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Friday, February 10, 2006

`Other Digital Stuff' - March 10th in Hollywood

The Entertainment Technology Center at USC is sponsoring a cool day-long conference on "Other Digital Stuff" (aka alternative content) that'll be shown in digital cinemas.

From my perspective, there are two big questions:

- who will produce, supply, and profit from alternative content shown on digital movie screens (like concerts, sporting events, political rallies, motivational speeches, etc)?

- if the studios aren't producing and profiting from alternative content, won't they view it as an unwelcome competitor to the movies they're marketing?

The release is below. I should note that this event is for "industry types" only - you can't buy your way in.


    Conference Examines New Forms of In-theatre Content Beyond Film

    Los Angeles, CA ‑‑ February 2, 2006 —The first-ever conference dedicated to in-theatre content beyond motion pictures was announced today by the Entertainment Technology Center at University of Southern California (USC‑ETC). “Other Digital Stuff: Expanding the In-theatre Experience” will examine the new forms of content enabled by digital cinema technologies, including pre-show ads and entertainment, real-time sports and music, 3D trailers and lobby displays, and more. It will feature demonstrations of the latest innovations; discussions about technology and bottom-line issues; and a digital cinema overview. It will also look at how to devise alternative content that appeals to audiences “Other Digital Stuff” is free for qualified industry members and will take place March 10, 2006 from 9:00 AM –3:00 PM in Hollywood at ETC-USC’s Digital Cinema Lab theater.

    “Other Digital Stuff” is designed for creators and distributors of content for new in-theatre platforms; exhibitors seeking to build attendance and revenues and who must negotiate new technologies and business issues; and marketers and advertisers striving to maximize the big screen’s storytelling power along with its new capabilities for targeted messages.

    John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), will keynote along with Kurt Hall, president and CEO, National CineMedia and Bob Lambert, senior vice president, Worldwide Technology Strategy, The Walt Disney Company. Texas Instruments is sponsoring the day and providing technical and program support, along with NATO.

    Said Charles S. Swartz, executive director/CEO of ETC‑USC, “Digital cinema enables exciting new opportunities in in-theatre content, but making it work is a complex process. Our goal for ‘Other Digital Stuff’ is to help major stakeholders expand on the alternative content already in theatres and embark in new directions.”

    “Other Digital Stuff: Expanding the In-theatre Experience” is the first in what will be a series of events presented by the ETC-USC tackling exhibition industry issues.