My intimate contact with COVID-19 started last December. Looking back, I remember I was trying to arrange interviews for a new business development director in Beijing. I would fly out for a full day of interviews plus a quarterly business review with our China general manager, Allen Xing. Harkness had been developing a partnership for a high gain silver 3D screen with a premium format cinema brand.
Nigeria’s cinema sector is perhaps the most evolving in the nation’s creative industry, as movie going has become a norm amongst many working-class youths and Millennials in the recent past. In metropolitan cities such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, the usual #TGIF aura on Fridays is commonly dominated by scenarios of young corporate workers, couples and students, storming cinemas as soon as the clock ticks to call it a day.
Different trends are emerging and developing when it comes to sustainability in cinema. The European Union is playing a leading role with regulations around eco design and the circular economy; energy efficiency and renewable energy; waste and hazardous substances. The restriction of hazardous substances is one that has a very close link to cinema, given its impact on the production, sales and availability of mercury UHP lamps.
I’ve been thinking for some time now about how to issue a new press release regarding the same old boring story about the never-ending lawsuits taking place between RealD and Volfoni, being totally clear and transparent so that everyone understands my words and the situation without making it too technical or using patent jargon that no one is going to understand. I consider at this stage it is important the communication is clear and straight.
In November, the Digital Cinema Initiative posted two new draft documents towards a high dynamic range specification for cinema titled Direct View Display D-Cinema Addendum and High Dynamic Range D-Cinema Addendum. They represent a major improvement over DCI’s previous draft, which I wrote about last September [DCI Has Lost Its Way https://bit.ly/2Omcnoa]. In contrast, the new documents are well written, detailed, explanatory and responsive. But questions remain and cost matters, leaving plenty of room for improvement.
Keeping projectors and other cinema equipment up and running is a primary concern for exhibitors. If you own a Series 1 or an early Series 2 projector, you may already be facing significant cost of ownership issues, including more frequent breakdowns and longer downtimes. Even worse, manufacturers may no longer support your equipment — or may soon stop supporting it — making replacement parts expensive or even unavailable.
The way it’s supposed to work, a cinema should be able to acquire DCI Compliant equipment with the assurance that first release movies would not be withheld for reason of having the wrong gear. With the recent release of its DCI Memorandum Regarding Direct View Displays, it is no longer clear where DCI is heading.
My Breathing on Everest journey kicked off less than a year out of university when my friend and frequent collaborator Meredith Gaito came to me with an idea she knew most other people would call too ambitious or downright crazy. A year and a half later I have been to Nepal twice filming at the base camp of Mount Everest for what has become a deeply personal documentary.
Cinemas worldwide are preparing for what is now commonly called the second wave: a technology renewal where they will install next-generation digital projection equipment. However, the journey ahead poses different considerations and challenges compared to the film-to-digital conversion of the first wave. Before we forge ahead, it’s important that we consider the old adage: To know where we’re going, we need first to know where we’ve been. So let’s take a look.
[Editor’s Note: Mark Smith is the owner and director of photography for Oh Seven Films, the production company he started in 2001. In this exclusive guest column he talks about the documentaries he's made about the search for Amelia Earhart.]
Over the years, my company has been involved in productions that span the gamut, from creating ads and television programs to documentaries and indie feature films. Though there’s certainly a lot of variety in our work, we focus heavily on documentary projects. For example, for the past 17 years, I’ve been the documentarian for TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery) on an ongoing project to discover what happened to pilot Amelia Earhart — work that has resulted in a couple of Discovery Channel programs.