Blog Directory CineVerse: Move over celluloid--make way for digital flicks

Move over celluloid--make way for digital flicks

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

While 3-D theatrical films are making a bigger splash lately, 3-D isn't the only hot technology wave that's grabbing the attention of viewers. Digital movie projection could change the way movies are made and viewed.

In the not-too-distant future, "going to see a film" may be an outdated expression. That's because there may not be any "film" to see. Instead, every multiplex or moviehouse you frequent henceforth could very well be showing a state-of-the-art multimedia movie, digital-style.

If you thought high def technology represented the biggest revolution in movie entertainment since the advent of surround sound, think again. All signs indicate that the real watershed in motion picture enjoyment may not be the trend toward 3-D; instead, perhaps it will come from digital movie projection at your favorite theaters.

“E-movies” first began to make headlines in the late 1990s, when big-budget, mainstream flicks made brief debuts via digital projector. Director George Lucas became a pioneer allover again when he decided to release a digitally projected version of "Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace" at four specially equipped theaters in 1999. Since then, many films, have been projected digitally to lucky audiences across the country. In fact, some industry experts estimate that approximately 20 percent of theatrical films are being projected digitally today.

Why the seemingly sudden shift from 35 mm film to digital images? Though it's unlikely that electronic movies will completely replace film anytime soon, digital movies can save studios and theaters money in the long run and give audiences an upgrade in picture and sound, resulting in more bang for your box office buck.

Tomorrow: Part 2 of this article

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