In the heart of London’s cinema-land,
Leicester Square, it is the start of the second day in the DigiTraining
Plus course, organized by MEDIA Salles, in 2009 as in 2008, in the United
There follows part of the interview given by Michael Karagosian to Elisabetta Brunella, for the readers of DGT Online Informer.
In Europe a lot of attention is given to the VPF model adopted in the United States but there is also talk of alternatives, such as, for example, a reduction in the rental fees.
“To facilitate digital transition,” said Karagosian, “studios
are ready to contribute money to the purchase of equipment for installation
in cinemas for a limited period: the contracts signed up to now stipulate
ten years. To make it clear that this is a special, temporary form of
assistance, the studios do not wish to simply discount the rental fee.
Moreover up to now they have provided this money through deployment
entities, the so-called “integrators”, only.
On another burning issue – the technical specifications of the equipment – Karagosian stressed from a positive point of view that DCI had initiated a testing programme for equipment compliance: “This is an important step towards reaching an objective exhibitors consider essential, that the equipment they buy is the right investment.”
In connection with this comes the initiative taken by NATO in publishing a document on specifics: according to Karagosian, “this complements DCI specs, with the aim of providing an exhibitor perspective on how digital equipment should operate.”
Again on the role of the exhibitors’ associations, Karagosian confirmed that “they should focus on preserving the existing business rules, which would include the ability of theatre owners to shift a movie within a cinema complex to the most suitable screen during the period of engagement.”
And finally an optimistic light on the future of cinema exhibition. Karagosian stated that: “The whole economics of the motion picture industry is changing. Many feel that this is in part due to changes in consumer behaviour. However, whilst overall revenues for the sector are down, cinema revenues remain high. Nielsen studies show that cinema-going is the least affected by competition from new media.”
MEDIA Salles, a project operating within the framework of the European Union's MEDIA Programme, with the support of the Italian Government, fosters theatrical distribution of European audiovisual products, both by high profile campaigns involving Europe's cinema exhibitors and by initiatives to raise the visibility of European productions with industry players and potential audiences, creating specialized information channels on a global scale. Thus the current initiatives from MEDIA Salles dovetail in a program with a triple focus – training, promotion and information – and maximum combined effect.