What the digital cinema "theater" should bE

If you want to start a business based on this model please do... I'll be doing it just because anyway ^_^

Ok the key to this type of the theater is too maximize communication and community amongst filmgoers... two things we see less off in this new digital world and that people are hungry for... also its utilizing "consumer" level equipment for exhibition... the human factor is the most important thing here...

The layout of the theater will be a lot like a school... small classroom sized rooms... 10 - 15 of these rooms with a lcd or similar type display near each door...

Now there was something great about going into the Mom and Pop video rental place and asking about what to watch... think "genius bar" here like in the Apple stores... so at the front desk of this theater is a "film genius" a person who knows film well... not mainstream shit he's paid to promote... a real person... So you pay your admission which is based on time not how many films you watch... So X price for 2 hours XX price for 4 hours and so on... could even have a monthly subscription fee for unlimited time etc...

So you walk in pay for your time and tell the film genius you want to watch a say... Japanese schoolgirl Zombie film.... He recommends X film... you agree to watch it and he accesses the media server... So there is a simple media or file server... nothing too fancy here which has a database of films on it... a database which can be added to easily... AND which tracks how many times X film is played which then pays out the content creator... So the films will be licensed to only pay out when they are played so there is no huge overhead and if producers dont agree to the deal fuck them... get films from people like me who are realistic about the future of film...

anyway... So the film genius programs the film and tells the patrons..."it will start in room 1 in 5 minutes" So then the lcd screen outside the room says "X film playing in 5 minutes" So this way anyone wandering around or just coming in can perhaps wander over and check it out as well... this is to increase experimentation and variety...to increase community and communication...

The "theater" uses consumer level DLP projectors which are quite nice and cheap today as are small 5.1 speaker systems... The projector is connected to a node computer or whatever to play the film from the server... seating and decor is much like a coffee shop with dim lighting as there is a cafe inside the theater... ALSO there will be headphone jacks OR an FM transmission of the audio so patrons will have the option to block out the sound of conversation which will be encouraged and which is impossible in theaters now... this also opens up the possibility for multiple soundtracks/ languages etc...

So someone else comes in and a film is put on in room 2... the people in room 1 think the film sucks so they wander over to the people waiting for room 2 and talk to them about the film they requested... they all go into room 2... since room 1 is empty the film is stopped so that something else can play in it... or people can just hang out in there drinking coffee or what ever...

So the goal is to keep costs LOW by using consumer level equipment and to not pay ridiculous fees to license films no one really wants to watch... would probably resemble video on demand licensing deals...

There are a million other ways you could go with this...to make it a more exciting experience and to monetize it WITHOUT selling out what a theater should be about. So obviously the mainstream would want nothing to do with it... thats fine ^_^

By the time I release my next film there will be theaters like this in place... I will be setting one up here in my city... maybe not to full functionality as described above BUT a venue with a projector, sound system, computer to play the films, people and me as the film geek to recommend films ^_^ thats all a theater really is... I hope to help build a network of these nano-cinema's so that we can all do torrentrical releases that make their way into a theatrical release as well. Thats an easy way to distribute the films right?

The technology is there to make this happen... its the rights management and tech specs that is not "up to snuff" for the mainstream film industry... DCP?! cmon?! fuck them!... they are too slow and too stiff to survive... there's enough people like me making alternative things that people want to see and theres more and more everyday and the quality is rising... and I am flexible because I realize it is an HONOR if someone wants to watch your film in any way, shape or form and we filmmakers need to respect that if we are to survive in this new world. So I will be making this happen in my town... why don't you make one in your town?

If you want to see my next film in a "theatrical" setting you might just have to ^_^

Comments

  1. I seriously dislike the way you write off the entire "mainstream" film industry, I don't care where a film comes from - its quality that I ultimately care about, regardless who makes it...

    But you're right about the need to change cinema structure, empowering audiences over institutions (both mainstream and independent)...

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  2. If you dislike the way I refer to the mainstream feel free to read and comment on a blog by a mainstream director ^_^ I'm sure they are much more "PC" and all that... If you are or want to become a part of the mainstream film industry yourself please refrain from defending it on my blog...there's plenty of other places to do that... A quote I like...

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    I write it off because I'm not fighting it or feeding it...I'm ignoring it... I'm not participating... thats the only way to change things.

    If you have mainstream dreams yourself that's great but your a long way from home when reading my blog buddy boy ^_^

    You should probably stop reading my blog because I'm not going to change my ways.

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  3. Its not because I have any sympathy or any ties for mainstream cinema as it currently stands...and certainly not any mainstream dreams...

    But rather because I think people deserve better, if you hide away in a little corner plugging your ears to anything save what you see as "good" just because of where it comes from...

    Now I'm not disagreeing with your points AT ALL, there is desperate need for change - just one look at all the films that have been dropped from studios due to this recession, which let face it...kinda tells you all that they really care about...

    But I think you've become so deeply entrenched in the ideal of being independent, and as you quite rightly say - attempting to build a new model - that you've become radical, an independent extremist...in a sense...>.>

    You've hinted at it yourself many times in this blog...but you certainly seem to feel that there are "types" of audiences, both those who like and understand your work (who like more independent films) and others who walk out in the first 15 mins...

    I just can't help but feel that surely people themselves deserve better than the crap they're being fed right now, and I think that hiding behind an "independent" label as a reason is a lousy excuse...I'm defninitely NOT suggesting that you should comprimise your work or personal ethic to maximise an audience, but aren't the people, not the institutions, who your film is for...?

    Surely its worth fighting for...?

    If you simply ignore and accept things the way they are nothing will change...good films need more faces like you, people who will fight for what they believe in...(your response to me shows that...>.>)...who are angry enough to push back at the fat cats...

    Here's a quote I like:

    "Everything's ready for a new golden age of cinema, save the filmmakers and the institutions"

    - Oh and as far as defending mainstream cinema goes, lets face it, some of the greatest films of all time have come out of it...not to deny indie's influence or anything...

    A while back you got into another argument with me over Tarrantino, and I've had time to think more about what you said...

    You basically ripped into him...ad rightfully so...but lets not forget he himself was from an independent background, you CANNOT deny that there is filth in the independent scene too; people only making films to get recognised, or people making films so far up their own asses under the pretention of high art (but say nothing...)...if change is what you want so badly then shouldn't you exempt yourself from this community too?

    Make your own?

    There's a guy over here (UK), you might have heard of him, called Terrence Davies... lauded like - everywhere - in the independent as a genius, all he does is shove together archive footage to piano music with a voice over, and he is said to be one of the great British auteurs...o.0?

    Here's a quote from him...

    "I was happy for four years of my life...BAM...and then I realised I was gay."

    He's the sort of person most people see when they picture independent cinema...

    Just a thought...and to justify myself...sorry bout the essay...:)

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  4. I agree with many of your points...the key is that the people who start out "independent" need to stay that way to truly serve the viewer in the end... the reason I hate the mainstream so much is that so many filmmakers started off making awesome stuff as an independent then they sign in to the system and make garbage because thats what the system does... and yes not all independent work is great or even good BUT the process is not set in stone like it is in the mainstream film industry so there is room for experimentation...

    From my perspective to make a film within the system you MUST follow certain rules...there are certain requirements and 9 times out of 10 that equals the death of the film for me...

    Its like youtube vs network television... yes there is a lot of crap on both but at least we have creative freedom as to what we post on youtube... if youtube ever becomes like network television I will write it off as well.

    To make changes you have to stand for something... This is what I stand for and as long as people adhere to the rules and participate in the mainstream industry it will always be there.

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  5. Man this has got me as excited as the first time I watched WATS and I mean that!

    I think this Idea can reach out into performing arts as well like poets, musicians, comedians, all sorts. once you get lots of creative from different backgrounds they meet up and new collaborations happen. I personally would like to do a silent film with a live accompaniment of musicians, Or how about a cinematic puppet show?

    One of the things as well with having lots of smaller screening rooms is that you can have theme rooms like the blade runner room, aqua room xD ahhh....

    Really looking forward to the New Digital Cinema!

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  6. I know Im jumping in a little late, but I'd like to comment on the discussion M dot and Sheimii were having:

    I consider myself an independent artist (comic artist here, films may come later). I was always curious as to why a lot of people, which I think includes you Sheimii (and maybe M dot too) see the word "independent" as a a label. Its not. At least not in the same way that "mainstream" is a label.

    Sheimii, by throwing M dot in with the other independent artists you listed, you're kinda classifying that as a collected group of people, where, to me, to be independent is to not belong to ANY group. No real affiliation. People in Hollywood all follow the same basic principles and follow the same beaten path. But an independent artist or filmmaker doesnt belong to the "indy" group. Its just the opposite, they belong to no group at all. You cannot group all independent artists together because 99% of them have nothing to do with each other when it comes to their work. Where as everyone working in film for Hollywood work for the same handful of corporations with the same twisted agendas. Both M dot and myself say we're indy, yet we live on opposite sides of the country and have nothing to do with each other. Says you're independent is kind of like the "other" bubble on a test. Its none of the above. You're just yourself.

    Also, about writing off the mainstream...in my opinion, I've always felt M dot only writes off the (excuse the rather strong adjective) corrupt mainstream, I honestly can't believe that M dot has never once in his life gone to the movies and enjoyed himself, and I dont think you should assume that either. There are good people working in that system, talented creators. The problem is the system itself, and the people working to perpetuate it. There are good mainstream filmmakers, just like there are bad indy filmmakers.

    There. Thats all I really wanted to say. Srry if it made little sense, it was pretty stream of consciousness...

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  7. so when are these theatres rolling out?

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