Hollywood—May 8, 2006
Paramount Picked Kodak to Handle Digital Preparation and Distribution for ‘Mission: Impossible III
Paramount and Kodak partner to release on the greatest number of screens ever showing digital cinema feature presentation
Add one more superlative to Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible: III”: it is the largest digital release ever, playing on more than 170 digital cinema screens throughout North America. And all digital preparation and distribution to those screens was handled by Kodak Digital Cinema.
Paramount set high standards for the digital release of “Mission: Impossible: III.” The studio insisted it only be shown in theatres with 2K cinema grade projectors and DCI-level security and they chose Kodak – a company with a legacy in the movie business -- to handle everything.
“We told Kodak we expected the highest quality presentation delivered with complete security, seamlessly and painlessly,” says Jim Tharp, Paramount’s President of Distribution. “We worked closely with them to make that a reality.”
“We’re proud that Kodak has been selected to prepare and deliver this movie – and to handle a project of this magnitude for Paramount,” says Bob Mayson, general manager of Kodak Digital Motion Imaging. “We have a long history of serving them with film and now we’re pleased to be one of their critical partners in digital.”
The movie is playing on more than a third of all digitally-equipped screens in North America. This was the largest digital release in Paramount’s history and one of the largest releases ever in the industry’s history.
“We have great confidence in this franchise,” Tharp says. “We knew the movie had everything going for it – a great cast led by the world’s reigning superstar, Tom Cruise; incredible effects, and a huge fan base. As the weekend box office proved, this is a movie audiences wanted to see and we gave them a choice of seeing it on film or in digital.”
“Mission: Impossible III” is eight reels long, with soundtracks in multiple languages. In its digital release, it needed to be encoded in two different compression formats, packaged for four different server brands, and distributed via hard drive and satellite. The movie was encrypted to prevent piracy, so a unique pair of ‘keys’ – software codes – for each screen had to be created and sent separately.
“It’s a complex undertaking,” Mayson says, “but one Kodak is particularly well equipped to handle; we’re experienced in the entire process, from digital master to the cinema screen.”
Beginning in April, Paramount began delivering the digital masters to Kodak’s Laser Pacific facility in Hollywood. Kodak technicians compressed and encrypted each reel and packaged them to play on the different screens. Kodak and Paramount collaborated on final quality control.
“Paramount has high standards and so do we,” Mayson says. “At Kodak, our goal is to make digital distribution look simple, so audiences can sit back and enjoy a spectacular new edition of ‘Mission: Impossible’, delivered and displayed the way the filmmaker intended.”