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

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Nouveau film financing...United 93 marketing...Widest digital release yet...John Waters, David O. Russell, and others at BAM

- Documentarian Robert Greenwald is using the Net to raise money for his next movie, `Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers.' (His last issue-oriented pic was `Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price,' released last year.) According to an e-mail I received from his Brave New Films organization, they were hoping to raise $300,000, and managed to bring in $347,094 from 2701 donors, who each put in an average of $60. "All of the money will be put to use specifically for this film," Greenwald writes, "both for production and...outreach, education and distribution." Everyone who donated at least $50 will get an on-screen credit. (But you don't get a copy of the DVD - that's extra.)

- From the interesting e-mail marketing campaign for `United 93,' which is trying to turn the drama into a patriotic (and religious) must-see:

    ...[V]isit Motive Entertainment’s, where you can see the MOVIE TRAILER and download free teaching and preaching resources to engage in key issues like, “Why do Islamic terrorists hate America? How should we respond as Americans? As Christians? As Jews? As Muslims?”

- Kodak says that `Mission: Impossible III' is the largest digital release to date, playing on 170 digital cinema screens in North America. (According to Kodak, that's more than one-third of all the digital screens available.) From the press release:

    In its digital release, [M:I3] needed to be encoded in two different compression formats, packaged for four different server brands, and distributed via hard drive and satellite.  The movie was encrypted to prevent piracy, so a unique pair of ‘keys’ – software codes – for each screen had to be created and sent separately.

I wonder which two compression formats they're talking about. I though DCI had determined that only JPEG 2000 was kosher...

- If you're in New York on May 21st, I'd suggest heading to BAM for a program they're putting on with the Sundance Institute called "Four Independents That Turned The Tide," featuring screenings and a panel discussion with Hal Hartley, David O. Russell, Allison Anders, and John Waters. According to the release, "...[T]he audience and panelists alike will have an opportunity to explore the origins, evolution, and future of independent film and how it altered aesthetics, social discourse, and the film industry." Info at


  • Scott - while JP2K is the official and sanctioned DCI specification, there were already a number of digital cinema installations running already based on MPEG-2, I think based on QuVis servers. So that's why 2 codecs is my best guess.

    -mike of

    By Blogger Mike Curtis, at 12:29 PM  

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