Wednesday, February 17, 2010

DigiTraining Plus (Day One)

DigiTraining Plus: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies. A five-day course organized by: Media Salles Training. An initiative of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union with the support of the Italian Government. At the Finnish Film Foundation (SES), Helsinki, 17-21 Feb 2010.

The seventh edition of a five-day intensive course for European exhibitors, devoted to the present state and future prospects of digital screening. The official agenda:

Do you want to:
- get ready to deal with the digital transition?
- keep up with the burning issues involved?
- get to know the latest news on digital projection presented by well-known international professional players?
- visit the cinemas that are pioneering the new technologies?

The presentations are or will be available also on the Media Salles website:
The presentations of the previous six courses are available there, as well.

There are 59 European participants from Finland, Sweden, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, Austria, and the Netherlands, plus organizers from Italy and Great Britain. Opening speeches by Michael Vickers (Treasurer of MEDIA Salles),  Irina Krohn (CEO of SES), presentation of the course by Anthony Williams (moderator of the course).

Tero Koistinen (CEO, Finnish Film Chamber), presented Finnish viewpoints. Last year screened were 2546 prints in 35 mm, and 649 digital files. The average ticket price is 8,3 E. Finnkino has a 73% market share. There were 48 digital screens (16,2%), most of them supported by SES. Barco was the dominant digital projector, Dolby the dominant server, and Xpand the dominant 3D system. - 3D has been the driving force. Other incentives include getting premieres immediately, flexibility of programming, reduction of staff costs, and other digital stuff (opera, theatre, Formula 1, local documentaries). - Trouble includes higher maintenance costs, spare parts are expensive, there are no spare parts in Finland, and no competition between dealers. - There are no list prices, but in reality the projector and the server cost some 60.000-70.000 E, plus 3D some 15.000, the total installation cost with the ventilators and 3D desinfectors is some 100.000-120.000 E. - In 3D screenings the average price is 9,3 E. - Public support is necessary. The virtual print fee still in development. - Digitalization benefits studios and producers. - For the cinemas the problem is financial: it is impossible to cope without financial support from the government or from the studios.

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