Category Archives: Alternative Content

Digital, though costing more, allows for more variety, sometimes at a lower cost and a better return. That variety is called “alternative content.”

Broadcasting Live Events to Cinema: DTG

The Digital TV Group, the industry association for digital television in the UK, has issued a very inclusive report on Alternative Content in the Digital Cinema universe: Broadcasting Live Events to Cinema: Recommendations for the preparation, transmission, reception and presentation of live audio-visual events into cinemas.

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What About Cannes This Year [Summary]

For winners:

2011 Cannes Film Festival Winners – ‘Tree of Life’ Takes Palme d’Or «

And, a great round-up on the festival site itself:

Festival de Cannes – From 11 to 22 may 2011

Two sites to monitor if you want to follow the Cannes Film Festival:

Complete 64th Cannes Film Festival Official Selection is Announced « We heart subtitles


Continue reading What About Cannes This Year [Summary]

UltraViolet | Your Future Consumer Everything Format

UltraViolet LogoIt’s about time. Hollywood is taking a huge step forward in digital distribution today. Six major studios have announced a new “service and format” called UltraViolet, created by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE). Although I cherish my always-growing Blu-Ray collection, I recognize that the future is headed towards digital disc-less distribution, and along with Netflix Instant, which I already use and love, UltraViolet sounds like it’s the next step in evolving the digital distribution medium. There are various press releases and details arriving in from multiple events at CES in Las Vegas, so there’s plenty to read on this.

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3D Wonders

exhibition logoProfessional critics are still whining about 3D at the movies. Some is valid, but ill-expressed. None creates the desired effect of educating and motivating a grass-roots effort to insist that the cinemas and studios improve the situation.

This month Patrick Goldstein summarized some of the arguments, and while he had the time and space to round up some past negative articles of others, he spared no space for explaining the good parts of 3D, or the fact that there was plenty of bad CGI in its early days of its evolution. Here is a list of those articles in case our professional readers have been too busy to notice that some part of the populace is speaking out against one-size-fits-all-uncomfortably-glasses and poorly illuminated screens:

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More World Cup 3D Woes—German exhibs question quality

3D to Cinema Plan for World Cup Collapses. Mascot Survives.Variety is reporting that German exhibitors are saying “no thanks” to 3D World Cup feeds due to technology inefficiencies: low resolution, interlace effects and poor production standards.

The report says that Cineplex Deutschland, a nationwide association of multiplex and theater owners with the “most 3D screens in Germany, and Nuremberg-based exhib group Cinecitta are among operators that turned down the 3D World Cup broadcast. An unspecified group of “viewers” at test screenings.

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Looney Tunes News – Proof That Life Is Good

Before they were entertaining me on TV every Saturday morning when I was younger, Warner Bros’ classic Looney Tunes served as their first animated theatrical series playing before movies in theaters from 1930 to 1969. Since I’m technically all grown up now, I’m not all up to date on the current state of cartoons for kids these days, but I’m well aware that Looney Tunes is certainly not the staple it once was on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, and that’s just sad. However, NY Times is reporting that kids will finally discover (or maybe re-discover) characters like Bugs Bunny all over again in 3-D shorts hitting theaters this summer.

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Collapse in 3D World Cup Broadcast–Variety

3D to Cinema Plan for World Cup Collapses. Mascot Survives.The planned worldwide 3D theatrical telecasts of the World Cup soccer tournament are going forward — but without the company that originally secured the rights to the project.

FIFA, the governing body for the World Cup, posted a terse statement on its website Wednesday stating that the org has “terminated its relationship with Swiss company Aruna Media AG in respect of 3D public viewing rights for the 2010 FIFA World Cup with effect from 10 May 2010.”

The statement goes on to say that Aruna no longer has World Cup rights “or any other FIFA rights.”

[New Data: German Exhibitors Nix 3D World Cup

Continue reading Collapse in 3D World Cup Broadcast–Variety

Better than Avatar, live big-screen opera

exhibition logoIn the wake of a successful initiative by the New York Metropolitan Opera, national opera companies are increasingly relaying live performances to cinemas across Europe. Svenska Dagbladet waxes lyrical about the new technique which will boost accessibility to high culture.

On 14 January, an opera performed in Stockholms Konserthus was broadcast via live satellite to cinemas throughout Sweden. The event was marked by an exceptional request from the concert hall CEO, Stefan Forsberg, who asked celebrated singer Malena Ernman to invite the public to sing. The result was the spontaneous creation of the largest opera chorus in the history of the country. All of the seats in the Stockholms Konserthus had been sold out for weeks, but most of the audience watched the performance from a network of 30 cinemas across the country, which projected live high-definition footage with Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

In Sweden, the trend for the live broadcast of cultural events to networks of remote venues was launched last winter, when nine concerts at the New York Metropolitan Opera were relayed to 83 cinemas. The scheme was a runaway success, to the point where audiences for performances at the Metropolitan were larger in Sweden than they were inside the prestigious Manhattan opera house. For example, on 16 January 2009, a performance of Carmen at the New York Met, which has a maximum capacity of 3,800, attracted an audience of 7,000 in Sweden — and  Swedish music lovers have already purchased 53,000 tickets for this year’s Metropolitan programme.

20 euros a seat

Stockholm’s Royal Opera, which is also taking advantage of the trend for satellite broadcasts to remote cinemas, relayed performances of Falstaff and Cinderella from the People’s House venue last spring. The experience proved to be so successful, that it is now planning to retransmit four further performances to cinemas this year. “The Royal Opera House can seat around 1,000 people, but we had three times that number at venues around the country. Our mission is to encourage popular appreciation of opera, so we are planning to continue the transmissions,” explains the Royal Opera’s technical director Kurt Blomquist. Audiences in small provincial towns across Sweden will now be able to experience the thrill of live performances from capital cities around the world for the relatively affordable price of 20 euros a ticket.

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Better than Avatar, live big-screen opera

Johan Hellekant

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On 14 January, the live broadcast of the New York Metropolitan’s Carmen was shown in 850 cinemas in 31 countries De Standaard. The Flemish daily explains that the initiative is designed to “reinforce the Met’s brand image” and “its reputation as a magnet for international opera stars.” Notwithstanding the relatively high cost of retransmissions — approximately 710,000 euros per event, which is usually offset by sponsorship deals — many of the world’s major opera hosues, including La Scala in Milan and London’s Covent Garden, are planning to follow in the footsteps of the Met.