London—May 15, 2007
RAAM Digital Conference - BAFTA London June 21, 2007 sets out the following challenges
Europe presents unique challenges – all exhibitors and third party integrators need to engage fully in finding solutions
You need 2D digital before 3D Digital – it’s a freight train heading our way
- Fair and equal benefits between operators and distributors required
- Security of digital product has to be guaranteed by studios
- Business models and financial packages need to be finalised
- Alternative product will take years to get right
Steve Perrin, Julian Levin, Millard Ochs, Chuck Goldwater and David Hancock headline speakers
A highly charged one day London conference on Digital Cinema will be driven by Global Cinema Industry leaders. They will present the latest information and strategic reports on how the UK, European and global cinema markets are able to face the challenges ahead.
One of the conference’s key note speakers, Julian Levin, Executive Vice President, Digital Exhibition, Twentieth Century Fox commented
“Twentieth Century Fox remains firmly committed to the transition to a digital cinema platform from conventional 35mm film. For almost two (2) years Fox has been supplying its movies to theatres around the world equipped with DCI compliant digital projection systems. In addition, thus far, Fox has been an active participant in the various financing schemes and development of business models which will spur rapid deployment of digital cinema systems worldwide. While the European markets present some unique challenges that need further discussion and resolution, we encourage all exhibitors and third party integrators to fully engage and be a part of the solution. The benefits of digital 3D exhibition are apparent; but before you can achieve digital 3D capability, you must first have achieved digital cinema 2D. Digital cinema is a freight train, and it’s headed our way!”
Tony Meehan – Chairman of RAAM
“Despite the fact that Digital Cinema has been on the UK and Irish business agendas for more than 5 years the answers to the most important questions remain outstanding. This conference is a follow on from our February event at which this issue was the hottest topic.
“In its April 07 edition, Screen Digest presented the latest figures which show in the UK and Ireland 174 screens have already been converted to digital formats – 87% of these were converted as part of the Lottery Funded UK Film Council Digital Screen Network and Digital Cinema Ireland. There is still no industry wide agreement regarding which business model will be used or how a virtual print fee will be agreed and who has the right to negotiate with whom.
“North America and Europe are recognised as two of the most mature cinema going markets and account for 89% of all current digital installations, but this only represents 5% of the total number of screens in both these areas. So far the use of digital screens has been limited due to the availability of digital films and agreement on terms.
“One other important fact is that the majority of these installations have been paid by either UK Lottery Funding and Digital Cinema Ireland – surprisingly neither the Operators or Distributors have invested any major capital sums. Perhaps one reason is the ability, or inability, to balance short term financial needs to long term business requirements.
“There is a long way to go and a lot of work to be done which is why this meeting is of such importance to the UK and Irish cinema operators and distributors.
“So why the delay? –
“The technical specifications have been agreed within the studio system, the equipment is available for shipping, there is consensus within the industry that the future is digital. What remains outstanding and requires both commitment and compromise on costs and commercial benefit for all.