Digital Cinema Getting Real

There’s an excellent entry (Link) over on the CinemaTech blog covering yesterday’s film industry conference, “Other Digital Stuff: Expanding the In-Theater Experience”. It’s a long, detailed entry that has plenty of information for people interested in how the movie industry is dealing with the transition to digital and what their thoughts are for the future.

I found this portion the most interesting:

Fithian says that one thing that will be powerful is showing movies with niche appeal on Monday or Tuesday nights – movies that might work in four or five cities, or just one metropolitan area, but not the entire country. He says that digital could be “potentially the most exciting thing for independent filmmakers.”

Goldwater says, “Digital technology empowers exhibitors to accomplish more with the underutilized space and time in their theaters. I think there is a lot of exciting potential yet to be realized — though exhibitors are [also] looking to optimize the performance of feature films.”

Levin says he thinks digital cinema needs to focus on types of entertainment not available at home (IE, not the Super Bowl). Feature films and 3-D content, for instance.

I’m thinking more along the lines of what Swartz hinted at earlier (“embark in new directions”). I think we’ll see whole new kinds of activities sprout from digital theaters. So rather than focus on distributing entertainment not available in the home, I suspect we’ll hear stories of enterprising theater owners finding ways to make their service a more integral part of the community.

Actually, I should stop thinking about this as “digital cinema” and instead think of it as “digitally-mediated activity hubs”. When I lose the “cinema” tag, my imagination takes off. Including seeing an opportunity for something like Pangea Cinema (read about that over on – Link).