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New Look

www.cinematech.today >

VOL.31

NO.2

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their hand in w o the sh o c "a d ct n a iv y

e

Sam sun g,

a ren "a ew vi

So n

The leading magazine for cinema industry professionals

LED Screens

A big little sector The impacts of consolidation on the Studios and Exhibitors

000_CT _JUN18_COVER.indd 1

Cinema on demand How crowdsourced screenings are mixing up movie programming

Films in the field

Produced in partnership with:

Celebrating 75 years of entertaining the troops with Forces Cinema

15/05/2018 12:44


HDR is eveRywHeRe

HDR FOR CINEMA

© 2018 YMAGIS GROUP - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

anD now in youR movie tHeateRs

Jerry Murdoch | jerry.murdoch@cinemanext.com | +44 7968 434611

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The future of content delivery. Join us on the road ahead.

For exhibitor + distributor For e-content + live events Two networks forged together motionpicturesolutions.com/news

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C O N T E N T S C I N E M A T E C H N O L O G Y > VO L . 3 1 N O . 2 > 0 6 / 1 8

50 NEWS

08 17

The latest from around the world of cinema exhibition IMIS update: dates for your diary over the summer

FEATURES

18 23 28 32 37 40

LED screens get real: market entrants show their hand How Ferco stays ahead of the pack in seating tech Learning your lessons: what other sectors can teach us How data analytics can help boost occupancy rates Crowdsourcing the cinema screen: a new way to watch Consolidation: what are the upsides for the industry?

PRODUCTION EDITOR: ALASTAIR BALMAIN Motion Picture Solutions Ltd, Mission Hall, 9-11 North End Road, London W14 8ST T: +44 (0)20 3026 1368 E: ct@motionpicturesolutions.com ART DIRECTOR: DEAN CHILLMAID E: dean@spacehopperdesign.co.uk

www.cinematech.today

005_CT _JUN18_CONTENTS.indd 5

54 59 65 68 73 77 82 87 90

Bringing some depth and focus to light field cinema Attention troops! 75 years of the Forces Cinema service How 360˚ digital tours are bringing the customers in

32

Cineplace: an event cinema tool to pinpoint punters Exploring the old-school VR experiences of the past It’s time for a home cinema projection rennaissance

EVENTS

Feeling a little inventive? The UKCA needs your help Why event cinema needs to reach beyond the arts Celluloid film formats: the strong case for their future

COMMISSIONING EDITOR: PETER KNIGHT E: peter.knight@madcornishprojectionist.co.uk ADVERTISING: BOB CAVANAGH Caixa Postal 2011, Vale da Telha, 8670-156 Aljezur, Portugal T: +351 282 997 050

45 50 53

Samsung, Saudi, Cinionic: the buzz from CinemaCon Barcelona in June? That’s CineEurope on the agenda Big Cine Expo: showcasing India’s cinema business

M: +351 962 415 172 E: bobcavanagh@sapo.pt SUBSCRIPTIONS Cinema Technology is mailed free to IMIS Members. For subscription details, visit www.cinematech.today or e-mail ct@motionpicturesolutions.com

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Bring out every drop of cinema magic With Sony Laser Phosphor series Keep cinema goers coming back for more with uncompromising movie experiences. Sony Digital Cinema 4K Laser Phosphor technology delivers utterly immersive, high-contrast, detail-packed images, so your audience can lose themselves in unforgettable cinema moments. • Industry leading 10,000:1 contrast ratio • Up to 30,000 lumen brightness • The Only HDR-ready laser projector on the market • Eliminates lamp maintenance for increased operational efficiency With the Sony SRX-R800 series, your audience can enjoy consistently pure, brilliant images with every screening. Find out more. Search ‘Sony 4K Digital Cinema’ today.

Cinema without compromise

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c t

v i e w New Look

www.cinematech.today The leading magazine for cinema industry professionals

Sam sun g,

The impacts of consolidation on the Studios and Exhibitors

Cinema on demand How crowdsourced screenings are mixing up movie programming

Films in the field

Produced in partnership with:

Celebrating 75 years of entertaining the troops with Forces Cinema

15/05/2018 12:44

he impact of consolidation in our

Cinema without projection? Is that heretical, or the way of

business is one of the themes running

things to come? well, it wasn’t so long ago that we were

through this issue, whether that be

asking the question “cinema without film?”, yet we’re still

within the major exhibitor chains, the

watching movies on the big screen. There are challenges, of course, not least the price, but

content itself — consolidation of genres into one amorphous

the promise of LED screens is one of hitherto unmatched

tentpole blockbuster is a direction film lovers desperately

contrast ratios and a 3D experience that lives up to billing.

fear that modern cinema has been headed for some time.

“But it’s just a big telly,” sneer the naysayers. True, to a point,

Fortunately, just as technology has enabled faster

but cinema is founded on the shared big screen experience.

delivery, brighter screens, higher dynamic range and

While it may concern us, technical delivery of the image

deeper blacks, so too can it provide at least some of the

doesn’t overly trouble audiences. Does it matter to them if

answers that seek to address the challenge of “content

the light source shifts to the front of the auditorium?

monoculture”, whether that be in mainstream feature films, or, more recently, in event cinema programming.

To some, it really does matter — as Martin Dew explains

Turn to the articles on the crowdsourcing film platform

smaller gauge film projection in home cinema — it may be a specialist interest for the hardiest of film enthusiasts, but

(page 68), or Patrick von Sychowski’s article on what cinema

to those with a passion for the art of projection, 16mm and

can learn from other industries (page 28), and you will see

Super 8 in the home manage to capture at least some of

that technology is most certainly the industry’s ally when it

the glory of cinema in all its clacking, whirring vibrancy. As

comes to encouraging both diversity of content and

Christopher Nolan and others have demonstrated, there’s

audience on our big screens.

still plenty of room for analogue in our digital world.

And where are those big screens headed? Samsung’s Onyx LED screen was the big noise at CinemaCon in April.

1

2

on page 77. In this issue, he explores the resurgence of

OurScreen (page 37), the market analytics tool Cineplace

3

On the subject of things old and new, I trust you enjoy the modern new look to this issue of Cinema Technology!

1 Martin Dew

2 Alexa Raisbeck

3 Bryan Cook

Formerly at Lucasfilm THX and NEC in the US, on p.77, Martin puts the case for home projection

Trained as a film handler and projectionist, on p.90, Alexa argues that celluloid is a format of the future

COO of IMIS, Bryan is undertaking a PhD in light field cinematography, a subject he explores on p.54.

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Hollywood studios, or indeed within

Writing in this issue of CT

NO.2

LED Screens

A big little sector

T

VOL.31

a ren "a ew vi

As studios and exhibitors shrink in number but grow in size, there’s concern about the impact on our industry. Alastair Balmain offers CT’s view on this state of affairs

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Consolidation: a narrower world view?

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i n d u s t r y

e v e n t s & v i e w s

CT NEWSREEL

n e w s ,

r o u n d - u p

g l o b a l t h e

U p - to - d a te

o f

“Cinionic” joint venture launches

China BARCO, CHINA FILM CO. LTD (CFG), Appotronics and

together of forces to create energy in

CITICPE announced their strategic joint venture, Cinionic, at

the Cinema industry.” The new brand

CinemaCon. The new company will focus on a combination

comes

of innovative cinema solutions, flexible financing and a

“Experiences.

comprehensive service model that enables exhibitors to

Rijsbrack, Chief Marketing Officer at Cinionic, comments: “It

major on engagement with moviegoers while simplifying

is our commitment to customers — that they can count on

technology and operations. Barco will be the exclusive OEM

Cinionic to deliver the ultimate cinema experience. It’s

partner for projection and image processing technologies

simple, direct, and reflects our commitment to deliver

in the joint venture. Appotronics will provide industry-

compelling audience experiences.”

leading laser and retrofit solutions while CGS contributes

www.cinionic.com

with

a

matching

tagline:

Delivered,”

Carl

The anticipated new JV focuses on engaging the audidence

solutions for Premium Large Format (PLF) screens. The company name “Cinionic” conveys a combination of cinema and ionic, — the partners define it as the “coming

USA

Irwin launches the ZG4 recliner IRWIN SEATING COMPANY has Smoothly does it: the new ZG4 range from Irwin

introduced the ZG4, the latest in its Spectrum Recliner Luxury Series. A new seat module offers exceptional comfort with a deep cushioned ride in conjunction with a proprietary recliner mechanism for a smooth “Zero Gravity Motion”. Early screenings of ZG4 have led to positive reviews as customers easily find optimum viewing positions.

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Wanda and Christie establish Cinema Technology Centre of Excellence CHRISTIE HAS ENTERED into an

technology for Wanda Film Holding

agreement with Wanda Film Holdings,

and its global affiliates; RGB laser

a subsidiary of Wanda Group to

retrofit solutions for Xenon projection

establish a joint R&D centre for cinema

systems; and LED cinema screen

technology in the Wanda Studios’ site

development.

in Qingdao, China.

The CTCE will assist Wanda and

The new Wanda-Christie Cinema Technology

Centre

of

Excellence

Christie in areas such as the selection of

laser/illumination

technology,

China

(CTCE) will be solely owned by Wanda

including guidance on choosing the

Film Holding, with Christie as the sole

best

partner to operate the facility for

appropriate for Xenon-to-RGB laser

Wanda Film Holdings and Christie

advanced R&D of digital cinema

technology

officially opened the CTCE at a

projection

including:

installed base of more than 60,000

ceremony on 27 April.

projection

digital cinema projectors worldwide.

www.wanda-group.com

customised

systems, RGB

laser

THX announces PLF cinema offering

retrofit

technology

globally

to

where Christie’s

The new CTCE — an R&D hub with digital projection at its heart

Volfoni selected for Cineworld’s 3D rollout France

VOLFONI, THE LEADING European THX LTD, renowned for the

of

3D

technology,

has

of

world-class

announced that Cineworld Group has

and

consumer

selected the company for a 3D cinema

announced

systems rollout across multiple cities

certification cinemas

provider

electronics,

has

THX Ultimate Cinema — a

and countries in Europe.

cinema

Cineworld selected Volfoni for its

offering that meets all THX

3D cinema systems and has deployed

Certified Cinema standards.

a combination of Volfoni’s products,

3D

The THX Ultimate Cinema

including the efficient SmartCrystal

customers. Cinemas need advanced

features a dual laser projector

NEO series and the award-winning

3D systems to improve operational

configuration which integrates

SmartCrystal Diamond series. The

efficiency and deliver brighter 3D

image optimisation technology

deployment includes sites in the UK,

projection for a better audience

to deliver a 4K resolution

Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and

experience,” said Alain Chamaillard,

image which has increased

Slovakia. “We see increasing demand

chief sales officer of Volfoni.

brightness, contrast, clarity

for high-performance, high-efficiency

www.volfoni.com

branded

premium

cinema

systems

from

our

Volfoni offer better operational efficiency at Cineworld

and rich brilliant colours for premium large format screens.

CinemaNext signs seating deals

THX Ultimate Cinema will also be equipped with immersive

said Ruben Mookerjee, SVP

CINEMANEXT HAS signed separate global agreements

multi-dimensional

sound

products and services at THX

with Malaysian and Chinese seating manufacturers, Ferco

systems, ensuring that movies

Ltd. “The launch of the THX

Seating Systems and Guangzhou Leadcom Seating,

remastered for this premium

Ultimate Cinema is an example

respectively

experience truly represent the

of our commitment to enhance

international distributor of their products in select markets,

filmmaker’s intent.

the movie-going experience

including Europe, Middle East and Africa. It follows a similar

“For more than 35 years,

— and we look forward to

agreement with European seating manufacturer Ezcaray

THX has set the standard for

working with our exhibitor

announced in February. “Teaming up with these two new

the audio and visual fidelity of

partners to bring this offering

partners for the cinema market is excellent news for us as it

entertainment

to life.”

completes our seating offer available to exhibitors,” explains

experiences,”

recognising

CinemaNext

as

an

official

Esperance Ngandu, CinemaNext seating product manager. www.cinematech.today

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HARMAN Professional Solutions opens new Experience Centre in London HARMAN PROFESSIONAL Solutions, a global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, has announced the opening of its new Harman Experience Centre in London. The facility expands the growing global network of Harman

N E W S R E E L

NEWS IN BRIEF

C T

>

Samsung opens Onyx LED screens In April, Samsung and partner Moving Image Tech (MIT) opened the first U.S. Onyx theatre at Hollywood’s Pacific Theatres Winnetka w/XD. Samsung also announced partnerships with Golden Screen Cinemas — ­ the largest cinema company in Malaysia, — and Austria’s Cineplexx

Professional Solutions Experience Centres, which includes locations in Los

Cinemas — to bring the Onyx

Angeles, Singapore and Shanghai. The London location will also serve as the new

screen to movie-goers in each

headquarters for the EMEA region.

of those territories.

Designed to showcase how Harman solutions address customer needs across a variety of entertainment and enterprise market applications, the 25,800-square-foot (2,400-square-meter), facility demonstrates the integration of multiple Harman brands. “The opening of the experience centre in London represents a major

Ushio to prolong warranty life of DXL-40BAF/L lamps Ushio has announced that it’s

investment in the EMEA region, enabling us to deepen relationships with our

successful DXL-40BAF/L bulb

customers and greatly expand our presence across critical markets,” said Chris

has been made even stronger

Smith, vice president, EMEA, Harman Professional Solutions. “Not only will the

— with its warranty extended

facility offer customers the opportunity to experience Harman innovation

by a further 100 hours. “These

firsthand, it provides our staff with a state-of-the-art headquarters that will allow

new lamps have 100hour

us to pursue new opportunities with greater speed and efficiency.”

longer warranty time

pro.harman.com

compared to the already existing DXL-40BAF/L lamp, bringing it to a total of

Next-Gen IMAX for AMC and Cineworld

1,400hours,” says Agata Michalak, marketing manager

HAS

moviegoing enhancements including

announced deals to install IMAX’s new

IMAX’s immersive sound, seating and

ground-breaking laser experience for

re-designed aesthetics at all 55 IMAX

commercial multiplexes at more than

locations owned by the chain. Under

Eclair Color pairs with LED Cinema

140 sites. Deals with AMC Theatres

the agreement, the companies will be

Samsung and Ymagis Group

and Cineworld Group PLC will see the

adding IMAX with Laser systems to 26

engineers and technical

latest-generation projection system

new IMAX theatres and upgrading 29

teams have worked over the

transform the premium moviegoing

of its existing IMAX sites, including 15

past few months to integrate

experience in the two chains’ theatres.

currently open and 14 sites in backlog.

EclairColor HDR technology

IMAX

CORPORATION

at Ushio Europe,

AMC has signed a binding letter of

“IMAX with Laser provides the best

intent to install IMAX’s new laser

moviegoing experience and will be

Screen to achieve outstanding

experience in 87 of the exhibitor’s

our leading premium offering,” said

image quality for long-term

highest-performing “IMAX at AMC”

Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld

broadcast and alternative

locations across the U.S. Under the

Group PLC. “IMAX and our collective

content. The two companies

agreement, IMAX with Laser systems

organisation have worked together for

claimed a contrast ratio of

operate under a joint revenue sharing

more than 20 years and we both

1,000,000:1.

arrangement with 12-year lease terms.

understand how

Meanwhile Cineworld and Regal

to create the best

sites are set to incorporate additional www.cinematech.today

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Gofilex and MPS to unify and expand European e-delivery Alamo Drafthouse signs up EclairColor

digital content distribution — have announced they have signed commercial and financial agreements

CinemaNext and Texas-based

that pave the way for the strategic alliance of MPS’s 700-site LANsat estate with Gofilex’s pan-European

movie theatre company

network of more than 1,400 sites. The agreements see the two companies’ distribution networks unite

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema,

to service film distributors and exhibitors in more than 2,000 locations throughout Europe.

have signed an agreement for

GOFILEX AND Motion Picture Solutions (MPS) — established names in theatrical film servicing and

The collaboration includes financial investment from MPS, which will drive the networks through

the installation of the

the next phases of market-leading electronic delivery and event streaming solutions. MPS’s financial

EclairColor HDR at 10

input also enables Gofilex to expand its footprint significantly across the 19 territories it already services.

locations in Texas, Arizona,

“Uniting our two E-delivery footprints makes total sense — we have been talking about this for

California, Colorado, Missouri,

years and are excited to bring our combined knowledge and shared customer-first approach to other

Nebraska, New York and

markets,” says Paul Huis in ‘t Veld, CEO of Gofilex, “We have always felt that collaboration throughout

Virginia. “We’re excited to be

the full content supply chain is key to the industry’s future and working together with MPS will

part of this HDR adventure

allow us to roll out Gofilex’s advanced E-delivery and

with EclairColor,” said Alamo

streaming solutions.

Drafthouse Founder and CEO

www.motionpicturesolutions.com

Tim League.

LTI launch six new xenon models

Jean-Pierre Decrette to receive UNIC honour JEAN-PIERRE DECRETTE, until recently director of development at Cinémas

Lighting Technologies International (LTI) has

Gaumont Pathé, has been named as the 2018 recipient of the UNIC Achievement

released six new xenon lamp

Award, given each year in recognition of outstanding dedication and service to

models including the

European cinema exhibition. The Award will be presented as part of the

XDC-1600B, XDC-2500B and

CineEurope Awards Ceremony on Thursday 14 June in

XDC-7000B for Barco digital

Barcelona, Spain. After being named CEO of the Pathé Palace in 1995,

cinema projectors, the XDC 6500BI2 for IMAX Gen III

Jean-Pierre Decrette became director of development for

projectors and the XDC-

Les Cinemas Gaumont Pathé, the largest cinema operator

2100C and XDC-2300C for

in France, the Netherlands and Switzerland, in addition to

Christie digital cinema

its operations in Belgium. In that role, Jean-Pierre was integral in establishing the

projectors.

Jay Wyatt heads to QSC

company as one of the most widely-recognised names in

Barcelona

European cinema exhibition, with over 1,000 screens across more than 100 theatres.

QSC, LLC has announced that Jay Wyatt has joined the Cinema team as sales engineer. In his new role, Jay

CHINA FILM CINEMA Da Guang

seven-screen site is taking advantage

for pre-sales technical

Road in Nanjing, has become the first

of the key features of CA2.0, including

support, product training,

in China to operate the projection

a centralised server to live-stream

and cinema system design

booth with no human intervention

selected DCPs (from a library of

consulting. He most recently

using GDC Technology’s new Cinema

hundreds of titles) to each and every

worked at GDC Technology as

Automation 2.0 (CA2.0), which is

auditorium, automatic-rendering of

a sound engineer.

designed to automate the workflow

show playlists (that include pre-show

fully. The multiplex has been running

screen advertisements and movie

for several months with zero incidents

trailers), intelligent management of

reported, The daily operation of the

power supplies and screening quality.

will be primarily responsible

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www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 16:17


28-29 AUG’18 | MUMBAI presented by

REINVENTING IMAGINATION On Galalite screens, every movie is a fantasy-filled masterpiece. By reinventing imagination, we reinvent benchmarks in cinema screen technologies.

info@galalitescreens.com | www.galalitescreens.com

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Madrid’s Odeon Sambil multiplex sets a new benchmark INGEVIDEO AND Equipo de Cine have implemented Spain’s first 4K cinema with Dolby Atmos and

500 screens for 4DX

Christie Vive Audio in all 12 theatres, two installed with Christie RGB EWD laser projection. The only

CJ 4DPLEX, the world’s

multiplex in Spain with more than one laser screen, the Sambil has two screens equipped with Christie

leading 4D company, has

Solaria CP42LH RGB projectors. These two Christie RGB 3DLP projectors introduce EWD (Enhanced

reached the 500th 4DX

Wavelength Diversity) technology to Spain, reducing the impact of speckle. “Christie is the only

screen milestone with the

manufacturer offering EWD projection — and that means we can give our audiences a truly

launch of its newest location,

unforgettable movie-going experience,” explained Luis Millán, owner of Odeon Multicines.

at Pathé Belle Épine Cinema in Thiais, France. The first film screening in 4DX at this

Russia’s largest chain launches

location is “Ready Player One” — an ideal showcase for the innovative film technology.

CINEMA PARK and Formula Kino, Russia’s largest chain with over 25 million visitors a

Germany

year, has launched dynamic pricing at three sites, using SmartPricer technology. The

aim

is

to

reward

moviegoers who book early and

come

to

Alcons audio array for Germany’s largest cinema auditorium THE LICHTBURG, A historic cinema

non-peak

the

center

of

Essen,

houses

A unique audio array for a unique venue, from Alcons

NATO and Eclair USA announce content tie-up The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO)’s Cinema Buying Group (CBG) has announced a partnership

screenings. Guests are offered

in

three price levels for movie

Germany’s largest cinema hall with

tickets: “light”, “comfort” and

1,250 seats. Known for hosting major premieres, the venue

movie theaters with cost-

“standard”. Light and comfort

now houses a pro-ribbon Cinemarray CRA30 from Dutch

effective access to EclairPlay,

offer significant discounts to

sound system manufacturer Alcons Audio, which optimally

a DCP content broadband

the standard rate and are

covers the very large hall with its curved balcony.

delivery platform currently in

with Eclair USA, designed to provide participating CBG

optimised in real-time based

The demands on such a cinema are particularly high.

on predicted demand, time of

“With the renovation of the cinema sound system we want

booking and pre-sales. For the

to live up to the increased expectations of our visitors,” says

convenience of the customer,

Marianne

“Light” and “Comfort” rates are

Filmkunsttheater GmbH. Since the landmarked architecture

GDC supply Ushio lamps to INOX

highlighted in green or yellow

of Lichtburg clearly deviates from a standard cinema, a

GDC Technology has

in marketing channels.

special solution was needed. The Cinemarray CRA30 is a

announced it has signed a

Menze,

managing

director

of

the

Essen

use at over 180 North American cinemas.

Smart Pricer is a Berlin-

three-way sound system designed for digital applications in

three-year agreement with

based company that gives

large premium cinemas that demand the highest quality

INOX Cinemas, one of India’s

businesses in entertainment

with perfect sound reproduction and coverage.

leading chains, to supply

and sports the tools to increase

www.alconsaudio.com

Ushio lamps. INOX is known

ticketing

revenues

and

for its state-of-the-art facilities.

visitors.

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I M I S

U P D A TE

International Moving Image Society: moving film forward 2018 has been an incredibly busy year for the International Moving Image Society and our members so far, writes IMIS chief operating officer Bryan Cook. The BBC’s Natural History Unit presented at our

IMIS events coming up in June/July

Bernard Happé Lecture on how they Deliver the Promise. They spoke about all the technical issues from recording in high resolution to filming underwater in order to get the stunning shots we see.

5 June Perfecting the

IMIS Honorary Fellow, Sir David Attenborough helped present our inaugural John Tompkins Natural

Pitch: Writer, producer and

Wildlife Award to Gavin Thurston (Planet Earth 2, Frozen Planet.) Among the winners we are proud to

creative consultant, Christina

welcome Roger Deakins ASC, BSC (Blade Runner 2049), Richard Boyd (BFI), Douglas Trumbull (2001: A

Morelli, on the do’s and don’ts

Space Odyssey), and Sir Ridley Scott (Alien) as IMIS members. www.societyinmotion..com

in pitching screenplays that lead them to development.

Forthcoming events in 2018 In a Magical Land Far, Far Away: The Role of the Production Designer with Terry Ackland Being a Visual Con-Man:

Community matters Even though we’re nearly halfway through the year,

11 June IMIS Screenwriting Community Launch Party Join IMIS for evening drinks

IMIS has a lot more in store. As part of our rebranding from

at the Screenwriting

the BKSTS, we are re-defining the structure of IMIS to reflect

Community launch.!

specialised areas across the wider film industry. Starting this month, we are proud to be launching our

12-13 June Media

first new area: the IMIS Screenwriting Community. Led by

Production Show

Peter Stead, the Screenwriting Community is formed to

The Media Production Show

promote, encourage and explore the role of the screenwriter

at London’s Olympia is the

30 Years of Ad Shoots and

across all forms of media. While this new community is

place to learn about the

What Went Wrong with Geoff

formed to support screenwriters, we welcome people from

newest production methods

Boyle

all backgrounds in our understanding and exploration of the craft of storytelling — particularly as the exhibition

15 June Meet Us at the Pub

Acorns to Oaks: From

community represents the major outlet for film storytelling!

IMIS is welcoming all

Business Plan to Production

Stay tuned as more IMIS communities are launched in the

members of the society to

Company with Mayhem

coming months.

join us for monthly drinks!

Creative Big Shorts: Passion

Join the Society in motion!

19 June How to get an agent as a screenwriter

Projects with High Profile Cast

Be a part of the conversation, join the International

Leah Middleton, film, TV and

with the production team

Moving Image Society today!

literary agent from Majacq, on

from Some Sweet Oblivious Antidote

Learn more about the entire workflow of today’s filmmaking, from conception of ideas through to

how screenwriters can go about getting an agent.

film capture, delivery and exhibition. Filmmaking Without Borders - Journey to the

For more information on membership benefits and to join the society, visit www.societyinmotion.com

10 July Networking Drinks & LGBT Shorts

Oscars: From Concept to the

Our July networking event

Awards

focuses on and welcomes short films from LGBT authors

IMIS CINEMA TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE Richard Mitchell (Chairman), Mike Bradbury, Roland Brown, Bryan Cook, Michael Denner, Kiril Enikov, Richard Huhndorf, Denis Kelly, Peter Knight, Graham Lodge, Adam MacDonald, André Mort, Mark Nice, Dave Norris, Ngozi Okali, Kevin Phelan, David Pope, Toni Purvis, Stephen Rance, Jim Slater, Russell Smith, Simon Tandy, Chris Tostevin, Paul Wilmott, Demir Yavuz.

www.cinematech.today

JUN18_IMIS.indd 17

The IMIS (International Moving Image Society) powered by the BKSTS aims to inspire, educate, train and connect all members of the media industry, whether at entry or professional level, around the world. The Society works to maintain standards and to encourage the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of moving image and associated technologies, in the UK and throughout the world. The Society is independent of all governments and commercial organisations. The Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the following companies and organisations: ARRI • British Film Institute • Boxer Systems • Christie • Harkness Screens • LB Group • London Film Museum • Marshall Electronics • Molinare • MPC • Pinewood Studios • Snell Advanced Media • Sohonet • StreamVuTV • Tradefair For membership inquiries, write to: Roland Brown, President, IMIS, Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Bucks SL0 0NH, UK; or email: membership@societyinmotion.com

or those based on the theme of LGBT. To book a place, head to societyinmotion.com/events

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18/05/2018 11:38


LED DISPLAY

Direct view displays

Cinema LED Screens in the Real World

Arguably the most significant innovation in cinema since digital projection, the use of LED screens to show first-run films has been a hot topic for over a year. Patrick von Sychowski examines the market entrants Words: Patrick Von Sychowski

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www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 13:30


OBODY

SEEMS

SURE

WHAT to call new cinema LED technology, whether it is direct view display (awkwardly

abbreviated

DvD), or active screens, video walls or something else. But nobody who has seen the demonstrations by Samsung and Sony could fail to be impressed by the brightness, clarity, definition, colours, blacks and contrast of the projector-less screens. If anything, cinema purists find them too perfect, much like digital projection is faulted for its lack of flicker, scratches, weaves and other photochemical film characteristics.

Samsung Onyx Theatre

Hear the news: Samsung believes Onyx Sound successfully addresses the issue of speaker placement

UNIC President Phil Clapp stated that he believes that they are in the majority. Moreover, despite these reservations, Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” was the first film screened at Samsung’s first US installation. Presently the Samsung Onyx Theatre situation is similar

Samsung became the early proponent of cinema LED

not only to the prototype DLP cinema deployment in 1999

when it held private demonstrations at CinemaCon in

in terms of installed base and cost but also in terms of

March 2017. The cinema industry was stunned by the

industry buzz that it is generating. It remains to be seen

speed with which the South Korean electronics major won

whether it will similarly dominate cinemas in 15 years’ time.

DCI certification in May 2017 and installed the first unit with

Samsung has an ambitious target of “10 percent of cinemas

Lotte in Seoul last July. Eight sites have since been installed

across the world by 2020.” But Samsung is not the only one

or announced, including in China, Europe and the US.

advocating a bright future for projector-less cinema screens.

The price tag of around $750,000 (including screen,

Sony

audio and install) is still the biggest block to widescale adoption. The second is that the screen only comes in the size of 10.3m for the 4K version. Yet the promises of more than 100,000 hours’ lifespan means that, according to integrators, cinemas are seriously weighing it up as an alternative to laser projection. At its US launch, Samsung also announced plans for a 14m (45.9 ft) screen before the end of the year with wider pixel width (3.3mm instead of 2.5mm). The company also claims up to $25,000 savings for newly built cinemas by eliminating the need for a projection booth and the addition of three rows of seats. The installation of the first Samsung screen in a Hollywood post house (Roundabout in Santa Monica) should mean that feature films can now be mastered for the high brightness HDR screens, though Studios are not rushing to pay for yet another DCP versioning for a stillsmall installed base. Worries about damaged displays has

Tom Stern, camera director of “American Sniper” and “Sully” gives his view on LED developments

Sony showed off its LED screen at CinemaCon 2017 in a public demo intended to gain feedback from the cinema industry, rather than announce entry into the field. The CLEDIS display was already in commercial use, but not DCI

“It’s a little like a piano. Would you rather have 66 keys or 99 keys? Hopefully, one day we’ll have a visual piano with 108 keys: a fantastic tool”

certified for cinemas. However, with Sony projectors having their own IMB, they would not need to look outside the company for an integrated cinema solution. In practice, the CLEDIS screen was considered ‘over-specced’ for cinema use, with a price tag to match. Feedback, though, was very positive. Sony is now on a path to launching a cinema LED screen, most likely before the end of 2018, with the new

led Samsung to issue assurances that defective modules

name of Crystal LED. Unlike Samsung, however, Sony has to

can be replaced and recalibrated in just a few hours.

be mindful of not undermining its existing projector line-

While some high-profile directors such as Steven

up, including the recently launched blue-phosphor laser.

Spielberg and Christopher Nolan have expressed concerns

Sony is also at pains to stress that its active screen solution

about what they see as a ‘big television’ screen in cinemas,

is different from Samsung’s in that it uses micro LEDs.

www.cinematech.today

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LED DISPLAY

Sony’s Plans Oliver Pasch, Sony Digital Cinema Europe “Sony is committed to exhibition through its significant investment in developing Crystal LED, the future of the premium cinema experience with its true and verified contrast ratio of over 1,000,000 to 1! With infinite contrast and colour reproduction that can match what the filmmaker intended, Sony is taking every measure to ensure we deliver the right technology at the right time for the best picture in theatres. With the modular scalable design of our Crystal LED technology it caters for every size of screen — we’re excited to bring this to market for exhibition in the near future and are nearing the end of DCI approval. Our Crystal LED Active Screen solution is coming to market in its current generation, but we’ll continue to develop to the solution for future iterations, working with the Hollywood creative community and studios to develop a solution best fit for their needs, coupled with a realistic product for implementation by our exhibitor partners.”

NEC, Barco and Christie that they too can offer LED solutions for cinema, once there At Cinemacon 2018 NEC hosted demos of a prototype

is significant market demand. Unlike Samsung, they clearly

LED display that showed stereoscopic 3D using passive

do not want such a display to siphon off attention from their

glasses (Samsung uses more expensive active glasses).

current line up of projector-based solutions.

Resolution was low but 3D effects were impressive and without eye strain. NEC is confident it can get resolution up

Samsung’s LED solution uses active glasses for 3D — others use less expensive passive versions

LG… and China enter the fray

and offer a viable product in the near future. Both Barco and Christie have extensive experience in

Samsung’s biggest competitor in the LED TV and display

LED displays for indoor (including cinema lobbies) and

panels is fellow Korean major LG. There are rumours the

outdoor use. A particularly impressive one greets visitors

company will soon come out with a cinema LED product.

approaching Barco’s new HQ in Kortrijk, Belgium. Christie

This could lead to others, such as Sharp or Vizio also entering

even formed a partnership with Wanda Film Holdings early

the field. Yet the biggest potential ‘threat’ to Samsung

this year for a joint Cinema Technology Centre of Excellence

could come from China. Unlike DLP chips, which are strictly

that among other things will look at cinema LED screens.

controlled and licensed by Texas Instruments, there is

As such both Barco and Christie have expressed confidence

nothing inherently proprietary about LED technology. This means that a suitably good LED display with a DCI-approved IMB and FIPS could pass cinema compliance tests. While GDC Techonlogy is currently working with Samsung, there is nothing to stop it from sourcing LEDs from a manufacturer in China for its own solution in the future. China has long resented being dependent on ‘foreign’ projection technology and manufacturers, not least since becoming the world’s biggest cinema The modular nature of LED is a benefit to cinemas as maintenance is a simple affair, relatively

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market by screen count. Cinema LED could give China the opportunity to source future screen technology from 100% domestic suppliers. www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 13:30


Samsung opened its first US cinema site, Northridge’s Winnetka Pacific multiplex in Los Angeles this April

Onyx LED: the numbers Dimensions: Now: 10.2 x 5.4 meters - 96 panels @ 2.5 mm (4K) 5.1 x 2.7 meters - 24 panels @ 2.5 mm (2K) Q4 2018: 14 x 7.2 x meters - ?? panels @ 3.1 mm (4K)

“Many studios think LED is the best thing since sliced bread,” [but directors like Spielberg and Nolan] “just went after us: ‘You have to have projection… Don’t just go the way of just being television.’ Voices are coming at us from all sides.” And the audio issue? Because speakers cannot be placed behind LED screens, clever solutions have to be found to replicate regular 5.1, 7.1 and immersive sound. This challenge was addressed earlier by AMC for its Taurus curved screens and also in Finnkino’s AS2 solution used for its Scape PLF and over 100 other screens. This involves putting speakers in an array above and around the screen. Psych-acoustics mean people are generally able to distinguish better whether sound is coming from left or right but not up or down. Samsung has improved on this using speakers pointing at the screen, ‘bouncing’ them off it to the audience. “With support from JBL by Harman Professional’s sculpted surround sound system, Onyx Sound expands the audio sweet spot in a given theater,” Samsung explained at the launch of its first US screen, which, funnily

NATO’s John Fithian offers his view of the contrary opinion on LED screens during CinemaCon

1 module = 3,840 LED lights (16cm high x 15 cm wide) 1 cabinet = 24 modules (6 high x 4 wide) 4K screen = 96 cabinets (6 high x 16 wide)

Brightness 146 ftL (foot-lambert) or 500 nit. 15-25 ftL is high-end for laser projection

Estimated Price Samsung Onyx: USD $500,000-$800,000 (screen, audio and installation) Top RGB laser: USD USD $150,000-$300,000 (projector only)

Cinemas: 3/7/17: Lotte Cinema World Tower (Seoul, South Korea)Lotte 20/7.17: Cinema in Centum City (Busan, South Korea) 4/2/18: Wanda Theater Wujiaochang (Shanghai, P.R. China) 20/3/18: Arena Cinemas (Zurich, Switzerland) 1/4/18: Paragon Cineplex (Bangkok, Thailand) 20/4/18: Pacific Theaters Winnetka 12 (Chatsworth, CA, USA) later in 2018: Golden Screen Cinemas (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) later in 2018: Cineplexx Cinemas (Vienna, Austria) Post-production - 20/4/18: Roundabout (Santa Monica, USA) Future: 10 screens total open in May 2018 15 screens total open in June 2018 30 screens total open by end of 2018

EclairColor Samsung Onyx is the third digital cinema display device to be certified for EclairColor HDR-enabled pictures after Sony’s SRX-500 and Barco’s DP4K projectors.

enough, is less than 15mins drive from Harman’s US headquarters. www.cinematech.today

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Getting ahead is easier with the right technology The right Theatre Management System will do more than give you complete control and visibility over your screens, it will give you the freedom to focus on your audience. Turn your cinema’s day-to-day operations into something that happens in the background, and get back to driving innovation across your business. Arts Alliance Media provides the world’s leading TMS, helping over 40,000 screens automate their processes behind-the-scenes and deliver better experiences for audiences on six continents. Discover what you’re missing on Booth 601 at CineEurope. www.artsalliancemedia.com

@ArtsAllianceM ArtsAllianceMedia hello@artsalliancemedia.com

Untitled-2 1

18/05/2018 12:24


S E A T I N G

Ferco: At the forefront of seating technology Marrying function and technology, modern cinema seating helps to shape the experience. Peter Knight discusses developments in the sector with Ferco’s CEO Tim Barr Words: Peter Knight

Elements, such as swivel tables, are now a common sight on premium cinema seating

V

ENUES ARE POWERFUL SPACES explains Tim Barr, straight off the bat, “People

go

to

venues

to

be

entertained. To be carried away. They come to learn. To collaborate. The right space can create immersive

experiences. It can also generate world-changing ideas. It’s why we’re passionate about designing the seating that fills these spaces.” With that ethos, it’s easy to see why Ferco Seating enjoys a strong position in the seating business. Experience gained from working across multiple sectors including sports and education allows Ferco’s team to learn from www.cinematech.today

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S E A T I N G

“Cinemagoers are becoming more and more aware about the luxury seating that the cinema world provides” each separate area and put that knowledge into use across its range. That helps the company stay at the forefront — in April Ferco signed a seating distribution agreement with CinemaNext which, in Tim’s view, is a step in driving business growth based on goals of excellence & innovation.  

A changing industry

the requirements of the exhibition business have changed. Ferco premium seating at Cinema City’s site in Sharjah, UAE, illustrates the role it has in creating the right ambiance

The biggest technological changes in cinema in recent

First came the introduction of food service — meaning tables and holders — and next has come the dominance of the recliner to the point that these now represent the majority of sales. With the introduction of the multiplex, requirements for seating changed, too. Now, to satisfy different price points, it is the norm to see more than one type of seating feature within the auditorium.

decades, such as the introduction of Dolby Atmos, IMAX

“Today’s cinemagoers are becoming more and more

and digital projection, have snaffled precious budgets over

aware about luxury seating that cinemas provide,” says Tim,

the years, but now the focus in many auditoria is on seating.

giving the example of Ferco’s Premium Verona model that

As is widely recognised, demand for luxury seating has

can accommodate iPads and swivel tables in the armrests,

increased significantly in the past decade. This changing

“These allow patrons to order food and drinks conveniently

demands can be seen directly in the Ferco showroom, as

and eat in comfort without the need for waiting staff to take

Tim explained. The company has seating from the 1930s

orders. Initially, take-up of electric recliners, such as those

right through to its contemporary products. In recent years

we recently installed in Novo Cinemas in the UAE, was slow.

FERCO TIMELINE Ferco Seating is an international company headquartered in the UK, with regional operations centres in Singapore, manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, and a network of agents in Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim. Established in 1983 by CEO Tim Barr, it initially supplied stadium seating, but has grown into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of auditorium, cinema, education and sports spectator seating.

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Exhibitors were busy investing in digital equipment. Now they are turning their attention to increasing attendance

1987

1992

1996

First exclusive dealership of international seating company

Opened sales office in Kuala Lumpur

Opened manufacturing facility in Malaysia

www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 14:28


and revenue by providing luxury recliners and dining

Regulations and safety

served at seat. With this in mind we have developed a

Understandably, furniture installed in public spaces must

range of electric seats, which can be customised to suit the

adhere to strict safety regulations, a point heightened by

aspirations of individual exhibitors. Advanced seating not

recent news headlines of a tragic accident in a cinema in

only reduces the cost of the exhibitor’s wage bill, but more

the UK in March (see panel, overleaf). Aside from exceeding

importantly enhances the customers’ experience — and this

fire regulations, Ferco recliners incorporate an auto-return

can help drive them into the cinema time and again.”

Seating helps to differentiate

Fact File

system that quickly returns to position together with a safety bar that stops the mechanism if it is obstructed. Ferco has established a strong team of professional

With most cinemas showing the same movies and selling

Tim Barr:

designers, craftsmen and quality control specialists to

similar beverages, seating is one of very few points of

C.E.O. at Ferco

ensure its systems meet the highest standards for durability

differentiation exhibitors can deploy. Customers will now

and quality, with an R&D department that continuously

select a location based on how comfortable the seating is

Tim founded

tests all materials used to ensure they meet internationally

and overlook other sites in the process. Though the trend is

Ferco back in

accepted British Standards.

for more recliners, Tim still believes demand will remain for

1983 and has

standard seating, not least because in a number of countries

been at the

rough handling and tip-up mechanisms to name a few.

there persists a legal requirement to have different prices

company’s helm

With 200,000 cycles of testing the norm, it can take up to 6

— but even the ‘standard’ seats are seeing upgrades with

ever since.

weeks of 24/7 testing for each product to go through the

Alongside this, Ferco conducts component testing for

gliding options now added. Auditoria are being installed

process, including fire testing. Ferco does not just make

with a variety of seating including armchair and child-

seating for cinemas, but for a other venues too, including

specific seating and, for some cinemas (notably in Australia),

sports stadia. A notoriously tough environment for seating,

child-focused auditoria.

learnings from the football terraces — and a solid testing regime — help ensure Ferco’s cinema lines are fit for purpose

Innovation in seating

and the rigours of day-in-day out use.

A seat’s just a seat, right? Wrong. Seating has come a long way since the mid-1980s and the dawn of the multiplex. Seating is as much about adding value to the cinema and the customer as anything else — you could say it has a real impact on the bottom line. Thoughtful technology is now commonplace, such as USB ports in the seating to allow customers to charge their phones while they watch a film. As Tim pointed out, most customers watch films at the end of the day when batteries on their mobile are likely to be running low. It might only be a simple addition, but such touches helps to define and improve the customer experience. Beyond traditional seating and their new ranges of recliners, Ferco also provides seating for the 4DX and DBox systems, which then add their own electronic systems for installation into the auditorium, and, in the process bringing a whole new dimension to cinemagoing.

Cupholders? Naturally, but reading lights, USB sockets and tables too on the latest seating

1998

2000

2001

2004

2005

2006

Won a 120,000 stadium seat contract for 1998 Commonwealth Games, Malaysia

Supplied 28,000 seats for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney

Purchased 90,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Malaysia

Awarded with ISO 9001

Won the award to manufacture and supply 3,500 seats for Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and supplied a total of 3,812 seats to AIM Convention Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam

Installation of 60,000 seats at the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC

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S E A T I N G

Working with the customer

including motors, that have the potential to wear over time.

Visitors to CinemaCon, CineEurope and other exhibition-

This technical development could see cinemas needing

focused shows will appreciate that seating stands are often

to enter into a maintenance contract, either an all-inclusive

the most dominant on the trade floor. It’s a competitive

version, or a call-out service with items paid for on a per-visit

market, so how does Ferco differentiate its offering?

cost. With chains installing thousands of recliners globally

For

Tim,

Ferco’s

key

proposition

is

an

innate

this is going to be a big issue in the next 10 years.

understanding of the way seating can define the cinema

Ferco has deliberately designed its recliners so that

and be a revenue generator. Through innovation and using

control panels are easy to access in order to maintain the

experience garnered from other sectors, they aim to deliver

seats easily and efficiently, but does

a quality product that is both flexible and customised to the

more complexity mean we might

client’s specific auditorium.

even see a need to have remote

A tragic reminder of cinema safety

There is another aspect that’s vital in a seat, too — comfort. As Tim explains: “Cinemas aim to take audiences to a different world. Customers pay to relax and to be transported by

a captivating storyline. Comfortable

monitoring of seating performance? In much the same way as digital projection has a NOC, could seating demand one also? “The electronic side is easy to monitor but the

ergonomics play an important role — any discomfort draws attention from the screen. People will shift and fidget. With

A freak accident in March at Vue’s

mechanical would be harder,” says

our study of human physiology, our chairs have been

flagship 25-screen Star City site in

Tim, “In the past Ferco has looked at

designed and formed specially to counter these issues.”

Birmingham, UK, brings home the

occupancy monitoring of seating, but

need for cinemas to consider all

it is difficult — but that doesn’t mean it

aspects of safety, including seating.

couldn’t happen in the future.”

The maintenance challenge As technical elements increase, so too does maintenance

Ateeq

Rafiq,

a

24-year-old

become more of a challenge. Newer product lines are no

father of one, was retrieving a

A comfortable future

longer the simple mechanical devices they once were.

phone from under his Gold Class

With the opening up of cinemas in

Some of the more technically advanced seating requires

recliner [not a Ferco product — Ed]

Saudi

specialist care and servicing. Fortunately, at Ferco, ease of

at the end of the film when his

developments as the Dine in Cinema

maintenance is a fundamental consideration. It could be as

head was trapped in the retracting

in Dubai using celebrity chefs to cater

simple as implementing improvements in the way seats

footrest. Despite the efforts of staff

for

can be cleaned using a leatherette/soft leather. Similarly

and paramedics who managed to

environment, there is going to be a

material improvements make the seats easier to wipe

release him, Mr Rafiq later died in

constant need for seating to evolve to

down with just soap and water and also deliver a reduction

hospital

meet the next set of requirements.

in cracking over time. When it comes to cleaning, seating

suffering from

The ideal of the cinema has always

has been designed to be lifted simply using a gas lift in

cardiac arrest.

been to deliver the most entertaining

pairs, thus making it easier to clean beneath. In the future it

The

tragedy

experience possible. It has firmly

will be possible to raise entire rows via a motorised system.

shows cinemas

always been a seated medium and —

after

Arabia

customers

and

in

with

a

such

cinema

Tim highlighted how maintenance of seats will become

must consider

as Ferco’s own marketing intimates —

more and more critical as their complexity increases. Unlike

a range of risks

state of the art, luxury seating will

simple products of the past that could be easily repaired

when assessing

always provide your audience with

and maintained in-house over a long period of time,

public safety.

unrivalled comfort and aesthetics,

technically advanced recliners require regular inspection.

and this, in turn, helps contribute to

More mechanical parts now require checking, servicing

customer loyalty and an enhanced

and replacing, not to mention the electronic elements,

cinema-going experience.

2008

2009

2012

2013

2014

2016

Opened Dubai Office

Achieved ISO 14001 Accreditation

Installation of FCB-M seating in the Aquatic Centre, London 2012 Olympics

Celebrated 30 years in business

Installation of 78,000 FCB-M seats at the Maracana Stadium, Brazil

Merger with Kotobuki Group of Companies

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www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 14:28


NEW STANDARDS, TRADITIONAL VALUES Exceptional image and colour quality plus the latest in digital cinema technology delivers new revenue-generating opportunities for theatre and cinema events. These advanced solutions are brought to you by NEC, the trusted leader in Digital Cinema Technology. 3D Movies, Animations, Sports Events, Concerts, News Items or Live Feeds can all be played at superb Digital Cinema quality with different content scheduled throughout the day to match the audience demographic for optimum revenue generation. For further information please visit

www.digital-cinema-nec.com

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18/05/2018 8/5/17 12:25 9:17


B U S I N E S S

WHAT

CAN

CINEMAS

LEARN FROM OTHER

INDUSTRIES Christian Davies, creative director at brand consultancy Fitch, famously says “Retail will change more in the next 5 years than the past 50.” Patrick von Sychowski investigates industries adopting change and lessons they offer. Words: Patrick von Sychowski

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Airlines Frequent Flier Miles and Variable Pricing

The only attempt at budget airline-style cinemas began and ended with the closure of easyCinema in Milton Keynes in 2006. Instead, cinemas are today more inclined to go Business or First Class with VIP seating and Gold Class auditoriums. Yet a bigger lesson comes from the airlines’ use of dynamic pricing ticketing and loyalty programmes. Kevin Sterthues, Business Development Manager at SPSmart Pricer GmbH, notes that 90% of hotels, car rentals and airline tickets are already sold online with dynamic pricing. “Big industries are typically first,” he notes, but “in cinema disruption is happening now and is an opportunity to increase revenues” Even 50% of sporting events are sold this way today, but cinemas languish at 20%. Different forms of variable pricing includes new ticket types (‘Super Saver’), dynamic pricing (linked to time and number of bookings) and dynamic price categories (for example, depending on seat). Other industries starting to embrace this include stage shows, zoos and ski resorts, with Germany’s UCI and Russia’s Cinema Park the first cinemas to test the water with Smart Pricer.

euros or yuans. According to Bloomberg, US “airlines make

Airlines also offer lessons in terms of bundling services

more money selling miles than seats,” where “each mile

and products (meals, priority boarding, car rentals, hotels

fetches an airline anywhere from 1.5 cents to 2.5 cents,”

and more, when you book your flight), often going beyond

through the credit card transactions.

their core product. Airlines also have the world’s largest currency, with frequent flier miles worth more than dollars,

2

Banks Go Cashless (like the Swedes)

Time for Cineworld, Odeon and Vue to launch a Platinum AmEx card?

Handling money is both expensive and risky. The hidden costs include labour, inaccuracies, counterfeit risk, and shrinkage (i.e theft). According to Harvard Business Review (‘The Hidden Costs of Cash’, 2014), “U.S. retail businesses lose about $40 billion annually because of the theft of cash alone.” That’s just internally. External risks include robbery. Outside of China the Swedes have gone the furthest in eliminating cash. ABBA sang about ‘Money, money, money’, but in the Stockholm museum dedicated to them a sign states that cash is not accepted. Credit, debit cards and the payment app Swish are the norm. Only 25% of Swedes use cash once a week. Sweden’s second-largest cinema chain Svenska Bio went cashless at the end of 2016, inspired by the smaller chain Björnbiografer, which led the way a year earlier. Cinemas that use online booking and card payments can collect more data on customers and know them better. Perhaps it’s no surprise Swedish community-focused bank Handelsbanken is also the UK’s fastest growing bank, scoring highly in customer surveys. Just don’t expect an ATM.

www.cinematech.today

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B U S I N E S S

3

Retail Customer Centric Online & Offline

The retail landscape is littered with companies that failed to adapt and were often over-leveraged with debt — Toys R Us, BHS, Maplin — but there are also stories of remarkable recoveries, such as bookstore Waterstone’s. Alberto Brea, EVP, Head of Digital Strategy at Edelman NY, famously made the point that “Amazon did not kill the retail industry. They did it to themselves with bad customer service.” This point was driven home in the keynote by MBC’s Laura Chabi at the UKCA conference in March, talking about ‘New Retail’. Speaking to Cinema Technology recently she elaborated that “New retail is the blending of all the best

4

Commercial Property The shopping centre is changing

practices of offline retail that look at Customer experience

As well as affecting individual retailers, online shopping

design (Cx) and marries it with all the best practices of

and changing consumer habits force property developers

digital user experience design (UX).” China has taken this

to re-think malls, shopping centres and retail destinations

concept the furthest, where “this is engineered via the

both in city centres and out-of-town locations. The so-called

mobile device, as customers walk into stores and check-in,

“Mall-pocalypse” has hit the US particularly hard, with Credit

the store gains access to them and aims to offer a most

Suisse predicting in 2017 that “approximately 20-25% of all

customised in-store experience.”

American malls will be shuttered inside of five years.” UK

Regulatory and data governance, such as GDPR, mean

and European market are less over-built, and malls continue

Europe can’t just copy China, but there are lessons to learn.

to boom in China, the Gulf and other emerging markets,

“First and foremost — who own the customer data set?” asks

but developers are nonetheless re-evaluating fundamentals.

Laura Chabi. “A business must have its own first-party

“By thinking more about “place”, the overall experience

customer view and manage the relationship with its

and the connection with that place, landowners, developers

audience.” In a country such as China, where over 85% of

and local government can step into a stewardship role,

cinema tickets are sold on smartphones, there is much to

taking a long-term view to create sustainable change,” says

be learned from New Retail’s O-2-O (online-to-offline)

Rob Arthur, Senior Consultant at CinemaNext Consulting,

customer focus strategies.

with a background in real estate and cinema. “Destinations that understand their local audiences, that offer variety,

The Technology View: Laura Chaibi Head of Digital Research & Analytics at MBC, in the UAE “To become Entertainment-As-A-Service (much like how other industries are moving into service offerings) will give the opportunity to increase the value per ticket sale and will require a cinema theatre to think more like a hotel: what kind of seats, do they offer blankets, is alcohol served, is there close captioning, is there a meal offering and the level of dining experience, are there heat controlled chairs, recliner or not, 3D, IMAX, 4D and — more importantly — what kinds of experiences are current cinema goes seeking and where can new audience segment be found. What do audiences demand to bring them into the cinema-going experience.”

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opportunities for people to get together and give reasons to return are likely to be successful over the long term,” he says. In the UK, The Light cinemas have pursued a strategy of

5

Food & Beverage Super-caffeinated Speed of Delivery

working closely with local councils in opening cinemas in

A recent study done by Spigit.com found that 75% of

town centres that have a ‘halo’ effect for the night-time

companies said their top objective was to improve the

economy. While this has also worked for operators like

customer experience. Technology advances and payment

Everyman, Curzon, Picturehouse and most recently Odeon,

capabilities make up a large part of transforming that

Arthur cautions against writing off out-of-town destinations.

experience. “There is much cinemas can learn from the likes

“Altrincham Town Centre and Market, Westfield, Bicester

of McDonald’s and Starbucks that are forging ahead with

Village and Gloucester Quays continue to grow through

pre-order, self-order and self-pay to speed up transactions,”

innovation, a focus on customers and regular investment”

says Prill Brewin, partner at The Blue Stocking Partnership

he notes. There is a trend, particularly for Millennials and

which does work for Coca-Cola and Odeon AMC.

Gen Zers to shift their consumption from goods (stuff) to

Speed of payment, even more than food delivery is the

experiences (Instagrammable). This shift is seeing malls and

issue, particularly for younger generations. Worldpay found

shopping centres shift the tenant mix to more drink, food

in a recent study of restaurants that three-quarters of those

and activities. “Creating and developing experiences in a

surveyed don’t want to wait more than five minutes to pay,

high-quality environment is essential,” Arthur stresses.

with a fifth annoyed after three minutes. On the flip side,

20% Around 20% of American shopping malls will be shuttered within five years

75%

of F&B companies said their top objective was to improve the customer experience.

just a fifth get frustrated waiting for food to arrive, though this rises to a quarter for 16-34-year-olds. Only 6% of diners find restaurant service “quick and efficient, with Millennials twice as likely to find eating out stressful.” Compare this to coffee chains or high-end quick-serve restaurants (Shake Shack, Five Guys, etc.) where a buzzer notifies you when

90% of hotels, car rentals and airline tickets are already sold online with dynamic pricing.

your food’s ready. “Millennials are huge fans of convenience,” noted Yohan Varella, a marketing executive in Vancouver, in an interview with NBC. “We don’t want to wait 30 minutes to be seated at exclusive restaurants, we want food to be available whenever we want it.” Cinemas are embracing this with pre-ordering of combos via apps, separating the POS and delivery counter spaces and in-seat ordering.

6

Streaming Cinema On Demand

With Netflix, Amazon and other OTT providers streaming

Kudelski and Ymagis’ Eclair are betting this

numerous hours of content, cinemas can no longer simply

can be replicated widely. With cinemas having

rely on new releases. Many have embraced event cinema,

a better understanding of audiences, and now

with the arts, sports and e-games selling out in multiplexes.

more comfortable marketing films themselves,

Cinema equipment and vendors are betting that the

instead of relying on distributors, they can

‘cinema jukebox’ concept is the next big trend. Cinema-on-

access services such as GoGoCinema (GDC), myCinema

demand is already a reality on a small scale — Tugg in the US

(Nagra) and EclairPlay (Ymagis). These offer film downloads

and OurScreen in the UK are enabling film buffs to take

as DCPs or streamed directly — and they provide marketing

control of the schedule. The likes of GDC Technology, Nagra/

material and support for cinemas to create promo material.

What all of the above industries have in common are renewed attempts at consumer focus, convenience and customised experiences. Above all it is essential not to lose focus on the basics of any business, such as good and friendly service. A high-tech CRM system will not impress customers if they see that nobody is cleaning the cubicles in the toilets!

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OCCUPANCY

Driving Occupancy with data Exhibitors who embrace innovative data tools can address an age old challenge: getting customers through the door. Sarah Lewthwaite, SVP at Movio, illustrates how targeted use of data can impact the bottom line. Words: Sarah Lewthwaite

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P

UTTING BUMS IN SEATS has long been the mission of the exhibition industry. With occupancy continuing to hover at an average 15-20%, cinemas are constantly challenged to find ways to grow footfall. With the

growth in online and mobile ticketing, loyalty and subscription schemes, and with deeply entrenched social media strategies, exhibitors have never been so data rich. This presents a wonderful opportunity for cinemas to

41

look to their data sets and to new technologies which leverage this data, to help increase occupancy. Whether it

The number of titles one 17-screen cinema site started showing per week after implementing dynamic scheduling software. Previously, it showed just 19 titles a week

be by scheduling the best showtimes or optimum ticket prices, targeting guests effectively with relevant marketing, or attracting new customers, database technologies now offer cinemas tools to influence occupancy levels positively. The challenge for cinemas to increase occupancy rates

14%

..of likely Black Panther viewers made up 50% of the opening weekend’s admissions from one cinema site’s audience

has often been compared to the challenge facing the airline or hotel industries which also have perishable inventory. But one of the reasons the cinema industry is distinct from these is that demand for the product is more challenging to predict. Most people plan for flights and hotel stays weeks and months in advance. The majority of movie-goers are still making a decision to go to the cinema on the day of the show. Factors such as weather, film reviews, school holidays, sporting events, even transit strikes all influence a cinema’s attendance in any given week. So how can cinema professionals better predict demand for films and predict attendance in a way that will help maximise occupancy? It all starts with leveraging customer data. Over the past few years, products such as Cinema Intelligence and Smart Pricer have emerged, which integrate into a cinema chain’s data sets with these use cases in mind. These products consolidate and aggregate historical film performance and transactional data with external data such as online search, social media sentiment analysis and weather patterns to inform their algorithms.

Reaching customers with relevancy By understanding the demand for product, cinema chains can begin to use technology to reach audiences with greater relevancy. The exhibition industry generally lags behind other industries when it comes to use of data and

15-20% Industry occupancy rates fluctuate between 15-20%

technology to segment and target audiences. Think of retail, where shoppers get relevant email recommendations for products based on previous purchases, or even the travel industry, which sends personalised communications based on a customer’s online browsing. Cinemas, too, have the opportunity to leverage data to ensure the right

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OCCUPANCY

customers know about the right movies at the right time.

Vikaao has a goal to offer 2,500 titles

Data science tools such as Movio’s new Audience Insights

to choose from by the end of this year.

propensity algorithm are helping to make this easier for

They are attracting new audiences —

chains. By understanding movie-goers’ previous behaviours,

OurScreen has found that 40% of the

Movio’s proprietary similarity algorithm can help predict

audience at its events are first-time

future interests. This algorithm can then programmatically

visitors to that particular cinema site.

predict the best film for each movie-goer, each week.

Occupancy rates also out-pace averages, with OurScreen

The results cinema chains are seeing from a tool such as this are impressive with one cinema confirming that 14% of

2,500

Vikaao is looking to offer consumers 2,500 titles to choose from by the end of 2018

quoting 63% occupancy, 3x times the norm for cinemas.

people who were identified as likely movie-goers for “Black

The future is now

Panther”, ended up making up to 50% of the opening

The cinema industry is changing. The digital world has

weekend admissions for the title. According to Steve

transformed our daily lives, and cinema is no different. The

Mathwig, loyalty program manager from Marcus Theatres

role data will play in improving understanding of audiences,

in the US, “Propensity modelling takes the guesswork out of

enhancing film programming, operations and marketing

who is most likely to see a particular film. It has become a

strategies and in driving attendance, is critical. Innovative

major part of our campaign development strategy”.

products and services that help cinemas address this

By better understanding moviegoers and what drives them to the movies, exhibitors are also able to segment

are becoming more sophisticated and more accessible. Exhibitors who are early to embrace will benefit most.

their total audience accordingly and provide more relevant, communications to bring them to the cinema more often. Going back to the example of “Black Panther”, not every movie-goer is going to be interested in that film — marketing efforts should reflect this. Some movie-goers will be keen

Predicting demand

and all you might need to do from a marketing standpoint is tell avid fans that tickets are on sale. Others need a bit of

The demand for certain films or

films released. Through the use of

an incentive, or may be more likely to see it later in the

content in one cinema may not

data, you have to predict potential

release once they’ve heard positive word-of-mouth.

necessarily be the same in another.

audience and performance of the

Another segment of the audience may be better suited to

Using data-driven tools like Cinema

films to be released and be able to

other films that

Intelligence, exhibitors are able to

further differentiate their screens.

better predict a film’s demand and

Cinemas may in turn be able to

therefore its potential occupancy

screen varied content, potentially

level. This insight will empower film

reducing

programmers to optimise content

blockbusters to generate increased

by location and even by screen. This

occupancy and box office revenues.

have are counterprogrammed to the blockbuster release. So it’s a waste of effort to market “Black

“Movio’s similarity algorithm can programatically predict the best film for each movie-goer each week”

ensures the most in-demand films

the

Cinema

dependency

Intelligence’s

on

CEO

are scheduled for the correct-sized

Claudiu

auditoria,

appropriate

recently that one cinema they work

your audience, their likelihood of seeing a film and crafting

number of sessions at the ideal

with which has 17 screens, went

target marketing accordingly, is a strategy cinemas should

time for the target audience.

from showing an average of 19 titles

Panther” to them. Understanding

use to improve customer relationships and occupancy.

with

an

A broader audience:

Tanasescu,

explained

a week to a far more extensive 41 titles

after

implementing

their

Attracting new audiences

With more films released every

dynamic scheduling software. “By

Data is an important factor in helping increase occupancy

week than ever before, audiences

offering consumers more choice,

— but what about those who are not your movie-goers, or

are faced with more cinema-going

our cinema partners are seeing a

are lapsed customers? How can data technologies attract

choices. In fact, in the US last year,

significant

new audiences? One example of how cinemas are tackling

90% of box office revenue came

attendance and their profitability”

this is via ‘on demand’ movie programming. Products such

from approximately 30% of the

noted Tanasescu.

impact

on

their

as “Our Screen” in the UK (see page 37) and the “Vikaao” platform offered by PVR Cinemas in India offer consumers the opportunity to influence the programming themselves. 3 4

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18/05/2018 12:26 1-5-2018 15:47:10


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ON

DEMAND

Crowdsourcing: A social revolution for cinema New online marketplaces like OurScreen are bringing dedicated film enthusiasts into new venues. CT examines the impact of crowdsourcing on the auditorium

T

ODAY,

COMPETING

LEISURE

interests all vie to keep cinemagoers from your door, so how do cinemas create value in quieter times? How can

they

capitalise

on

flexible

programming — and where do you

uncover a rich seam of motivated film fans? One answer is to explore services like ourscreen.com in the UK or tugg. com in the US. These online marketplaces act as a melange of film club, internet dating site and crowdsourcing hub that unite the trinity of film, cinema and audience. Delivering specific titles to specific audiences is a model in which everyone wins — customers watch a film they are genuinely keen to see, the cinema is guaranteed an audience, often in a quieter scheduling slot and, for smaller distributors and indie filmmakers, the model allows big screen

presentation

of

classics

and

arthouse

films

from a wide variety of genres. Advantages for cinemas are clear — commitment to a

www.cinematech.today

037_CT _JUN18_OUR SCREEN.indd 37

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ON

DEMAND

screening is made once a pre-agreed critical mass of ticket sales is achieved, meaning distributor and exhibitor should, in theory, make money. But what technical aspects must be addressed — and, equally importantly, what motivates customers to be involved? OurScreen’s co-founder David Kapur and Fergus Higginson, founder of Manchester Classic

700 Film fans can select from around 700 new, classic and exclusive films on the ourscreen website then share them with friends and others via social sites

Film (“The most successful crowdfunded cinema club in the UK”), give the technical and social perspective

The Technical View: David Kapur, Co-CEO, Ourscreen OurScreen is a tech business but, really, it’s about people. Projectors have changed, cinemas have websites,

connecting, sharing, and meeting often months before a

but the way we interact with our local cinema has stayed

show. With this level of anticipation, it’s no surprise the

pretty much the same as it was when I was a kid. Nothing

atmosphere is amazing. Average occupancy across nearly

is inherently wrong with that but considering how

5,000 screenings is 63%. Screenings are happening right

differently we now interact with phones, televisions and

now around the country, from cult classics to emerging

radios, it felt surprising. A few years back I imagined how

Indian and Nollywood cinema — and of course independent

great it would be if, for fun, anyone could control their

and arthouse gems. We are excited to be releasing “The

favourite cinema in the same way we control smart TVs.

Man from Mo Wax” exclusively in August and recently held

Selecting what we want, when we want. Imagine also

the UK’s largest-ever crowdsourced screening (see below).

deciding who comes! This became a fascination — I discussed the idea with Ian (my business partner at elevenfiftyfive), Marc (CEO at Trafalgar

Releasing)

and

my

father,

Dilip

(a

serial

A Customer’s View: Fergus Higginson Founder, Manchester Film Classics

entrepreneur). They shared my passion and ourscreen.com emerged. Our mission was to create a website that enabled

I’m an avid film fan and a frequent buyer of film

more people to watch more films in the cinema. Today, we

memorabilia, but I have no background in the film

oversee hundreds of screenings each month in a growing

industry and no event promotion experience.

number of the UK’s best cinemas including Odeon, Vue,

Despite this I organised the largest-ever crowdfunded

Picturehouse, Empire, Reel, Scott and brilliant independent

cinema screening in the UK in April, with more than 400

sites. These screenings are created on ourscreen by film

people attending a screening of the

fans selecting from around 700 new, classic and exclusive

Schwarzenegger classic ‘Predator’ in

titles, sharing them with friends and like-minded people.

Manchester’s Odeon.

Screenings are crowdsourced: a target of tickets must

How? Well, I first became aware of

be sold to confirm each showing. Some cinemas upload a

OurScreen in September 2017 when a

few slots, some upload all their slots. All titles are rights-

neighbour invited me to a screening

cleared in advance and all tickets booked online until 24

he was organising of “An American

hours before the show, when a guest list and capacity

Werewolf in London”. Intrigued, I then

report is sent to each site. Payment is taken once screenings

discussed with a friend how we could

reach their crowdsourced target. Our technology and team

run our own screening. OurScreen

need to work hard, but the magic is really at the screenings.

makes it simple for customers — you

We only truly understood this when screenings started

just choose a film, select a date, time

to happen — ourscreen came to life. We knew this was a

and cinema. They give you a ticket

new way to connect with the cinema, but we didn’t release

price, and then target number of

it would create a new way to experience cinema. Via social

crowdfunded tickets to sell to secure

media and supported by our channels, ourscreen hosts or

the screening. For our initial screening

influencers promote their chosen films passionately. This

of ‘Aliens’, we spoke to our friends and

means a snowballing amount of like-minded people are

colleagues from work, and linked in

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63%

Average occupancy across around 5,000, compared to typical occupancy rates of 20%

24 hrs

All tickets are booked online until 24 hours before the screening, then a guest list and capacity report is sent to each site hosting a screening.

with local Meet-Up groups. With a good deal of effort we made the threshold. We caught the bug and arranged further screenings monthly. Recognising that we needed a larger pool of people to draw on, I set up a Facebook page and an event that I shared via relevant blogs and social media. I soon realised the challenge was to find people in the area who also liked a particular film I wanted to see. To overcome this I set up targeted Facebook advertising. This meant I could select a population of people (say within 25 miles of Manchester) who have previously ‘liked’ a particular film, director, actor, or similar films on Facebook. I typically spend up to £25 on advertising per screening and select a range of “likes” that enable me to reach an audience. Whilst I get a reasonable response rate to ads, I also find that people share the event with friends and that improves ticket sales. I encourage others to help build the community and have a regular pool of people who will attend any and all screenings I organise. Though I don’t make any money from the Manchester Classic Films group, I aim to get a good volume of tickets sold to help maximise the screen size we occupy and generate a good atmosphere in the cinema. I test the water with certain films and genres by sharing a particular trailer or still image from a film to gauge the reaction on the group’s Facebook page. I saw a phenomenal response to a “Labyrinth” screening I set up and sold out the initial ticket allocation (110 tickets) in a weekend — over 900 people were interested attending. So I set up multiple screenings — all sold through word-ofmouth. The feedback from screenings has been excellent. I post pictures on my Facebook page from screenings and this again creates a buzz in the group. Organising this film group has been an empowering experience. I’ve learnt by trial-and-error, but by running my own screenings to build a community, it has been effective in letting me enjoy the social aspect of seeing what I want to see on the big screen and connecting with a like-minded audience. www.cinematech.today

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18/05/2018 16:52 09:57 16/05/2018


I N D U S T R Y

The effects of consolidation Global cinema exhibition is consolidating more rapidly than ever before — David Hancock investigates the impacts this is having on the sector Words: David Hancock

HE TOP 10 CINEMA

and now counts nearly 6,000 screens in 16 countries, focusing

exhibitors

accounted

on the Americas. Outside of Wanda, there are four other

for 35.4% of the market

Chinese companies in the Top 10 circuits by screens, all of

(50,000 screens), at the

which operate in China only. Mexican group Cinepolis is

end of 2017. That’s up

steadily growing its global presence, now operating in 14

from around 26% a year earlier. This is

countries with over 5,000 screens in the group. CJ CGV has

the fastest rise we have experienced,

been expanding too, and now counts over 3,000 screens in 7

probably ever (though data goes back

countries. Outside of the Top 10, UK’s Vue Entertainment and

only 30 years). Between them, the two

Belgium’s Kinepolis are also cross-territory exhibitors, with

largest cinema groups now account

Vue operating across Europe and Kinepolis likewise, although

for 25,000 screens or 15% of the total.

it has also acquired the Canadian group Landmark Theatres.

This has been driven mainly by AMC

The effects of consolidation won’t be felt immediately

and, more recently, since Cineworld

but some things are already being seen — others will come

acquired Regal Entertainment. Other companies, however,

along as the process evolves. One benefit of consolidation

are in the mix and from a dispersed global background.

amongst exhibition is a wider marketing capacity and the

The Chinese group Wanda is behind AMC, which is the

ability to do a global campaign at the exhibition end.

driver company internationally. At end 2017, Wanda/AMC

Increased opportunities for branding and the scale and

had made it into 20 countries and counted over 16,500

reach of campaigns is more attractive to potential brand

screens within the group, and they are one of the groups

partners. Cross-territory potential and scale opens bigger

licensed to build in Saudi Arabia as that market opens. Next

doors. The same logic applies to marketing technological

up is the new pairing of Cineworld and Regal with just under

advancements; the larger the network, the easier it is to

10,000 screens in 10 countries. Cinemark is one the current

introduce concepts such as laser projection, 4D/IMS, and

crop of exhibitors that has long been growing internationally

PLF branding, minimising the risk of confusing consumers.

WORLDWIDE TOP 10 EXHIBITORS BY SCREENS

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040_CT _JUN18_HANCOCK.indd 40

1

2

3

4

5

6

WANDA/AMC

CINEWORLD

CINEMARK

GUANG. DADI

CINEPOLIS

CH. FLM DIGITAL

SITES

SITES

SITES

SITES

SITES

SITES

1621

817

538

934

647

752

SCREENS

SCREENS

SCREENS

SCREENS

SCREENS

SCREENS

16,599

9,760

5,982

5,375

5,319

4,661

TERRITORIES

TERRITORIES

TERRITORIES

TERRITORIES

TERRITORIES

TERRITORIES

20

10

16

1

14

1

www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 13:12


Source: IHS Markit

7

8

9

10

CH. FILM SOUTH

CJ CGV

CH. FLM STELLA

CINEMEX

SITES

SITES

SITES

SITES

672

431

503

324

SCREENS

SCREENS

SCREENS

SCREENS

3,936

3,279

3,233

2,824

TERRITORIES

TERRITORIES

TERRITORIES

TERRITORIES

1

7

1

2

www.cinematech.today

040_CT _JUN18_HANCOCK.indd 41

25,000

Between them Wanda and Cineworld account for 15% (25,000) of all screens globally

16 35.4% Cinemark has long been growing internationally and now counts nearly 6,000 screens in 16 countries

Percentage share for the top 10 global exhibitors (2017)

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15/05/2018 13:33


I N D U S T R Y

REVENUES & PROPORTION OF GLOBAL BOX OFFICE Studio

Non-Studio

%

Accounted for by US studios

40

68

35

10.3

25

20

21.5

11.3

12.9

13.3

1 2 .7

67

66

65

21.8

21.8

22.3

22.5

2 5 .1

64

63

10

62

$ US

15

5

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

% Share

30

13.0

61

As has been widely reported on, big data (analytics) has

which no big distributor can do without. Their box office

also made its way into the exhibition sector, with techniques,

weight is even higher than their screen presence. At the

uses and companies practising it more widely understood

same time, studios are facing a new

now. Admissions generated by these newer consolidated circuits, and these across several different countries, will mean more data to be analysed and exploited. This should lead to greater understanding of customers and behaviour, which should benefit the industry long term, not just in box office growth but also tying in cinemagoing with other consumer technologies and behavioural understanding. For manufacturers of technology, consumables and

“Top 5 exhibitors already account for around 43,000 screens, which no major distributor can do without”

landscape. Once the behemoths of global entertainment, theatrical arms of major studios are now smaller parts of larger companies, with their parent companies involved in a wide range of sectors and activities. Studios are consolidating, with Disney hoping to acquire studio assets

fittings, consolidation of their client-base is a double-edged

of Fox amongst others, unable to find the necessary scale

sword — fewer clients to target and sign contracts with, but

they need to continue investing in the number of major

those that remain will be larger for successful suppliers. This

productions and the distribution pipeline necessary to

will require new working practices for both parties, with

exploit them. This may not stop with Disney and Fox.

larger deals being negotiated and presumably greater scope for volume discounting. The exhibitors will need new purchasing procedures and probably new distribution

Fact File

structures as they grow to cope with larger deals.

Distribution: who has the whip hand?

Consolidation of exhibition may accelerate a similar process in distribution. It is not inconceivable that, in a few years, three major studios do 50% of their screen business with just 10 exhibition companies. This radically changes the

David Hancock, IHS Markit

US studios have long had the upper hand against the

nature of the business, where decision-making is done, there is a risk of increased on-screen uniformity. Cinema is changing, partly due to pressures of being a

cinema owners due to the fragmented and territorial nature

David Hancock is

fully digital media and competing with such on content

of most markets. When US studios generated two thirds of

Director, Film and

and technology, but also because of consumers’ higher

the world’s box office between them, they were faced with

Cinema at IHS

expectations of experience and environment, even such

over 300 circuits of some size around the world. This made

Markit and the

things as healthy F&B options and partner franchises.

the studios’ job more complex, involving multiple contracts

President of

Cinema remains mainstream, but some are breaking this

for films, but it also helped the global distributors set terms

European Digital

mould, aiming for affluent audiences. Wherever cinema

— no single exhibitor could dominate. That’s changing: the

Cinema Forum

ends up in years ahead, many are grasping the challenge to

Top 5 exhibitors already account for around 43,000 screens

(EDCF).

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stay ahead of the competition and evolve the medium. www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 13:12


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f: +44 (0) 1727 855993

18/05/2018 12:40


E V E N T S Cinema Technology catches up with the buzz in Las Vegas at CinemaCon 2018

CinemaCon 2018 Review

C

both

inemaCon was by

2018

dominated two

‘S’s

Samsung Saudi

and

Arabia

competing with a new ‘C’

(Cinionic) for attention, writes Patrick von Sychowski. Despite 2017 having seen a dip at the North American box

36 Delegates from around the world attended the preCinemaCon EDCF LA tour - the largest ever

last year the tour was arranged by

while

John Graham and Dave Monk, but

archiving, SMPTE DCP, 3D ghosting,

probably also the best, with visits to

audio for LED screens and more were

RealD, the Motion Picture Academy,

covered.

Technicolor’s VR Lab, Universal, the Harman

Experience

Centre,

important

issues

such

as

At the same time representatives

Sony

for cinema trade body UNIC and the

Pictures and Samsung’s new Onyx

Global Cinema Federation (GCF) were

LED screen in Winnetka Pacific 16

also in Los Angeles for meetings with

multiplex in Northridge.

the likes of the Directors’ Guild, where

office, there was a sense of optimism

As always the presentations and

word leaked out that Messrs Spielberg

as the Las Vegas trade show was

discussions of the EDCF tour were off

and Nolan were not keen on LED

bookended by the Marvel-ous results

the record, but the technology and

screens (“big TVs”) in cinemas, but

of “Black Panther” (third biggest US

presentations all impressed greatly,

preferred the projected image.

film of all time) and “Avengers: Infinity War” ($250m in its opening weekend). Yet

the

spectre

consolidation

for

of

industry

both

cinemas

(Cineworld-Regal) and also studios (Disney-Fox) stalked the long corridors Words: Patrick von Sychowski

of Caesar’s Palace, alongside delegates rushing to the screenings, seminars, trade shows and receptions. As

always,

CinemaCon

was

preceded by the European Digital Cinema Forum’s tour of Los Angeles, with a record 36 delegates visiting the

key

companies,

studios

and

institutions of Hollywood. This was the www.cinematech.today

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Delegates came for a packed conference — with many wondering if it’s time to add an extra day to the agenda

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E V E N T S

Studios Out in Force

International Day International Day at CinemaCon was opened with a keynote by Jeong Seo, the CEO of CJ CGV cinemas. He dazzled the audience with images

Sony Pictures Entertainment Walt Disney Warner Bros STXfilms Entertainment Studios Universal Pictures Focus Features Paramount Pictures 20th Century Fox Amazon Studios Lionsgate

from CGV’s leading cinemas in Korea,

This year, no fewer than 11 studios and distributors

which included their own technologies

presented in Vegas and several changes had to be

such as ScreenX and 4DX, but also had

made to accommodate them all. For the first time

bed cinemas, Cine de Chef fine dining

there were no screenings of full features, with

and Sky Box opera-style VIP booths

ShowEast largely taking the role of preview

where the projection room once was.

showcase. Studios took turns in trying to impress

The company, he said, is “moving from

cinema owners with their 2018-2019 slates, Disney

a ‘multiplex’ to a ‘cultureplex’ model.”

with its Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, live action and

Before him Rob Friedman, CEO of

animation titles, including “The Lion King” which

Global Road Entertainment warned

looked as real as a BBC wildlife documentary.

that “consolidation is inevitable,” and

Universal got Cher to sing on stage for its “Mamma

that “content owners will continue to

Mia!” sequel. Sony Picture’s twin aces were Quentin

build direct relations with consumers,”

Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio. Warner Bros, as

in a clear nod to Disney’s plan for its

always, wheeled out the most stars, including most

own streaming service.

of the “Ocean’s 8” ensemble.

David Hancock of IHS delivered

Netflix was absent, having also recently fallen

his usual numbers-heavy snapshot of

out with the Cannes Film Festival, but Amazon

the outlook for the global cinema

Studios was present, asking Alexa on stage for film

business, noting that Asia had seen

recommendations. Smaller studios like STX and

100.6% growth in the past five years.

Lionsgate held their own with diverse slates.

After him a panel of representatives of

Paramount flew in Mission: Impossible’s Tom

Disney, Kinepolis, Cinemark and Event

Cruise, the recipient of the Pioneer of the Year

Cinemas (chaired by yours truly)

award from the Will Roger’s Foundation - the first

Fithian and MPAA’s new CEO and

looked at how studios and exhibitors

actor to be awarded it. While Disney showed off

Chairman

could be “Joining forces to Attract

live action footage of its “Dumbo” remake, it didn’t

stressed the importance of diversity,

New Moviegoers”. No surprises that

show off the star, nor did it address the elephant in

not just in Hollywood films but

Big Data is key, but there was a new

the room of the 20th Century Fox acquisition. Fox,

amongst cinema employees. “The

tone of willingness to share and

however, did not shy away from the topic, with

word disruption is thrown around way

collaborate, though no quick fixes.

“Deadpool” sending a raunchy video greeting that

too much,” he warned. ”Nothing needs

involved Hugh Jackman in a dressing gown and a

to be disrupted when it comes to the

hung-over Disney character.

basic goal of our industry: bringing

The afternoon saw UKCA/UNIC’s Phil Clapp interview Cinepolis CEO

Charles

Rivkin.

Fithian

people together to share a communal

and GCF Chair Alejandro Ramirez from

be 25% and that we still don’t know

experience. But that doesn’t mean

Washington DC. Issues of trade and

the censorship and gender separation

exhibitors won’t innovate.” He went on

barriers, but also piracy and windows

requirements. NATO president and

to emphasise ‘robust’ numbers for

were addressed. The International Day

panel chair John Fithian noted that

cinemas both in the US and overseas

ended with a big panel on Saudi

Saudi Arabia was reforming with

in remarks that were echoed by Rivkin.

Arabia, which overtook China as this

tremendous speed, while Adam Aron

At the press conference afterwards

year’s big foreign focus, where AMC

felt $20 tickets there were too cheap

NATO’s team had a bet how long it

CEO Adam Aron and Majid Al Futtaim

and that they’d charge $30-$35 once

would take before MoviePass was

(Vox) CEO Ahmed Ismail got to brag

recliners are installed this summer.

mentioned (Fithian didn’t bring it up

Magana

via

video

link

about being the first two exhibitors to

in his speech), though surprisingly it

open cinemas in the kingdom. Fox’s

Open for business

Andrew Cripps injected a note of

CinemaCon 2018 was formally opened

cinema subscription service ‘disruptor’

caution that tax on cinema tickets will

by the twin keynotes of NATO’s John

was in Vegas, holding one-on-one

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took 39 whole minutes. This US

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Christie on the trade show floor inside… the bright lights of Paris, Nevada outside

to the Vision 2020 enhancement and immersive lobby augmented reality and virtual reality entertainment — and a Barco RGB laser also powered the presentations in the Colosseum. Having

played

coy

and

held

invitation-only demos at last year’s was up or down, depending on who

CinemaCon, Samsung was front and

you talked to, with concessions and

centre this year. The week prior,

seating companies appearing to grow

Samsung opened its first US cinema

in tandem (is there a correlation?),

location in Northridge’s Winnetka

while most tech companies prefer a

Pacific 16 multiplex, post-production

dedicated room or two in the hallways.

installation at the Burbank-based

The big brands on show

meetings and primarily there to assure cinemas it was their friend and also financially viable. Though the latest ‘pivot’ that saw MoviePass restrict new members to four films per month, no

11

Roundabout and unveiled its new branding (‘Onyx’). The company went

The world’s largest cinema event

out of its way to wine and dine the

marked the coming out for Barco’s

press with dinners, breakfasts and

Cinionic, its joint venture with China’s

one-on-one interviews. Interest was

ALPD and CGS. The brand and its

already sky-high, with lines for the

colour-splash logo were everywhere,

Samsung demo booth running round

from hot-off-the-press lapel pins and

the trade show block. As well as

business cards to a multi-color water

regular and HDR clips, Samsung also

ballet at Barco’s traditional Belgian

showcased 3D clips, using active 3D

beer party at Caesar’s Neptune pool.

glasses. Images were as bright, crisp

“We are in the midst of a changing

and colourful as you’d expect, but

cinema landscape, where exhibitors

there was no news on studio support

must deliver increasingly immersive

for content mastered for the format.

entertainment to captivate today’s

Inevitably other projector makers

moviegoers,” was the message from

were somewhat overshadowed by

Cinionic’s CEO Wim Buyens. The

Samsung

company was determined a make a

stressed its projection heritage and

be around in 2019. (Anyone remember

big noise and impressed delegates

Vive audio offering. NEC offered up its

The Screening Room from 2016?)

with its offerings from laser projectors

RGB laser, which is winning praise

repeat viewings, and an IHeartRadio. com trial thrown in for free, had attendees speculating whether it will

Distributors and studios presenting at CinemaCon 2018

Topics covered in the conference

social

entertainment

options,

to

cinema concession analytics and the strength of the independent/specialty market. Several delegates complained it was getting increasingly difficult to juggle screenings, seminars, meetings and trade shows, with some pushing for an extra day. The sentiments were split on whether the trade show traffic www.cinematech.today

0045_CT _JUN18_CINEMACON.indd 47

4 MoviePass has restricted new members to just 4 movies per month

100.6%

food and beverage combined with

Cinionic.

Christie

25%

sessions ranged from event cinema, meeting moviegoers’ expectations,

and

Asia’s market has seen a 100.6% growth in the past five years.

...tax on cinema tickets is thought to be on the cards for Saudi cinemagoers

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15/05/2018 12:36


E V E N T S

Clockwise from right, Samuel L Jackson collects his icon award; the focus on Saudi; NATO’s John Fithian

from customers like Marcus Theatres, as well as a prototype LED display that offered passive eyewear 3D, albeit at a limited resolution. Sony, meanwhile, brought back its Crystal LED display (no longer called CLEDIS), which it was at pains to stress is different from Samsung’s, as it is powered by micro LEDs. No word on when it will ship, but Sony is definitely in the cinema direct display race [see the separate Cinema LED article on pXX]. No less impressive was its HDR-ready SRX-R800 laser projector line, showcased with the new SRX-R815P model, which had the best demo short of recent years (Joseph Kosinski’s “The Dig”). There were even whispers of a ‘baby’ Sony laser projector model coming soon.

Diversifying the offering If there was a unique theme emerging at this year’s show it was that the post-

increasingly

urging

exhibitors

to

Ymagis is also active in this space with

VPF reality meant that vendors were

diversify their offerings, with ‘jukebox’

its EclairPlay and EclairLive platforms.

capabilities that allow for a wider film selection, back catalogue titles and

The world’s turning faster

alternative content. GDC pushed this

More than ever, cinemas are being

with its Cinema Automation 2.0

pushed to innovate and upgrade,

Several deals were announced at CinemaCon,

solution that allows the TMS to stream

whether in presentation, customer

many focused on Regal’s new parent Cineworld,

straight to the projector without the

amenities or insights and analytics. By

which saw CEO Mooky Gredinger photo-called for

need for IMB storage. Coupled with it

its end, CinemaCon attendees who

signing ceremonies for both Barco/Cinionic (600

was the company’s newly launched

had not returned early for the opening

laser projectors) and CJ 4DPlex (154 4DX sites in the

GoGoCinema that gives audiences the

of “Avengers: Infinity War” were wilting

US and Europe). Cinionic also signed CJ CGV as a

ability to pick movies in a cinema-on-

in the desert heat. Some took heart

client and 4DX expanded in the Middle East and

demand

only

from the observation that even as the

Africa. ScreenX signed deployment deals with B&B

offered by companies such as Tugg

world moves quicker, “The movie

Theatres, as well as studio titles from Warner Bros.

(US) and OurScreen (UK). A new

theatre is the only place that stops

Harkness seemed the big winner in Saudi Arabia,

entrant in this space was Swiss Nagra/

time. And that’s good,” said Benicio

supplying all the exhibitors looking to enter there.

Kudelski with its myCinema, that was

Del Toro as he accepted CinemaCon’s

Vista had a big presence at CinemaCon, Kimball

both a platform and content source,

Male Star of the Year award at the

Riley’s first as CEO: it bagged National Amusements

though it was treading carefully and

closing night Coca-Cola gala. It won’t

US as a client. Meanwhile Ymagis took a big step

claiming that it was neither competing

stop for long. Only six weeks separate

across the Atlantic with Alamo Drafthouse signing

with content owners or distribution

CinemaCon and CineEurope, with

up for EclairColor and an LA office, in addition to its

platforms, but keen to work with

some vendors joking they would just

new hybrid tone mapping (HTM) technology.

operators such as Fathom Events.

ship their kit straight to Barcelona.

Signing on the dotted line

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fashion

previously

www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 12:36


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18/05/2018 12:56


E V E N T S

Celebrating Europe’s cinema

CineEurope 2018 Preview

F

the

irmly established as

the

largest

cinema tradeshow

held

in Europe, this June,

international

exhibition

community,

major

distributors,

manufacturers

studios,

key and

integrators will, once again, head for Barcelona, to celebrate all that is best in the industry at CineEurope. The 27th edition of the convention promises to bring the very best in exclusive studio screenings, mindblowing new product presentations, cinematic technologies, innovations and educational seminars to keep delegates on top of industry trends.

Promoting your business Produced by the Film Expo Group, CineEurope is the official convention of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC),

the

international

CineEurope gives the exhibition community the chance to meet up with old friends and to discover new technologies

Why CineEurope? Connect with industry peers and thought leaders Watch exclusive footage from Hollywood’s majors

trade

Gain insight about the latest

association that represents cinema national

more than 50 territories within Europe

trends in the industry

associations across no fewer than 37

and further afield, making CineEurope

Discover new content,

European territories. UNIC’s focus at

easily one of the most diverse events

products, technologies and

CineEurope has always been to better

representing exhibitors in the world. If

concessions at the trade show

promote the social, cultural and

you want to know what’s going on in

Honour those who have

economic value of cinemas in Europe

your business, make sure you head to

made notable contributions

and internationally and the schedule

Barcelona this June

in the industry

exhibitors

and

their

at the CCIB perfectly reflects this aim. More than 3,500 delegates attend the

convention

evey

year,

with

representatives from exhibitors in 5 0

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This year’s CineEurope will be held from 10-14 June, at the CCIB, Barcelona. To register as a delegate, head to www.filmexpos.com/cineeurope www.cinematech.today

16/05/2018 16:33


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18/05/2018 13:21


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18/05/2018 13:26


E V E N T S

Showcasing India’s rising market

Big Cine Expo Preview

A

fter

a

gala

opening in 2016, last

year’s

Big

Cine Expo, held at the Chennai

Trade Centre, in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, cemented the success of

this

international

show

and

convention for multiplexes, singlescreens and malls. Only in its third year, the event has already established itself

as

Asia’s

biggest

cinema

exhibition in terms of the highest footfall of direct buyers — and the third staging of the event is set to be the biggest yet.

Destination Mumbai This year, the event moves to the heart of India’s film industry — Bollywood — and into one of Mumbai’s most progressive, impressive destinations —

in the country. There is an enormous

Mumbai’s Sahara Star, an impressive venue for the third staging of Big Cine Expo — an event with a decidedly Indian flavour

appetite for technical knowledge and equipment, owing to the potential in the cinema theatre market here and in neighbouring Asian countries. Big Cine Expo addresses this need, and

the ultra-modern Sapphire Hall at

provides a platform for theatre owners,

the Sahara Star hotel. This ultra-

dominant position, with a cinema

design

modern convention venue is set to

industry second only to Hollywood in

integrators,

size. South India, having the highest

professionals, industry stakeholders

number of cinema screens and the

and the community for single-screen

highest number of movie releases, is

and multiplex cinema entertainment

the top market for cinema exhibition

in Asia and India.

host a gathering that will see more than 6,000 influential figures from

1501

the international exhibition business in town for the show. The strength of the Asian cinema market is undisputed — India alone has approximately one screen for every 7 people (in contrast to a figure

India produces the highest number of movies in the world (1501 movies in 2016)

consultants, project

manufacturers, management

Cinema Technology magazine is proud to support BigCineExpo as a media partner, with the magazine distributed to delegates at the event.

of one for every 125 people in the US). Today on the sub-continent, the

Big Cine Expo takes place from 28-29 August at the Sahara Star, Mumbai.

entertainment

To book your place, head to www.bigcineexpo.com

sector

occupies

a

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16/05/2018 16:42


H I G H

T E C H

Light-Field Cinematography:

Past, present… and future?

The promise of light field cinematography is a radical disruption of the filmmaking process — one that could transform the creative process for films on the big screen. The technique is still in its infancy, though its roots go back decades. Bryan Cook brings depth and focus to the subject

S WITH ANY TECHNOLOGY AND ARTFORM, filmmaking has come a long way.

The

fundamental way in which images have been captured through the years has not changed that significantly —

separate images — a stereogram — mounted on the device

light is reflected off a 3D

at the correct distance from your eyes in order for a 3D

object which in turn is then transmitted through a lens

Fact File

The film plane records the intensity of the light rays of the

Bryan Cook

of images for each eye that, when shown via a similar

C.O.O. for IMIS

apparatus, would allow the user to see two separate images simultaneously. The brain would piece together the two

image formed. However, starting at the turn of the 20th century, alternative techniques were developed that have major implications on film production and exhibition today.

The History of Light Field Photography

a ‘line screen’ — a vertical barrier created with strips mounted in front of the film plane — to record a different set

series and focused onto a 2D surface where it is recorded.

image to be viewed. Frederic Ives used what was known as

Bryan is currently

images to construct a 3D image without glasses. The issue

undertaking a

with this method of image capture was that it was extremely

PhD exploring the

difficult to modify existing cameras with this line screen —

use of light field

therefore it never really took off. Years later, advertisers have

technology being

adapted the method in lenticular printing, seen on the side

the early 20th century to be able to see 3D images without

adapted to

of bus shelters and the like, to create different images

the need of spectacles. At the time it was necessary not

cinematography

only to hold glasses to your face, but also to have two

in the film industry.

Modern light field photography evolved out of a desire in

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depending on where the viewer is standing. Other experiments through the century picked up Ive’s

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>

torch for interactivity without glasses. Gabriel Lippmann sought to create images that would appear and act more like a window so that when the viewer moved positions new perspectives could be seen. Lippmann and other photographers experimented

The promise of light field filmmaking is strong — including the creation of a virtual “holodeck”

with putting a series of micro converging lenses directly to the film in the camera. In order to be viewed correctly, a matching set of microlenses was needed to render the images into something viewable. Again, the technique, proved tedious to manufacture, but the application of microlenses became a lasting concept.

The pinhole camera comes into play Fast-forward to the end of the 20th century when a few mathematicians — Edward Adelson, James Bergen and John Wang — proposed that if you create a pinhole camera

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Not so different to today’s VR gizmos, the Holmes stereoscope from the 19th century

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H I G H

T E C H

LENTICULAR IMAGES

Light Field Filmmaking It is easy to imagine how light fields could be adapted to

Giving an image depth is simple, relatively — lenticular strips on the film plane record separate images for each eye

filmmaking. Given the often rapid pace of today’s film productions, time is becoming more and more a

Images

commodity. Unfortunately the digital era has erased the

Images

discipline and practice of having rehearsals. Without the benefit of rehearsals, focus pullers are

Vertical Strips

put under increasing pressure to

Vertical Strips

The Capability of Light Fields

maintain sharp focus successfully. Compounding this problem, larger sensor sizes, higher resolution sensors and more efficient lenses all make

Lights fields allow us to do several

capturing sharp focus on set very

things well. We can calculate a new

difficult. If the focus puller is unable to

theoretical

the

maintain sharp focus throughout a

camera’s sensor could be and

scene, it is possible to correct the issue

therefore change the focus of an

in post with light fields. It is important

image. We can open or close each

to note that while the technology can

microlens’ aperture and alter the

adjust the focus, it has its limitations

depth-of-field. If the primary lens is

— in other words, the technology is far

with finite apertures at a fixed distance to the film plane, it

large enough, it becomes possible

from replacing people’s jobs on set.

becomes possible to create subsections of the image. The

to alter perspective to see around

Lytro brought the first commercial

outcome of these photographs is similar to the perspective

some objects. It is possible to take

handheld light field camera to the

of a fly with their thousands of lenses on their compound

macro photos with objects literally

market in 2012 and the second

eyes — each one seeing a portion of the image simultaneously

touching the primary lens itself.

generation in 2014. More recently,

from different angles.

You can also create a stereoscopic

Lytro has incorporated the technology

image from two separate points of

in its Cinema Camera that captures a

reference — hence a 3D image

755 megapixel image (equivalent to a

without the need for two cameras.

40k image). This camera has been

Lenticular printing is commonly seen for “simple 3D” — most commonly on a child’s ruler

Left Eye

Left Eye

Right Eye

Right Eye

So, what is Light Field Photography? If we look inside a traditional camera, we can envisage light rays traveling from the primary lens through this space to the film plane (or digital sensor) where the intensity of the rays are recorded. The difference between traditional

position

where

specifically designed to help visual

Shifting…

effects artists determine the distance of the light rays outside the camera.

photography and light field photography lies in the

By knowing the distance, it becomes

understanding of each of the subsections that were

possible to remove some of these rays

proposed from Adelson, Bergen and Wang. These

behind characters or objects — in

subsections of the image allow us the possibility to trace

effect creating a virtual greenscreen

precisely where each light ray strikes the film plane and the direction from which it came. This concept is easier to imagine if you think of a ray

…Focus

without the need of a physical one.

Angular vs spatial

traveling through two pieces of paper. It enters one sheet of

There is a trade-off in what is termed

paper at a particular angle and if we know the distance

the angular resolution versus spatial

between the next sheet we can trace it precisely to the next

resolution. In other words, the more

point of entry on that sheet through basic geometry.

microlenses that are introduced to the

Now visualise thousands of sheets in the camera

camera causes a decrease in the

between the primary lens and the camera’s sensor — this is

number of pixels on the final image.

the light field — knowing the direction as well as the

This is why Lytro developed a camera with a sensor 1½ft

intensity of each light ray.

wide (versus a standard Super 35mm on a traditional video

Using some mathematics we can calculate where the light at any point in space will fall — and this allows us the ability to reform a traditional image. 5 6

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camera) in order to produce a decent 8k final image. The Lytro Cinema Camera produces data output of up to 400 gigabytes per second. The issue here becomes how www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 14:08


to handle storing so much data, let alone processing it. This is well beyond what a typical film production would sustain currently.

The Lytro Cinema

Camera is over 8 feet in length which

Technology has made focus pulling everharder. Light-field cameras address that (in theory)

is too large to mount to a crane or dolly, let alone a Steadicam operated by a single cameraman. Currently, light field cameras need to be custom-made as mounting the microlens array precisely inside it is extremely cumbersome — at the moment it is not technically possible to retrofit a digital cinema camera into a light field cinema camera.

The Impact on Exhibition While the technology is still very much in its infancy, there are some developments on the horizon that may have a great deal of impact on cinema exhibition. If a light field camera is used and then a light field display is used, viewers would be able to see 3D images on a screen without the requirement for 3D glasses. Light Field Labs, a company started by former Lytro employees, aims to make such panels similar to those being used in the latest LED screens in cinemas today. The other unique use of these panels, is that a virtual “holodeck” as seen in Star Trek could be created at amusement parks for an experience that truly deserves the oft over-used term “immersive”.

The Future The real challenge to light field cameras being used is their development in three areas: they need to show that their capabilities outweigh traditional cameras, they need to become a critical piece of the production pipeline and they need to address all of the downfalls of traditional filmmaking without creating new ones. Currently there are not many companies implementing light fields into filmmaking. Just this March, Lytro was acquired by Google for $40M for its patents in a move that will aid its development of its VR and AR headsets. The market seems to have shifted away from commercial to

054_CT _JUN18_LIGHTFEILD.indd 57

“Light field cameras need to show that their capabilities outweigh those of more traditional digital filmmaking”

personal use. Right now virtual reality seems to be the ideal development ground for the technology as the ability to refocus a scene when combined with eye-tracking headsets could create a more realistic experience for the user. The question looming down the road is whether we will see the technology implemented effectively into the production and exhibition pipeline or if light-field cinematography is another gimmick. Time will tell.

15/05/2018 14:08


cinema_technology_2018_Layout 1 10/05/2018 15:30 Page 1

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21/05/2018 14:25


T H E

F I E L D

Entertaining the troops 75 years of Forces Cinemas

Screening films worldwide is a major undertaking — especially if the cinema is in a tent in the desert. British Forces Cinemas ops manager Jennifer Holdford explains the work of a 75-year-old institution.

OW DO YOU GET THE LATEST

Corporation (SKC) which grew out of the privatisation of the

blockbusters out to British Forces

Army Kinema Corporation (AKC) and the RAF Cinema

stationed overseas on the same day as

Corporation (RAFCC).

their UK release?

We have been raising the morale of troops and families

when you want movies for a ship’s

all over the world for 75 years. What started with 16mm

company or for 50 squaddies in a tent

films projected onto a bedsheet attached to the side of an

in Afghanistan or Somalia? It’s all in a

army truck grew into a military organisation based in

day’s work for Forces Cinemas, the organisation that runs

Buckinghamshire. From there, 35mm prints were processed

14 fully digital cinemas, an 80-seat mobile cinema, and

and sent around the world to fixed and mobile cinemas

specialises in screening movies in unusual places around

serving hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women

the world. Forces Cinemas has been showing films to the

and their families. Although British Armed Forces have

British Military since the Second World War. It forms part of

reduced in number and their presence in other countries is

Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC), a not-for-

much less than at its height immediately after WW2, the

profit charitable trust previously known as Services Kinema

need for cinemas and up-to-date movies is no less. What

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059_CT _JUN18_FORCES.indd 59

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T H E

F I E L D

has changed is the technology, from projection to ticketing, and innovative new ideas such as Cinelink. The Forces Cinema team has eight digital cinemas in the UK on military bases, overseas there are a further six

Inside the Phoenix Cinema in the Falklands Islands, one of the more remote cinemas in the world (Pic: Charles Ellery)

— two in Germany, three in Cyprus and one down in the Falkland Islands. All the facilities are run in partnership with the local military who provide staff and buildings. The cinemas are all ‘behind the wire’ which means only military personnel and their families posted to that base can see the films. That way, Forces Cinemas don’t compete with commercial cinemas, although in most locations there isn’t an alternative. We offer the latest releases and deliver a range of titles to support the welfare needs of our military communities. This includes working with Nepali distributors to offer content to Gurkhas and their families in the UK and overseas. We are also running specialist screenings

The Movie Machine

this year in support of the RAF’s 100th anniversary ­— and are always looking for opportunities to encourage fancydress events or celebrity visits.

An “army green” screen…

Forces Cinemas don’t just operate standard digital cinemas. We also run a mobile cinema — our Movie

Our auditoriums with their stage and

Machine, a 44-ton articulated HGV

screen often double as briefing rooms,

with hydraulic sides which expand

but the cinemas are run by volunteer

to

military personnel and dependents in

an 80-seater cinema. This has

Projectionist and Front of House roles.

entertained military on deployment

One of the consequences of relying

since 2001, first in Bosnia and

on military personnel is that staff are

Kosovo then Cyprus where it was a

often ‘volunteered’ for roles regardless

vital element of ‘decompression’

of experience or interest. The only

activities for personnel returning

time projectionists have experience is

from Iraq and Afghanistan.

if they have worked in another Forces Cinema location.

double

the

space,

creating

After Operation Herrick ended in Afghanistan, it returned to the

Due to the nature of postings and

UK, was refurbished and is now

deployments, we sometimes retain

operated in partnership with Sky

them for only a few months, so there

Cinema. We manage delivery of

are handovers between personnel are

promo events for Sky all over the

regular, as is constant training. All this

UK as well as events for armed

means a much higher turnover of staff

forces, bringing a movie experience

than normal cinemas, but their reward

to garrisons across the British Isles.

is getting to see all the new films first,

As part of the event we are bring

and helping their local community.

our famous Ice Cream Ops van

The business model is a revenue

which gives out free cones to all!

share with each of the local cinemas, with Forces Cinemas reporting ticket sales back to distributors. The ticketing 6 0

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The Cinelink system provides a robust delivery option for when connectivity is non-existent

go ahead with straightforward digital upgrades elsewhere, ripping out 35mm projectors and installing new digital kit across the circuit. All 14 cinemas have Barco projectors and Dolby/Doremi servers which are maintained under a service contract with Sound Associates. We can monitor and control systems from our head office in Chalfont St Peter. Remote access helps us diagnose problems quickly and

Lamp-changing, military style. Forces Cinema relies on serving personnel often “volunteered” for the role

system is Admit One which we’ve

assists local staff in fixing the more common problems. We

used for three years and replaced our

also train our engineers (whose main job is to keep our radio

in-house software. The remoteness of

and TV services running) to do lamp changes and projector

our sites, the time zones and lack of

or server fault-finding. Given it’s a five-

reliable internet meant many ticketing systems we looked at simply didn’t

work for us. Admit One understood our requirements and made the necessary changes, but also provided features we previously didn’t have which has made scheduling and posting local show times easy. Our volunteer staff found the EPOS system easy to learn and quick to issue tickets.

“Given it’s a 5-day round trip to the Falkland Islands, having local expertise on-hand is essential”

day round trip to the Falklands, having local expertise on hand is essential. Film distribution would seem an easy task considering that other parts of our organisation broadcast live TV globally via satellite, but the economics of distributing cinema files by satellite doesn’t work because the number of

Go digital, they said… It’ll be a doddle

sites is too small. Our bandwidth to remote places is still

Our digital projection journey started 10 years ago when

modest and insufficient to transfer complete files, although

increasing difficulty in obtaining and delivering 35mm

up-linking promos or music is possible.

prints meant we had to convert. This was a challenge, not

Hard disks are more reliable and only require a good

least raising the sums to buy projectors and train volunteer

supply chain. We send films to the Falklands and Cyprus via

staff to run them, but also devising new logistics to deliver

military flights out of RAF Brize Norton. One would imagine

the media. We established early on that uploading movie

­— thanks to the RAF — that these are reliable. However,

files or using satellite distribution was not an option that

flights to the South Atlantic are limited and can be turned

would work for us. Most places we serve have little or no

back due to bad weather anywhere en route or delayed at

internet — and that applies to some of our UK cinemas!

the mid-way refuelling stop. RAF flights get prioritised for

Our first upgrade couldn’t have been more remote. We

essential freight like food — it’s not uncommon for our

chose the Falkland Islands — it’s difficult to reach and spares

precious cargo of hard disks to be bumped because fuel

can take weeks to arrive. We were concerned the audience

and weight calculations for a flight mean they need to save

should not risk any downtime and decided to run a dual

a few kilos. With a bit of guile, (and the odd box of chocolates)

35mm and digital system side-by-side. That proved more

we get DCPs to the Falklands in time for the release date so

complicated than we imagined but gave us confidence to

audiences see new content within days of UK release.

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T H E

F I E L D

Supporting cinemas in remote locations where you can’t jump in a car or send a spare part by courier does

occasionally

result

in

dark

screens. Inevitably it happens at the worst moment. Our projector in the Falklands went down just before HRH Prince William was due to arrive for his tour as a search-and-rescue pilot in 2012. Luckily, we got it fixed and he enjoyed his popcorn like any other cinemagoer. A lamp explosion at one cinema in Germany coincided with a WW2 bomb being found near the base. It caused some worry until it was clear what ihad actually gone bang.

The modern deployment In recent years, the way British Forces are deployed has changed with an emphasis on smaller contingents of perhaps 50-100 deployed overseas for short periods, often in basic accommodation. An important aspect of military morale is sharing downtime together, and a movie night is a perfect way to do this. We began to receive requests for

Operation Ice Cream: the morale-boosting van that often accompanies Forces Cinema events in the UK

Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Somalia and South Sudan. It is also ideal for Royal Navy ships and submarines, or any remote location where a cinema experience will boost morale. Film screenings via our Cinelink service are non-commercial with no ticket sales but are administered with a flat fee annual contract. Support to the service at each location

cinema content which couldn’t be delivered via our mobile

comes from a variety of welfare funds and military charities.

cinema or a permanent and expensive DCI cinema setup.

Forces Cinema maintains the Cinelink systems, duplicates

This led to the introduction of a new Cinelink service, a pop-

and distributes new USB content and sends out movie

up cinema experience consisting of a media player the size

posters to help to make the experience as real as possible.

of a router and a simple easy-to-use playback interface. For operational deployments and remote locations, it has

With one eye on the future

meant we are able to deliver films just six weeks after

Our proud history of providing films to the Armed Forces

cinema release with a Cinelink box

has seen many changes over the past 75 years. It is a

connected via HDMI to a TV or projector including 5.1 sound. The technology, developed by US company Swank in partnership with Filmbank, was originally intended for internet

connection.

Swank

soon

realised it wouldn’t work for us and

“An important part of military morale is sharing downtime together — a movie night is the perfect way to do this”

developed a USB option to push films

constant challenge to secure funding to keep our cinemas operating and screening the latest films. We work closely with distributors and studios — their support has been essential in maintaining this service, as is the enthusiasm of our local cinema volunteers and technical staff. However, with our digital projectors nearing end of life, the work to find funds for replacements is underway. We aim to provide the latest movies to a deserving audience for years to come.

into the Cinelink box whilst still meeting security encryption

As well as Forces Cinemas, SSVC delivers a range of

requirements demanded by Hollywood. A new film is

entertainment and welfare services for personnel and

released to the Cinelink box every week whilst the previous

veterans around the world. This includes: more than 20

five weeks’ releases remain available with unlimited

Forces Radio BFBS stations; a BFBS TV service; Forces Live

viewing. The Cinelink box takes care of release dates

Events (CSE) who organise shows for military and civilian

automatically, allowing new films to be deployed several

events; the Forces TV channel, available to everyone in the

weeks in advance and deleting films at the end of their

UK; a 24-hour Forces News service, and the new Forces

exhibition window. This growing part of Forces Cinemas

Media Academy to train service leavers and veterans in

now provides a cinema-like experience to our armed forces

creative digital media skills.

in 22 countries including Afghanistan, Ascension, Belize,

www.forcescinema.com

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www.cinematech.today

15/05/2018 16:06


THE U

MATE CINEMA XENON LAMP

You can depend on LTI xenon lamps to provide the highest quality cinema experience for your customers. LTI lamps deliver consistent, reliable performance in all digital cinema projectors. LTI’s LongPlay lamps deliver up to 50% longer life without compromise in screen brightness. The world’s leading cinema circuits rely every day on LTI lamps. www.ltilighting.com

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GOFILEX CT Ad June 2018 AB.indd 1

21/05/2018 09:43


MARKETING

Is VR really for cinemas? As Ollie Kilvert, director of the360view explains, it is when it’s used to get the audience through the front door

I

Words: Ollie Kilvert

N A LANDSCAPE OF competitive

Cinemas depend not only on competitive ticket prices

leisure interests, progressive exhibitors

and the right content, but also on customers having a

need to explore innovative ways to

degree of familiarity with the facilities on offer. People are

draw their paying audience members

often willing to spend more if they feel they are getting

in. Customers use their time at the

good value for their experience. For a venue to stay relevant,

cinema as a means of escapism, but

upgrading its facilities is vital — as is promotion of these

the one thing cinema owners can’t escape from is that, as

upgrades. Put another way: if you changed your hair colour,

with most sectors, there will always be competition both

but never went outside, how would anyone know? It may

between venues and leisure activities.

not be the perfect analogy, but the point stands — if you

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065_CT _JUN18_360.indd 65

Providing your customers with an online-accessible virtual tour of your site can help your cinema stand out

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MARKETING

make improvements to your cinema, or open a new one,

remaining holes can be filled by taking further scans. For a

you need to do what you can to tell people about it.

smooth cinema walk-through experience, scan positions

Imagine the advantages of a virtual visit to your venue,

are carried out from a consistent height and spacing to

before you get there. You can select your ideal seat and

provide the most realistic virtual experience.

check out the foyer, the bar area or the restaurant before you get there. For owners, it’s a way to showcase your venue

Time to get social

and demonstrate your advantages. For customers, notably

From a social media perspective, virtual tours deliver a

those with special needs, this facility provides a positive

perfect example of good content marketing. A tour’s URL

bonus allowing them to explore a venue’s accessibility.

can be shared on a venue’s Facebook page, and from there the possibilities are endless. Paid posts promote higher

Enter The360View

levels of engagement and with interesting, relevant content

The360view is a Matterport and multimedia service

such as this, it will ensure more people end up visiting the

provider. We have worked with several cinemas, giving a

box office. A complex which has undergone refurbishment

unique insight into their venues, using the latest 3D

is highly likely to gain an increase in footfall — if they are able

technology. The360view virtual tours provide a 3D online experience that lets the viewer see every angle. A newly opened venue provides the ideal opportunity to showcase a virtual tour. From their computer or tablet, viewers can ‘walk’ around and get a sense of the facilities on offer before even setting foot in the building. The ‘dolls house’ and ‘floor plan’ options give users a sense of the venue. There is an option to embed video and/or images

“From a social media perspective virtual tours deliver a perfect example of good content marketing”

to show-off improvements they have made. We are creatures of habit and will often stick with what we are comfortable with — even if it’s not always the best. If a customer has made the decision not to patronise a particular cinema, its refurbishment will have to be hammered home in all

and URL links, so tours can remain relevant and up-to-date.

its glory to entice them back in again.

Each tour has a URL which can be shared via social media.

With the unrelenting use of social media, a virtual tour is

To create a virtual tour, a full photographic scan of the

an obvious platform to use to promote a brand to a wider

venue is made — including the toilets if that’s required. The

audience. Facebook has over 2.1 billion monthly active

resulting Matterport scan data is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Computing Services. For a high quality 3D showcase, many scans are needed. The more that are carried out, the fewer ‘holes’ there will be in the final model. Once a 3D model has been previewed, any

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065_CT _JUN18_360.indd 66

users worldwide, representing a 14% increase year-on-year. The new Empire in Ipswich is a stylish, modern venue — and now customers can see exactly that online

Statistically, this means it is too big to ignore. An average of 1.4 billion users log in to Facebook daily. With such a huge (and growing) audience, this is a promising foundation for any targeted marketing efforts.

www.cinematech.today

16/05/2018 16:31


Case Study Empire Cinemas, Ipswich In March 2017, Empire Cinemas opened a venue in Ipswich. Working in collaboration with the360view, they shared a link to the tour on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ empirecinemasipswich), the ideal platform to reach an audience of new customers ahead of opening. The link to the tour leading to the cinema’s website, which in turn provided all the extra information needed to know about the venue.

Jon Nutton, Marketing Director of Empire says; “There have been cinemas in Ipswich for years and we knew Empire would need to provide something special to attract new customers. We have a great location in the town centre and have used Facebook as a way of engaging with, the community. The virtual tour we shared online has proved very popular. People seem to appreciate the transparency of us showing exactly what we have to offer them and hope that we will continue to reap the benefits of this new technology by keeping the tour link available on our Facebook page and website.”

It’s not all about Facebook, either. Google has recently announced a partnership with Matterport, launching the next generation of Street View tours. These will integrate panoramic images with 3D geometry data to create tours with a higher level of realism on computers and VR devices. When someone finds your listing on Google they will most likely have clicked onto you and not your competition because you have a button called “See inside” which allows someone to take your virtual tour. Visitors from your listing will stay longer and explore an immersive view of the venue which they may have overlooked otherwise had you not had a tour. Publishing tours onto Google provides a great opportunity to get noticed by potential customers. There is an abundance of competition in today’s leisure and entertainment industry and an online presence is a necessity if you want to keep up. As well as cinemas, the360view virtual tours are suited to associated venues: restaurants, bars, hotels and so on. Standard 2D photos of a business provide a basic idea of what an area looks like. A 3D walkthrough is the ultimate way to explore and get a sense of a space. If your customers know exactly what to expect, there’s no reason for them to be disappointed… So don’t be afraid to show off your venue! To find out more, visit www.the360view.co.uk www.cinematech.today

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18/05/2018 16:28 10:01 16/05/2018


ANALYTICS

Data: Powering the decision-making process Knowing who — and where — your audience is, can be key to successful live content distribution. Joe Evea, MD of Cineplace, explains how marketplace analysis aims to bring clarity to event cinema releases Words: Joe Evea

HE FIRST INTEREST I HAD in “alternative content” or event cinema as it is more commonly referred to, was a few years ago. Much like today, cinema audiences were stable, but not growing exponentially, and box office, while rising, was buoyed by a spate of blockbusters and 3D movies. The trend, as today, was for distributors to focus the majority of their efforts (and budgets) on sequels and adaptations, not original productions. A number of directors were (and still are) looking to television and VOD as an alternative vehicle on which to concentrate their efforts. With this backdrop in mind, opportunities for events in the cinema appear endless, especially when you consider that we are moving ever-closer to a society that engages with “experiences” rather than things. This is borne out by the rise of the “experience economy” with more spent on

Bringing clarity to event programming

pubs, restaurants and entertainment than in shops or cars.

To combat this, and to capitalise on the opportunity event

In this context, the advantage of cinema is its proximity

cinema offers we have developed Cineplace. In short, it is a

to local communities, There are over 750 cinemas in the UK

digital marketplace designed to support the event cinema

most of which sit in the centre of town providing a ready-

industry. Cineplace has the twin aims of growing event

made communal environment. Digital cinema lends itself

cinema revenue and of driving new and diverse audience

to more flexible distribution, too, opening-up opportunities

groups in to local cinemas. At the heart of the Cineplace site

for large-scale live broadcasts via satellite and IP.

sits a data engine that helps cinemas and distributors make more accurate distribution decisions about specific genres.

Advances in information on audience behaviour have made it more accessible to reach diverse groups, who

We use a variety of sources (see overleaf) to create

express their passion for various types of content and

consumer profiles linked to specific content types. These

activities via social media. It is perhaps surprising then, that while event cinema has shown enviable growth over the past few years, it appears to be reaching a plateau, especially in Western Europe. The stats suggest there were more “events” in 2017 than ever before — but audiences are not growing at the same rate. If you remove the two most successful events of 2017, audiences appear to be declining on an event-by-event basis. 6 8

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FACTORS HAMPERING EVENT 1

2

3

An over-reliance on “arts-based” content: Opera, Theatre, Ballet.

A lack of shared industry knowledge about best practice for event cinema — leading to a lack of consistent audience experience.

The difficulty of reaching new, diverse audiences.

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16/05/2018 16:37


Event cinema’s defining characteristics Event cinema, although now considered established, was only just being recognised as an emerging genre of entertainment when I first got involved, but I was very interested in the underlying data, which appeared to be telling a compelling story: A  n average occupancy rate upwards of 50% vs an industry standard that sat below 20%. A higher average ticket price than standard films and a new audience, not all traditional cinema-goers. Significant interest from brands and media owners interested in reaching a highly targeted and passionate communal audience. The defining characteristics of event cinema, as I saw it then and still see it now, are as follows: An event, or occasion that has a single or limited cinema release and that cannot be viewed widely anywhere else at that moment. Content that readily attracts a clearly delineated and passionate audience. Content that benefits from, and is suitable for, a  communal space, a big screen and surround sound.

CINEMA GROWTH 4 Significant risk in distribution — with many projects not offering realistic returns for distributors of new, more diverse content genres. www.cinematech.today

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ANALYTICS

DATA SOURCES 1

2

3

Facebook Marketing API

Twitter Ads API

Streetcheck

4

5

6

Pitney Bowes GeoLife

Wolfram Alpha

Powster

that works for audiences of specific genres. Opera fans for example, might prefer a short trailer via established operatic digital magazines, while eSports fans might react better to YouTube promos — but only if they’re less than 10secs long.

There’s a mountain to climb We are in the foothills of understanding how audiences engage with event cinema marketing, but our aim is to build a more robust picture of where fans are and how to

Fact File

can be compared against UK cities to estimate age and gender distributions for that profile. To illustrate this, we can develop an idea of the number of

Joe Evea:

UK NFL fans, and establish where they

MD, Cineplace

are based geographically. Using our

The Cineplace platform offers exhibitors and distributors alike a better insight into event cinema audiences

database, we are able to match fans to cinemas, establishing Former

a footprint for the distribution of NFL content.

reach them. Additionally, Cineplace pulls in key event cinema and industry news, providing a “knowledge base” that aims to promote and guide best practice across the industry. There is also a cinema guide, which provides information about individual cinemas, including event show times and demographic data on the local community. Every event is listed, working directly with distributors to understand their schedule, as well as looking at all the

We’d be the first to say that this is not a foolproof model

available show time information for event cinema at every

director at Digital

and by no means does it provide all the answers. It does

cinema in the UK. This enables us to list lots of events that

Cinema Media,,

however, offer some context to help decision-making when

may not have been picked up in the mainstream. We are

Joe founded

it comes to placing content on the big screen. Clearly it

also working closely with Comscore, which has its own box

Cineplace in 2017

plays a role in establishing whether an audience exists for

office data section on the Cineplace site, to ensure that

commercial

content never before shown in the cinema, but it can also help establish whether cinemas or distributors may have overlooked locations for existing content. With opera, for example, we understand that while c.200k UK individuals watch it at the cinema annually, over 500k watch it live and over 600k consider themselves opera fans. The aim of our tool, is to establish where to find fans who aren’t watching at cinemas. The next stage is to build plans to reach them. The next integration planned is for the tool to read

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event

“The aim of our tool is to establish where to find the fans who arent’ watching live content at cinemas”

cinema

box office data is

reported

as

accurately as is possible. To conclude, we believe that more data based in

one

single

anonymised search data from our partners at Powster.

destination can encourage the industry to communicate

Rather than focus on sales data, we are working with

more regularly and openly. This in turn will lead to more

Powster to understand search data. As such, we can

opportunities for content to be successfully distributed to

establish where in the UK searches have been made for

cinemas. Once established in the UK, our plan is to look at

specific genres. Seeeking to buy tickets for select content

Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. As Ray Nutt, CEO of

shows a level of intent and is instructional in respect to

Fathom, recently stated at CinemaCon, the world of cinema

understanding interest based on location. In addition, we

is getting smaller, it is our aim to support this inevitable

can start to establish what media platform searches have

consolidation and help establish a more unified sector,

been made from and build a picture of the type advertising

geared for creativity, innovation and, ultimately, growth.

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H I S T O R Y

Movies for an Audience of one!

As modern cinema professionals we like to think the exhibition industry is a hotbed of innovation, but, as Mark Trompeteler illustrates, today’s technology often takes inspiration from the past — not least the contemporary virtual reality experience. Words: Mark Trompeteler

I

IN RECENT YEARS MUCH has been

the subject of another article. (Good thinking — Ed). The key

written, presented and debated on

issue of this piece is the sometimes forgotten fact that the

virtual reality and cinema. Yet, until

first commercial exhibition and exploitation of photographic

now, true VR has always involved an

moving pictures was via viewing devices — slot machines —

individual viewing moving pictures, or

designed for a single viewing by a single individual, just like

an “experience” on their own, usually

VR. Although this was a short-lived phase, it actually

through wearing a headset. This, of course, runs counter to the mainstream concept of cinema as a communal

predates presentation of movies using projectors.

experience of viewing movies, as part of an audience, in an

Movies inside a slot machine

auditorium, through the technology of projection.

The two earliest coin-operated individual viewing machines

Such individual viewings of VR experiential movies by

that predate film projection were the Kinetoscope and The

points to a different model of income generation. These

Mutoscope — they were like primitive VR headsets and were

experiences tend to be shorter in length than feature films

the advanced movie technology of their time, in the mid-

and the way an individual pays is via a “pay per view” type

1890s, through to the beginning of the twentieth century,

arrangement. How income can be generated by such a VR

operating in the US and Europe. Developed between 1889

approach is dependent on many factors — and is perhaps

and 1891 the Kinetoscope, was a device which allowed one

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H I S T O R Y

image sequence of up to a minute. The individual viewer placed a coin in the machine and turned a handle to operate the circular flick book. The moving sequence of illuminated individual frames was viewed through a hooded magnifying lens viewer for both eyes. The machines were produced and marketed by the American Mutoscope Company which would, within 15 years, develop into the Biograph Studio. Biograph created some of early cinema’s most important films, as well as launch the movie careers of Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith, and others.

Parlours and pods instead of auditoria It is easy to forget that the first commercial movie house was in fact a Kinetoscope Parlour, opened on April 14, 1894, in New York. The venue had 10 machines, set up in parallel rows of five, each showing a different movie. For 25 cents, a viewer could see all the films in either row; half a dollar gave

Crank up the entertainment: the Mutoscope isn’t really that far removed from the modern-day VR experience.

person to view the images on a long

access to the entire bill. This was the very beginnings of a

loop of film with sprockets. This

modern revolution in popular culture and entertainment

heralded the long reign of analogue

that was shortly to become cinema. Kevin Brownlow in his

film that became the mainstay of

book “Hollywood: The Pioneers” writes of Edison’s initial

cinema prior to the arrival of the DCP.

reluctance at the idea of using projection to larger

The illusion of movement was a result

audiences. “Edison himself being devoted to the idea of

of the machine conveying a strip

machines in boxes, was anxious not to kill ‘the goose that

of perforated film bearing sequential

lays the golden eggs’ by rushing into projection. Too many

images over a light source. A flashing electric lamp shone

people would be able to see the film at once, and this

up from beneath the film, casting its circular-format images

would undoubtedly reduce profits”.

onto the lens and then through a hooded eyepiece on top of the cabinet. The flash of light was so brief that each

VR: the contemporary Mutoscope?

frame appeared to be frozen in turn. This rapid series of

Recently I visited a VR Café in Croydon High Street, South

apparently still frames appeared to move thanks to the phenomenon of the

persistence

of

vision.

The

Kinetoscope was a result of the work of the laboratory and company of the famous US inventor Thomas Edison, and particularly one of his employees: William Dickson. Partly due to the Kinetoscope’s

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“The Kinetoscope Parlour was the very beginning of a modern revolution in popular culture and entertainment”

London (www.limitless-vr.com). To all intents and purposes it, and the IMAX VR pod at the Odeon Trafford Centre, Manchester,

(www.odeon.co.uk/

imaxvr) aren’t so different from the Holland

Brothers’

New

York

Kinetoscope parlour of 1894, and all the parlours that followed. It is just that society and technology have

high cost, other inventors inspired by the opportunity of the

changed immensely, but the basic principles are the same.

birth of a new motion-picture business, thought about

The economic and profit advantages of being able to

inventing a cheaper moving image machine. In late 1894

use an expensive piece of kit, to project films to a large

Dickson, perhaps disgruntled with his treatment at Edison’s

audience, one in which every member has paid an

company (he left a few months later), communicated an

admission, was obvious. This compared favourably to the

idea for another cheaper movie machine to Herman

operational disadvantages of maintaining a larger number

Norton Marvin and Herman Casler. Casler would perfect

of less expensive devices but only where one individual

the device and patent it as the Mutoscope.

would pay a fee per device per viewing. However enthralling

The Mutoscope worked on the principle of the flip book.

and immersive VR is becoming, if cinema history teaches

The individual frames were small black and white

us one thing, it is the strong probability that the economics

photographs arranged like a rolodex on a circular central

of the matter will prevent VR from upsetting mainstream

core. As many as 850 photographs facilitated a viewing

cinema, as we currently know it, for some time to come.

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H I S T O R Y

Scratch, Crackle, Pop:

The Enduring Appeal of Film at Home Small-format Super 8 and 16mm film projection is alive and well in the home, possibly seeing a resurgence among enthusiasts similar to the vinyl craze for audio aficionados. But what is it about imperfect analogue images on a living room wall that many just can’t give up? Martin Dew explains. Words: Martin Dew, Images: Van Eck Video Services

C

Quite apart from the growing number of film-shooting

hard at work. Just now, though, he’s

advocate directors, such as Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas

not been channeling his resources

Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, it appears that Nolan is

into another mind-bending cinematic

not isolated in his passion for natural-looking photochemical

extravaganza à la “Inception”, but has

processes of film capture and presentation.

been supervising the creation of a

That fervour for celluloid is alive and well in residential

limited number of ‘unrestored’ new prints of “2001: A Space

circles too. A growing number of film-obsessed home

Odyssey” in 70mm for showing at Cannes Film Festival, and

cinema junkies are shunning 2160p and 1080p projectors

subsequently in major cities across the US. On the back of

and Dolby Atmos audio immersion in favour of Super 8 and

the success of “Dunkirk” in IMAX 15/70, as well as runs in

16mm projectors, with their attendant turning spools,

regular 70mm houses, you might forgive him for declaring

clatter of a juddering claw arm, and bold — but dynamically-

to “Variety” last month that digital projection loses “the

limited — monaural optical and magnetic sound.

magnificence of the best possible exhibition.” He went on

The love of film, its legacy and mechanics, clearly has a

to assert that cleaning a film print digitally removes what he

trickle-down effect, and Kodak is still promising to release a

calls, somewhat startlingly, the “emotional information.”

Super 8 camera for the hipster movie-maker generation.

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HRISTOPHER NOLAN HAS BEEN

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H I S T O R Y

The company brought the CES 2016 show to a momentary standstill when it showed up with the new gizmo, replete with its USB charger, and swivel-mounted 3.5in LCD screen

The Beaulieu 708 EL with capstan drive, one of a generation of high-end home projectors

viewer. Sadly, the slick-looking cam has yet to see the exposed commercial light of day, although J. J. Abrams, director of appositely-titled hit “Super 8”, was quick to back the project, suggesting it would be “a dream come true.” None of this is coincidence. Film-based home cinema has been around since the era of Nickelodeon picture houses more than 100 years ago. It was always going to be a tall order for the digital revolution of the 1990s to convert absolutely everyone. Home cinema was once the exclusive preserve of Hollywood moguls and glitterati, as well-heeled die-hards chilled out in their own darkened rooms, adjusting comfy recliners, and kicking back for their feature presentation. Before the Great War, hefty, expensive 35mm projectors performed video duties in the home. The capital outlay for equipment providing this domestic luxury meant home screening rooms were rare beasts. Consequently, between the wars, more compact and manageable film

filmmakers, documentarians and news stations regularly

formats jockeyed for a position in the home cinema.

continued to adopt the format up until the 1990s. Before

By the mid-1960s, a revolution took place in the form of

the VCR arrived in schools, 16mm film projectors remained

Super 8 film. What had once been the staple of the wealthy

the AV educational tool of choice, as well as the chief means

was now a joy the masses could embrace. The leading

by which to show rented commercial films in institutions.

manufacturer of Super 8 projectors, Eumig of Austria, was

Another rather quirky film gauge arrived on the scene in

making over half a million projectors a year by 1976, while

the early 1920s from French power-

punters increasingly reaped the rewards of a big screen

house, Pathé Frères. Introduced mainly

experience to take on the underwhelming output of small

for collectors of commercial movie

TVs. Collecting Super 8 films became an obsession for

titles (including Mickey Mouse shorts

thousands of cinema devotees before the VHS revolution,

and features such as Alfred Hitchcock’s

but the magic of celluloid film in the home still hangs on.

“Blackmail”), the format was a favourite

An en-gauging pastime

with amateur content creators. Its slightly clunky single central sprocket

“16mm’s acetate base, as distinct from flammable nitrate, gave the new film an appeal to household users”

The driving force for film projectors in the home was not

hole mechanism meant cheap toy

only film collecting, but movie-making itself. The market for

projectors destroyed a lot of early films, and the arrival of

film formats less cumbersome than professional 35mm

Standard 8mm film in 1932 largely outmoded the gauge.

film goes back to 1923 when Eastman Kodak introduced its

Also known as ‘Regular 8’, Eastman Kodak’s Standard

‘amateur’ stock, 16mm. Billed as a budget alternative for

8mm film used side-mounted sprocket holes, identical in

keen makers of silent films, the company touted its first

size to those on 16mm prints. Modified 16mm stock formed

‘outfit’, consisting of camera, projector, tripod, screen and

the basis of spools inserted into a Standard 8 camera, which

splicer, which could be snapped up for $335 (a whopping

needed removing and turning over mid-filming to render

$4,700 in today’s money). 16mm’s acetate base, as distinct

images down both sides of the exposable area. Major

from 35mm’s flammable nitrate base, made this new film

studios began to release ‘package movies’ for collectors, but

gauge appealing to household users. The ability to rent and

few were more than 200ft in length (about 8 minutes), and

buy commercial films from the Kodascope Library was a

Standard 8 projectors with sound were rare.

further boon for investors in this equipment. In 1935, optical

Once again, it was Eastman Kodak, this time with its

soundtracks became available on 16mm, and amateur

brilliant 1965 8mm innovation, known as Super 8, which

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The TQ III Specialist model 1698 — a 16mm projector from the US manufacturer Bell & Howell

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transformed the home movie industry. Smaller sprocket holes than Standard 8 allowed for a larger exposed picture area, and oxide stripes on both edges of the stock provided the means by which to record sound easily during image capture, or later during the editing process at home. Fujifilm

The indomitable Elmo GS 1200, made in Japan and marketed in 1978 for Super 8 film projection

Package Deals Unquestionably, the thrill of Super 8 was the selection of films available to collectors. Prior to the onset of commercial VHS tapes, there were thousands of film titles for purchase by mail order, or at retail stores peppered across the UK.

introduced a competing format, Single-8. This Japanese

The most popular package movies were the 17-minute

challenger deployed a polyester (rather than acetate) film

highlight reels (mounted on a 400ft spools) of major feature

base, and its cartridge loading system required the use of

films, and which Hollywood studios released directly or via

proprietary licensed cameras for shooting, even though the

third parties. A highlight reel would include a skillful edit of

final developed film would run fine in a Super 8 projector.

an entire feature with beginning, middle and end intact,

By the 1970s, Super 8 projectors at various price points,

costing around £30 for recent releases. As the VHS juggernaut

with a head-swirling range of features, could be purchased

advanced, Warner Bros, Fox, Disney and Columbia presented

from camera stores, with the bulk of manufacturers hailing

their titles in evermore alluring packaging, while Universal

from Austria (Eumig), Germany (Bauer) and Japan (Elmo,

Pictures’ Universal 8 distribution arm pushed out a series of

Sankyo, Chinon), while the US’s own Bell & Howell was also a

beautifully transferred reels from its archive, housed in

major player. By the end of the decade, 2x anamorphic

rugged injection-moulded casings, including Hitchcock’s

lenses were available for 2.66:1 Cinemascope presentations

“Psycho” and “The Birds”, disaster movies, and legacy horror.

of commercial releases, while two-channel stereo and Dolby

Every taste was catered for, from the latest tent-poles,

Stereo exploited both magnetic sound stripes (the second

to the rarest Harold Lloyd silent caper. Paramount even

designed originally for ballast as the film ran in the projector).

released full length features on 6 or 7x 400ft reels, including

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H I S T O R Y

Kodak teased the hipster filmmaking community in 2016 with its new Super 8 camera

“Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever”, while UK-based Derann Film Services (who sadly closed doors in 2011) specialised in full-length British greats from the Hammer vaults and Ealing Studios, and went on to release meticulously mastered prints of features such as “Alien” and “Raiders of

Featuring modern elements (such as an LCD screen), Kodak’s Super 8 camera would bring film to a new generation

the Lost Ark”, and version-upon-version of authentic cinema

1990s before the advent of DVD. That the AV industry sat through demos of VHS tapes and laser discs feeding £30,000 line-doubled and -quadrupled Runco and Barco CRTs, pretending they looked good while smiling politely, is extraordinary, particularly given that only 10 years previously most 8mm and 16mm projectors had been binned.

adverts, trailers and day-sets. German-based Kempski,

Film collecting and appreciation isn’t just the pursuit of

meanwhile, produced beautiful full-length prints of “Ben-

a few errant garage-based geeks either. There is a rollcall of

Hur” and “West Side Story” on mylar stock, in both

seasoned industry pros who can’t get enough of it. Keith

Cinemascope and stereo sound. Walton Sound and Film

Wilton, former BBC documentary editor of 30 years and

Services in London also provided a host of abridged and

chief of the British Film Collectors Convention, says he “…was

feature prints, mostly gleaned from the Rank catalogue.

captivated by the content and colour” when he first saw

Prices were usually north of £200 for a modern feature at

“The Adventures of Robin Hood” in the cinema, but loves

the time. Film collecting was not for the faint-hearted.

the “subtlety” of a good film print and the “black level and

Collectors of 16mm titles were also rewarded by the disbandment of film libraries in the 1980s, which left thousands of titles in circulation even to this day. Perusal of eBay and other auction sites will show both Super 8 and 16mm sought-after titles in good condition fetch eye-watering prices.

“Enthusisasts repelled by the sterility of a Blu-ray collection might still be in the market for a film projector”

Fade to Black

contrast ranges available from different film stocks.” Jon Thompson, studio post-production consultant and owner of Picture Worx Films, says that “…film is an amazing format that we still have not managed to create digitally,” Gwyn Morgan, resident projectionist at Plymouth Arts Centre — who owns a vast personal 16mm collection — perhaps sums it up best by insisting “…film just has that human touch.” After all, this is about the romanticism of being willingly hypnotised by the mechanics of a persistent turning feeder reel and take-up spool, or memories of wandering down to

As we all know, nothing is perfect about film. Colours on

your local fleapit for a double-bill feature back in the ’70s; all

many pre-1980s Eastman Kodak Super 8 and 16mm films

those things of which Quentin Tarantino was reminding us

have faded to pink or brown, and prints of both are

in “Grindhouse”. As Christopher Nolan would attest, it’s all

susceptible to emulsion and base side scratching from

about analogue warmth and coziness, a gently meandering

repeated use and/or insufficiently clean projector film paths

weave as the film passes through the gate, the sumptuous

and storage. Film projectors are noisy (and should be in a

contrast and depth of field, the light-starved inky blacks,

booth) and putting on a movie show was always hard work.

and picture grain so dense you can bathe in it. The greatest

But home cinema enthusiasts even remotely repelled on

travesty of the past 30 years has been the slow, miserable

occasion by the clinical sterility of their Blu-ray “Transformers”

decline of film. Let’s play a part in keeping it alive.

collection might still be in the market for a film projector.

With thanks to Van Eck Video Services for images. The

The act of watching film in the home is utterly unique.

company fabricates parts for projectors (mainly 8/16mm)

Home cinema projection took a nosedive in the early 8 0

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A C C E S S

SUBTITLING IN UK CINEMAS: A NEW WAY FORWARD

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In partnership with Action on Hearing Loss, the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) has launched a Technology Challenge Fund, to stimulate development of a solution that allows people with hearing loss to enjoy a better integrated cinema experience. Time to get inventive. Words: Grainne Peat

F

OR A VARIETY OF reasons, many

While efforts have been made to

disabled customers in cinemas have

increase uptake of the current number

difficulties in accessing and enjoying

of OC screenings, the growth in these

the

In

has undoubtedly begun to plateau in

response, the UK cinema sector has,

recent years. This comes at a time

over the past decade, developed a

when expectations amongst customers with hearing loss

number of different and specially-adapted ‘accessible

for better provision understandably

screenings’ in an attempt to address these issues.

have continued to increase. In recent

big

screen

experience.

Subtitled screenings — or open captions (OC) — are an accepted way of opening up the cinema-going experience to deaf and hearing-impaired customers. These involve

The ideal solution must:

years, a number of new products have emerged on the market which allow subtitling text to be seen by the individual

subtitles which relay the script of the film and audio cues at

A viable solution that can be widely rolled out will help boost cinemas’ accessibility credentials

rather

than

the

wider

the bottom of the screen. Despite this solution, the cinema

Allow for a cinema’s hearing

audience. In the main these involve

sector continues to face challenges around the provision of

impaired customers to have an

technology whereby text is seen on a

subtitled screenings. It’s generally the case that the wider

integrated experience alongside

personal screen or is displayed across

audience sees the presence of additional text on the screen

the general public i.e. they should

the lenses of viewing glasses.

as a distraction, and therefore they actively avoid such

be able to view subtitles without

shows. This results in low attendance, which in turn means

disturbing other viewers who do

The challenge we face

cinemas are limited in how many subtitled screenings it is

not want to view subtitles.

While these ‘closed’ caption (CC)

Be easy to use for both the venue

devices, if widely adopted, have the

and, importantly, the user

potential

Be a financially viable solution for

access to the cinema for customers

Cinema operators risk foregoing a significant amount of

venues to install and use

who need subtitling, and to allow for a

income in making OC screenings available, these are in

Be readily compatible with the 

more integrated audience experience,

general programmed sparingly, and rarely at peak viewing

existing cinema infrastructure

no one solution has yet achieved

economically feasible for them to show.

The peak viewing time conundrum

times. As a result, there are fewer and less conveniently

significantly

to

increase

widespread take-up in cinemas

programmed OC screenings than customers who are deaf

Projects are expected to develop

or have some hearing loss would like. When there are

and test a working prototype in a

Association, in partnership with Action

technical failures of subtitling equipment, the problem is

‘real life’ cinema with user feedback.

on Hearing Loss, is proud to launch its

In

response,

the

UK

Cinema

felt more keenly by deaf and hearing-impaired audience

Technology Challenge Fund to help

members, for whom that screening might be the sole

stimulate and support development

opportunity in the week to enjoy an accessible cinema visit.

of a technological solution that will

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A C C E S S

allow

people

with

hearing

loss

to enjoy a more integrated cinema experience. The UKCA will provide some initial financial incentives for engagement, then — as appropriate —

The goal is a solution that hearing-impaired customers can use to give a better overall experience

some further limited funding for development of promising concepts, with the hope that support from wider industry partners can be drawn in as the process develops. Should a suitable, viable product be developed that the cinema sector approves and which meets the desired criteria set out in the aims and objectives, Action on Hearing Loss, will help find a suitable commercial partner to develop and create a market-ready product. The successful applicant will have full Intellectual Property (IP) ownership and will take a percentage of the revenue from product sales. The UKCA and Action on Hearing Loss will promote the product across their networks both across the UK and internationally. The aim of this competition is to catalyse innovation in

Phase 2 is only open to applicants

technology that will allow people with a hearing loss to

who have completed phase 1 and

have access to an inclusive cinema experience.

How to apply

Interested? Enter your solution:

demonstrated a technically feasible concept. In phase 2, participants will develop and test a working prototype

The Fund is now taking expressions

in a ‘real life’ cinema. Projects can be

b  e from an organisation of any size

of interest to attend the launch

of any size up to £25,000 and can last

y ou can work alone or in collaboration with others

workshop to be held in September

up to six months.

(business, research base, third sector)

2018 at a Central London cinema.

Phase 2 applicants will be given

Up to £75,000 of funding is available to support innovative

To apply or if you have questions

access to a cinema to allow testing

projects in the competition, divided across two phases:

relating to the Fund, email Grainne

during development of the prototype

U  p to £25,000 is available for phase 1 (up to £5,000 for

Peat, at the UK Cinema Association

and will have access to a technical

each phase 1 project)

at grainne.peat@cineamuk.org.uk

expert to help ensure that the final

Projects eligible for entry to the challenge, can:

U  p to £50,000 is available for phase 2 (up to £25,000 for

solution is technically compatible with

each phase 2 project)

existing cinema infrastructure. Phase

In phase 1 participants will be expected to demonstrate

2 proposals will also be judged by an

technical feasibility of their proposed innovation. Projects

independent panel.

can range in size up to a total cost of £5,000 each. Technical

A showcase event will be held

feasibility projects must be completed within 8 weeks.

at the end of the process at which

Phase 1 applicants will be invited to a ‘development

successful prototypes will be demonstrated to stakeholders,

workshop’ where they can refine and discuss initial ideas

including people with hearing loss, cinema operators and

with industry experts. Phase 1 proposals will be judged by

potential partners able to support the commercialisation

an independent panel, supported by technical peer review.

and/or adoption of the most promising solution.

FUND TIMELINE

8 4

06/18

09/18

10/18

11/18

02/19

03/19

09/19

Applications open to express interest to be involved

Launch workshop at a Central London cinema

Development paper for phase one grant

£5,000phase one grants awarded

Phase one closes

£25,000 phase two grants awarded

Phase two closes

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Event Cinema? MPS is with you at every step.

Venue to truck Satellite to screen Management to support MPS delivers. motionpicturesolutions.com

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E C A

V I E W

Event cinema: time to scale new heights? The event cinema sector has enjoyed success, but certain content is now considered a box office staple. The ECA’s Simon Tandy asks if it’s time to push the boundaries?

W S

ith statistics showing early signs

over another ­— is there a risk that a lack of experimentation

that

has,

is contributing to a market plateau? Surely there is diverse

potentially, reached a market plateau and

the

event

cinema

sector

content that we are missing. Technologies and social media

with more event cinema content being

enable us to better engage and understand audiences. As

released year on year, is it do or die for the

each genre grows, so too does the opportunity for brand

sector? Event cinema, in varying forms, has been around for

engagement. This may be the key to prosperity, the key to

over 30 years. Whilst the Metropolitan Opera was seen as

making more of an event out of event cinema.

the springboard to the modern era in 2006, the past nine

We are all familiar with how stage, theatre and opera

years have given us more than 1,000 live broadcasts with

houses are “easily” replicated in the cinema, but through

countless encore opportunities helping to raise revenue at

social engagement and interaction we could see tried and

the box-office. Keeping pace with the number of broadcasts

not yet prevalent alternative content sweep an upturn in

is a rise in their quality, the quality of productions and,

the event cinema sector. Indeed, many persist in calling it

indeed, the stock of continually improving cinema venues.

“alternative content” for a reason — let’s have more of the

The quantity of event cinema titles is growing at a

alternative, more of the event and less of the conformist.

similar rate with film content — estimations put the likely

Cinema lets us explore our love of genres, of characters.

value of the event cinema business at $1bn by 2021 — so

It allows audiences that perfect place to escape. Is event

ours is a significant sector in global box office terms. With

cinema a means of heightening that escapism? We should

more content coming to the market, something’s got to

be exploiting further the opportunities that event cinema

give. The battle for screen time has never been so evident.

programming can bring through live director and cast

Whilst no-one is labouring under the impression that

interviews or the potential of new genres such as e-gaming.

event cinema budgets equate those of Hollywood Studios, content owners and cinemas now have a nurtured audience

CineEurope: time to talk of the future

— that helps to capitalise on a product tailored for their

The early years of the Event Cinema Association offered a

business. Locally, owners and operators understand which

great resource for those in the sector to meet, and whilst

products work in their cinemas. Certain event cinema

the sector has many familiar faces, we don’t know all the

content has come to be seen as a safe bet — so is that now

answers. At CineEurope, you can meet the ECA team and

the first question content owners and programmers are

members. We aim to explore some of these questions and

beginning to ask themselves? Is there is a safe bet in one

showcase the best content to keep the sector on the box

ballet over another, a safe bet in one actor playing Hamlet

office map. The ECA believes it’s time to flourish!

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22/05/2018 10:50


2018 Meet me in Miami Film Convention + EXPO

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21/05/2018 14:12


o p i n i o n Celluloid film: the format of the future Alexa Raisbeck, co-founder of the Film & Projection Heritage Network which supports cinemas that present celluloid formats, argues that film has a vital future ahead

T

he

digital

revolution

was

a

Try telling an artist in any other line of work they can’t utilise

commercial decision driven by the need

a particular medium. It wouldn’t be done. Cinemas whose

to harness the latest technology available.

business models rely on repertory presentations need to

The speed of change since pixels arrived

continue to have the ability to show prints. Despite the

has been awe-inspiring. The ability to

advent of DCP technology, many films have yet to be

show a film time and again without degradation, plus the

transferred for cinematic presentation. DVDs and Blu-Rays

savings and ease in digital distribution. What’s not to love?

are not the most cinematic or stable of playback mediums.

Well, for me, it was the way celluloid was demonised as

Other factors include our collective archive: stored

part of the marketing in the encouragement to adopt

properly, celluloid is still the most viable storage medium. It

digital. Labelled unreliable and antiquated, it was vehemently

would take decades to digitise what is held on shelves and

jettisoned and gutted, as if complete oblivion would win the

I am an advocate for seeing films in original mediums and

technological war. The problem with this path is that we’re

ratios. Reels of film come with a provenance, a history which

now in a precarious place regarding the future of running

adds to their uniqueness as physical objects. Many savvy

celluloid film. Parts and equipment are hard to source, film

programmers go to great lengths to secure prints for their

consumables hard to purchase, well-trained projectionists

audiences. Film reels, projector mechanics and film strips

have retired or moved on; knowledge is seeping away.

are still utilised to indicate film and cinema. Hard drives and

We are past the pivotal point where there is time to

square silent boxes don’t invoke the same feelings. It is

preserve what is needed for those that want to continue

telling that 35mm and 70mm screenings have become

working with the medium. Celluloid’s supporters are often

events which tie into the general trend exhibition has taken

harangued for their advocacy, and told they are romancing

to preserve itself from home entertainment mediums.

a dead medium through rose-tinted glasses. Why? Why is

Digital is the standard, but over 100 cinemas in the UK

35mm pitted against digital? There is no ‘versus’ here. Film

alone have celluloid capability. When something becomes

worked as a viable medium for over a century and defines

harder to experience its value increases. It’s why “Dunkirk”

much of our visual literacy, so much so that scratches, dirt

was released in 70mm, it’s why some cinemas that originally

and sepia tones are now added in post-production to

removed mechanical projectors are reinstalling them. I

indicate something historic. Digital is not a replacement.

urge the industry to recognise this and acknowledge that

They are different mediums with separate characteristics.

35mm isn’t a medium of the past but has a present and

Should celluloid be available? Absolutely. An artist/auteur/

hopefully a future of co-existence. We’re in the business of

director should be able to work in the medium they choose.

telling stories — celluloid continues to do that eloquently.

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18/05/2018 12:09


blazing fast and Q-SYS readyfast blazing and Q-SYS readyfast blazing TM

TM

and Q-SYS ready TM

Ingest a full length motion picture DCP in the time it takes to play a Trailer? The new QSC CMS-5000 is

a next-generation cinema media server that features reliable onboard solid-state storage, dual HDMI 2.0 Ingestfor a full lengthcontent, motion picture DCP in the time it takes to play a Trailer? The ingest new QSC CMS-5000 is ports alternate and a 10Gb Ethernet port for exceptionally fast DCP – up to 10 times faster directly with Q-SYS, QSC’sdual network platform than other servers.cinema Best ofmedia all, theserver CMS-5000 interfaces HDMI 2.0 for a next-generation that features reliable onboard solid-state storage, integrated sound, picture, and control. Ingestfor a full length content, motion picture DCP in the timeport it takes to play a Trailer? The new QSC CMS-5000 is ports alternate and a 10Gb Ethernet for exceptionally fast DCP ingest – up to 10 times faster directly with Q-SYS, QSC’s network platform than other servers. Best of all, the CMS-5000 interfaces a next-generation cinema media server that features reliable onboard solid-state storage, dual HDMI 2.0 for It’s capablesound, of JPEG 2000 DCI content playback at 2k or 4k 2D up to 60 frames per second, and 4k 3D up integrated ports for alternate picture, content,and andcontrol. a 10Gb Ethernet port for exceptionally fast DCP ingest – up to 10 times faster to 30 frames per second. The CMS-5000 also interfaces supports immersive DTS:X (renders upplatform to 64 for directly audio with formats Q-SYS, QSC’s network than other servers. Best of all, the CMS-5000 ® ® Atmos . channels) and bitstream transmission of Dolby It’s capablesound, of JPEG 2000 and DCI control. content playback at 2k or 4k 2D up to 60 frames per second, and 4k 3D up integrated picture, to 30 frames per second. The CMS-5000 also supports immersive audio formats DTS:X (renders up to 64 ® ® As part and ofofthe Q-SYS ecosystem, the CMS-5000 appears software as3D a Q-SYS Atmos . 4k 2D channels) bitstream transmission Dolby It’s capable JPEG 2000 DCI contentofplayback at 2k or up to in 60Q-SYS framesDesigner per second, and 4k up component, full The system interconnection, audioimmersive channel routing, status monitoring, and control. to 30 framesproviding per second. CMS-5000 also supports audio formats DTS:X (renders up to 64 ® media ® The setsQ-SYS a new standard for server performance and functionality. Atmos . channels) bitstream transmission ofcinema Dolbythe As CMS-5000 part and of the ecosystem, CMS-5000 appears in Q-SYS Designer software as a Q-SYS component, providing full system interconnection, audio channel routing, status monitoring, and control. The part CMS-5000 sets a new standard for cinema serverappears performance and Designer functionality. As of the Q-SYS ecosystem, themedia CMS-5000 in Q-SYS software as a Q-SYS component, providing full system interconnection, audio channel routing, status monitoring, and control. The CMS-5000 sets a new standard for cinema media server performance and functionality. ©2018 QSC, LLC all rights reserved. QSC, Q-SYS and the QSC logo are registered trademarks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other countries. Dolby and Dolby Atmos are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. 0942-2018

©2018 QSC, LLC all rights reserved. QSC, Q-SYS and the QSC logo are registered trademarks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other countries. Dolby and Dolby Atmos are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. 0942-2018

©2018 QSC, LLC all rights reserved. 0942-2018_BlazingFaxt_210x297mm.indd 1 QSC, Q-SYS and the QSC logo are registered trademarks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other countries. Dolby and Dolby Atmos are registered trademarks of Dolby

5/14/18 4:41 PM

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0942-2018_BlazingFaxt_210x297mm.indd 1 Untitled-1 1

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Laboratories. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. 0942-2018


splendidly unexpected We are Cinionic. We listen to exhibitors and moviegoers alike to continuously transform the moviegoing experience from good to better and better to best. From visualization solutions to comprehensive service care to flexible and affordable financing, we exist to provide you with peace of mind and your moviegoers with a new level of expectations when it comes to a “WOW� experience. All CineEurope projection is powered by Cinionic. Come and experience the WOW from June 11 to 14 at CCIB Barcelona. Welcome to Cinionic. Welcome to WOW.

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Cinema Technology June 2018  
New