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How and why have Cinema City invested in digital technology?


Highlight the key facts Reasons to invest in digital projection: •Economic reasons (money)

•Audience experience reasons (including quality and range of different experiences)

•Industry/ Institutional/ Competition reasons


Questions to solve 1. How does digital distribution benefit independent/ low budget films, producers and distributors? 2. How do digital projectors open up opportunities for alternative content/ diversification/ the exhibition of different media? 3. How do digital projectors enhance audience experience?


Film Reel Projection • Films arrive on 4-6 large film reels, stored on the metal ‘cakestand’ • Film is fed through the projector • Hairs/ dust/ dirt damage the quality of the film • Quality degrades with each playback and with time • Each print costs ~£2000


Digital Film Projection • Film arrives on handsized hard drive which is uploaded to projector • Digital film files are encoded to stop piracy • Quality never degrades • Hard drives can be returned to distributors for re-use • Each hard drive costs ~£50


Why would it be good for the British film industry if there were more digital screens in cinemas?


Digital Screen Network • • • • • •

Government initiative Funded by the National Lottery, run by UK Film Council Total fund = £12m Paid for 240 digital projectors in 210 cinemas A digital projector costs between £50,000-60,000 Cinema City installed the Digital Screen Network projector in December 2009, meaning that all 3 screens at the cinema have digital projectors.


Digital Screen Network • Cinemas have to show a quota of ‘specialised films’ to retain funding for the projection equipment: – Foreign language with subtitles – Documentaries – Archive/classic films – A film which is of a difficultto-categorise genre, or has a complex hook or USP – An innovative film (has an innovative cinematic style)

2009 63% of films released in the UK were ‘specialised films’, and they took only 15% of the box office takings DSN expected to increase the number of screenings of specialised films by 165,000 more screenings per year, reaching 30 million people


How does Cinema City’s involvement with the Digital Screen Network affect audiences? Use these terms to help develop ideas: •programming; •specialised; •diversification; •quality


Europa Cinemas • Europa Cinemas offer grants to cinemas who show a quota of European films • 42 countries, 473 cities, 811 cinemas, 2,092 screens • Do not own or run cinemas • Aims: – “to provide operational and financial support to cinemas that commit themselves to screen a significant number of European non-national films” – “to offer events and initiatives as well as promotional activities targeted at Young Audiences and to screen digital European films”


Europa Cinemas • Money – receive funding for showing a specific number (a quota) of European (non-English) films – Criteria (per year): • Must screen at least 22% European films (35% to access highest level of funding) • At least 6 different countries (UK doesn’t count for UK cinemas) • No more than 50% can come from one country • Bonus for diversity of countries

– Calculated on number of screenings – Up to €16k – Receive up to €4k for ‘exhibitor activities aimed at young people’

• Access to films held/ distributed by Europa • Consultancy, advice and support


How does Cinema City’s involvement with Europa affect audiences? What terms are useful here?


Why did Cinema City invest in 3D technology?


What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences? Use Cinema City as a case study in your answer


Cinema City and Digital Technology