Tag Archives: Art House

The Digital Transition & What It Means for Indies

With more and more studios moving away from 35mm prints, can art house cinema survive in a digital world?

This article was originally published on the Tribeca Future of Film web site, and was reprinted at Thompson on Film, among other sites. However, I decided to post it here as well, to make it easier to find and for archival purposes.

That sound you’ve been hearing over the last month that resembles the  opening strains of the soundtrack from Jaws is a collective moan from  true independent distributors and the mission-driven exhibitors who play  their films. The catalyst for this distress was a letter from Fox  Searchlight, which is now widely referred to as “the Searchlight  letter.” (more…)

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Digital Projection WILL NOT Convert Art Houses Right Out of Existence!

There has been a lot of discussion recently among the mission-driven, independent art houses in the U.S. regarding the transition to digital. The art houses are stuck between a rock and a hard place due to the cost of DCI compliant (studio approved) equipment that would be necessary to show such cash cows as “Black Swan” or “The King’s Speech” — equipment that the art houses simply can’t afford — while the vast majority of the real indie movies that they play are not available in that format. Further angst is caused by the sense that it is only a matter of a few years before there simply are no more 35mm prints available. In the midst of a lot of doom and gloom, Russ Collins, the Executive Director of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor and a leader of the Art House Convergence wrote the following guest blog…

By Russ Collins

Maybe I’m just too much of an optimist. Instead of seeing digital cinema as a harbinger of Art House doom I see it as an exciting opportunity. Digital conversion AND the preservation of celluloid exhibition formats are, to me, soluble issues that will be most effectively addressed by “new model” community-based, mission-driven Art House cinemas. Digital cinema can provide wider, quicker access to both historic and contemporary cinema repertoire and is much more accommodating to local filmmakers. Additionally, we get the benefit of digital restoration on wonderful old celluloid movies. (more…)

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