Paramount Offers Exhibitors Direct Support for Digital Rollout

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Tue, 01/27/2009 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

With its major 3D release Monsters & Aliens due out in less than three months Paramount Pictures has announced it has become the first studio to offer digital cinema support directly to exhibitors across the United States and Canada. The move is expected to accelerate the rollout of digital and 3D projection systems in theatres. Jim Tharp president of domestic theatrical distribution made the announcement. The deal works in parallel with previously announced agreements with DCIP (Digital Cinema Implementation Partners) Cinedigm Kodak and Sony but allows exhibitors to seek financing for digital cinema systems locally rather than wait for comprehensive integrator agreements which require significantly more upfront capital to be completed. In addition the agreement allows exhibitors to own and control their equipment (which is required to be DCI/SMPTE compliant) and to switch to an integrator-supported agreement at a later date if desired. The new agreement also includes independent theatres that do not belong to any integrator groups. In making the announcement Tharp said We are excited about the potential of more theatres offering more of Paramount's films in the highest quality digital and 3D. Today's announcement is a good step forward to providing more audiences with the very best in movie viewing. To date Paramount has signed nine digital cinema integration deals the most of any major studio. They include domestic agreements with Cinedigm Phase 1 and Phase 2 Kodak Sony and DCIP three deals with European integrators XDC Arts Alliance Media and Ymagis and two deals with Asian integrators DCK and GDC. So far more than 3 500 screens have been converted to digital under Cinedigm's Phase 1 plan. Paramount’s executive vice president of distribution Mark Christiansen told the Hollywood Reporter “Theatre operators in the U.S. and Canada will get payments amounting to a ‘virtual print fee’ every time they play a Paramount movie” as long as they haven’t used other digital cinema funding through studio-funded consortiums. “Additionally the exhibitor must have converted half of its screens to digital or boast at least one 3D digital auditorium. There's no upfront money involved. We're not offering to buy the equipment. But if the exhibitor goes out and acquires the equipment on their own we will pay them for playing Paramount films over a proscribed 10-year period. I am supportive of the fact that Paramount is looking for unique opportunities to move the digital cinema transition along as quickly as possible. Twentieth Century Fox also has been working directly with exhibitors such as Odeon and UCI Cinema in the UK Fox executive vice president of digital cinema Julian Levin told Variety. NATO President and CEO John Fithian said Paramount is getting out front on this critical industry transition and we applaud them. Direct arrangements between distributors and exhibitors won't work for everyone but for some of our members it could make the difference in surviving and thriving in the digital era. And it certainly enables some exhibitors to get wired much faster and that means more 3D screens sooner. We urge all studios to give this creative option a fair chance. ,697
2009 RAAM Awards Nominations Announced,2009-01-28,The full list of nominations in this year’s RAAM Awards to UK and Irish and Exhibition and Film Distribution were announced today. Universal Pictures Warner Bros Paramount Sony Entertainment Optimum E1 Films Artificial Eye Yash Raj and Studio 18 head the line up in film distribution nominations with Cineworld Odeon Vue Ambassador Woking Curzon Soho Plaza Truro Gaiety Cinema Group Movies@ SGC Cinemas leading the way in exhibition. RAAM gets its name from the initials of the founding directors Rob Arthur and Anthony Meehan. The RAAM International Award will be presented to Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions and three Industry Achievement awards go to Andrew Cripps president Paramount Pictures International Mike Ewin of Winstone Films and Paddy Kelly former general manager of Paramount Pictures in Ireland in recognition of their significant contributions to film making distribution and exhibition internationally and in the UK and Irish film markets. Twelve other award winners will be announced at the awards dinner on February 4th at the Millennium Hotel Grosvenor Square Mayfair London. The awards dinner is in support of The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund  the trade charity for the UK film and television industries. RAAM chairman Tony Meehan Chairman of says “This is the fifth year of the RAAM Awards with strong competition in all categories. We are indebted to Nielsen EDI for their support together with our external Advisory Board and each of our sponsors; Arts Alliance Media Britvic UK and Britvic Ireland Coca Cola Bottlers Ireland Walt Disney Film Studios Variety and the PD Group.” The nominations in the following award categories are: Movie of the Year 2008 Mamma Mia – Universal Pictures International Quantum of Solace – Sony Pictures International The Dark Knight – Warner Bros Foreign Language Movie of the Year Rab Ne Bana De Jodi – Yash Raj Sing is Kinng – Studio 18 The Orphanage – Optimum Releasing Independently Distributed Movie of the Year Four Christmases – Entertainment Films Sex and the City – Entertainment Films Twilight – E1 Films Distributor of the Year Paramount Pictures International Sony Pictures International Universal Pictures International Film and Cinema Marketing Campaign Curzon Cinemas – Artificial Eye – Waltz with Bashir SGC Cinema Dungarven – Opera Ireland – Live from the Metropolitan Opera New York Vue Cinema Doncaster – Universal – Mamma Mia Arts Alliance Media – Innovation in Cinema Award   20th Century Fox - 100-screen premiere of “Shine A Light” transmitted by satellite across the UK Real D - for its clever “light doubler” system to radically improve efficiency of 3D and therefore the size of screen that can be supported Sensio for innovative technology allowing live 3D broadcasts over existing 2D infrastructure Cinema of the Year – Ireland Sponsored by Coca Cola Bottlers (Ireland) Limited Cineworld Dublin Movies@Dundrum Vue Dublin Cinema of the Year – UK Cineworld – Glasgow Cineworld – Sheffield Showcase – Bluewater Retail Director of the Year Award – Sponsored by Britvic UK Independent Cinema of the Year - Ireland – Sponsored by Britvic Ireland Gaiety Cinema Group - Arklow Movies@Dundrum Movies@Swords Independent Cinema of the Year – UK  - Sponsored by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK Ambassador Cinema Woking Everyman Cinema – Belsize Park London Plaza Cinema Truro Cinema Circuit of the Year Cineworld Cinemas Odeon Cinemas Vue Entertainment ,698
Camera Operator of the Year Nominees Named,2009-01-28,Will Arnot (Milk) Stephen Campanelli (The Changeling) Robert Gorelick (The Dark Knight) Kim Marks (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Martin Schaer (Eagle Eye) are the finalists in the feature film category of the Annual Society of Camera Operators Lifetime Achievement Awards Camera Operator of the Year competition. The recipient will be named during the awards celebration at the Leonard Goldenson Theater of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on February 21st. “The Camera Operator of the Year Award enables our peers and the industry to realize the importance of the camera operator’s contribution to the cinematography the director’s vision and the story to make the films the success that they are ” says SOC past president and awards event producer David Frederick. “It establishes an arena where individual contribution of below-the-line crafts are recognized and awarded the credit due.” The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Dark Knight are also nominated this year for cinematography achievement awards by the American Society of Cinematographers for their directors of photography. “Camera operators have long since remained the quiet force behind the lens in support of the director of photography and the director. It is now more than ever important that the operator is recognized by the industry and the public for their critical contribution to the success of every film or television program ” says Frederick. “The process of selection nomination and final choice of the winner falls upon the shoulders of the active members of the Society of Camera Operators. The SOC has shown its support and charity to the Vision Center of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles for more than 20 years. This contemporary contest helps to draw more attention and attendance to our event that is a principle fundraiser to aid in the treatment of children’s eye care. It is a noble and worthy effort by the members of the society which is in turn graciously supported by the industry sponsors of the event.” Society of Camera Operators ,700
Arts Alliance ABC Reach Exclusive Deal in the Netherlands,2009-02-12,Arts Alliance Media has announced that it has reached an exclusive agreement with the Amsterdam Booking Company a buying group representing Dutch independent cinemas to supply and integrate digital cinema in 68 screens within 20 cinemas across The Netherlands.  The deal also covers the installation of a professional satellite network for the transmission of live events and encrypted content. Disney’s Bolt in 3D was to be the first digital release. The ABC rollout started immediately in order to equip screens for the February 11th Dutch release of Disney’s 3D film Bolt. Consequently this will be the first wide 3D release in the Netherlands. Screens in Heerenveen Heerlen Schagen Spijkenisse Venray Weert and Zutphen will be installed with digital cinema and 3D systems in time for Bolt. Under the conditions of the agreement AAM will create a fully integrated DCI-compliant digital cinema and satellite network within the ABC group of cinemas. The agreement requires AAM to procure service and maintain all digital cinema systems deployed including projectors and servers central storage servers and a theatre management system.  ABC and AAM have jointly selected Christie projectors and Doremi servers for the deployment. FTT Filmtronics will carry out the installations and provide maintenance and local support. Arqiva Satellite and Media will provide the satellite equipment. Paul Visser ABC’s owner says “We see clearly what the future of cinema is going to be: digital 3D and live events. AAM is the best partner to make that happen and enable us to be the first widespread movers in the Netherlands.” Howard Kiedaisch chief executive officer AAM says “We are honored to have been chosen by ABC for this highly significant deployment. Our commitment is to help all cinemas convert to digital regardless of size or location and having ABC on board proves that our program works for independents as well as big chains.” Amsterdam Booking Company programs cinemas throughout the Netherlands and has a market share of 10 percent in the Dutch market. ABC also advises the connected cinemas on marketing management and future development. The cinemas share information with each other which leads to synergy. ABC has extensive knowledge of the distribution side of the business which enables the company to achieve the goals of both exhibition and distribution.   To date AAM has a European footprint of 420 installed and operated digital cinema screens in the UK France Spain and Norway.  Arts Alliance Media ,716
Deluxe Digital London Chooses Atempo Time Navigator,2009-02-12,Post house Deluxe Digital London has chosen the Atempo Time Navigator to move manage and protect large digital movie post-production files across its tiered disk and tape-based storage infrastructure. Deluxe Digital London whose work includes hit movies such as Quantum of Solace Atonement Happy Feet and Beowulf was looking for an easier way to automatically identify large individual movie files and move them to the most appropriate storage media for either backup archive or production purposes. Peter Guyan senior systems engineer at Deluxe Digital says “A single film in digital format can easily reach a couple of terabytes in size so we’re dealing with very very large files. Once a post-production job has been wrapped up or if a project is put on hold then that file becomes inactive and we need to move it onto tape. But the minute we need to work on the file again we have to be able to get it back onto disk in the quickest easiest way possible.” However moving such large amounts to and from disk and tape while ensuring it was backed up presented the Deluxe Digital team with a difficult and often time consuming challenge. Deluxe Digital needed a data management solution that could identify individual files and easily backup and restore those files to the most appropriate storage media. Guyan explains why they chose Atempo Time Navigator: “Other companies in the Deluxe group were already using Atempo Time Navigator so it was a proven credible option. It also had features that make it especially suitable for the film industry such as the ability to write data to tape in the industry standard TAR per frame format. In addition Atempo Time Navigator offered excellent integration with the existing SGI solutions that we already had in place.” When testing Atempo Time Navigator the Deluxe Digital team was particularly impressed with how easy it was to move inactive data onto tape while maintaining active data on disk. In the future if a movie is put on hold the Deluxe Digital team can easily and quickly create an archive in Atempo Time Navigator and leave the client data in it for later retrieval knowing exactly where it is. As soon as that data becomes active again and needs to be restored to disk Atempo Time Navigator knows where the tape-set is and how to restore it. Atempo Time Navigator also helps protect Deluxe Digital from data loss by allowing the company to recover quickly in the event of data corruption or in the event that someone accidentally deletes an entire directory on the SAN. “We really value the opportunity to collaborate with our customers and to better understand how we can serve the data protection demands of specific industries ” says Fabrice de Salaberry vice president of sales EMEA at Atempo. “We are really pleased to see Deluxe Digital's success with Atempo Time Navigator and we look forward to expanding our ongoing success in the film and broadcast industries with Atempo’s dedicated data protection and archiving solutions.” Atempo ,717
Berlin International Film Festival Uses Barco Digital Projectors for Fourth Year,2009-02-12,For the fourth straight year Barco served as the exclusive digital cinema projector supplier for the 59th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival. The Berlinale is traditionally the first big film festival of the year and brings together the largest audience for a film festival in the world. Every year up to 400 films are shown and over 200 000 tickets are sold. For this prestigious film festival Barco provides no less than six digital cinema projectors from its DP series platform. Three DP-2000 projectors and three DP-3000 projectors will ensure the audience of a picture perfect digital cinema experience.   “We are delighted to have Barco’s digital cinema projectors again at our disposal for the Berlinale ” says Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick. “This is already the fourth edition we work with Barco and we know that they can give us the image quality and reliability our festival wants to give to its audience.”   Wim Buyens vice president Barco digital cinema says “Barco is proud to be the exclusive digital cinema projector supplier of this year’s Berlinale. Digital projection is the way forward in the cinema industry. Its superb image quality and overall ease of use is superior over traditional analog projection.”     The Berlin International Film Festival took place February 5-15 in various venues throughout Berlin. ,718
Cinedigm Digital Cinema Reaches Ten-Million Show Plateau,2009-02-12,Cinedigm Digital Cinema has announced that more than ten million shows have played on Cinedigm digitally equipped cinema screens in 40 states across the country. Almost 3 800 theatre screens now exhibit movies and other enhanced content on a daily basis via Cinedigm’s digital cinema systems according to the company. “Digital cinema means a superior theatre experience for consumers and Cinedigm is the clear leader in bringing this technology to theatres across the country. Passing this important milestone demonstrates the increasing momentum and extraordinary reliability of this rapidly emerging industry ” says Bud Mayo president and CEO of Cinedigm.  “Digital cinema allows for faster more cost effective delivery of movies and other choices of content to theatres around the world. Cinedigm’s technology transforms theatres by allowing them to bring new choices of content and experiences to their customers such as 3D live events and customized programming. As more theatres sign on to our digital deployment plans more movie-goers can expect the unique and high-quality experience only associated with digital cinema.” Cinedigm Digital Cinema ,723
Cineplex Entertainment Adds Digital 3D in time for Jonas Brothers Concert,2009-02-12,Cineplex Entertainment is adding 22 new digital projection systems enhanced with Real D 3D technology to 22 theatres located in 21 cities across Canada over the next few weeks. The first 3D movie to premiere using the new digital system will be Walt Disney Studios’ Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience As of February 27th Regina and Sault Ste. Marie residents will be able to experience the best in digital cinema including 3D movies with the installation of a digital projection system located at Galaxy Cinemas. The theatre will be equipped with Canadian made Christie CP2000 series DLP Cinema projectors. Regina residents are going to love the bright crystal clear images of digital presentations says Pat Marshall vice president communications and investor relations Cineplex Entertainment. With the addition of Real D audiences will now be able to enjoy an incredibly immersive 3D experience. I love watching the audience wearing their 3D glasses and seeing people reach out to touch the images that appear to be floating in front of them and with our premiere film audience members will feel as if they are on stage dancing beside the Jonas Brothers

.” Cineplex Entertainment