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 Studios to stop distrubuting conventional film prints by end of 2013

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Jack Wade
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PostSubject: Studios to stop distrubuting conventional film prints by end of 2013   Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:04 pm

http://www.deadline.com/2012/06/studios-will-stop-distributing-conventional-film-prints-here-by-end-of-2013-report/

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Time is running out for theaters that haven’t made the switch to digital projection. Studios’ use of conventional 35 mm prints “is projected to cease in the United States and other major markets by the end of next year, with global cutoff likely to happen by the end of 2015,” according to the latest IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence Service report. There’s still a ways to go: The firm says that 51.5% of worldwide screens had digital projectors at the end of 2011, an increase of 82% from 2010. But IHS notes that soon it won’t be sufficient to have a digital projector. Director Peter Jackson is lobbying for theater owners pay for the software upgrade needed to show his upcoming The Hobbit films at 48 frames a second. That’s the speed at which he’s shooting the movies, up from the conventional 24 frames. At the end of 2011 about 50,000 of the world’s 63,825 digital screens, including 19,000 in the U.S., would be capable of being upgraded. Theaters with Series 2 DLP and Sony projectors will be able to accommodate Jackson. Pressure to upgrade won’t abate after The Hobbit. James Cameron plans to shoot his follow-ups to Avatar at 60 frames a second. (Incidently, IHS’ figure on the worldwide total of digital venues is slightly higher than the 2011 tally from the MPAA, which counted 62,684, of which 44% were in the U.S. and Canada.)

For the most part the IHS report covers the ground we explored at April’s CinemaCon. But it has some interesting factoids regarding the transition from celluloid to digital prints. The firm says that at one point distributors used 13B feet of film a year, equal to five trips to the moon and back. By 2010, though, film usage was down to about 5B feet. One big reason for the shift: The price of silver, heavily used in film processing, soared from $5 an ounce to about $25 this year. The heat is on for all theaters to switch to digital projection.
Purists sure to be pissed.
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j7wild
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PostSubject: Re: Studios to stop distrubuting conventional film prints by end of 2013   Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:14 pm

They cannot expect everyone to be able to switch to digital.

How about the Arts movie theaters that only have 2 or 3 screens that play mostly foreign films and independent films?

The producers of those films are on a tight budget and are barely able to get their movies distributed; they can't afford to have their product on digital.
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PostSubject: Re: Studios to stop distrubuting conventional film prints by end of 2013   Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:41 am

j7wild wrote:
How about the Arts movie theaters that only have 2 or 3 screens that play mostly foreign films and independent films?

I know some of these theaters in NYC make their own prints, like Film Forum. But even they've started to move toward digital.

If a theater can't adapt, I imagine they'll go extinct like film.
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trevanian
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PostSubject: Re: Studios to stop distrubuting conventional film prints by end of 2013   Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:39 am

I'm thinking the price of 16mm and 35mm prints on ebay and the like will skyrocket for those purists with the resources to project and preserve film. Preservation is a real issue, as Ernie Farino had a print of 2001 that was intact in 35mm as late as 1999, but despite his best efforts it had gone red (much as JAWS had almost deteriorated to pink waters before folks stepped in to save it.)

Being able to see old movies on a big screen should be constitutionally supported, and I'm not talking Larry o' Arabia at a mallcinema via projected blu-ray.
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: Studios to stop distrubuting conventional film prints by end of 2013   Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:50 am

Oh well. Of what I've seen in digitally projected cinemas, I'm not all that bothered. It looks fine to me, just without scratches, hairs, and burns.
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PostSubject: Re: Studios to stop distrubuting conventional film prints by end of 2013   Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:41 pm

j7wild wrote:

The producers of those films are on a tight budget and are barely able to get their movies distributed; they can't afford to have their product on digital.

There are many advantages to film, but cost isn't one of them. Just a quick look online got me a quote of $33,750 for a 90 minute sound video transfer to 35mm film. The same transfer to Digital Cinema cost $2,050
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PostSubject: Re: Studios to stop distrubuting conventional film prints by end of 2013   Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Transfer costs for independent filmmakers are ridiculous, so I could only imagine what it'd be like for feature films that require mass distribution.

I love working with film, I love watching films, and I think any budding filmmaker should shoot on film before moving to digital. But the ship's-a-sailin', sadly.
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