With all the discussion of digital production and films like the second Star Wars trilogy, Superman Returns or the upcoming Zodiac being shot entirely with digital equipment, another element of the process -- digital distribution and projection in theaters -- seems to get forgotten, or at the very least, relegated to the "sooner or later" category. But now, according to a recent Variety article, some companies, including theater chains AMC, Cinemark and Regal along with major film studios Universal and Warner Bros., are getting into digital distribution and projection in a big way.

The theater chains are forming a new group called the Digital Cinema Implementation Partners and will work with the studios to implement the technology. According to the article, DCIP is planning on deploying digital cinema projectors and servers into all AMC, Cinemark and Regal theaters starting in 2008. Not only that, DCIP technology partners Universal and Warner Bros. will work with DCIP and select a technology and develop a system of digital distribution to transport digital movie files securely to theaters for showing instead of using the current method -- sending a hard drive loaded with files.

They plan on making this technology available to any studio or exhibitor that wants to use it, and according to Warner Bros. exec VP of distribution and technology operations Darcy Antonellis, their motivation isn't to make money. "We're not looking to make money off of other studios," she said. Digital production and distribution is here to stay and its nice to see the major studios finally taking a proactive approach to implementing the technology. Although, I have to wonder how long the "we're not looking to make money" thing is going to last? After all, this is Hollywood.
categories Movies, Cinematical