of the process; preparing the rushes for offline at one end and creating visual effects and grading at the other. Cox says “Mistika provided the bulk of the post production work. At the outset it aligned and prepared all the rushes for offline meaning that the FCP editor did not have to concern himself with RAW camera files or unprepared stereo images that are hard to watch. Mistika's Equalize function meant that syncing and aligning some four hours of rushes took less than an hour.” Cox continues “After the edit Mistika carried out all the conforming and compositing which included set extensions green screen keying CGI integration graphic design tracking and stabilising.” Mistika was also used to grade and depth-grade the final images and deliver them in the required format. “I am 100 percent confident that no other post-production system could have dealt with that much work to that level of quality within the time-scale available as Mistika had ” Cox says. “And that's before we even considered the project was going to be in stereo 3D.” Using NVIDIA high performance Quadro graphics processing units driving Mistika's stereo 3D technology contributed to the results. Hewlett Packard Z800 workstations and 24-inch monitors were used in the post set up in order to improve efficiency and provide real-time working. In the final week leading up to the official public opening the Mistika system was relocated from London and installed in a nearby hotel suite in Blackpool with no complications. Hall says “Owing to Mistika's flexibility and portability we found it to be very convenient technology for this project as we decided to have it with us for the final leg of installation and 4D programming close to the actual location. This allowed us to provide final tweaks and finishing touches to the 3D to make it as perfect as possible in the environment in which it would be viewed.” Cox adds “Since we had the Mistika in Blackpool we even found something else to do with it. One of the 4D lighting display matrices inside the theatre could be run from an 8 pixel by 336 pixel video file so I created that in the Mistika hotel suite giving me the ability to synchronise the lighting effects to the film itself with ease.” Geoff Mills director of SGO global sales and operations says “This remarkable flagship project demonstrates perfectly just how versatile and powerful Mistika really is. The Blackpool Tower 4D Experience film was an immensely complex project yet all the rushes preparation conforming visual effects color grading and deliverables have all been generated from a single Mistika system. Without Mistika a project of this magnitude would have required several systems from various manufacturers which would waste time as the project is moved and converted between the various post production areas. In such competitive times where value and quality are key Mistika is a clear winner.” Miguel Angel Doncel CEO of SGO adds “We are very excited that Mistika’s capability has being recognised in the entertainment and attractions arena as well. The fact that a creative production company like Sharp Cookies and their client Merlin are equally impressed with what the technology has achieved for their 4D film is rewarding. SGO considers David Cox as one of the top post-production geniuses of his time. It is wonderful to witness the explosive results when a genius embraces Mistika.” The Blackpool Tower 4D Experience opened on September 1. ,2720
Men in Black 3D Gets IMAX Release,2011-09-14,Sony Pictures Entertainment has announced that the action comedy Men in Black 3 will be released to IMAX theatres simultaneously with the film's worldwide release next May 25. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld Men in Black 3 is the first in the franchise to be released in IMAX. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back in black in Men in Black 3. The screenplay was written by Etan Cohen based on the Malibu Comic by Lowell Cunningham and is produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald and executive produced by Steven Spielberg and G. Mac Brown. The film also stars Josh Brolin Jemaine Clement and Emma Thompson. Releasing a film in IMAX 3D signals an event release and Men in Black 3 on Memorial Day weekend certainly qualifies in a big way. We couldn't be more excited about how MIB 3 will look and sound in IMAX theatres says Rory Bruer president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures Releasing. Will Smith Tommy Lee Jones and Barry Sonnenfeld have made the Men in Black franchise a fan favorite and we're excited to feature the return of this iconic title in IMAX says Greg Foster chairman and president IMAX Filmed Entertainment. Men in Black 3 is another strong addition to our 2012 film slate and we're looking forward to continuing to work with the talented team at Sony Pictures. IMAX Sony Pictures Entertainment ,2721
Documenting Hawaii’s Lava Fields,2011-09-14, Matthews Studio Equipment unveiled their new DC-Slider at NAB 2011 and Na’alehu Anthony of Paliku Documentary Films literally took the first one home. He’s been adding a whole new dimension to his Hawaii-based productions since. First up; a walk through the lava fields for a travel show that airs on the CBS affiliate. “I’m a jib operator by trade ” says Anthony. “But often times we encounter a shoot where the jib just isn’t right. Either we have to move over a lot of ground or get into tight spots – or more. “When I saw the DC-Slider I knew that it would do everything a jib could and couldn’t do and more ” he says. “It’s the mechanics that sold me. How you can balance a camera three feet in one direction and not have the tripod slip. And it has a dolly function a jib and more. It sets up quickly moves and balances really easily. You can make so many different moves quickly without having to make people wait around for you to set up.” It was a great plus for the travel show Passport Hawaii shoots where Anthony and his small crew were charged to go to various unseen Hawaii locations. “Shooting with DC-Slider in the lava fields was amazingly creative and easy ” he says. “I would have never considered tying to drag a jib out to the lava fields but after trying out the slider I just carried rig on my shoulder and hiked it in. It allowed us movement in the frame at a very remote location.” Anthony sees far reaching changes in how shooters capture everything from documentary productions like this to small industrials and interviews and more. “Often times we don’t have the budget for movement like a jib creates ” he says. “However because DC-Slider is so small efficient and does multiple jobs it makes sense to bring it out to a job.” “I’m already beginning to experiment with the equipment on interviews for example. I can change the frame and most important bring movement to something that is so static. Bring it into the classroom and I can move past teachers and students and add life to the story we are documenting ” he says. “From now on MSE’s DC-Slider goes everywhere with us – whether it’s covering unknown territory in the wilds or opening up walk-and-talks and static conversations in a closed in environment. The DC-Slider is changing the face of our productions.” ,2727
Meduza MK1 Now Delivering,2011-09-14, Meduza Systems is now delivering the Meduza MK1 3D camera according to Chris Cary CEO of the UK start-up 3D Visual Enterprises parent company of Meduza Systems.  The Meduza MK1 has been designed to use the recently announced matched Delta 4K S3D Meduza Optics. Pre-order customers can expect delivery of the MK1 in November. “From the outset The Meduza has been designed as an evolving professional S3D imaging tool ” says Cary. “The Meduza MK1 represents the first giant step forward in performance and flexibility in shooting S3D.  With its rugged utility look the Meduza MK 1 has been referred to by many as the new Mean Machine.”   The prototype Meduza MK1 was unveiled at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in April. Now more refined and polished the Meduza MK1 still retains its utility bodywork and the unique NATO rail attachment system.  Other improvements implemented in the latest version are a much more robust and accurate mechanical system that is designed to allow for changeable inter-axial adjustments from between 38mm to 110mm without the use of a mirror rig and with an accuracy of 1/2 micron. “Such accuracy is normally only available to military and laboratory type equipment ” says Meduza Systems COO Jon Kitzen “but we were able to miniaturize it for the Meduza and throw in completely adjustable convergence to boot. Our goal has been to provide minimal distortion mechanically electronically and optically in producing the system.” Other changes are a completely custom and adjustable mattebox that allows for a single filter to cover both lenses. The mattebox is also designed to minimize the optics/mechanics to outside dust and environmental conditions thereby making the entire camera more durable and reliable. “With a typical mirror rig there is a lot of equipment – gears cables cameras lenses – all hanging out there waiting to be bumped rained on or get dirty. We minimized all that with the camera and enclosed it so it’s protected ” says Kitzen “a significant change since NAB.” “We will have a limited production capacity for systems ” says Cary. “The Meduza is like a tailored suit hand-made designed and assembled for each client’s needs.  We intend to be working with our customers over a long period as we release new modules for the body system. It needs to be right each time.” The matched Delta 4K S3D Meduza optics designed for the Meduza MK1 by Kenji Suematsu are built to deliver super high precision not only in the glass but also in the motorized focus and iris controls specifically developed to meet the challenges of precision needed both for 3D and for 4K cinematography. These lenses are optically matched and sold in pairs; each lens also has been constructed to fit into a compact 38mm wide mechanical barrel to allow for very close inter-axial positioning that is critical to S3D.   Available head configurations for the Meduza MK1 are the Anaconda - Compact Variable IA Head in three sensor configurations. Integrated inputs and outputs include HDMI 4xHDSDI RS232 and cam link. Meduza Systems ,2737
Going Big in the Buckeye State,2011-09-14,It may be based on science but the effect is pure magic for captivated audiences at the Center of Science and Industry Museum in Columbus Ohio which selected two Christie Solaria Series CP2230 projectors to power its Extreme Screen theatre – the largest screen in Ohio. The projectors deliver a seamless image across the giant screen providing a visually stunning high quality picture that dramatically enhances the effect of the theater’s heart pounding sound system. COSI also selected Service Plus provided by Christie Managed Services. The Service Plus offering will provide next-day parts delivery and 24/7 monitoring from Christie’s Network Operations Center ensuring the fastest most reliable technical support and maintenance for the museum’s projectors and connected devices.  Voted the No. 1 Science Center for families in the U.S. by Parents magazine COSI attracts nearly 600 000 visitors every year.  It features 100 000 square feet of exhibit space with 300 interactive hands-on exhibitions special events family programs and the country’s only high wire unicycle act. At the heart of the innovative museum is the colossal movie screen which presents a wide variety of high definition content from 2D and 3D movies and documentaries to quality alternative content from Internet and fiber optic feeds.  All the presentations meet a grueling museum schedule that pushes the capacity of its projection system to maintain the highest level of performance image stability and operational reliability. “We had pushed our old projection system to its absolute limit and needed the latest and most reliable digital cinema technology that would do justice to the diverse quality content we present ” says COSI president and CEO Dr. David Chesebrough. “The Christie Solaria Series projectors have proven to be a perfect choice.”  According to Vince Butler of CLACO Equipment and Service a Utah-based Christie Entertainment Solutions dealer that installed the system COSI needed not just a high-performance projection system bright enough to fill the huge screen but one that was exceptionally reliable easy to operate maintain and service. And to stay true to the museum’s mission to utilize green technology to protect our planet they also needed to be energy efficient.  “Christie projectors are backed by 80 years of industry experience with a reputation for quality that is unmatched.  They also have lower energy requirements and produce less heat – so the projection booth doesn’t need as much energy-guzzling air conditioning to keep it cool ” says Butler. Sean James vice president of Christie Managed Services notes that COSI chose the Service Plus plan selecting from a menu of services that provides 24/7 remote monitoring of the Christie projectors and connected devices.  Through this service the museum gained access to a nationwide network of technicians for rapid response to technical issues software upgrades and troubleshooting as well as repair and replacement of parts for the next 10 years. “We are pleased to play an important role in helping COSI bring the excitement of digital cinema technology to a new generation of museum goers ” says James. Christie CLACO ,2739
Designed for Filmmakers,2011-09-14, Sony Electronics has officially raised the curtain on its F65 CineAlta digital motion picture camera system ushering in what the company is calling a new era of digital cinematography. Before a select Hollywood audience of American Society of Cinematographers members press and high-profile industry professionals Sony screened new F65 footage shot by leading DPs demonstrated new features and announced its roll-out plan for the revolutionary camera including availability and a price of $65 000 (with viewfinder). The new camera clearly signals what Sony sees as its commitment to the Hollywood community and to developing the production technologies content creators need. 

The F65 derives true 4K resolution – 4096 x 2160 which is more than four times greater than the full HD (1920x1080) spec – at the point of image capture. Its unique 8K-image sensor with approximately 20 total megapixels offers higher image fidelity than any other digital cinema production camera. With 16-bit Linear RAW File output capability the F65 creates the gateway to an end-to-end 4K file-based mastering workflow. 

 This is the camera Hollywood has asked for designed specifically for filmmakers says Alec Shapiro senior vice president of Sony's Professional Solutions of America group. The ability to shoot content in true native 4K resolution lets filmmakers capture more of what they're seeing through the lens to fully realize their vision. The F65's incredible imager captures more data which translates to more information that can be put up on the screen. And access to an open and inclusive platform enables the integration of an F65 file-based workflow into other systems creating truly exciting and limitless production opportunities. 

 Sony first announced the F65 at the National Association of Broadcasters show in April and the camera has already distinguished itself by offering superb resolution incredible dynamic range and the truest color reproduction of any available camera. 

With its latest enhancements and features the F65's capabilities now include: 14 stops High Dynamic Range with much wider color gamut 

Rotary shutter model (F65RS) to remove motion artifacts; four ND Filter built-in with rotary shutter. 

Wi-fi operation for remote control operation from tablet devices (including the Android-based Sony Tablet S and Apple iPad) 

HD-SDI output with viewing LUT for on-set monitoring with focus assist zoom 

60 Minutes of 16 bit Linear RAW file recording onto a 1TB SRMemory card at 24FPS 

 Sony also introduced a dockable SRMemory recorder – model SR-R4 – which attaches to the camera to record directly to an SRMemory card of 256 GB 512 GB or 1TB capacity with data security and sustained throughput of 5.5 Gbps. 

 Sony is now unveiling a new capability for the F65/SR-R4 combination: the ability to switch recording between 16-bit linear RAW File and MPEG-4 SStP File modes. Users can configure the camera on a project-by-project basis selecting either 16-bit linear RAW File for ultimate quality acquisition or high-speed operation at up to 120FPS or MPEG-4 SStP File (HDCam SR native) for exceptional quality HD recording. MPEG-4 SStP File also provides full compatibility for viewing offline and post production using either the free Sony PC or MAC viewer or products using the new Sony Software Development Kit. Sony is now taking orders for the new camera. The first rental company in Hollywood to take delivery will be Otto Nemenz International. 

 The F65 is more than just a new camera; it's a complete system and a revolutionary approach to the digital production workflow says company president Otto Nemenz. My customers are looking for the latest and greatest and this technology more than fits the bill. I'm proud to be the first to carry this camera. From the success of Sony 4K projectors which are driving digital cinema in movie theaters and creating demand for 4K content to the staggering creative possibilities offered by the F65 no other company can deliver the total 4K lens to theater experience that Sony can Shapiro says. Sony has already installed more than 9 000 4K projectors in cinemas worldwide. 

The F65 digital motion picture camera line-up is scheduled to be available in January direct from Sony: The F65 with viewfinder for $65 000; the F65RS (Built in Rotary Shutter Model) with viewfinder for $77 000; and SR-R4 dockable recorder for $20 000. All will also be available through Sony authorized resellers. ,2740
Celebrating Liszt’s 200th Birthday,2011-09-30,XDC Entertainment will broadcast renowned international pianist Lang Lang with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Maestro Charles Dutoit live from Philadelphia on October 23 in cinemas across Europe and Asia. The acclaimed virtuoso will be celebrating Franz Liszt's 200th birthday with a concert transmitted live and as live into 150 cinemas in Europe and Asia. The company has signed a distribution agreement with Sony Classical to distribute the work of the pianist whose reach and appeal to mainstream audiences has heralded Lang Lang as the hottest artist on the classical music planet by the New York Times. This event is co-produced with ZDF and in cooperation with ARTE. The cinemacast is a first-class opportunity to bring Liszt's music to audiences throughout the country with contemporary technology says Lang Lang. I look forward to playing with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Maestro Charles Dutoit and celebrating this special birthday with music aficionados internationally. The pianist was inspired to play at the age of two after hearing the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt in a Tom and Jerry cartoon and credits the composer with motivating him to take up the instrument at such a young age.  Among other pieces he will perform Liszt's famed Piano Concerto No. 1 in conjunction with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Maestro Charles Dutoit. The performance will also feature special content shot at this summer's iTunes Festival including behind the scenes interviews commentary and exclusive musical performances. Fabrice Testa vice president content and network services says We are delighted to be working in partnership with Sony Classical and look forward to bringing an amazing soloist like Lang Lang to cinemas in Europe and Asia. Alongside operas ballets fashion shows and concerts Lang Lang adds a new dimension to the variety of premium alternative content offered by XDC Entertainment. Frank Smith sales manager for XDC Entertainment says Thanks to our extensive knowledge of the European exhibition market XDC Entertainment is the ideal platform for Lang Lang's performance to be experienced by ever widening audiences. In addition to our technical expertise exhibitors can be confident they are supported by XDC Entertainment as we provide a complete marketing package and an unrivalled media campaign across multiple platforms. Senior vice president finance of Sony Classical International Mark Cavell says It is testament to both the broad appeal of Lang Lang and our strong relationship with XDC Entertainment that we are able to bring such a unique live event into European and Asian cinemas. The Franz Liszt bi-centennial celebrations could not benefit from a more fitting tribute. Due to the time difference some cinemas will receive this 'as live'. Cinemas that do not have live capability will receive the content via DCP can take advantage of a full package of satellite dish receiver and video/audio cabling via XDC Entertainment thus being supported both technically and commercially. XDC Entertainment ,2749
The Cinema Buying Group Turns Five,2011-09-30, By many accounts more than half of the movie screens in the United States have converted to digital cinema. The critical issue now is the fate of the remaining twenty thousand or so screens.  Five years ago this month the Cinema Buying Group joined forces with the National Association of Theatre Owners to help small and independent exhibitors make the transition to digital.  As of September 88 CBG member companies representing 1650 screens have signed deals with Cinedigm and are in various stages of the installation and operation process. While there is more work to be done after five years and by any measure the CBG has been a success. The ongoing concern is that digital cinema is not a viable option for many theatres; predictions on the number of U.S. theatres likely to close range from ten-twenty percent. The main challenge now is second run theatres and art houses. One industry expert predicts that installations in the United States will taper off after next year when the virtual print fee rollout periods end.  He prefers not to be identified because he’s directly involved in many negotiations. Conversion will continue but at a much slower pace he says adding that the slower pace and the new relationship between Deluxe and Technicolor will keep film print costs down for another five years.   “Art houses are more interesting ” he says. “I think boutique film production will continue much longer for art houses. The release window is completely different and doesn't require that many film prints as they can rotate from city to city.  Which is why art house distributors don't feel digital cinema saves them that much and consequently there's not much savings to re-invest in digital cinema equipment for art houses.” NATO president John Fithian says Bill Campbell the managing director of the CBG and his predecessor J. Wayne Anderson have both devoted long unpaid hours assisting independent exhibitors through the digital process. He also had words of praise for Cinedigm saying “Cinedigm has worked aggressively to sign up as many CBG members and screens as possible.” The first challenge was completing successful and unique agreements with the major studios to create a special VPF scheme for smaller theater operators specifically for the CBG. The NATO CBG and Cinedigm leadership spent more than three years negotiating those deals.  These agreements will enable thousands of screens of independent operators to survive the digital transition who would have otherwise not been able to afford digital equipment.
 “The CBG negotiated specific provisions for off-break VPF payments for those exhibitors that play many movies off of the national break date ” he says. “This provision only applies to CBG members and therefore makes the CBG-Cinedigm plan the only way many off-the-break cinemas can receive enough VPFs to qualify for financing.” Fithian says a much higher percentage of CBG members could get financing under the CBG-Cinedigm plan than would be possible under any other VPF plan in existence today. Each of the six major studios signed agreements with Cinedigm that provide specific concessions to the CBG and that offer supplemental provisions specific to the CBG. Particularly for smaller often off-break cinemas the CBG VPF formula is unique. “And the work goes on ” says Fithian “as NATO and the CBG are now engaged in negotiations with the studios for specific provisions to enable our drive-in theater operators to make the transition to digital; we are lobbying the smaller independent distributors to support the VPF scheme adopted for the CBG by the majors; and helping CBG members through the process.” “Finally beyond the scope of the U.S. and Canada where the NATO-CBG operates ” he says “we are helping independent exhibitors in other territories by sharing ideas and fostering buying groups overseas.  The United Kingdom has established a successful group and Australia has a group negotiating as well.” The unfortunate reality is that a number of exhibitors will not survive the digital transition. How many that is and how much longer the film era will last is something that no one can accurately predict. No one understands this better than Fithian. “It is true that a small number of exhibitors who play movies very far off the break or in discount houses will not qualify for VPF plans from Cinedigm or any other plan ” he says.  But he makes clear that the CBG and NATO will do everything they can to keep that number as low as possible. ,2752
Pokémon Weekend,2011-09-30, The full-length feature film Pokémon the Movie: White—Victini and Zekrom is coming to movie theatre screens across the U.S. for one weekend only: December 3rd and 4th. The Pokémon Company International has partnered with Cinedigm for the event which will run on more than 300 screens. Pokémon fans will find out whether Ash can awaken the Legendary Pokémon Zekrom to help him stop the misguided Damon and save the Victory Pokémon Victini. A complete list of participating theaters will be announced shortly.

 “We are thrilled to provide fans an opportunity to see this exciting new Pokémon feature film on the big screen ” says Jill Newhouse Calcaterra chief marketing officer at Cinedigm. “Pokémon fans are a passionate group and will truly relish seeing this film together.”

 “It’s going to be a lot of fun for the entire Pokémon community to get together and watch Pokémon the Movie: White—Victini and Zekrom ” says J.C. Smith director of consumer marketing for The Pokémon Company International. “We’re excited to be working with Cinedigm to make this special engagement possible across the country.”

 As part of a Pokémon first Pokémon the Movie: White—Victini and Zekrom is one of two feature-length films debuting in December. Launch details about the second movie Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram will be coming soon.
The Best of British Theatre ,2011-09-30,This fall NCM Fathom will present a series from the National Theatre of Great Britain in cinemas across the U.S. ,2758
Cinematic Feasts,2011-09-30, West Hollywood based Hollywood-DI recently completed the color correction – what one person called “a cinematic feast” – for the upcoming feature films Guido and And They’re Off using Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Software Version 8.

Each film required very different color correction techniques to achieve their respective looks. The gangster thriller Guido was shot using Red One cameras was edited with Avid Media Composer and called for a dark cold and gruesome look. And They’re Off a comedic mockumentary shot on a Canon EOS 7D and edited using Apple’s Final Cut Pro required a light airy and warm treatment. Hollywood-DI colorists Bjorn Myrholt and Andrew Balis both used DaVinci Resolve 8 to create the look and feel each film needed.

Neil Smith Hollywood-DI’s managing director described the overall experience of using Resolve Software on two distinct movies. “Both colorists did what I asked of them ” he says. “They worked closely with their respective directors to turn the raw camera footage into a cinematic feast. Our mission is to bring filmmakers’ visions to life at a price they can afford. Resolve 8 gives our colorists the toolset they need to quickly conform grade and output feature projects to the exacting standards I demand of Hollywood-DI colorists.”

As well as using DaVinci Resolve 8 for feature color correction projects Smith is busy organizing training seminars for the newly released free DaVinci Resolve Lite. “We want to show directors DP’s and DIT’s how to apply Resolve Lite to their dailies and editorial footage to show us the look they’re envisioning before they pass it onto our colorists for finishing ” Smith says. “Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is the only color correction system capable of meeting such a wide range of filmmaking challenges.”

 Blackmagic Design Hollywood-DI ,2759
Integrating the Effects on Twixt,2011-09-30, FotoKem’s Bay Area visual effects and post house Spy recently contributed hundreds of visual effects shots the digital intermediate and 3D conversion services to Francis Ford Coppola’s latest feature film Twixt which recently screened at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. Spy’s contribution broke new ground in a number of ways including an unprecedented integration of visual effects and color grading in the conception and design of ghost effects that play an important role in the film. @font-face { font-family: Calibri; }@font-face { font-family: Cambria; }p.MsoNormal li.MsoNormal div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Times New Roman; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }  “Director of photography Mihai Malaimare Jr. worked simultaneously with Spy's digital artists and DI colorist Chris Martin to develop the ghost effect that Coppola envisioned ” says executive producer Amy Wixson of Spy. “Because they could easily experiment and play off of each other’s work on the fly a perfectly integrated effect was designed much more efficiently.”

 Spy’s team collaborated with Malaimare on the development of the ghost effect fine tuning the illusion by desaturating the colors and adjusting the quality of the moonlight. The result is a convincing ghost that fully inhabits the environment. The work encompassed approximately 400 visual effects shots for the film. 

The full DI was completed with Martin under Malaimare’s supervision as well. In addition to color grading the DI was used to match effect shots and to desaturate and perfect extensive day-for-night scenes.

Spy’s creative services with American Zoetrope also extended to the 3D aspects of the film. Coppola designed two 3D sequences into the film that were shot by Malaimare on multiple digital camera formats. Spy devised and executed the technical strategy for marrying the 2D to the 3D material. The 3D material makes up 10 percent of the final film. Spy also provided specific unique materials needed for the new technique Coppola developed to give him the ability to change how the film plays out on demand in a screening environment. Coppola intends to execute this creative prowess in a live show making creative choices in real time to the storyline and ending based on his sense of the live audience’s reactions. He utilized this capability via an iPad during 2011’s Comic-Con screening to huge applause and is planning to continue this unique storytelling feature at subsequent road show screenings. “Collaborating with an iconic director like Francis Ford Coppola is a dream come true for us at Spy ” says Martin. “Francis and Mihai pushed the technology and inventively came up with new ways to tell a story. We loved the new challenges and opportunities that created. Our goal as always was to enable new ideas for the filmmakers with technology. This type of collaborative work continues to blur the lines between traditional categories like vfx and color grading and the result is enhanced creative freedom for our clients.”

 Mike Brodersen vice president of FotoKem says “Spy supported American Zoetrope with a full range of post-production capabilities in a bold moviemaking experiment and we are proud of the team for their accomplishments both technical and creative.” FotoKem ,2761
Keeping the Camera Moving,2011-09-30,DP Philip Hurn of Los Angeles knew that the equipment he chose for the independent feature Trade of Innocents directed by Christopher Bessette was going to be put to the test. “The feature was shot entirely on location ” he says. “I knew that it was going to be intense. In addition the director wanted to use a lot of moving camera shots. “Part of our visual approach for this present-day story of the dangerous human trafficking world a story of struggle life hope and redemption was to have lyrical camera moves ” Hurn says. “Upon arriving in Thailand I was relieved to find that the OConnor 2575 was not only available but it was the camera support of choice for our local crews ” he continues. “I knew that it was going to be intense and having the OConnor to support the often-difficult shots was a must.” “We carried two complete Red camera packages a set of Cooke S4s and the 24-290 and 17-80mm Angenieux Optimo zooms ” he says. “We also had a Hothead crane Fisher dolly and camera stabilizer. But the mainstay-go-to support for both A and B camera was the OConnor 2575 fluid heads. “The continuously variable counterbalance enabled us to balance those large zooms perfectly allowing my operators Richie Moore and Somsak Srisawat to create cinematic magic ” Hurn says. “I love the fact that the head can point the camera straight down. This allowed us to achieve extreme down angle shots while keeping the camera perfectly balanced.”
 “In particular we had a crane move on the GF-8 where the director wanted to look down on the actors walking in an alleyway in Shanty Town. Because of the OConnor the shot was executed perfectly on the first take.” “Shooting in Bangkok and the surrounding countryside during the hottest and most humid time of year was particularly difficult ” adds Hurn. “We typically shot with as long a lens as possible to heighten the heat waves coming off the ground. The continuously adjustable drag controls on the OConnor enabled us to shoot these 300mm telephoto shots with ease. It performed flawlessly every time.” Trade of Innocents starring Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino produced by Dean River Productions and directed by Bassette was shot completely on location in Southeast Asia. The project is scheduled for release in the United States in early 2012. ,2768
Prescreen Launches with Kino Lorber’s The Robber,2011-09-30, Last month the movie marketing and distribution platform Prescreen launched. One of Prescreen’s first films will be Kino Lorber’s The Robber; a story of a champion marathoner who leads a double life as a serial bank robber sprinting between heists and escaping from police in epic chase sequences. The question remains can this effort succeed where others have failed? I spoke with Shawn Bercuson Prescreen CEO and founder to find out more. Prescreen is designed to give filmmakers and distributors an alternative to traditional advertising and distribution channels through the mass marketing of curated content that is then shared by users through social media. First a look at how Prescreen works. Prescreen offers users the ability to subscribe to a daily email alert view trailers and rent movies to stream on demand as well as earn rewards and discounts for sharing movie information on their social networks. Their daily email service highlights one movie per day enabling their featured films to reach a wide audience. Prescreen also delivers a Prescreen Performance Report to each filmmaker and distributor whose movie is featured on Prescreen. The report offers aggregated analytics and demographics about the audience for each featured film. The Robber was directed by Austrian director Benjamin Heisenberg and features a riveting central performance by Andreas Lust (Revanche). “Prescreen has developed an exciting and innovative digital platform for film distribution and we are happy to be one of their first content providers ” says Richard Lorber CEO of Kino Lorber. “We have one of the largest most essential libraries in the United States and with Prescreen’s curatorial team so committed to high quality cinema it was a natural fit. In this rapidly changing digital distribution landscape increasing market penetration means thinking outside the box – which is exactly why we're working with them.” Consumer subscribers receive an email alert featuring one new movie each day. Users watch the movie trailer for free and can purchase a rental to view the entire movie to stream on demand for up to 60 days. Users can earn discounts and rewards by sharing the film through their social networks using Facebook Twitter etc. Prescreen aggregates the purchasing data protecting the privacy of each user and delivers valuable demographic and analytic information back to filmmakers and distributors for future marketing and distribution efforts. Prescreen’s marketing report includes all of the relevant information from the purchasers allowing the content owner to use the detailed information to make informed decisions about continued distribution and marketing efforts. Prescreen allows content owners to maximize profits by marketing and selling via the Prescreen platform. “Movie goers are increasingly consuming premium content through new digital channels including downloads streaming and video on demand generating new revenue streams for the movie industry ” says Bercuson. “Prescreen will help movies of all shapes and sizes receive the love they deserve by leveraging the social tools that exist today to market and distribute movies more efficiently.” Digital Cinema Report: What is your background and what were you doing prior to the launch of Prescreen? 
Shawn Bercuson: Prescreen is the 3rd Internet venture that I've been associated with from the inception of the idea through the product launch and the early stages of growth - with the most notable being Groupon. After I left Groupon in May 2010 I joined an early stage technology investment fund in Chicago called Lightbank. That's where I discovered that as much as I enjoy working along side entrepreneurs and investing in them I prefer to be the one doing the heavy lifting. I left Chicago in November headed west and landed in San Francisco by December. Iexplored a few different opportunities but the opportunity to apply technology to make the the movie distribution space more efficient was the one idea that was keeping me up at night. In February I incorporated the business raised capital in March and convinced an all-star team to join me on this venture by June. Three months later we launched Prescreen. 

DCR: There have been several attempts at online distribution similar to this. How does Prescreen differ from its competitors? 
SB: Timing is everything. A good idea does not guarantee success. I have seen way too many good products fail and even some bad products succeed simply due to timing. The current landscape allows us to mobilize an audience faster and more cost effectively than ever before while having the ability to reach them on multiple different platforms. People now consume media on small screens (phones tablets personal computers) as much if not more than on the big screen. 

 Additionally our team has extensive experience building successful technology companies - Groupon Zoosk and Facebook - just to name a few. Unlike many of the previous attempts by others in this space we understand the importance of building an engaged community and have already done so in other verticals. 

That said many of our predecessors (even with a team of talented entrepreneurs) have tried their hand at this part of the movie lifecycle and failed. We believe our approach is different. The industry is noisy - technology has flooded the market with tons of great content. We draw parallels to other businesses and real world interactions that we know are successful and try to emulate them for the movie distribution vertical. One such parallel that we know that works is the idea of push distribution (meaning a daily email service with curation approach) rather than pull. Most of the existing movie sites you see online today take the pull approach. 

DCR: How are you being capitalized? 
SB: Thus far Prescreen has raised $1 million from angel investors.

 DCR: What are your marketing plans to make filmmakers and the public aware of your service? SB: Unfortunately we can't divulge all of our trade secrets but we typically stick to what we're good at. Many of the members of our team have extensive experience in building an engaged online audience. What I can tell you is that we tend to use digital social tools that mirror offline interaction. This typically yields a much better ROI. If the tools don't exist we're not afraid to create it. For example the Prescreen TrendSpot. Just like in the real world people love to be the first to discover movies books and music but there is no way to prove it that you were actually the one to discover it before your friends. The TrendSpot allows users to stake their claim in the discovery process and rewards them for being the first to discover a movie. If you end up being in the first five percent to purchase a title you are rewarded with credits toward your next purchase on Prescreen. The TrendSpot is a call to action that incentivizes users to buy early and share this movie with their friends coworkers and relatives to earn vanity discounts and rewards. 

DCR: What movie rights do you acquire? 
SB: A movie only lives on our platform for 60 days. Because of this we consider Prescreen a marketing partnership with the content owner. The only thing we ask for is price exclusivity for online VOD or EST for those 60 days. 

 DCR: What if any specific opportunities do you offer filmmakers to have their works shown on the big screen? 
SB: We offer filmmakers exposure to an audience they otherwise would not have the ability to reach by sending out a daily email highlighting their film and giving them premier placement on our homepage at for 24 hours. Each movie that is featured on Prescreen also receives a Prescreen Performance Report that provides detailed insight and analytics into the target market for that particular film including: detailed demographics market opportunities and a suggested marketing plan. 

DCR: What if any exhibition companies are you working with? 
SB: Today we only have relationships with content owners (filmmakers aggregators distributors and sales agencies). However we are currently exploring partnerships with other exhibition companies both digital and traditional to help make the distribution process an easier endeavor for content owners. Prescreen is now accepting full-length feature film applications on a variety of topics and genres at Sign up for the daily email service ,2774
Dolby Supports Toronto Film Festival,2011-09-30, Dolby Laboratories provided a suite of Dolby technologies and services last month’s Toronto International Film Festival which was held September 8 to 18 2011 including Dolby Digital Cinema Dolby 3D the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor and Dolby surround sound among other encoding and decoding systems. “As we continue our work to put filmmaking and the Toronto International Film Festival on a global stage Dolby is a key ingredient and partner to ensure we do that at the highest levels ” says Andrei Gravelle technical manager TIFF. “While Dolby has been the recognized standard bearer for cinema audio now they are proving themselves to be a force for the visual image too. The festival’s transition to digital cinema has been a learning curve and the Dolby engineers that work with us have been an invaluable mentor and source of advice.” “This year’s Toronto International Film Festival brings together some of the best Dolby technologies and services available to deliver a digital experience that audiences will remember long after they leave ” says Bill Allen senior director content services Dolby Laboratories. “The team at TIFF continues to push the boundaries for imaging and sound quality making the festival one of the truly premier industry events.  It continues to be an influential event for filmmakers to share their artistic visions and Dolby is proud to be a part of it.” Dolby has worked closely with TIFF over the past two decades. This year featured Dolby Digital Cinema servers and audio processors within every Premiere festival venue. Beyond providing technical support Dolby Content Services mastered films high-definition videotapes and digital cinema packages that played at the festival. Dolby E decoding solutions also provided emerging filmmakers the flexibility to showcase their 5.1-channel mixes before engaging in the complex film postproduction process. New to the festival’s digital technology repertoire was the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor. A precise color grading display device the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor was used to provide quality control in the festival’s inspection facility.

 To ensure that audiences experience the highest-quality presentations possible Dolby engineers were on-site to prepare all venues to meet Dolby standards and to support filmmakers so they could accurately share their creative vision whether they use film or digital cinema in 2D or 3D.

 Prior to the start of the festival Dolby hosted Surrounded @ toronto with a panel discussion called Innovations Altering the Entertainment Landscape which was held in the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Dolby Laboratories Toronto International Film Festival ,2775
Volfoni Introduces Edge 1.2 Active 3D Glasses ,2011-09-30, Volfoni showed Edge 1.2 their latest model of active 3D glasses at the 66th annual National Federation of French Cinemas conference which was held September 19-22 in Lyon. According to Volfoni by utilizing high-speed liquid crystal lenses Edge 1.2 glasses allow for more light (luminosity) and striking picture contrast. The lenses are covered in a new protective film significantly extending the life of the glasses. Other innovations for Edge 1.2 include a more universal nosepiece as well as a new surface coating which reduces the weight of the glasses from 58 to 56 grams (2.05 oz to 1.98 oz) for even more comfort.

To celebrate the release of Edge 1.2 Volfoni will offer for a limited time only a special price for a bundle pack of one 3D Kit and 200 pairs of glasses.

 We are always listening to client feedback which helps us improve our products. This allows us to keep developing the most innovative technology on the market says Renaud Van Lith COO of Volfoni. 

Volfoni will soon offer an optional anti-theft feature for the glasses: integrated RF technology. This technology stops viewers from sneaking the glasses outside the theater and saves theatre owners from having to invest in costly security gates.

 Volfoni ,2780
British Theatre on the Big Screen,2011-10-15, Bringing the best of British theatre to cinemas across the U.S. this fall NCM Fathom will present a series of four events from the stage of the National Theatre of Great Britain. National Theatre Live will launch its third season on NCM network screens October 20th. Presented by National Theatre Live BY Experience and Fathom the four-part in-theatre series will be broadcast to more than 200 additional U.S. movie theatres nationwide through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. 

The first season of National Theatre Live kicked off in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren.  The third season features four solid productions. One Man Two Guvnors October 20 Nicholas Hytner’s sold-out five-star production One Man Two Guvnors written by Richard Bean is based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni with songs by Grant Olding. James Corden stars in ‘one of the funniest productions in the National’s history’ (The Guardian) returning to the National for the first time since he premiered in the original cast of The History Boys.   The Kitchen November 3 Arnold Wesker’s extraordinary black comedy The Kitchen set in a restaurant in 1950s London is directed by Bijan Sheibani and features an ensemble cast of 29 actors. Time Out says “Sheibani’s balletic large-ensemble revival is an exhilarating spectacle” and the Times of London says “Fabulous fast-moving direction… With wit and energy it keeps you gasping.”
 Collaborators December 1 Collaborators is a new play by John Hodge (screenwriter of Trainspotting Shallow Grave The Beach) directed by Nicholas Hytner. The play centers on a surreal and disturbingly funny imaginary encounter between Joseph Stalin and the playwright Mikhail Bulgakov. Alex Jennings will play Bulgakov and Simon Russell Beale will play Stalin.
 The Comedy of Errors March 1 This version of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors is directed by Dominic Cooke (artistic director of London’s Royal Court Theatre) and stars the hugely popular comedian and actor Lenny Henry making his National Theatre debut.

“National Theatre Live’s outstanding productions from across the pond will provide a rare opportunity for theatre fans throughout the U.S. ” says Dan Diamond senior vice president of NCM Fathom. “Audiences nationwide will be able to experience a line-up of London’s finest theatre performances all from the comfort of their local movie theatre beginning this October.” ,2791
Pushing the Limits,2011-10-15, Sound designer Aaron Guice is notorious for teaming up with directors who push the limits of commercial and film projects. Recently he collaborated with director Paul Hunter known for creating robust and cinematic environments for action-packed commercials and music videos on the Jennifer Lopez/Fiat 500 Cabrio campaign. Guice selected Sound Devices 702 Portable Digital Sound Recorder to join him on location. Whether he was positioned on the backseat floor of the Fiat 500 Cabrio or amidst a screaming crowd of people he found the 702 recorder to be an ideal portable solution.
 “For this campaign in particular I was asked to do a lot of on-set live recordings ” says Guice who had recently purchased the 702 for a recording involving Lenny Kravitz where a larger setup entailing a laptop with ProTools would not be suitable. “After that experience I knew I would continue to integrate the 702 as part of my sound recording setup. Its compact size light weight and performance allowed me to be in close proximity to all the action with super smooth gains.”
 The production of Jennifer Lopez’s music video for her single Papi and Fiat 500 Cabrio commercial were integrated—requiring a four-day shoot in downtown Los Angeles — to capture both a 30-second television spot as well as her five-and-a-half- minute music video. According to Guice the shoot called for something more portable and intimate than the traditional cart with a mixer and a boom operator. 
  “The action was happening all around so therefore long wires were out of the question. If you set up from a camera perspective the sound would be of very little use in post ” says Guice. “In order to get the sound I was looking for I had to hide and integrate myself among the chaos with the 702 to give it the right feel.” In addition to the 702 recorder Guice kept his rig at a minimum only including the essentials for maximum mobility such as a boom microphone on a pistol grip with a short-coiled XLR cable a lavalier and a pair of headphones.
The two-channel Sound Devices 702 is a compact file-based digital audio recorder. The device records and plays back audio to removable CompactFlash cards and/or external FireWire drives. It writes and reads uncompressed PCM audio at 16 or 24 bits with sampling rates between 32 kHz and 192 kHz. 
  “It would have been impossible to realistically Foley more than 200 rioters as they stomped and screamed through the streets of L.A. I had to be in the thick of it ” says Guice. The 702 implements a no-compromise audio path that includes Sound Devices’ next-generation microphone preamplifiers. Designed specifically for high-bandwidth high-bit-rate digital recording the preamps set a new standard for frequency response linearity low distortion performance and low noise. 
 “There was one instance when I wanted to capture sound from the perspective of the interior of the car as individuals in the crowd jumped and tackled each other all around the vehicle ” explains Guice. “In order to do so I wedged myself on the floor of the backseat. I was cramped but the 702 rested on my side and the panel was available for gain control and playback during takes. The back-lit display which is easily visible in extreme sunlight or dark situations made it easy to see everything that was going on.”
 Not only was the 702 a trusty component during production Guice appreciates its file management capabilities for post-production. “I can efficiently edit the track names take names and take numbers ” continues Guice. “Also using the integrative Wave Agent software I can easily drop in to log audio files and split my poly waves. I’m able to put the files into Wave Agent and have my assistant log and categorize the sounds. The practicality of getting source material and integrating it into a sound piece is a very streamlined process that takes a short amount of time.”
  “In all since it was a high-end project it allowed for no margin of error ” adds Guice. “Before my Sound Devices 702 had even arrived I had many questions about data storage file management and technical specs. Sound Devices customer service was always professional — answering questions with clarity and resourcefulness so I knew I was in good hands with such high level of service.” To view the full-length video visit Sound Devices ,2793
Hollywood’s Digital Dilemma,2011-10-15,As the digital cinema era enters a new phase – a phase driven now as much by fear as excitement – Hollywood faces a number of challenges and none of the obvious solutions is particularly ideal. That challenge is even greater outside North America and although there are many complications – in many cases the challenge is country-by-country – this dilemma can be summed up rather simply: digital technology invariably creates a demand for more content not less and yet Hollywood continues to make fewer movies each year. These two realities cannot co-exist for too long or Hollywood motion pictures will no longer be a viable growing business. Put another way there has to be a finite number of lowest-common-denominator comic book movies that will translate well enough to generate solid revenues in every country. One way that Hollywood could address the situation would be to ease the DCI standards to lower the cost of entry and enable more small theatres to participate. This solution seems easy on the surface – and I’ve advocated it – but the reality is that it’s not as simple as it sounds and it could well backfire. DCI-compliant technology is expensive in large part because of two things: it has sophisticated encryption systems and it delivers color space capabilities that are unsurpassed. While projector manufacturers say privately that they could probably provide the necessary encryption capabilities for not too much money the color space demands are complex and expensive. These color demands came from the Hollywood creative community – in particular and with a lot of justification the American Society of Cinematographers. There are many reasons why Hollywood movies look better on the big screen than on a television or computer but this is one of the most important ones. Changing this would greatly diminish the quality of the presentation of movies and would level the international playing field in ways that could ultimately hurt Hollywood – and other bigger-budget filmmakers – more than it might help. By the estimate of one European Film Commission official the major studios currently have a high market share in roughly only 30 of the world’s 193 countries. Admittedly those are the countries that Hollywood targets and many of the others are too small or too poor to have a significant impact on the international movie business. On the plus side there is the fact that recent studio numbers suggest movie industry growth potential. The Motion Picture Association of America reported that overseas revenue jumped 13 percent in 2010 compared with 2009. The largest growth occurred in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region which grew 25 percent and 21 percent respectively and accounted for $10.8 billion in box-office revenue. It marked the first time that Europe the Middle East and Africa which generated a combined $10.4 billion in box-office revenue accounted for less than half of all international ticket sales. China accounted for more than 40 percent of the Asia Pacific box office though it remains a highly restrictive market for foreign film distribution the MPAA report said. A third underlying reality is that many exhibitors – and this is true all around the world – simply can’t afford to abandon 35mm film. To take just one example according to Ian Riches a consultant in Malaysia who has helped many exhibitors make the digital transition “In Malaysia ticket prices are relatively low plus the government takes 25 percent of that anyway in Entertainment Tax so the business model is not robust.

” “Right now even the major exhibitors here are still installing 35mm in new complexes ” he says. “We are currently equipping one such with seven used 35mm [projectors] and one new digital [projector] and have several more projects with similar configurations before the end of the year. In fact we're still buying used 35mm machines for our customers just as the manufacturers in the USA are scrapping them.” 

Riches adds: “In Malaysia there are about 300 35mm screens belonging to small circuits and independents. It's really difficult to see how the majority of those will be able to afford the cost of conversion. Frankly the VPF doesn't help much and the amount and duration on offer are decreasing with every passing day. Many of the affected cinemas are in shopping centers; they have leases and an obligation to keep open.”
 “Many small operators will simply not be able to afford to change and once 35mm is unavailable they will be left high and dry ” Riches continues. “I'm involved with the rollout in SE Asia and the signs are there already. E-cinema is gaining a lot of traction in India and China for non-Hollywood product and I don't see why small cinemas shouldn't be allowed to use e-cinema once a Hollywood movie has completed its digital cinema runs. In other words they'd be what we used to call second-run halls [and] many of them are already using 35mm.” All of this raises the very real question that Hollywood has not as yet shown signs of facing: how much longer can its existing model work? In a 2009 report the UK Film Council said this: The UK Film Council does not consider that the high cost [of digital conversion] per se is the main problem. The two previous big changes in cinema exhibition – with the introduction of sound and the emergence of the multiplex model – were relatively more expensive to implement than digital projection and these changes took place relatively quickly. The same is true of the major technological development around sound that took place beginning in the 1980s. The cost of the first two changes was borne by the largest vertically – integrated film companies the Hollywood studios and the national monopolies in Europe (e.g. Gaumont Lusomundo Medusa Nordisk Pathé UFA and UGC). The introduction of Dolby and Sony DX sound systems was born by the exhibitors.” “The problem represented by the digital conversion of cinemas is that the main economic benefit is enjoyed by the distributors whose costs are reduced but the main economic cost is borne by the exhibitors. And today distribution and exhibition are more separated than they were in previous eras.”

But perhaps the over-riding obstacle to digitization is the challenge for the distribution sector to maintain the business model that developed after cinema began to compete with television and subsequently with home video: this business model involved reducing the risks associated with film releases by seeking to realize the revenue potential of a film as quickly as possible by saturating the market with prints.” “A film will typically play in cinemas for two weeks and following a short pause will become available in other windows on other platforms. This model was an efficient way of using 35mm prints and of exploiting the scarcity of cinema screens. It also created the best platform for the exploitation of blockbuster films on the other platforms.” “Digital exhibition reduces both sources of scarcity – prints and screens – and it took the major distributors some time to come up with a model that enabled them to successfully exploit the blockbusters or tent-pole films which were the source of their competitive advantage and of their relationship with the most important networks of multiplexes on which this strategy relied.” “As long as this model has three elements: very tight management of the availability of digital copies very expensive projection equipment and the virtual print fee system to pay for the equipment. The VPF system incentivizes the exhibitor to screen a film as often as possible during its first week of release. Another sign of Hollywood’s ongoing digital disconnect is contained in the same MPAA report which said that although 73 percent of people first heard about a film they might want to see online the US majors spent just four percent of their marketing budget that year in online advertising. Meanwhile a growing number of filmmakers are using such methods as crowd sourcing to create publicity for their films and increasingly to fund them. As these efforts evolve many of these films can and will find homes on the growing number of digital screens – DCI-compliant and otherwise – that are going to be increasingly available. India and China – two nations with vibrant indigenous film communities – represent two of Hollywood’s most dynamic and lucrative markets for potential future growth. And as the MPAA figures noted above suggest Hollywood is enjoying success there at least for now. What the future holds is far from clear. A 2009 PriceWaterhouseCoopers report estimated that India had 3 000 digital screens between UFO and Real Image out of 10 000 cinemas of which 900 were multiplexes.  Other reports suggest the number of digital screens has risen to as many as 5 000 most of which are e-cinema. In India the most recent Harry Potter film was released on 450 screens according to the report. E-cinema represents had tremendous upgrade for audiences in small rural “theatres” that in the past were worn out 35mm and 16mm prints projected onto sheets or painted walls. “While smaller US and European cinemas have spent recent years facing a crisis over what to do when the studios stop using 35mm prints Indian cinemas have been making a rapid shift to [non-DCI] digital projection in a way that is sustainable including three-yearly replacement of the equipment to allow them to keep up with technological advances ” says a knowledgeable observer. “In particular rural Indian cinemas have seen 900 percent revenue increases from converting to digital.” Hollywood would do well to remember its own humble beginnings at the turn of the last century. Vaudeville was king and the first nickelodeons were rude concepts often set up in bars or storefront shops selling low-cost entertainment to the masses. The movies were inexpensive and there seemed to be new ones almost every day. Vaudeville’s establishment ignored these developments at first then fought them then tried to embrace them then saw their businesses fade away. The most successful nickelodeons grew into the major exhibition chains of the day and the most talented filmmakers who supplied them with movies became the Hollywood studios. Once Hollywood became the entertainment establishment things as they always do solidified. History has shown that since then the major studios have fought every single business and technological development there has ever been from talkies to color from television to VCRs. History has also shown that in the long run this has never been a serious problem for Hollywood and digital may ultimately prove to not be an exception. But this feels different to me and this time when the studios finally decide to understand and accept the realities of digital technology it might be too late.