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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

'Kodak's Reign in Hollywood Threatened by Digital Cinema'

Among the most entertaining people to talk to in the entertainment industry are Kodak executives.

At ShoWest in 1999, Kodak exec Bob Mayson proclaimed that digital cinema would never happen until directors and producers decided to back it. Later that day, George Lucas announced that 'Star Wars: Episode I' would be shown digitally in four theaters later that summer. My favorite quote from that year's ShoWest coverage:

    “That sound you heard during the Star Wars trailer was 20 guys from Kodak jumping off the roof of the hotel,” quipped one exhibitor.

This week, Dow Jones has an update on Kodak's digital cinema efforts, and it seems like not much as changed. AccessIT, the leader in converting theaters to digital cinema, has converted 3,000 screens. Kodak has 80. From the piece:

    Mary Jane Hellyar, president of Kodak's film products group, said the company's goal is to position itself to be competitive, not necessarily move to grab the dominant market share right out of the gate. "The numbers are reflective of the strategy," she said.

    "We're learning from our installations and also learning from what others are doing in the marketplace. It is our goal to be a key player in this space, making sure we're positioned to have the kind of offering that the industry would expect," Hellyar said.

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