Reg. Trib. Milano n. 418 del 02.07.2007
Direttore responsabile: Elisabetta Brunella

International Edition No. 34 - year 3
16 April 2008


The Odeon Surrey Quays provided the venue for the third day of the “DigiTraining Plus 2008” course, organized by MEDIA Salles in London. A 9-screen multiplex, since February 2007 this cinema has been equipped with an equal number of digital projectors as part of the trials promoted by Odeon, the major English exhibition chain, to evaluate the technical and operational aspects of adopting the new technology.
For these trials, which have also involved another 9-screen site at Hatfield, Odeon has chosen different suppliers: Cinemeccanica and Nec for the projectors, Doremi and Kodak for the servers.
From what was said by Richard East, Director General of the Odeon Surrey Quays, who brought the course participants up-to-date on the various stages of the trials, starting out from the problems of installing the 9 additional projectors in a complex that had not been designed to hold double the number of machines in the booths and with the necessity of not suspending everyday operations, it emerges that the result has been positive as regards the reliability of digital projection.
So much so that in the phases following the start of the trials, the emphasis shifted instead to programming and communication with the public: Odeon, for example, has coined a term for its digital complexes – Digiplex – and uses innovative means of publicizing digital, which include the T-shirts worn by the staff.
The importance of programming and thus of content: this was an aspect on which the other talks on the third day of the course also focused, such as the one by Matt Cowan of RealD, who stressed how stereoscopic projection allows the spectator to become immersed in a highly involving and spectacular experience, not even vaguely possible inside the four walls of your own home, which is something that gives added value to the theatrical offer. And, as far as exhibitors are concerned, allows for more generous box-office.
Alternative content was at the centre of the presentations by Giovanni Cozzi (Emerging Pictures), Christine Costello (More2screen) and Fabrice Testa (DDCinema), companies that offer their services as intermediaries between the holders of the performance rights for music, sports and cultural events and the movie theatres. The fact that the digital shift also has important implications for copyright is becoming increasingly evident: particular attention was devoted to this aspect on the course, thanks to the talk by Charlotte McMillan from the London legal office of SJBerwin. This was followed by the third part of the overview of business models, devoted to the solutions proposed by XDC, which completed the sequence that began with Arts Alliance Media and continued with Technicolor. If it is true that the Virtual Print Fee formula was one of the factors that launched the first phase of development in digital projection in the United States, culminating in the installation of over 4,000 systems, everyone agrees that, in a territory with different and varying characteristics like Europe, diverse solutions are needed.

(click here to see the course programme)

MEDIA Salles
Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 24 – 20124 Milano - Italy
Tel.: +39.02.6739781 – Fax: +39.02.6690410
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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.