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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Spec is Out

Digital Cinema Initiatives just released Version 1.0 of its specification for the creation, distribution, and exhibition of digital movies. (DCI is a consortium of the seven major studios.)

Here's the celebratory press release, a meandering parade of 'important' quotes that no one actually uttered.

Interestingly, of all the studios who say they're committed to releasing all future digital films in compliance with the new DCI spec, only one - Warner Brothers - actually mentions a timetable for beginning to offer digital versions of its new releases alongside celluloid. (That's because most cities in America don't yet have a venue to show digital movies.)

Saith Dan Fellman, president of domestic distributions for Warners: "With this essential specification now in place, Warner Bros. now plans that by the end of 2005 we will be releasing our movies in two formats: 35mm film and DCI digital cinema."

Others, like Jeff Blake of Sony, say only "We look forward to releasing our feature films digitally to cinemas deploying digital cinema systems compliant with the DCI specifications worldwide."

My favorite quote from the release is from producer/director Bob Zemeckis: "Hallelujah - It's about time!"