[ Digital cinema, democratization, and other trends remaking the movies ]

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Two from the NY Times: Opera on the big screen, and new Entertainment Technology program at Arizona State

- The Metropolitan Opera has a killer idea: why not make great opera performances more accessible to people who don't live in Manhattan? They're using the nascent network of digital cinemas, and starting with a trial run of six live performances, the first of which will be on December 30th. Daniel J. Wakin writes:

    [Met general manager Peter] Gelb, who first revealed his hope to create such simulcasts in February, said they would be broadcast in high definition with “fantastic surround sound.” They will be shown in 100 to 200 theaters at first, he said, and then 200 to 300, with tickets costing around $18 in the United States. (Met ticket prices this year run from $15 to $375.) The theaters have between 200 and 400 seats. The performances will also be broadcast on PBS, which is the co-producer.

- Arizona State University is designing a new program that will focus on the intersection of the entertainment industry and new technology (an intersection I know and love.) They're calling it EnterTech. Sharon Waxman writes:

    “We know that the dominance of 35-millimeter film is over,” said Peter Lehman, the director of the film and media studies program, and one of two professors who teaches the [first EnterTech] course. “We’re in a period of massive change and uncertainty. We need a new kind of person in this industry who understands that entertainment and technology are converging, and who is fluent in the concepts and the language of both.”

Later, she quotes Lehman again:

    “We are not turning out people who are going to be editors, cinematographers, writers, directors,” said Dr. Lehman, who observed that there are too many such film schools already.

    “Ideally we should be teaching students to think of film in relation to new media in a quite different model than we had in the past,” he continued. “It’s not as simple as, ‘We need content for a new delivery system.’ It’s more, ‘We need to understand the new technology and how it will shape entertainment.’ We’re creating a new industry job, as it were.”