Anybody care to comment on the prospects for future film technology? This story has Qualcomm and Technicolor teaming up to foot the bill for initial installation of digital projectors in theatres nation wide (in exchange for a future percent of profits.) I seem to remember a story about Hughes offering a similar deal (becasue they own the satellites which would be delivering the content to these digital theatres.) I can't find the link to that one now, mabe they are part of the Qualcomm Technicolor coalition. I know Lucas screened the Phantom Menance at a couple of digital theatres using the Texas Instruments digital projector. Reviews I read were sharply mixed with the digital crowd being totally wowed, and the analog cinema crowd basically seeing the digital demon as the end of art as we know it.

Roger Ebert (what's the take on this guy?) is pretty convinced that digital is a no go:
"I have seen the future of the cinema, and it is not digital. No matter what you've read, the movie theater of the future will not use digital video projectors, and it will not beam the signal down from satellites. It will use film, and the film will be right there in the theater with you.
He goes on to describe MaxiVision48 a new 48 frames per second analog film technology that is described as 500 times "better" (whatever that means) than old 24 fps film, OR digital, "take your pick."

I've shot a bunch of miniDV footage, and while it is quite sharp, this is almost a criticism when compared to the gorgeous look an expert (like, say, Steve) can get with decades old super8. So what's the deal? Does a new analog technology (like MaxiVision48) really have a chance? Or are we going to be watching all the big hits on digital projectors in the next year or two? Or will 24 fps trudge on by default? Does it matter? Will the resolution on digital simply get so high that any of these other technologies can just be simulated (right down to imitating specific types of film stock, or specific personalities of different camera equipment?)
- jim 3-12-2001 4:35 pm


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