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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Roger Ebert's screening room

Just for fun... here's a link to a video tour that the Oprah Winfrey show did of Roger Ebert's townhouse in Chicago. (The link is courtesy of Cinematical.)

Marvel at his vast DVD selection! Envy his private screening room! Wonder (if you're a wonk like me, at least) whether Roger is using a traditional 35 mm projector or an LCD projector in there. (Ebert hasn't been the biggest booster of digital projection, as you can see here and here.)

But Ebert is entitled to his opinions; he's a sharp guy, and not at all a Luddite. In this piece from MacWorld, published back in 2000, he's enthusiastic about using desktop computers to make movies, noting that "...a lot of kids are growing up visually literate because of all this technology, and they will probably grow into a number of good directors. They have some role models--Spike Lee, Richard Rodriguez--who made films without raising lots of money, and I'm very encouraged."

A couple more excerpts from that Q&A, conducted by David Ferris:

    Q. Then how will the aspiring home moviemaker use the Web to get his or her works out?

    A. I've suggested there could be a site where movies are pooled and they could be seen for free for a certain amount of time, say one or two months. Someone sees them and tells a friend. After two months, some movies will have gotten a lot more hits than others--Darwinism is the word I've used. At that point, those ones may be distributed on the big screens.

    Q. Fast forward a few years. How and where are people going to watch movies?

    A. Convergence is the key word at home. Broadcast, cable, the Internet, and satellites will somehow magically come together and seamlessly blend. People will move files around over high-bandwidth networks. Really high-quality home theater systems are common now and will become more common within five years, with an 8-foot screen and a projector. It will become very common for people to sit in their living room, pull down the projector, and watch a movie with very high-quality video and sound--movies available on demand.


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