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Cinema City and Digital Technology
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Cinema City and Digital Technology

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Cinema City and Digital Technology

Cinema City and Digital Technology


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  • 1. How and why have Cinema City invested in digital technology?
  • 2. Highlight the key facts
    • Reasons to invest in digital projection:
    • Economic reasons (money)
    • Audience experience reasons (including quality and range of different experiences)
    • Industry/ Institutional/ Competition reasons
  • 3. Questions to solve
    • How does digital distribution benefit independent/ low budget films, producers and distributors?
    • How do digital projectors open up opportunities for alternative content/ diversification/ the exhibition of different media?
    • How do digital projectors enhance audience experience?
  • 4. Film Reel Projection
    • Films arrive on 4-6 large film reels, stored on the metal ‘cakestand’
    • Film is fed through the projector
    • Hairs/ dust/ dirt damage the quality of the film
    • Quality degrades with each playback and with time
    • Each print costs ~£2000
  • 5. Digital Film Projection
    • Film arrives on hand-sized hard drive which is uploaded to projector
    • Digital film files are encoded to stop piracy
    • Quality never degrades
    • Hard drives can be returned to distributors for re-use
    • Each hard drive costs ~£50
  • 6. Why would it be good for the British film industry if there were more digital screens in cinemas?
  • 7. Digital Screen Network
    • Government initiative
    • Funded by the National Lottery, run by UK Film Council
    • Total fund = £12m
    • Paid for 240 digital projectors in 210 cinemas
    • A digital projector costs between £50,000-60,000
    • Cinema City installed the Digital Screen Network projector in December 2009, meaning that all 3 screens at the cinema have digital projectors.
  • 8. Digital Screen Network
    • Cinemas have to show a quota of ‘specialised films’ to retain funding for the projection equipment:
      • Foreign language with subtitles
      • Documentaries
      • Archive/classic films
      • A film which is of a difficult-to-categorise genre, or has a complex hook or USP
      • An innovative film (has an innovative cinematic style)
    • 2009 63% of films released in the UK were ‘specialised films’, and they took only 15% of the box office takings
    • DSN expected to increase the number of screenings of specialised films by 165,000 more screenings per year, reaching 30 million people
  • 9. How does Cinema City’s involvement with the Digital Screen Network affect audiences?
    • Use these terms to help develop ideas:
    • programming;
    • specialised;
    • diversification;
    • quality
  • 10.  
  • 11. Europa Cinemas
    • Europa Cinemas offer grants to cinemas who show a quota of European films
    • 42 countries, 473 cities, 811 cinemas, 2,092 screens
    • Do not own or run cinemas
    • Aims:
      • “ to provide operational and financial support to cinemas that commit themselves to screen a significant number of European non-national films”
      • “ to offer events and initiatives as well as promotional activities targeted at Young Audiences and to screen digital European films”
  • 12. Europa Cinemas
    • Money – receive funding for showing a specific number (a quota) of European (non-English) films
      • Criteria (per year):
        • Must screen at least 22% European films (35% to access highest level of funding)
        • At least 6 different countries (UK doesn’t count for UK cinemas)
        • No more than 50% can come from one country
        • Bonus for diversity of countries
      • Calculated on number of screenings
      • Up to €16k
      • Receive up to €4k for ‘exhibitor activities aimed at young people’
    • Access to films held/ distributed by Europa
    • Consultancy, advice and support
  • 13. How does Cinema City’s involvement with the Europa affect audiences? What terms are useful here?
  • 14. Why did Cinema City invest in 3D technology?
  • 15. What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences? Use Cinema City as a case study in your answer